With the sunny skies of late, one can’t help but to ruminate about summer plans. To stake your wanderlust, consider Northern Palawan’s Bacuit Bay. With more than 800 fish species, Bacuit Bay is a highly prized snorkeling paradise, offering a variety of marine habitats within proximity to each other.
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Having been declared a protected area since the 1980s, Bacuit Bay is home to three of the four island-paradise destinations that carry the El Nido Resorts (ENR) brand, namely Miniloc, Pangulasian and Lagen, where a glorious underwater scenery offers a serene yet vibrant experience that must be experienced. The fourth island resort, Apulit, is in the neighboring municipality of Taytay, where marine life also abound. Here are some of the amazing marine life encounters one can experience in Bacuit Bay.
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Encounter Miniloc’s Fish ‘University’. The sight of thousands of Bigeye Scad swimming in unison is a sight to behold. With undetectable communication, they move in astounding synchronization, a genetically programmed pattern of behavior that protects them from predators.
Swim with the Jacks. Because of the prevalence of Scad in the waters of Bacuit Bay, Giant Trevally a.k.a Jacks, locally known as Talakitok, frequent the waters of Miniloc Island. Mariglo Laririt, the island’s ENR Environmental Director shares that the Jacks who visit are observed to be breeders, a clear indication that the species have pinpointed the island’s reef as a safe haven for them and their young.
Get up close and personal with Sharks and Rays. Black-tip Reef Sharks and Blue-spotted Ribbontail Rays are among Pangulasian Island’s most important visitors. Because the premier island resort’s house reef is part of a channel leading to the open sea, these incredibly graceful creatures have become regular guests.
Find Nemo. Popularized by the Pixar animated film of the same name, the Clownfish is one of the many species that frolic in the numerous fish habitats found within Bacuit Bay, a short swim away from any of the El Nido Resorts in the area. Boasting of the one of the highest levels of marine biodiversity, the picturesque reefs serve as home to several other exquisite species as well, including the Blackspotted Pufferfish, Angel Fish, damselfish, Wrasses, and Butterfly Fish, to name a few.
Witness a turtle release. Bacuit Bay is an established sea turtle hatching site, where ENR environmental officers and staff frequently chance upon the golf-ball sized eggs of these sea creatures in Bacuit Bay’s many beaches. As very few of the nest population (one out of every 100 eggs laid) survive into adulthood, the eggs found are carefully gathered and reburied in protected areas where they can be shielded from monitor lizards, birds, and illegal poachers. Upon hatching, guests of the resorts are also often witness to the hundreds of turtle hatchlings scurrying from the beach to the ocean, usually at dusk.
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Photographs from El Nido Resorts