Coron – The Charm of Palawan

Coron is one of the most celebrated islands included in Philippines’ pride Palawan.  Coron is part of the eastern half of Busuanga Island. There are more than 50 islands stretching as far as Tara Island in the north-east and Canipo Island in the south. All these islands are part of the Calamian Archipelago in Northern Palawan that separates the South China Sea from the Sulu Sea.

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How did I get there? Apart from the booking a flight to Vietnam, I also booked a flight in Cebu Pacific going to Coron. It was a bargain to book a round trip flight for Php 500 only! It was thrilling to pay this much less to see one of the best islands in the Philippines! Though I was bit hesitant to chose a date in rainy season, I was never terrified. Most of the people I met said that is always sunny in Coron since it is located on the west part of the Philippines. Though Coron is one the places devastated by Typhoon Yolanda, the whole town and its tourism gets lively again.

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Where did I stay? I booked a room for 3 nights in Booking.com at Lagrosa Backpackers. The hostel is new and managed by a family. There are only 3 rooms on the 2nd floor. The 1st floor is for their family. The hostel is a bit far from the main street and restaurants. It was good though for some exercise. My room can be reserved for two. It has a small size sink inside. An electric fan can be used to cool down the room. Bathroom is shared with other backpackers.

Breakfast is not included in the room reservation. You can pre-order this to Mrs. Lagrosa every night. To read more about my review about Lagrosa Backpackers hostel, click “Far from the main street though quiet with helpful owners“.

Since I arrived in Coron by almost nighttime, I just had few hours left to see the places near my hostel. Basically, Day 1 is all about sleeping 🙂

Day 2 – Ultimate Island Tour

Palawan is well-known to have the most beautiful islands in the world. Their beaches and under the sea attractions are the pride of the Philippines. Coron is on top of the list in Palawan!

Lagrosa Backpackers offers island tour packages. I had a tighter budget in my Coron trip but wanted to make the most out of it. Though I am not a big fan of beaches and water, Coron definitely changed my mind set.

The Ultimate Island Tour destinations are in Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck, Siete Picados, CYC Beach, Sunset Beach and Coral Garden. The tour inclusions are hotel pick up, tourist boat, life vest, picnic lunch, cottage rental in one of the island, tour guide, permit and entrances. It was a good price!

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Since I traveled alone, I was paired with other travelers who booked the same package on that day. I was lucky to meet a Thai, German and Australian in this tour. They were the best company that I had in this travel! 🙂 All of them are great swimmers specially Sarah, the Aussie girl. She have like fins and I think they are real!!!

I was a bit skeptic at Siete Picados. Yes, the water is magically clear yet I cannot swim! I felt helpless. Anya, the Thai lady who was with me in the tour encourages me to swim more since we have life vest. I insisted no though 😦

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Such a poor me!!! Maybe seeing the water for me was enough. But in every places we hopped I get more thrilled.

My favorite is the Kayangan Lake. We had to climb rocky and steep stones to be on top and reach the Lake on the other side. There was no other way to see the Lake than to climbing the stairs. At last, we reached the most iconic view to have some photo! And I was the happiest! 😛

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On Kayangan Lake, I was amazed how crystal clear the water is. I wished I can swim like Sarah! While writing this blog, I am wishing that I can go back in the Lake to swim more.

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Next time, I won’t be afraid at all. But definitely, seeing the clearest body of water in the world is such a privilege!

We had lunch at Sunset Beach. Our boatmen prepared plenty of food for us. It was a feast that we enjoyed! We had more time to chat and share different stories.

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Come’n, Rob! I know you miss these!

Plus, they teased me in not swimming. I will do better next time! Promiseee! 😀

After our lunch and having some rest, we continued the trip at the Skeleton Wreck, CYC Beach and Coral Garden. The divers will absolutely love these places.

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CYC Beach

I had some guts to use my goggles at CYC Beach and had a chance to see a translucent fish! I told Anya that they were transparent fishes! HAHAHA.

Our last stop is at the Twin Lagoon. It is also a famous destination in Coron. You can either climb a stair or swim in a small opening if it’s not high tide. Anya rented a kayak boat. She generously shared it with me. We were led by our tour guide.

I was very happy to share the boat with Anya and see different rock formations. The water is very lucid and relaxing. The tour ended by 6 PM.

Truly, Coron is a magical place. I was very blessed to see these destinations. I am one living proof that Philippines have the best places to offer the world.

Apart seeing these destinations in Coron, I am very glad to have new friends like Anya, Rob and Sarah. It was lovely meeting them. 🙂

To have an idea of other island tour packages, here it is:

coron-tour-package

Day 3 – DIY City Tour

Most of the places I have been to, I make it sure that I researched it on the internet. I am ready for any walkathon. I want my own time, my own space in traveling. I am fond of walking alone and see new things. 🙂

This is what I done on my day tour in Coron. After having breakfast, I walked from my hostel to St. Augustine Church.

As a Catholic, I guess this has been my routine when seeing new places to see a church nearby. A little prayer will not mean any harm 🙂

The sun was killing me. I wished to dip in Maquinit Hot Spring that morning but locals advised me that I may not bear the heat. I head back then to my hostel and had a nap.

By afternoon, I walked again to the main road to climb Mt. Tapyas. It was a 30 minute walk from my hostel. Mt. Tapyas has 700 steps to brave in.

Slowly but surely, I reached the top in 45 minutes. It was a tiring 700 steps but definitely worth it!

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I was on the verged to give up but seeing Coron from atop is one best thing in life!  Mt. Tapyas is a perfect spot to see the sunset. I had a great time up here.

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Time to relax and head to Maquinit Hot Spring! 🙂

Before climbing Mt. Tapyas, I met a lady who offered a ride to Maquinit Hot Spring. A tricycle can wait for me at the hot spring and will drive me back to my hostel. The road to the hot spring is dark; my driver told there was a rotating brown out then. This was the period when government regulates to save electricity.

I was very happy to dip in! The water is very hot but perfect for my sore body after climbing Mt. Tapyas. It is said that this is salt water from the sea but tempered to be hot.

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I don’t know how it was done by nature. It was just perfect for a long day! After more than hour at the spring, I was a bit sleepy. It was then a good dip! 🙂

We returned in my hostel by 8 PM.

Day 4 – Last Day

It was my last day in Coron but I still have plenty of time! My flight is on the afternoon and I can still visit other places. After breakfast, I hit the road again.

I looked for some pasalubong that I can take back home. While walking yesterday, there is a souvenir shop not far away from my hostel. I bought some goodies to bring to my family and workmates in Manila.

Before heading to Lualhati Park, the photographer in me was amazed! Indeed, daily lives of locals have these different stories.

After some minutes, I reached Lualhati Park. This park is dedicated for the mother of the Mayor and Governor of Coron. It is a wonderful place to see how locals relax.

I was stoked by some writings on the stone. Indeed, Mahal ko ang Coron kahit wala lang pati na rin ikaw! 🙂

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Coron has topped my list for incredible water views. It is a true gem of the Philippines. Seeing this place is like I wanted to learn how to swim! I wanted to uncover more places in the Philippines!

Until we meet again, Coron! 🙂

Here is the breakdown of expenses in my 4 days in Coron,

coron-expenses

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