In the Philippines, Holy Week – that long weekend from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday – is a time when people flock to the beach or go to the highlands to cool off. We used to do that for some time until it became a hassle to find flights, bus trips, ferry trips or resorts at a time when everyone else was trying to do the same thing. Or to go to a beach where there was hardly any breathing room.
We were looking forward to this trip after a pretty hectic week. A relatively under-the-radar beach destination in the western seaboard of Pangasinan on a weekday would surely bring very few visitors. And during the off-peak tourist season to boot. Along with three other friends, we had everything geared up for a two-night stay and were looking forward to enjoying moments of solitude underneath the shade of coconut palms. Or so we thought.
We didn’t think much about sunsets while preparing for our recent visit to El Nido. Anyway, there was already much to see here during the daylight hours. We were planning on just spending restful evenings at our resort after each day spent touring the islands at the Bacuit archipelago and other spots in El Nido. However, many memorable travel experiences are often unplanned ones. On this occasion we were surprised to see how stunning the sunsets in El Nido are and ended up spending each evening gazing at the fiery colors of the twilight sky.
After our ferry from Dumaguete landed at Larena town we were off to our home for the next three days – a dive resort at a secluded beach in the northeastern tip of Siquijor island province. Our short trike ride took us through a scenic coast past a sleepy, charming countryside before detouring into a narrow track and into Sandugan Beach where Kiwi Dive Resort is located. It may not be as beautiful as Paliton Beach and the other more popular beaches at San Juan and Maria towns, but Sandugan Beach is a hidden gem in itself.