The alarm clock sounded pass 5:30 am, I saw a tinge of natural lighting accompanied by the sound of rain seeping through the small gap of the curtain inside our room at Coron Eco Lodge. It rained hard the previous day and throughout the night. I've left the thought of a sunny incursion around Coron inside the cold case filing cabinet in my head. Well, how could I complain at how things were shaping up to that point. Although, still unknowingly - we both were at that time. A Lumineer moment was taking place all along and this particular day was just about to get even better.
While in the midst of emptying my plate of Dangit-Silog, the sun suddenly shone brighter than a mid-summer day, which was followed by a lowdown cheers of yehey and an imaginary under the table low-fives among the four of us. The tour we availed was under option 2 of the Coron Island Tour and comprises of Siete Pecados, Twin Peaks, Banol Beach, CYC Beach, Coral Garden Reef, Skeleton Wreck and Twin Lagoon. While waiting for the boat to take us around Coron Island, a middle age American from Colorado, a slight dead-ringer to the Delacroix inmate who was brutally executed in the film Green Mile, sat near our table.
It was obvious that he is a well traveled man and he kick started the conversation by pointing to Ron's sando, while completely ignoring his muscled biceps. "You like Beer Lao?", to which Ron answered with an affirmative. From the ensuing conversation between Ron, Monette, Lauren and the American guy Richard, I learned that he is engaged in a construction business back home in Colorado, has a lawyer son whom he said, "he's a grown man and can take care of his own" when explaining while he spends his time nowadays just traveling the world. He had been to many places already, the ones I had listed on my own lists of must-pack my backpack and just go. From South East Asia, India to China to Somalia and Ethiopia, where he once spent holed up in a middle of nowhere, trying to get out of town for three days because of scarcity of transportation. Really, hardcore travel experiences you wanted to tell to strangers who were willing to listen.
Like minded travelers are often bonded by these short bursts of exchanges of on the road experiences. Even huddled together in a dizzying boat, there's that undying interests in listening to each other's tales. Although most of the time, I do mine in writing rather than orally sharing it to others, but that does not make me an uninterested listener in all of these travel stories.
We went crazy with the snorkeling, feasted visually on the colorful corals all around. Monette being the laziest swimmer was rewarded with being the one to be pulled by Russel's right hand man, Voltaire - using a floating device Hasselhoff and Erika Eleniak used to carry around in Baywatch. While we all saw schools of fish underneath, brain like corals and other creatures, Monette topped us all by seeing a large sea turtle.
We had lunch at Banol Beach, thinking about it right now makes me wanna raid a nearby Jollijeep, I could get all the crabs and pork liempo in the world, nothing can match that lunch we had there that morning. As a non vegetable fan, Lauren told us that its her first time to eat a talong prepared in that manner, and also the second time to eat crabs, after experiencing her first time sampling curacha in Zamboanga - a few months ago.
We visited a shipwreck dating back the end of World War II. The waters surrounding the Calamianes group of islands in Coron is littered with it, being the location of an intense naval battle during the twilight of World War II, these skeleton ships now remains as our ghostly connection to the last great war. The sky was so sunny and any thought of rain was quickly forgotten. We were enjoying the island patrol under the sun that Lauren mentioned to Monette how she's got a cutey tan-line.
Before going to our last stop, the Twin Lagoon, we saw a group of mackerel fishes jumping and flying out of the water and hot on their tail was one hungry shark. Up in the air was a lone bird trying to catch him one of em fishes too. It was a very interesting moment witnessing all of it, a natural food chain happening right before our eyes.
As our boat approaches the port of Coron, a heavy downpour started. We have to dock our boat a little further and had to climb out of ours and into another docked boat before reaching the jetty ramp. Shaking in cold, rain drenched and all, one might think we be cursing the heavens for such showmanship of a bipolar weather. We didn't, because there's nothing but smiles on our faces. To quote the great Doc Wendz, "It's epic".