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The Before-and-After Project

The Before-and-After Photo-documentation Project – Beachfront

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 22, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

Of all the places in El Nido, the beachfront has the most noticeable changes. There are so many more establishments as more homes were converted to businesses – either a restobar or lodge/pension.

The photos on this blog were taken on many different days over a period of two and a half months. The photos at the end of Rizal Street were taken one beautiful, sunny August afternoon; the photos of Pukka Bar and El Nido Corner were taken as early as July, as well as some photos of Sea Slugs were taken in August; and the rest of the photos were taken one windy September morning when the sun played hide-and-seek with me.

I took a walk starting off from where Rizal Street ends, with Aplaya Bar and Casa Buenavista on either sides, and ending in  the small, narrow alley right after Tandikan Beach Cottages that emerges where Lonesome Carabao Lounge is.


Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


Aplaya Bar, El Nido, Palawan

And as more buildings and businesses were established, the more the sand turned brown. I used to swim on the beach nearly everyday, I would not want to do that now.

In front of Aplaya Bar

The beach still looks beautiful on sunny days like this…

El Nido town beach, Palawan

…but nothing compared to how it used to be.

Next to Casa Buenavista is Marber’s Restaurant.


Marber's Restaurant, El Nido, Palawan

Marber's Restaurant, El Nido, Palawan

Back when Marber’s Restaurant was on the ground floor of the building where Og’s Pension is, this was Blue Karrot Beach Bar and Restaurant.

Marbers_Blue Karrot

Blue Karrot has a long history, being originally owned by Rudy and Rose, and then sold off to a friend of theirs. Rose’s family now owns Makulay Lodge and Villas in Caalan, and Blue Karrot does not exist anymore, neither in this spot nor any other spot in town.

Casa El Nido has been there ever since I can remember too. It used to have a little garden on the side where there were trees, and loungers under the shade.


Casa El Nido


The Before-and-After Photo-documentation Project – Hama Street

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Calle Hama begins where Balinsasayaw Road, a road that starts off at Rizal Street, meets the road that goes to the northernmost baranggays of the town of El Nido, at the corner where Lally & Abet Beach Cottages is found. This is the street that we take all the time because we lived a kilometer or so north of town but the entire time I was there, I kept thinking I was going to devote just one day to taking photos of the town, that in the end, I did not manage to. In my last two weeks in El Nido, it kept raining and some of the establishments were in the process of  renovating and/or building more cottages.

Most of the originals of my old El Nido photos are lost. The ones I repost are mostly from a folder that I found that has a title “El Nido Town Reduced”, so the files have been reduced. But recently, I found a folder that says “El Nido Town 3” with photos taken from April 2006 and these were original files and have not been reduced. I found these two photos:


2006 Lally and Abet Cottages copy


2006 Rosanna's Cottages copy

My photos of Calle Hama begin at Lonesome Carabao Lounge and end right before Marina Garden Beach Cottages. Calle Hama is the busiest street in El Nido town and has the most number of establishments, accommodations and restaurants. In order, from the intersection, one can find the following accommodations: Lally & Abet Beach Cottages, El Nido Beach Hotel, Inngo Tourist Inn, Devayn’s Inn, and Rosanna’s Cottages.


Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

Lonesome Carabao Lounge sits at a location that I remember used to be a rice store… if not a poultry supply store. The building right next to it used to be where the El Nido Public Market was “supposed” to be. The local government has tried to move the public market many times. The public market now has been successfully moved and operating at a big complex in Corong-Corong, where the bus stations are also found. This has done wonders in the vehicle and foot traffic in the narrow streets of the little town and El Nido – something that I truly appreciate.

Hama St., El Nido, Palawan

When I was living in El Nido in 2006, my favorite store was Kuya Loy’s store in front of the waiting shed. We hung out a lot there with Kuya Loy and his wife, Ate Mavic. We borrowed his paddle boat a lot too. Kuya Loy, a musician, played at Balay Tubay and Ricson’s Bar and Restaurant. One of my co-teachers and also my best buddy at that time, Eric, played bass guitar for his band every now and then. (Photo below: Top, 2006; bottom, 2012)

Kuya Loys Store, El Nido, Palawan

In the photo below, on the leftmost end is Lonesome Carabao Lounge, and on the rightmost end is where El Nido Plaza Inn is.

Hama St., El Nido, Palawan

In between Kuya Loy’s store and Baracalan is a parking lot and El Nido Plaza Inn. El Nido Plaza Inn has been there ever since, one of the oldest and cheapest accommodations in El Nido, but I have never seen it. I don’t know what it looks like inside or where exactly is the building. I just know it’s there.


