Destination: Coron, Palawan
The Photo That Captures Me
Months after I started journeying, I already have the symptoms of a travel addict, a feeling that you need to travel on weekends, constantly check online for airline promos, and want to discover new places. One day, I stumbled a scene like the image below that captures my attention. From that day on, Coron, made into must-visit place list. Fortunately, Airphil Express had this promo last year for all domestic flights and I quickly look for available seats and finally booked a flight of Davao - Manila - Busuanga - Manila - Davao. It was a big savings for me to be able to grabbed this promo fares and will finally set foot on Coron soon.
|It all started with this image. :D|
How did I spend 16 hours during flight and at the airport alone before I reached Coron? It was July 7, Saturday around 7 o'clock in the evening when I left my home for Davao International Airport. By 8PM, I arrived at the airport, did the check-in process, proceeded to to boarding gate and then boarded the flight bound to Manila by 9PM, that means I spend 1hr at Davao International Airport and almost 2hrs for the flight to Manila. Around 11PM when I arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 and since I will be having my connection flight by next day 11AM, I have to spend 12hrs at the airport (airport sleeper mode) before my flight to Busuanga, an island where Coron is situated. Around 11AM the next day, we boarded the flight bound to Busuanga for around 1hr and finally landed at Francisco Reyes Airport in Busuanga. That means 1hr + 2hrs + 12hrs + 1hr = 16hrs of transit time. Whew!
|I spent a total of 15hrs in NAIA T3 alone during the entire trip!|
|Not an A320 though.|
A Quick Coron Town Tour
It was around noon when we landed on the airport and I immediately went outside and looked for a van transfer to Coron for 150pesos as of writing. After less than an hour of travel, we reached Coron town proper and I navigated the streets to find my accommodation. I stayed in Sea Breeze Lodge for 2 nights and it was a very cheap accommodation. I took my lunch and asked a local on where I could booked for Coron island tour, luckily, the owner of the restaurant where I took my lunch referred me to El Compass which organizes tour packages and I paid 650pesos. I strolled the streets, went to boulevard, Coron town hall and coliseum. By late afternoon, I decided to trek Mt. Tapyas as part of my itinerary, the trek to the peak was not easy and I had to take some rest along the way and catch my breath. Spent some time at Mt. Tapyas for photo ops until sunset and then off to take my dinner.
|Overlooking view of Coron town from Mt. Tapyas|
|Sunset at Mt. Tapyas|
Breathtaking Views During Island Tour
July 9, Monday when I had the Coron island tour. We assembled at El Compass until all seven of us were gathered, three couples and a solo flight traveler, that's me. Hehe. Then, started the tour. Seeing again those magnificent limestone walls as I've seen in El Nido trip was still impressing. As we came closer to the lagoon, we were instantly amazed with the scenery. Then we have to trek first before we could reach the Kayangan Lake. Finally, I was able to reach the most photographed spot in Coron that captured my attention before, the view was... one word I can described, wow!
As I trekked down to the lake, I'm getting more excited and at last saw the magnificent lake. It is said that it's the cleanest lake in Asia. Of course, I spent some time to appreciate the entire scenery, took some shots and finally geared up for snorkeling and diving. With its crystal clear water, you can see the details of the "lakefloor" just by snorkeling. Wonderful rock formations below and a different species of small fish can be found. By noon, we decided to proceed to the next spot.
Twin Peak and CYC
The Twin Peak name was based on the two little limestone rock formation with few meters apart. It is a snorkeling/diving site where one can enjoy the beauty underneath the sea. But before we started the activity, we had our sumptuous lunch first and finally proceeded to snorkeling at the area. You can found corals and fishes of different sizes, shapes and colors. And luckily, I've managed to take some shots below using my underwater camera. After, Twin Peak, we proceed to another snorkeling sites at the back of CYC beach. And for the first time, I finally saw Nemo (a famous clown fish in a movie) up close, it was cautious from predator that approaches its home made of soft coral. Then, we proceeded to CYC beach, it sad to note that this place is slowly deteriorating with garbage thrown on the island. I hope, all of us will be a responsible tourist, "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time.".
|Can you spot Nemo? :D|
Maquinit Hot Spring
I had a few chats with the tour guide and along the conversation I mentioned that I haven't been to Maquinit Hot Spring yet because it was schedule after Mt. Tapyas trek but got tired and I couldn't found some group to tag along. He then offered me to find another group who'll be doing a town tour and after the island hopping he coordinated with his friends for possible group that will going to Maquinit Hot Spring. Luckily, there was, I thank them and proceeded to Maquinit Hot Spring with other group. A feeling like I'm an adopted traveler who tag along to others. Hehe. It was already dark when we arrived at the place. The heat of spring will be extreme for the first time but you will get used of its temperature as minutes passed by. We didn't spend too long dipping in the hot spring and decided to went back to town proper.
|Imagine how hot it is where water vaporizes into air!|
I had my dinner at the "turo-turo" stall of barbeque near at the public market. Just got full for few pesos and later decided to stroll at the boulevard waiting til 9PM and decided to end the day. July 10, Tuesday, I woke up late in the morning since I have no more activity to do. Took an early lunch and proceeded to airport for 3PM flight back to Manila. Arrived in NAIA Terminal 3, I proceeded to check-in counter for my connecting flight back to Davao City.
Dreams will not come true if you're not working on it, so, if you found an opportunity to fulfill your dreams quickly grabbed and pursue it. I just did when I found the promo fares and the Coron experience was one of the dreams came true. I'll surely revisit this place someday and still have a lot of places to explore, forever I will treasure this wonderful experience I had. Thanks to Almighty God who guided me and for keeping me safe during my fifth solo backpacking trip.
Thank you and God bless us all!