El Nido Resorts Memories and Experiences
FRIDAY JAN 24TH
Today was dedicated to learning about all the information associated with the “BE GREEN” principle.
The presentation informed us about the 5 “BE GREEN” principles that El Nido resorts conform with to make Palawan an eco-friendly tourist area. The purpose of this training was to also educate people like us who are not extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, environment , plants and natural resources. Marga who was the speaker did a wonderful job in communicating the 5 principles which were; Biodiversity conservation, environmental legislation, ecological solid waste management, water conservation and energy conservation. The topic that interested me the most was the ecological waste management. Because it gave me the chance to compare the similarities and differences of the way people in the Philippines categorize and get rid of waste compared to how we do in NZ. Seeing that they have 7 different bins just for their kitchen segregation system made me want to initiate more ways we could segregate our waste back in our homes in Nz.
I am happy to say we did pass the “BE GREEN” test!! And I can definitely say I am now very well educated about the information around the be green principles.
SATURDAY JAN 25TH
Island hopping day plus lunch at Entalula! Experienced the half day tour today. The three destinations today were Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cove.
Started off with a mini hike at Snake Island (a great exercise in the morning)! The view at the top was beautiful! At the top after the hike, Janette saw a Hermit Crab and a mini jellyfish while on the way back to the boat!
Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cove were our next stops. We didn’t do much in the caves other than admire the beauty of the limestone. Janette said it was a good hiding spot too. Although there were signs of vandalism in the cave. The best part of today was getting a cute picnic lunch at the Entalula Beach club. The setup was very creative and unique, where the food was served straight from a picnic basket! It was a good time to also discuss how the past few weeks have been amongst ourselves.
In the evening we had a small waste management session that was led by Estefania. It was great to see the changes El Nido resorts have constantly been making to improve their segregation systems and waste disposals. Juvanka was particularly interested in the fact that there was a new system in place which was an effective method of getting rid of excess plastics. The method required crushing the excess plastics and mixing it into a cement to use as construction blocks. It was fascinating because she studies architecture and Spatial design so seeing how materials can be use resourcefully in her field of study was appealing for her.
SUNDAY JAN 26TH
Today we did a variety of activities from being at the MRF to sorting out the waste, to learning about the compost to finally planting some seedlings in the farm.
We started at the MRF facility in Dagal Dagal. Unfortunately when we arrived there we couldn’t sort out our waste ourselves because we didn’t have any gloves, but we did see how the workers sorted it and we did have a good view of the current layout of the MRF spaces on the island. Although there were systems in place for the waste segregation it was sad to see a lot of rubbish still scattered around the island that hasn’t been sorted yet. A reason I think this might be the case could be from the lack of layout as well as insufficient structures to hold the waste/compost or the fact that some of the resorts are not sorting their waste right which is making it harder for the workers. But it’s good to see the workers at the MRF facility are still trying their best to work through it bit by bit every day.
Janette did however pick up on some crucial points of improvement which are the following:
- Straws – instead of putting it on the drink directly, we can ask the guests if they want it or not.
- Cans – can be flatten.
- If this is still not being practiced. (MINIMIZING THE SPACE IT OCCUPIES)
- Styrofoam Containers – can be sent back to the supplier to be reused.
- According to Estefania, this is already in place. However, it was surprising to see that there was a huge pile in the MRF . (REUSE)
- Plastic Containers – can be flatten as well.
- If this is still not being practiced. (MINIMIZING THE SPACE IT OCCUPIES)
- Carton Boxes – Soak in water before burying.
With all these improvements we both agreed that the MRF in Dagal Dagal needs renovation. Not only for the safety purposes of the employees segregating the waste. The structure in most areas were falling apart and would definitely not stand through a typhoon. I think we both agreed that the place would work so much better if the workers had a well-structured and stable place to work in. As people tend to be more motivated to work when they receive new things too.
We then went to the Ten Knots Farm. It was great to see that some of the waste goes into good use; as a fertiliser for the crops. There definitely should be changes in the future to get more space for the crops to grow especially because what is currently being there are growing really fast! After learning about the produce farming and pig farming, we transplanted some Aragula seedlings! This became very satisfying because we had seen the whole process today of how the segregation of certain wastes such as rice, seashells and fruit peelings could lead to creating good compost that helps the vegetables to grow faster and healthier.
