I really wish I had bought Leguanitos for DiploBaby because no aquashoes fit him locally. He also usually doesn’t fit in typical flipflops so his Crocs kept getting sand inside which is painful for soft baby feet. He was always making pag-pag (the act of shaking off dust or dirt) & washing his Crocs during our trip to El Nido.
One of the most comfortable reusable cloth masks we’ve found is from UNIQLO. DiploBaby who has a huge head wears a Small UNIQLO Airism Mask and TD and I with our larger than normal heads wear Medium. Yaya B wears Medium.
One of the best discoveries in Miniloc are the Magnum Bars in the Gift Shop. LOL!
After early seating breakfast we got dressed for our day of Swimming with the Jacks & going to the Big Lagoon. I decided to wear a rash guard today to prevent more sunburn. DiploBaby was trying to get in with me in my favorite Sarong.
I detest tie die anything and this so far is the only sarong that I’ve really loved and kept over the years. I bought it in the fabulous Sala Resort in Phuket!
MINILOC RECEPTION AREA
I love the open air reception area of Miniloc! We always pass it on the way to and from our Seaview Room. To feed the Jacks one must ask for gloves from the reception before heading to the dock.
I love these bamboo drop lamps and the huge plants in the back!
Love the local Filipiana details they used in Miniloc El Nido reception’s design!
JACK FISH FEEDING & SWIMMING
Jackfish feeding is twice every morning at 8:30am & 10:30am so we usually go for the 10:30 one after our breakfast.
This day was cloudy, with strong winds and the waves were very choppy because of the RED ALERT for strong rain during our whole stay. Thankfully we did not experience strong rain during our stay. If ever it rained really hard it was at night. But the wind was EPIC and the waters were super choppy!
The Diplomat swimming using our own full face snorkeling mask for adults. For diplobaby we also got a full face snorkeling mask for kids. However Kuya Zandy said that their kids free diving mask and snorkel is better than the full face type.
TD and I conquered our fears and swam with the Jacks while they were being fed so that DiploBaby would not be afraid to try it.
They are quite huge so we were a little afraid.
DiploBaby is super scared but gives it a try. Here he is using his full face snorkeling mask for kids.
DiploBaby takes one look & just jumps on me – all 57 lbs of him! I had to carry him back to the stairs with the waves almost knocking me over!
We are super proud that he even went into the water despite being so scared of the huge Jacks. I already had a plan to ask Kuya Zandy, one of Minilocs amazing guides to teach us all to snorkel with the Jacks in between feeding so that they are more relaxed.
Proud grandparents watching!
My MIL is in her rain poncho because it rained a little. You can see the rain clouds in the background.
MINILOC ASSISTED LUNCH BUFFET
I always check out the soup first in the assisted lunch buffet. Today the Crab and Corn Soup was super delicious and garlicky. I always tell them to put very little first – half a scoop – then come back for more if I like the soup.
Then I get a salad if it looks good. Their Chicken Caesar Salad was super yummy!
It’s perfect with their super soft yummy bread rolls!
The we go to the rice and viand section. During breakfast they also offer yummy garlic rice.
In the middle there is usually a paella/pasta/mongolian station where they offer either rice or pasta dished prepared on demand so you can tell them what ingredients you would like to put in. You can either come back for it or ask them to bring it to your table. During breakfast this is the egg station.
Then there is the grill station. Usually there is one grilled seafood and one grilled meat dish for each meal.
Since we weren’t drinking the complimentary wine in our room, we asked them if we could bring it to the dining area so we could share it with my in-laws. They can keep it chilled in their ref and also serve it in a bucket with ice.
I am not sure what we did to deserved the complimentary wine but it was nice to have a glass of instant sangria with our meal. Since they did not have sprite we used Royal True Orange. In hindsight, we should have used Coke instead to make calimocho! Thanks to my friend Chef Des for reminding me!
Kalimotxo or calimocho is a drink consisting of equal parts red wine and cola-based soft drink. Dating from the 1970s, it has become an icon and one of Basque’s most internationally respected drinks.WIKIPEDIA
The highlight of this lunch was the Kare-Kare with Bagoong. Kare-kare is a Philippine stew that has a thick savory peanut sauce. Bagoong is a Filipino condiment usually made of fermented fish/krill. For the Kare Kare I recommend only getting the veggies coz the pork has a lot of tiny bones.
KAYAKING TO THE BIG LAGOON
We were a smaller group this time and the bigger boat was out of commission. The waves were quite HUGE going to the big lagoon, even if it was 5 minutes away from Miniloc! This terrified the non-swimmers in our group even if we all had life vests.
But Zandy and his team were quite reassuring and said that they would help us who have had no experience with Kayaking! Zandy is here explaining to us what we might see in the Big Lagoon if we are lucky.
