They say that
“Happiness only real when shared”
-Into the Wild
So instead of enjoying Coron, Palawan alone, I organized a tour for my friends and blog readers last January 25-28.
Coron, Palawan is stunning as it is when I first visited five years ago. But a lot has changed- more hotels and establishments now. A boom town because of the influx of tourist both local and international. Yes, a lot of Kimchi and Chinese too (do I have to tell you the foreigners walking barefoot or half-naked).
(Note to all foreigners: We understand that you love to get tanned, but please don’t walk around town only with your boardshorts only.)
Anyway, I arrived two days earlier from El Nido and prepared everything I can so my tour participants can enjoy and maximize their stay in town. This is not a backpacking trip but I charged them a small amount of Php3,500 for everything (yes including a relaxing full-body massage).
DAY 1 (Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Hotspring)
The tour started with a bird’s eye view of Coron town. We topped the 720-step Mt. Tapyas just two minutes before the sunset and had some historical notes along the way. I told them that this isn’t really a mountain, but a hill. “Tapyas” is a Tagalog term from “chipped” or “chopped,” named that way because it was continuously bombed by the Americans during the WWII because the Japanese Imperial Army has set camp at the hill. You see the hill is an important base camp as all the passing ships along the Coron Bay can easily be seen. Now it has a big cross that lights during the night, both as a guide for seafarers and a testament to the faith of the people of Coron.
From Mt. Tapyas we went to Maquinit Hotspring (Maquinit is “mainit” or hot in English). I prepared dinner buffer-style: adobong pusit, stir-fried veggies, lechon manok and rice-all-you-can. After dinner we wasted no time and slowly dipped our tired feet to the therapuetic waters of Maquinit Hotspring. It was indeed relaxing and sleep-inducing, just perfect for our tired bodies after scaling Mt. Tapyas. I made the first day easy because I know that some my tour participants just came out of the office.
I brought them back to their AC rooms and told them to be ready for tomorrow’s adventure.
DAY 2 (Kayangan Lake, Skeleton Wreck and CYC)
I woke my new friends and told them that breakfast is waiting. But wait, its not just a regular breakfast as we are eating (yes buffet-style again) with a view of the Coron bay and reef. I made sure that all of them had their burps as this is the most-tiring day.
We went to one of my faves- Kayangan Lake would always be the highlight of the tour. One of the cleanest lake in the country. You have to climb about 15-20 minutes up and down in order to see the crystal-clear waters the Tagbanuas are proud of. Half-way of the climb is a spot where the famous Kayangan Lagoon is seen. This is a place where most traffic happens as every visitor would like to have a jump-shot here. hahaha (goodluck!)
After killing our time and drinking some Kayangan Lake water, we went to the next spot which is the Twin Peaks. Its a popular snorkeling and diving site very near Kayangan Lake. Lots of fishes and various coral are seen below. We wanted to encircle one of the peaks but a lot of jellyfishes are in the area that time. I told them to go back to the boat for safety reasons then we headed to the next spot which is the Skeleton wreck.
We arrived just in time as most of the visitors are already leaving the small beach. We had our lunch of grilled porkchop and fish, ensaladang talong and seaweeds. (Short comment: Melvin loves to eat the head of the fish). After the lunch, we did some snorkeling and checked out the skeleton wreck just lying about 3 meters below the surface. They said it was freaky down there, but I saw incredible marine life coming out of the rusty skeleton shipwreck.
Off we went to CYC beach. CYC beach is where I did my first solo beach camp 4 years ago. It’s where I hang my hammock and learned some survival techniques like getting mussels and steaming it using a calderone. So I thought it would be a nice place for us to end the island hopping tour. We explored the other side too and took lot of wacky shots before heading back home.
For dinner, I brought them to Everly’s Garden for some seafoods fiesta before we cap the night off with a “snore-inducing” massage at VKGV Spa at the main street.
Day 3 and 4 here: Coron Tour with Itinerary
More photos on my FB Page: CORON TOUR 2013
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How to get to Coron?
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily to Busuanga (Coron) from Manila and every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Cebu. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebupacificair.com or call (02)7020-888. The latest seat sales and promos can be found on Cebu Pacific Air’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages (/cebupacificair).
Form Busuanga Airport, you just take any AC van parked outside the terminal to bring you to Coron Town (45mins travel time). Fare is Php150/person.