When we finished transplanting the seedlings, we headed back to Lio Estate and had a nice lunch at the restaurant, we were sad that the chef couldn’t join us for it especially because he was thoughtful enough to make sandwiches for us this morning. But since we had a heavy breakfast we all decided to give the sandwiches to the workers at the MRF facility. We did enjoy today, but we also enjoyed some down time in the afternoon settling down in Lio😅😂
MONDAY JAN 27TH
Today was another day of settling in and familiarising ourselves with Lio estate as well as learning about what it offers in terms of activities. We started off with an orientation regarding the Lio Estate led Moniqe today she discussed briefly the difference between Hotel Covo, Casa Kalaw, Hotel Adlao, Huni and Seda Hotel. Also covered other information regarding Lio.
We then had lunch at the Jungle Bar. This was the first restaurant we tried on the Lio Estate and we both were very satisfied with the meal as well as the service.
After lunch, we got our Bam Bikes and rode the bikes to Kalye Artisano. Riding the bikes reminded us out childhood memories so It was so good to get the opportunity to be able to borrow these bikes.
Also during the late afternoon until dusk, we accompanied Vito to release two turtles that just hatched! It was amazing to see the turtles heading to the sea! One of the baby turtles was very stubborn and it decided that it wanted to stay on the land. After the 7th attempt Vito had to make the call of lifting it up and taking it into the water himself. It was such a great experience witnessing them being released! Hopefully more will hatch while we are in Lio! After the turtle release, we returned back to the office then had dinner. After the dinner, we rode the Bam bikes back to the employee’s quarters
TUESDAY JAN 28TH
Today was focused on working on our individual proposals. Juvanka was doing a rough design of her idea, on Photoshop since she didn’t have her 3D program. While Janette managed to send some emails to few department heads who was able to provide me information regarding my project proposal
After lunch, we toured around Covo, Casa Kalaw, Hotel Adlao and Huni. Led by Monique, we were viewing one room in each of the hotels.
Janette said the best room for her personally is the room in Adlao. The smell of the room for me was relaxing and inviting. In regards to aesthetics, Covo was quite appealing. If in any case that I would bring my friends and/or family, Huni is the best option. The 4 hotels really have different selling points.
Juvanka’s favourite Hotel was Huni because it was really spacious and it also felt very private because of its location in comparison to the other hotels. Being a spatial designer she was very focused on the interiors of the space. She picked up on a lot of things such as the difference in the layout of each of the rooms in terms of the composition of the furniture as well as their use of colours. She said it made it easier to differentiate each of the hotels from one another by doing this. For example, Casa Kalaw had some darker tones of colour throughout their colour scheme for their furniture pieces and a very simple layout, while Hotel Covo had very funky designs such as having Baileys remote and phone holders extruding out of the wall and a range of bright coloured prints around the hotel room. It was a great technique because it helps attract a bigger market as guests now are very picky with the layout and aesthetics of their rooms.
So far we have thoroughly enjoyed riding our bikes going to work early in the morning and coming back to the employee quarters after the day. It has been remarkably refreshing! We are both savouring the moment because we do not know when will be the next time I will have the chance to ride a bike after this internship opportunity.
WEDNESDAY JAN 29TH
Most of the day was a chance to work on our proposal project. We got a bit restless during the day so I suggested we go for a bike ride to Tulay Suhai.
Later the afternoon, we were anticipating to see everyone. We initially got to meet Ms Mariglo. Then we finally re-joined with Han, Estefania and Marga. The meeting was interesting! We got to hear about Han’s story regarding the DENR inspection which was intriguing. I could actually imagine her talking to them how she was describing it.
It was a pleasure to meet her as well as re-unite with everyone else!
THURSDAY JAN 30TH
An early day today. Headed to Puerto Prinsesa for Visa application for Juvanka.
When we arrived in Puerto Prinsesa, we checked in, dropped our things and went straight to Immigration, which was conveniently located nearby our accommodation.
Juvanka finally received her visa. We roamed in the mall for quite some time, had lunch in the mall and came back to the hotel. We got a little pampering of ourselves today.