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Pinagbuyutan Island

Merr Watson


Behind the Shot

The palm-tree-shaded, white sand beaches on tiny Pinagbuyutan Island off the west coast of El Nido in Bacuit Bay are dwarfed by sheer limestone cliffs towering over 1,000 feet into the air. From a distance it’s difficult to truly get a sense of the scale. Merr knew that to accurately capture the breathtaking location she would have to fly high and well south of the beach where she stood.

“Arriving on the island, I knew right away that I had to take this photo at sunset. I was so blown away by this island. I’ve never seen anything like it. I visited here three times on this trip and couldn’t get enough of it.

“One of the highlights of El Nido was getting to explore the unique, movie-like scenery of Pinagbuyutan Island. The moment I stepped foot on the island, I was in total awe, seeing its towering cliffs and dramatic one-of-a-kind views—not to mention being greeted by a few friendly local pups who hung out with us as we watched the sun go down. We spent the entire day soaking up the sun and admiring its beauty.”