Seafood, sights, snorkeling and sunsets in El Nido (Part 1)

One of the perks of my job as a tour guide is taking visitors to beautiful spots in the Philippines. Soon, the country would be more associated with its rich marine life, fresh seafood, majestic sunsets, rock formations and pristine beaches.

The town of El Nido in the northern part of Palawan island perfectly combines these features. Tourism is growing thanks to a recently completed road that connects the town to the charter city of Puerto Princesa, which serves as the hub of the country’s biggest province. A five to six-hour bus ride takes you to this once quaint town.

Seafood of El Nido

I remember my first visit more than two years ago and upon recommendation by The Poor Traveler, I was able to enjoy my seafood experience. The first thing I did when I arrived was to have lunch in Squido’s Restaurant.

Seafood Curry, a house special in Squido’s Restaurant and yes, I ate the whole thing.
Seafood Curry, a house special in Squido’s Restaurant and yes, I ate the whole thing.

Squido’s has a new location, which is located right across its old site.

Lately, there’s been a surge in construction. I saw small hotels that might be completed within the year. The place has grown busy with all the tourists, tricycles and vans using El Nido’s narrow roads.

These developments might be a downer to some who have been to this town four or five years ago. If there’s any relief, a tricycle driver told me that they don’t want to be the next _______ (make a guess, guys!).

Palawan supplies most of the fish to Metro Manila and one of the best things about El Nido is its fresh seafood.

A black grouper and yes, I finished this one on my own without shame. :-)
It gets more interesting when you visit El Nido’s public market.

One of the restaurants in El Nido where I take guests is Angel Wish, which is along Serena Street and facing the Bacuit Bay. The atmosphere is local. No comfy chairs but only excellent seafood. The staff would make suggestions on the best way to cook the fish that one has chosen. The options would be grilled, chili and garlic, steamed with lemon grass, or fried with sweet and sour sauce. The fish comes with a choice between french fries or rice on the side.

I took a couple of passengers to this restaurant and to our surprise, we saw probably the biggest lobster that we have ever seen. It’s not the biggest in the history of the restaurant but it’s a close second (Note: that honor belongs to a 2.5-kilo lobster consumed by four Chinese tourists).

Left: My passenger Ray lifting a two-kilogram lobster. Upper right: My other guest JD enjoying a good deal from the seafood restaurant. Lower right: Done in 20 or so minutes with a little help from his fellow passengers and guide.

There are other places in El Nido that serves good seafood but Angel Wish Restaurant is my favorite and it’s highly recommended.