Of course, Coron, Palawan is the new Boracay, I would even say 10 times better than Boracay but only a few knows of the adjacent island, Culion which is reach in history and is worth a 2-day side-trip while backpacking the Calamian group of islands.
Approaching Culion, some lessons from the ship crew
A thanksgiving prayer after a safe voyage
Town Stroll with friends
Fortress-turned-church with the beautiful horizon
This served as a fortress during war times
We conquered Culion! Yeah!
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: CULION, PALAWAN
As I have been to Coron, Palawan a couple of times I thought going to a different island among the Calamian group of islands would be great, exciting and awesome! So armed with confidence and the will to learn something new and unusual I with my 3 friends took a small cargo ship to experience Culion. All I know about this place is that it was a Leper Segregation camp before. What made this trip exciting is that
1. We know someone from Culion but we do not know the address and how to get in her house. Talk about an adventure!
2. Having fun started on the cargo ship as we made friends with the crew (although we can’t understand their local language), being curious on the places they have been to. They were very accommodating and they even taught us some basics in the ship -the compass, GPS, radios. After about 2 hours from Coron Port we find ourselves at Culion island.
3. Same with most of the rural areas where everyone knows every in a small town, we where given information on how to get to our friend. Turns out that someone from the ship lives near our friend’s house. Nice, we now have a place to spend the night.
4. When we arrived in our friend’s house she accompanied us to the places worth visiting. As I like the architecture of Catholic Churches we headed our way, I started the trip with a prayer as seen on the second picture, just thanking God for the safe venture and a nice stay in this historic island.
5. We visited the sanitarium and the hospital where former lepers were segregated. The hospital now serves the town people as most of the lepers are fast becoming a history in this island. I just saw one with an infection on her hand. They said that 20 years ago, most of the inhabitants were lepers. They even have their own currency. They have this because they don’t want others especially folks form other islands to get infected by leprosy. They said that you can only get infected if you have a wound.
6. The church has been a fortress before, it is always nice to look back and appreciate a little history. Just have some sense of being a Filipino and remember the patriotism our forefathers has to give us freedom.
Our 2-day side-trip here in Culion was a blast as we roamed the island the night before we went back to Coron. the town folks are fun to be with and very hospitable. I love this place and I want to come back soon.
Note: Our budget was only P500 all-in (transpo, food, etc), Recommended stay: 2 days, A contact living there would be great but the people are very accommodating.