Coron: Day 3

I snuck a glimpse at the window from beneath my blanket. The sun is just rising. I look to my husband beside me, and he is still deep in slumber. Oh, what a waste of a beautiful morning if I don’t go out for a walk in this quite endearing town. Come! Take a walk with me.

Today, we made plans to not have plans. So we took our time to enjoy breakfast at Cafe Real and then watch the NBA finals. Lunch was at Big Mama’s, and coffee at Coffee Kong (the only coffee shop we found in Coron).

Coffee Kong

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast. You also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

We shopped for some pasalubong (gifts for people back home) at Coron Harvest. A small pack of delicious cashews are sold at P100 each.

When your day started so well, you must also end it well. And there is no better way to relish the night than to climb the height of Mt. Tapyas (all 700+ steps of it) and then bathe in the waters of Maquinit Hot Spiring.

Mt. Tapyas

Maquinit Hot Spring

Tips:

– Get ready to leave for Mt. Tapyas before 5 o’clock in the afternoon. You’ll get there in time for you to see Coron’s beautiful sunset.

– You can hire a tricycle driver for P300 to take you to the base of Mt. Tapyas, to Maquinit Hot Spring, and then back to your hotel.

– Entrance fee for Maquinit Hot Spring is P150 per person.

– There isn’t a dressing room in Maquinit Hot Spring so I suggest you already wear your swimsuit under your clothes.

Coron: Day 2

Once you get to the Francisco B. Reyes airport in Coron and upon arriving at your hotel, you will probably be handed flyers offering island hopping tours. Because we planned on having some R&R on our own pace (and avoid the rush of a planned tour with strangers), my husband and I decided to get a boat of our own. We rented one for P1,500.

In the morning, we walked to the market to meet our tour guide, ate Rowena. We bought what needed for the day. A kilo of fish for P110, 3/4 kilo squid for P100, rice, spices and other ingredients for P130, bananas for P40, drinks for P150, and coal for P30. A lunch of fresh seafood for five people at P560. Not bad at all!

We got to the docks and met our boatmen Jun2x a.k.a. kapitan and Edison. We also rented two sets of goggles and snorkels for P240.

Our first stop was Siete Pecados, which literally means “seven sins”. There is a tale about seven daughters who swam in the waters against their parents’ will. These seven daughters drowned, later on sprouting as seven islets which we now know as Siete Pecados. The marine park is one of Coron’s most famous. However, after the strike of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in November 2013, the corals have been destroyed. Hopefully, they can rehabilitate the corals and restore them back to their original beauty.

Siete Pecados

Next stop was Kayangan Lake, dubbed as the cleanest lake in the country.

Kayangan Lake

This would be one of my favorites in Coron. I was in utter awe of what beauty God is able to create. No matter how I try, I cannot even put in words how beautiful this lake is. Pictures can’t even do justice.

Kayangan Lake

One advantage of renting your own boat is you get to decide how long you want to stay in one destination. We spent the rest of our morning in Kayangan Lake, enjoying its beauty both above and under water. Look at those rock formations. Oh so beautiful!

Kayangan Lake

We went back to our boat surprised that kapitan had already cooked our food on the boat for us. We were all the more pleased at how good of a cook he was! We enjoyed our delicious meal at Smith’s Beach.

Smith's Beach

Our third and last stop was the Skeleton Wreck. The Skeleton Wreck is a 25m wreck. It’s a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. In the picture is Edison free diving to about 5m deep.

Skeleton Wreck

A typical island hopping tour usually has an itinerary of four to five destinations. But because the sun was scorching hot, we decided to call it a day.

Tips:

– Here’s the cost of entrance fees per destination per person:

Siete Pecados             P 100

Kayangan Lake           P 200

Smith’s Beach            P 100

Skeleton Wreck          P 100

– Start your tour early. I would say 6am is the best time to speed off to your first stop.

– Finish your tour early as well. This will give you time to enjoy the town and get enough rest to be energized for the next day.

Coron: Day 1

I woke up in the morning a bit stressed. My week was too full. I didn’t even have time to pack! I hurriedly took a bath, ate breakfast and finished packing. My excitement far exceeded my stress. By 9:15 am, we were already heading to the airport. Aaaaaah… So excited!!!

Here is our Day 1 at Coron:

11:00 am  flight to Busuanga

The plane is considerably small so expect a couple of bumps upon departure and upon arrival. The flight itself was fine though. Plus the view will definitely make up for the bumps.

Tip: Take the window seat!

12:30 pm  arrival at the Francisco B. Reyes airport

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Coron Eco Lodge, where we stayed at, arranged airport transfer for us for P150 per person. We were picked up by a pleasant kuya Efren and another hotel staff. The ride to town takes 30-45 minutes.

01:15 pm  arrival at Coron Eco Lodge

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We were warmly greeted by the lady at the front desk upon arrival. Iced tea was served for all guests as well. After checking in, a hotel staff led us to our room, even helping us with our luggage. What a good first impression they make!

02:00 pm  lunch at Lolo Nonoy’s

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Lolo Nonoy’s was two short blocks away from the hotel. We ordered two portions of chicken curry and one menudo. With two cups of rice and two soft drinks, our meal cost us only P250. The food was good too. Definitely value for your money.

03:00 pm  walk around town

We walked around town and found out that Coron is very small. We had everything we needed near our hotel. Restaurants, mini marts, a bakery, a pharmacy, a bank, a boutique, a gym, even a small salon. It is nice how everything seems so laid back in Coron. If you come from a big city and you need a break, you’d love it here!

04:00 pm  nap

06:00 pm meet with tour guide to arrange island hopping

My friend Jazz who came to Coron a few months ago recommended that I take on ate Rowena as a tour guide. I called ate Rowena and later on met with her to arrange our itineraries.

07:00 pm  dinner at Sinugba sa Balay

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Dinner was at Sinugba sa Balay.

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The menu was categorised into “shared” and “solo”. We chose to go with “solo” and ordered the Sagisi steak and Pork Teriyaki. When our orders were served, we were surprised at how big the serving was. And yes, it was delish! Sinugba sa Balay is currently #2 on Tripadvisor’s list of Coron restaurants and they got good reviews. Well, they surely did not disappoint! On top of the big serving and the delicious food, a man went up a small stage, sang and played some music for us on guitar. We had quite a nice time at Sinugba sa Balay!

Tips:

– Unless you’re really famished, you can share a dish. One “solo” order can be good for two persons.

– Apply some insect repellant before you go. There were quite a lot of mosquitoes you can do without.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and got some coffee at Calle Real for a nightcap.

It’s only our first day but we already love it here. One day down, five more to go!