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El Nido

About El Nido: Pin it on the map

El Nido is in the municipality of the northern province of Palawan in the Philippines. It lies in between the South China Sean from the west and the Sulu Sea from the east, it has a rich diversity of fauna and flora, as well as marine life.

The town of El Nido is located in the astonishing Bacuit Bay; a group of islands and islets, where the rock formation and limestones originated more than 200 millions years ago. The impressive limestones of El Nido and those belonging to Bacuit Bay are sedimentary rocks composed of skeleton’s fragments of marine life such as coral which is where all the dive sites are located. 

Psst psst : about society

Back in 1886, there was a tribe called Bulalacaunos in the north of Palawan where El Nido resides.

The wedding ceremony for the Bulalacaunos involved the loving couple staring at each other with loving glances, while the man, grabbed a fistful of rice with his right hand and gently put it in the mouth of his bride to be where she repeated the same custom. By performing this act meant that they should mutually feed each other forever and ever.

To complete the wedding, both parties crashed a new clay pot to the ground, swearing that they would separate only on the day when all the pieces came together.

If they survived to an epidemic, they built a small boat with one piece of wood, loading it with the needed gear and flag. They then filled it with rice, betel and water, and pushed it into the sea with the idea that evil spirits would go with it and never come back again, since they had provisions for the journey.

Once upon a time : history

El Nido was established around 2,680 BC or before, which the remaining fossils and burial sites found in Ille Cave confirm. Anthropologists suspect that the first inhabitants came from Borneo, Malaysia, due its proximity. Around 263 AD, people from South China settled in El Nido, from whom Palawan’s Batak tribe descended, as well as people migrating from Cuyo Island in the Philippines.

Known by the Chinese as Pa-Lao-Yu, which belonged to the Sultanate of Brunei, it was then named by the Spaniards as Bacuit Bay. Palawan Island was also renamed as the Isla de la Paragua. Finally, after the American rule, on June 17, 1954, it was approved to change the name of the town to El Nido.

El Nido (the nest), referring to the nest of the swiftlets found in the limestones cliffs, which were favourable to Chinese cuisine. Nowadays these are completely protected against those who may want to profit from the natural habitats.

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