Project Pilipinas : Coron, Palawan
A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, I DECIDED TO PUT MY VAGABONDING TO GOOD USE BY STARTING AN ONLINE PROJECT CALLED "PROJECT PILIPINAS". READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE.
|(Photo by Branden Milla.)|
*Photos on this post were taken from both my September 2011 trip and June 2012 trip.
"Coron next month! Game?" When I got this message from my friend, Mark, it took a while before I replied. I've been to Coron, Palawan with my family before and it wasn't really on my list of "Place to Visit" for the year.
But I'm glad I agreed to come the second time around. Because, really, no matter how many times you've been there, Coron's beauty will never cease to take your breath away.
How to get there
Cebu Pacific has regular flights from Manila to Busuanga. (You may check out their flight schedules and fares here.) From the Francisco B. Reyes airport in Busuanga, you have to take a 45-minute land trip to the town of Coron. Resort packages normally include transfers from the airport to the town.
When in Coron, you can choose to stay on the mainland or check in at an island resort. During our first trip, we stayed at the Coron Village Lodge located at the mainland.
CORON VILLAGE LODGE
BEC D. FERNANDEZ
Tel. Nos. : (632) 805-3414 / 801-0623
Fax No. : (632) 805-5965
E-mail Add.: email@example.com
Mobile No.: 0928-2020819, 0916-4200252
Staying at the mainland is easily more convenient--there are stores everywhere, there's electricity 24 hours a day, and the signal's pretty strong for both Smart and Globe lines. Oh, and there's WiFi at the lodge!
However, if you want a more quiet vacation and a real break from all the hustle and bustle of the outside world, you may opt to stay at an island resort. During our recent trip, we stayed at the Balinsasayaw Resort.
(048) 723 2849
0917-3287274 / 0939-9136320
There are several things city people might wanna take note of though: Electricity in the island runs only from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. and there's no internet connection (whether through WiFi or 3G) on the island. If those are welcome changes or a bit of a hassle, you decide.
The islands, lakes, and marine sanctuaries
Coron, Palawan is breathtaking both above and underwater. (Last year, my sister and I went on a wreck dive and saw the sunken Olympia Maru ship which is now covered in corals.) It would be impossible to go to all the islands and lakes in the municipality within three days (which is the length of the usual vacation there). But you can always coordinate with your resort who would be more than willing to give you advice on which islands to go to depending on your preferred activities. (Lie under the sun? Snorkel? Dive? Etc.)
To give you an idea, here are some of the spots we visited during our trip.
|Exploring Siete Picados.|
|The "parking spot" in front of the rock formations that house the Kayangan Lake.|
When going to Kayangan Lake, you better be ready for a little workout because you'll be climbing a total of 150 steps before you reach the lake. (And then another 150 steps back.)
|No pain, no gain!|
But, what's a little sweat when you get to see this at the top?
|Google "Coron, Palawan" and this is the image that almost always pops up.|
And a few steps further, you'll get to enjoy a cool dip at the lake.
|Chill. That's my mom lazily floating around haha.|
And if you're feeling a little adventurous, you can do a skin dive into this underwater world.
|Underwater kingdom. I half-expected Poseidon to emerge from the rock formations haha.|
Can you say CLEAR WATERS? Banol Beach is the perfect spot to rest and maybe have lunch at before you hop to your next island.
You can also play some beach sports or do a little sunbaking.
The Twin Lagoon
So you think going to the Kayangan Lake is a challenge? Well, the route to the Twin Lagoon is a different adventure altogether!
For you to reach the lagoon from the spot where your boat will be docking, you will have to do a short climb over the rock formations or skin dive underneath it.
|Not for the claustrophobics. See that small opening just below the platform? To go through that, you'd have to do an estimated 2-meter skin dive. But if you wanna save yourself the hassle, you can always just climb the ladder :p|
|What awaits at the other side.|
As suggested by its name, the Coral Garden is a haven of corals and marine life.
Oh, and it's a home for giant clams too!
From afar, Pass Island looks like a mirage with it's glittering white sand and clear waters reflecting light from the sun.
It's a good idea to put Pass Island last on you itinerary when you're already tired from all the island hopping. Like Banol beach, it's the perfect place to relax and soak some UV rays.
And dozing off ain't no problem at all!
Bring the essentials. Sunblock, lip sunscreen, shades, sarong.
If you have snorkeling gears, bring them. But in case you don't, the resorts have snorkeling gears which you can rent.
If you have kids with you, make sure they wear vests all the time. Depending on the tide and the wind, the waters can be rough in some spots.
|Geared up! (LEFT) My nephew, Marsy, in his life vest; (RIGHT) Me getting ready to snorkel.|
If, by some unfortunate twist of fate, you are allergic to seafood, make sure you notify the resort. Because naturally, most of the food they'll be serving are seafood.
Lastly, avoid going to Coron, Palawan, during the rainy season. While we enjoyed our rainy vacation recently (mostly because of the company!), you'd appreciate Coron's beauty more under the bright sun :)