Coron, Palawan: More Than The Usual Adventure Tour
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From Manila we took a flight to Busuanga (Coron airport) via Zest Air. Aboard the craft as we looked outside the windows, we were surprised to see the grandeur of the scattered islands enveloped with white sandy beaches. It gave me a hint that that view from the plane was perhaps used by Department of Tourism's (DOT) "WOW Philippines: It’s More than the Usual" tourism campaign ad way back 2003 in the "Island" category. To be truly captivated here's my justification.
Click on the the link to see the video (courtesy of DOT) What I witnessed was as stunning as this:
At Busuanga Airport, leaflets and brochures comprising hotels, pension houses, and backpacker inns; native and themed restaurants; to tour packages were properly distributed with abundant and of quality choices
We never made a room reservation in order for us to experience the real holiday island trip and we ended looking for one after a couple of hours because we never thought that that month of February was a peak season. The inns seemed to be close to each other so it was not really difficult to search for a room. The tricycles (a local 3-wheeled transportation) were seemingly available all the time on the streets with a fare of P10.00 per passenger, per regular trip. We found Amphibi-ko Resort adorned with native Filipino materials that was obviously inviting. We stayed there for a night for P1,200.00 including breakfast. The rate was supposed to be P1500.00 but because the power only ran from 6 pm-6 am we were able to avail a discount. The resort was pretty in nature and the facilities were well-maintained and apparently simply at par excellence for the said price. There was a free wi-fi connection; breakfast was great; friendly employees and they also served Japanese dishes
Mommita's Lodge was actually a second choice because no private toilet in each room was offered, rather only common toilet and shower. But as we saw it, it was tidy and well-kept. For an overnight stay rate of P600.00, we found it worthwhile. The good thing did not end there for we found out that a meal rate of P200.00/head was also offered. Mommita's Inn was considered an ancestral house turned into an inn run by the very accommodating Mommita herself with her friendly staff. I guess for a breakfast of P200.00 of fried rice, fresh fish, fried eggs, tocino and fresh tomatoes with coffee served by the hospitable staff was not really bad. It was an American-service style but served with authentic Filipino home-made cuisine, same with lunch and dinner but with fresh seafood like: prawns, squids, fat crabs, smoked fish served up on the second floor in the cozy, private terrace of the inn.
Mommita also organized us a private island-hopping trip to Banana Island and Malcapuya Island costing us P850/head together with her very accommodating staff who served us lunch and snacks during our full day trip
The Banana Island was such a small island but its size doesn't equate the various activities that can be done here. We had spoken to the island owner while she was weaving and surprisingly she mentioned that the island offers an overnight accommodation via nipa huts that could accommodate 3, 4, or even 5 guests with native beds each equipped with the old-school Filipino mosquito nets.
Moving on, I walked around and I discovered that there were so many things to do on the island like beach volleyball, kayaking and snorkeling. Here we very much enjoyed snorkeling for we had seen schools of fishes of various colors, textures, and shapes. Since they seemed to be so timid, a certain staff advised us to provide them with tiny bits of bread should you like to feel them and see them right in front of your very eyes. Yes we did and they all came to us. The good thing about this island is that, the fishes are abundant some of them swim toward the shore. My bestfriend Macky took us some photos underwater while feeding the fishes and you are able to see these photos at the bottom of my blog and you might come up with a plan of exploring this island yourselves too
We had our lunch at Malcapuya Island. This island was so laid back that you could even last a day under the palm trees on a hammock while listening to the soft melody of the waves. The white sand was very soft and fine. Again as I walked around, I discovered a viewdeck on the leftmost part of the shore where you can see the long stretch of white sand below. On the opposite righmost end, we explored and saw a chestnutbrown-colored rock formation while walking barefoot feeling the softness of the white sand. Snorkeling is not really recommended here.due strong waves. But suma total, this island is very much recommended.
Talking about the places we went to, first day was just fun to see the entire 360 degrees view of the entire island by way of climbing up Mt. Tapyas with approximately 750-800 steps which was a good excercise (burn those carbs baby!). Right after that we headed to the Maquinit Hot Springs to freshen up and relax. It was a very refreshing experience bathing and soaking your tired body on a natural hot springs which was also open to cater guests even in the evening. From Mt. Tapyas to Maquinit Hot Springs we made an agreement with the tricycle driver to wait for us while enjoying those happy moments for a rate of P500.00 (Do try to bargain with the tricycle drive)
The highlight of Coron trip was the island-hopping which we availed from Mr. Al Linsangan who offers various tour options. What we chose was the package of Cayangan Lake, CYC Island, Twin Lagoon of divided hot and cold waters, and two different coral gardens. Before we sailed, he gave us an orientation on safety and on the itinerary of what to see and expect to those attractions. If I'm not mistaken, each of us paid P250.00 or P350.00 including lunch together with other tourists of the same boat. The entire trip was all about snorkelling and sightseeing. Corals of majestic colors were seemingly impressive as well as lagoons of turquoise, pristine waters; and a plunge to the CYC Beach for the last part.
As we were sailing, limestones caught our attention and we were left in awe, as if we were just watching the National Geographic Channel featuring the most beautiful places on earth, most especially when we reached the Cayangan Lake. But before reaching the Cayangan Lake, we needed to walk a few minutes to reach the site. Halfway through to the lake was the mountain's viewdeck
Next stop: Twin Lagoon. From the name itself, the Twin Lagoon comprises two lagoons separated by a rock formation. The first one was where we docked, that I consider the outer; and the second where we were required to climb up a six-foot high bamboo ladder toward the inner lagoon enveloped by the limestones in order for us to experience its distinct characteristic of having a hot and cold water in a lone lagoon. As I reached the platform, I unintentionally screamed "wow!" due to my astonishment.of a paradise-like view. I jumped off the platform
and suddenly shivevered. The water was cold. As I moved to the center, the palpable transition from cold to hot water temperature filled my body with a certain degree of wellness and relaxation. My parner, Michael whispered to me, "We should spend a whole day here."
The mere floating is strongly recommended, while watching those towering limestones, the lush greens and the clear water entwined with the peaceful sound of the chirping birds.
However, of all the islands in this trip that I got really disappointed to was the CYC Beach
Michael was extremely happy that we visited Coron, Palawan. He himself was definitely astonished by the natural wonders it offers. What makes our trip more memorable is the warm Filipino hospitality given by Mommita and the people of Coron. Until now, if some of our friends talk about Palawan, he abruptly dwells into the conversation and tells them the fun that he had in it. It was indeed a memorable experience for all of us.
I undeniably had so much fun. But what makes me certainly blissful about now is the fact that through this blog, I may be able to influence the local and foreign tourists that Coron, Palawan is as WOW as a paradise.
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