The Big Lagoon is located on Miniloc Island, just around the corner from Miniloc Island Resort. Geologists believe that the limestone cliffs that form the Big Lagoon are 250 million years old. These cliffs were formed by the continuous deposition of shells, corals, and other hard parts of marine organisms.
The Big Lagoon is an example of what geologists call a “sinkhole”. The Big Lagoon started off as a cave, but as the sun, water, and wind eroded the rock, the cave’s roof collapsed under its own weight.
The same sun, water, and wind also formed the thin layer of soil that supports the plants in the Lagoon. These plants are able to survive despite the intense sunlight, saltwater, lack of freshwater, and lack of nutrients in the Lagoon. Some of the notable plants that can be found here include the begonias (Begonia sp.) and false yucca (Dracaena multiflora). Other plants such as the Cymbidium and Pholidota orchids and the molave are also here. The presence of molave (Vitex parviflora) indicates a true limestone forest.
Various animals also call the Big Lagoon their home. Some of the animals that can be seen here include the Palawan Hornbill (a hornbill endemic to Palawan), kingfishers, swiftlets, and sea eagles. The calm waters of the Lagoon make it an ideal fish nursery. If you’re lucky, you might see the three juvenile black tip reef sharks that we keep seeing here. Sea turtles also come in here to rest.
Lagen Island Resort Environmental Officer
El Nido Resorts
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines