PALAWAN: Amazing Coron (October 2015)
“DIZ IZ BRASILLLLLL”
Remember that scene in Fast & Furious 5 where Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) said the phrase, This is Brazil! to Hobbs (The Rock). Well, this was our favorite line while we were in Coron. We haven’t been to Brazil but we all know how beautiful Brazil is through pictures or movies so whenever we step into a new place in Coron or take beautiful pictures we would say DIZ IZ BRASILLLLLL in enthusiasm. It was really funny and so much fun, we sometimes changed it to Welcome to Brazzzilllll.
We always complain about our country but sometimes we fail to appreciate that we have the best things too. We have some of the best beaches in the world and we don’t need any visa or a bust in the bank account to go to them. The Philippines still has its WOW factor and Coron is one of the reasons why that is.
Amazing Coron Sites, DIZ IS BRAZILLLLL, my sister’s Birthday weekend – Another family trip to be grateful for.
CEBU PACIFIC FLIGHT
Our family was once again lucky enough to get cheap flights from Cebu Pacific to Busuanga so we’re very grateful for that. Just one comment though, and this is definitely a first for me, on our flight back to Manila, the aircon was not working. I’ve never had a flight that hot before. I was really disappointed because I always fly with Cebu Pacific. I can be patient with the delays or air congestion waiting but a humid or hot flight? Only in the Philippines? Just be grateful I guess 😉 First time for everything!
During the whole flight, almost everyone was fanning using the laminated emergency instructions card. It was really funny at one point because on our way out of the plane, my sister overhead after the Cebu Pacific announcement, “Thank you for riding with Cebu Pacific, have a nice day”, a foreigner said “How can I have a nice day when I just had an in-flight sauna?”
*TIP: Make sure that before you book your flights to Busuanga try to get the earliest flight, the last flight tends to get cancelled due to sunset limitations. The Busuanga airport has no runway lights so planes rely on sunlight for visual landing. Also, the departure waiting area has no air conditioning and the seats are very uncomfortable.
SUNZ EN CORON
We booked this hotel through Agoda. This was a really nice hotel. Our room was very clean and the bathroom was really nice as well. There are cabanas, a restaurant, wi-fi, and a pool (light changes to different colors at night).
When you need to go to the town proper, there are free tricycle rides from the hotel (Around a 5 minute ride). They also give you free towels when you go on your island hopping tours, just remember to bring them back. You can bring in food and eat at the cabanas. You can even grill your own food. The staff was very nice too, they were very accommodating and they greeted and smiled all the way. For inquires, you can email them at email@example.com
Main mode of transportation in Coron is the tricycle. Minimum fare is P10 per person for short distance routes. For airport transfers, van ride costs P150 per person for one way. The trip will take around 45 minutes to 1 hour. The roads are very bumpy as there are cattle grids and soiled roads along the way. You can ask about the van transfers from your hotel or you can contact local operators. For us, our contact was Jojo Bacsa (0916-400-4534).
So the main thing that you need to do in Coron is Island hop. There are so many tours online and so many local travel agencies that offer different packages. Lucky for us, my sister already went to Coron the month before so she already had a contact. Since we were 4, we decided to hire a private boat. This is so we wouldn’t have to follow a group tour’s itinerary and we could just go at our own pace. This was better too because we tend to go earlier than the group tours at certain locations so we would get to savor it all to ourselves.
Our boatman, Angelo (0936-932-5634), proposed us these rates:
Island Hopping Day 1 – P4,000
Island Hopping Day 2 – P5,500
This rate is for 4 persons. It includes the boat, permits, and fees only. For the food, Angelo and his son accompanied my mom at the Palengke so she could buy the freshest ingredients. Angelo and his son will be the one to cook and prepare the food for you. They have a big boat with a grilling and cooking station, a CR, and speakers.
ISLAND HOPPING DAY 1
Coron is amazing. The sites are breathtaking and unique. I’ve been to Halong Bay (people say that this place is similar to Palawan) but I have to say Coron is uniquely better with its lighter blue waters and ambience. The environment is just so peaceful and clean.
You have to climb up around 30-40 steeps steps to get to the iconic picturesque view (the one you always see on blogs, internet, and post cards). Don’t worry there’s a breather platform on the top. To get to the actual Kayangan lake, you have to go down around 30-40 more steps. Be careful as some of the steps are slippery and made up of pointy rocks which can cause injury. The view of the lake was breathtaking, really seemed like another country. The blue hue of the water was just majestic.
This place was really beautiful and one of my favorites. It’s a body of water enclosed with lime stones where boats cannot enter. You have to swim to get through OR climb a man-made ladder. It was just so peaceful inside and the water was very clear.
This is where you will have lunch. This is my mom’s favorite because the view is just breathtaking. The white sand is so beautiful complemented by the blue color of the sea.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE. Try going to this place earlier because it tends to get packed. When we got to this place, it was only us and another boat but after 30 minutes, all other tour boats came and it was a SCHOOL of HUMANS swimming and snorkeling around. The corals and fishes were fun and the SHIP was so excitingly scary. I was so taken by the ship just staring at it while snorkeling that I didn’t notice a boat was close to me so my head almost bumped it. We also saw a turtle here! Really cool!
Coral Smith Garden
ISLAND HOPPING DAY 2
*TIP: Try waking up early for this tour because the boat ride to these beaches takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. These beautiful beaches are really far but worth the visit! Also, bring your MP3 or music sets to keep you occupied during the long ride.
DIZ IZZZZZ BRAZZZZILLLLLL. Great beach and island! The water was so beautiful. Ang ganda talaga. Mom and my sister loved taking pictures here. My sister and I went snorkeling here. Caution: Planktons sting here. Not too painful but you will feel them while you’re swimming at the far end of the sea.
This is where we had lunch. You can see the view of Malcapuya from here. The shore is a bit rocky but the view is great.
This site is close to the Two Seasons Resort. The view is great and the beach is a good place to just chill.
JUST SOME TIPS WHEN YOU’RE ISLAND HOPPING:
- Wear aqua shoes
- Put sun block
- Bring alcohol
- Be grateful for the wonders of Coron and that we have it here in the Philippines! We are very lucky.
- Leave your worrisome thoughts in the City! Don’t bring it to Coron!
- Don’t just take pictures of the place, experience them. Take them in. Be grateful for the views. Breathe in the clean air. Pray for its continuous authenticity. Savor the moment in the majestic places.
Food in Coron is relatively the same with the restaurants we have in the city. Here are just some of the food that we had and my verdict:
- Pizza at La Sirenetta = Tasteless and gummy. Not good.
- Kare-Kare at Balinsasayaw = Very good! Yummy and different! A must try.
- Half Slab Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, and Java Rice at Santino’s Grill = BEST RIBS EVER. Sauce was great too!
- Pomodoro Spaghetti and Egg rolls at Sunz En Coron = Just okay.
Coron was really an amazing experience. Not just for the views but for time spent with my family. In our lives today, we just get to spend time during these birthday trips. Life gets too busy. So I am truly grateful for these experiences with my family because we get to bond, we get to talk. The Coron sites are just a BIG BONUS to this travel. Family talks and bonding is what I cherished the most during this trip.
At one point, my youngest sister and I were in our hotel room. We were just speaking in English accents and it was just so much fun. Familial love will always be different. It lets your heart grow to three or four times its size in any bonding moment. Grateful to God and Lola for these moments!
TRAVEL TRUTH: TRAVEL IS NOT JUST ABOUT TOURING POPULAR SITES. It is also about spending time with the ones that you love most, creating a more meaningful and deeper travel experience.
I am very grateful for all the money our family paid
for these travel blessings (Amount is for 1 person):
|Cebu Pacific Flight||P815|
|Terminal Fee (Busuanga Airport)||P100|
|Accommodation – Sunz En Coron (3 nights)||P3,375|
|Van Transfers (Busuanga – Coron and Vice Versa)||P300|
|Food, Tricycle Rides, and Miscellaneous Expenses||P2,000+|
|Island Hopping 1 (Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Banol Beach, Coral Smith Garden, Skeleton Wreck, CYC Beach)||P1,000|
|Island Hopping 2 (Bulog Dos, Malcapuya Island, Banana Island)||P1,375|