Friday, March 28, 2014

Enchanting Coron

In two days, it's going to be three months since I neglected this blog. A lot has happened that's actually share-worthy, but I don't know, I wasn't feeling the kick to write lately. I've been having some highs and lows this year that I am getting quite confused myself. I don't want that confusion to transfer to any of the hapless souls who happened to stumble in here. Today, I am not quite so up to sharing the lows, so let's focus on the highs for this post.

I've done a lot of traveling, going around this year since I quit my full-time job at CCI. Last March, I found myself on my second plane ride bound for Coron. The Coron Town proper is a 45-minute ride away from the Busuanga Airport. Unlike Puerto Princesa, there's not much city feel in Coron. It's a quaint little coastal town. I asked the driver who took us to Maquinit Hot Springs if they have Jollibee there (haha), and he said that they don't have any fastfood "kasi malulugi po ang ibang kainan." Aside from this, Coron experiences some power outage during the day. There was actually one night in the hotel when the power went out. We checked in at Palanca Guest House, which is very near the boat docking area. It's not much to boast (very basic), but the room we got was big and clean. I'm not for luxury when traveling, and I'm ok as long as the floor and bathroom are clean. We got to Coron late afternoon after our flight got delayed for about an hour or so. We only had a few minutes to get prepped by our contact person, and then we changed for an early evening dip at Maquinit Hot Springs. I am not joking when I tell you it's almost scalding hot. It was so hot I need to dip myself little by little into the water so that my body can adjust to the temperature. It's very relaxing, though, once you get used to the very hot water. One thing I hope they work on are shower rooms. They don't have any, just changing rooms.

After around 30 minutes, we left the place and headed back to town where we had our first meal at Bistro Coron. I read some websites before going to Coron, and it doesn't seem like Coron has a specialty dish (unlike Puerto Princesa which has tamilok), so we had pizza and pasta on our first night. I recommend you go to Bistro Coron if you find yourself in the quaint town in the future.

Bistro Coron

Early the next day, a tricycle picked us up from the lodge for our Coron Island tour. This includes a tour of Siete Picados, a famous snorkeling spot, the very beautiful and serene Kayangan Lake, lunch in Sampaloc Island, the Twin Lagoons, and snorkeling again at a shipwreck site. A trip to CYC Island was supposed to be a part of the tour, but we decided not to go there anymore since our guide informed us that it's not that clean since the island is free, which means no one's really paid to take care of it or clean it up. Because we decided to skip this one, we just anchored somewhere in the middle of the sea near CYC island to snorkel some more (I got panicky seeing the sea urchins, though, so I did not last very long snorkeling).

Me snorkeling at Siete Picados.

Except for a lot of corals, there isn't much to see at Siete Picados. I think Puerto Princesa's Pambato Reef is more interesting. or maybe we just anchored at a wrong part of the sea?
The Kayangan Lake drop off point. The actual lake is actually beyond that hill at the back.

Meet Steph and Kriztian, out tour buddies. We only met them during the tour

This is me on one of my many breaks during the climb. The steps were made of uneven and slippery slabs of rocks, which made the whole climb even more tiring and very challenging (dangerous).

The very famous Coron limestone. If you come back from Coron without a picture of this, then you probably didn't really go to Coron. Haha.

First view of Kayangan Lake. It was worth the climb.

Very, very, very serene. And very, very, very blue green, too
The Twin Lagoons are separated by a rock, and one has to go under a very narrow opening to get to the other side. The water is warm in some parts and cold in others.
So that wraps up our first day in Coron.

Note: I edited this more than 2 years later, so pardon if I won't be telling the tale of what happened during the other days of our Coron tour. Haha.