We parents have to to smile and put on a brave face so that our little one will not get too scared or nervous.
The entrance of the Big Lagoon. If the weather is not so great and the waves are this big, I recommend taking medicine against motion sickness or using sea bands.
The moment we entered the Big Lagoon, the water was super calm already! It was so worth it!
We saw lots of different creatures and we were so excited to see a baby shark! Amazing! We went through this tunnel that had a rock stuck between the two walls. I looked like it was about to fall on us. I wonder how long it has been stuck there!
Please excuse the blurred photos of the GoPro!
The color of the water was incredible!
Zandy taking out the different phone cameras to take pics of us.
TO FOLLOW VIDEO OF BIG LAGOON
I asked if we could swim and Zandy said that there was a shallow part where we could get off, swim and of course this was the only time that DiploBaby and I did not wear our footwear! So we weren’t able to stay standing for long.
IMPORTANT TIP: Wear aqua shoes going to the Big Lagoon so you can have a little more fun in the shallow area! It’s so clear that it’s like a natural swimming pool! We should have brought our goggles/snorkeling gear too!
We got back to the boat immediately so that the 2 kuyas could bring Mami and Papi into the Big Lagoon too. At first they did not want to go but we told them they would regret not having the experience. Yaya B could not be convinced to go because she doesn’t know how to swim so she was too scared.
The boat was really rolling around while waiting and I really wish I took nausea meds. I did remember to bring a Kind Bar to share with DiploBaby because it was past our merienda/afternoon snack time. I made sure to put the plastic waste in my bag. This prevented us from getting grumpy or getting a headache.
So proud of Mami and Papi!
Papi made us laugh coz he was holding on to a rope for dear life as he was exiting the Big Lagoon!
Mami and Papi were so happy and proud that they went into the Big Lagoon! Especially after Zandy told us that the oldest person he ever took was 97 years old.
The cool things about going on a El Nido Resort tour which is FREE and included in their hotel rate, is that they bring towels and equipment for us. If you booked on your own, you would have to think of bringing your towels, equipment and lunch!
VIDEO OF DIPLOBABY SNORKELING & PADDLEBOARDING WITH ZANDY
The guides of Miniloc are the best! Here’s a video of Zandy teaching DiploBaby how to snorkel & taking him paddle boarding. What an amazing experience for a child!
Photos of the experience below!
DIPLOBABY LEARNS TO SNORKEL
When we get back to Miniloc, we asked Zandy if he could teach DiploBaby how to use his snorkeling gear. We’ve tried for a long time but we could never seem to explain how it works properly.
But after a minute with Zandy, it was on properly and he was ready to go! check out this video! TD joins them with his full-face snorkeling mask!
They are so far and look so tiny!
DIPLOBABY & ZANDY PADDLE BOARD
Because he was done learning to paddle in Dibuluan Island where we ate lunch the day before, DiploBaby wanted to try paddle boarding instead. I’ve never tried paddle boarding before, and didn’t want to because the wind and tide was a bit strong. You can hear it in the video below!
It was such a great experience for DiploBaby because Zandy knew the cove like the back of his palm. He introduced DiploBaby to so many creatures and homes!
They even went to the water cottages!
When I saw they were going near the grandparents, I excitedly called my MIL to look outside their room.
She was so surprised and chatted with them for a bit!
Then it was time to go back to shore. So many new experiences for my baby!
MERIENDA BY THE BAR
DiploBaby asked poor Yaya B to carry him to the bar after he washes his Crocs. I feel for him because they really do scoop up sand.
Sadly, they ran out of ripe Mangoes so we had Watermelon and Pineapple Shakes instead. The watermelon was super yummy and refreshing! The Pineapple was a bit on the tart side. There is nothing as Filipino as mango shakes by the beach! If you haven’t tried it, the Philippines has the sweetest mangoes in the world.
As usual TD and I split their yummy cheeseburger with fries. Today the outside of the patty was not crispy like the other time we had it. Now we know that you always have to ask them to make sure the outside is crispy.
We are creatures of habit. DiploBaby always has fries for merienda.
ASSISTED BUFFET DINNER
The highlight of my dinner was their beer battered onion rings! Soooo good!
The Miniloc Package has all 3 full board meals included, however afternoon snacks, bar chow and drinks are not included. To give you an idea of how much their drinks are I’m including a picture of their menu which is flashed on a TV screen to minimize contact.
They also have QR codes you can scan in each table to know what they are serving for the full board meals and other extra things you can order.
If you would like to book the El Nido Resort travel bubble, you can contact them below. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or get in touch with me on my Instagram!
Miniloc • Apulit • Lagen • Pangulasian
Ten Knots Development Corporation
+63 917 553 8004 +63 917 584 1576
3rd Floor Alveo Corporate Center, 728 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, 1634 Taguig, Philippines