Hama St., El Nido, Palawan

Across the street is a row of beachfront cottages, also with entrances through Hama Street.


The Before-and-After El Nido Photo-documentation Project – Rizal Street

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 9, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Many of the photos of Rizal Street that I have now are taken in 2012. In 2006, there wasn’t anything interesting much about this street that I did not take a lot of photos of it. Rizal Street is what visitors coming in from Puerto Princesa will take and see first when going into El Nido town.

Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan

Now, as development moves from the poblacion towards Corong-Corong, more and more lodging and pension houses are being built along this street.

I have this grand plan of blogging about ALL the accommodations in El Nido town, including the ones in Brgy. Caalan and Brgy. Corong-corong, but this will not materialize, I suppose. There are now so many of them, from low to high budget, that I just did not get the time to cover them all.

I did try to start with the ones on Rizal Street, beginning with Viewdeck Cottages, but that blog will have to wait.

On Rizal Street, coming in from Corong-corong, these are what you will see:


Lualhati Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


Cliffside Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan

Cliffside Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


Sei Nazion Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


The Before-and-After El Nido Photo-documentation Project – Calle Real

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 8, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 6 Comments

When I lived in El Nido in 2005-2006, I made it a point to take photos around town right before I left, using my point-and-shoot Pentax Optio WP. Just in case I didn’t get to come back ever again, I thought to myself. The photos around town that I managed to compile were not taken on the same days, so the quality of light was not the same all the time. I really did not have a system for that.

Though I was in and out of El Nido every year since then, I only stayed for a few days, a week or two at most. So when I came back to El Nido in 2012 to stay for a relatively longer period of time, I decided I was going to do the “Before and After” El Nido Photo-documentation Project.

This time I had a Nikon D90, with a wider lens that takes better photos through and through than my old camera.

It was some work. I transferred all my old snapshots onto my cellphone and went around town, taking photos, using the snapshots on my phone as a guide. The “After” photos should be taken at the same angle as the “Before” photos. I had about 75 photos in my phone. 75 photos that were NOT all replicated by the time I left again for Manila.

I had my daughter along so it was not a good idea to take her on photo walks with me. Even though El Nido town is very small, taking a three-year old with me to walk in the streets under the hot sun, was just not something that could be done. So I decided to take photos by areas, coming back to shoot on other days.

But September is not a month for consistent weather either. Some days, it rained all day. I spent a considerable amount of wasted time, just waiting for the rain to stop, or the sun to come out, or the perfect timing, or my daughter’s good mood. Sometimes I took photos from the wrong angle. And a number of times, I took the wrong photo altogether. Funny project I must say. But interesting. Interesting enough for me to do it regardless of varying circumstances.

Since I have been back in Manila, I have been going through all the photos I accumulated while I was in El Nido for 2 1/2 months. And there really were a lot.

Here are the first batch of photos. And hopefully, I can add a little story behind each every now and then. And hopefully, those little stories are near the truth, and not something I just made up.

For portrait shots, “Before (2006)” is on the left, and “After (2012)” is on the right. For landscape shots, “Before (2006)” is on top, and “After (2012)” is at the bottom.

El Nido Elementary School (A public school)

Public School Fence

We lived on a house located in Osmena St, at the back of, or can also be said as right next to the El Nido Resorts/Ten Knots office, depending on which street you are at; but in front of the El Nido Resorts office, across the street, is the El Nido public elementary school. Aside from the fact that the trees are, of course, bigger, they also have a new fence. I remember that afternoon when a helicopter landed right in the middle of that expansive grounds.


Ten Knots/El Nido Resorts office gate

White House Gate

Though the photo on the left (2006) was taken from inside the yard while the photo on the right (2012) was taken from the street, I just really liked how the gate has changed.


Ten Knots/El Nido Resorts office (also called the White House)

The White House

The White House

It used to be a two-storey white-washed building that we all called the “White House” simply because it was all white. Every time I think about the White House, I still think of the wrap-around porch, and how we used to hang out a lot there. The before and after photo is the left side the building. It is located at the corner of Calle Real and Osmena St. so I can take photos of its front and left sides.

The Intersection of Calle Real and Abdulla St.

Municipal Hall Corner

I remember standing at that corner, where Inggo store is, and taking that shot in 2006. It was March 2006 and the Palawan Cherry trees were in bloom. I loved those Palawan cherry blossoms.

Palawan Cherry

Palawan Cherry Blossoms