Coron, Palawan: Chasing Beaches

August 29, 2009
We spent 2 days island hopping in Coron, Palawan around the Calamian group of islands, which included a trip to paradise-like Kayangan Lake and went snorkeling in coral laden areas like Siete Picados, an area surrounded by 7 small rocky islands and in betweens are one of the best snorkeling sites in the region where visitors can feed fishes with bread and watch them race each other for the plum. The corals are richly visible as the water is crystal clear and among the best one will ever swim into.

Twin peaks, just like Siete Picados is a snorkeling area between two small island which goes from shallow to deep waters with a rich and dynamic collection of coral reefs which can be clearly seen altogether with the different kinds of fish and other sea creatures. Our exploration went throughout the whole morning, afterward we had lunch at Atwayan beach, located on another island in the region.

It seems like everywhere you go around Coron one can easily spot a picturesque sight. Atwayan beach is no different with its ultra clear blue waters surrounded by greens, coconut trees, nipa huts by the shore, makes you want to jump right in to the water and gorge on a leisurely swim. After we settled on a small nipa hut we feasted on grilled fish, pork adobo with tomatoes and rice.

Next on our list is another island known as CYC beach or the Coron Youth Club, white sands, clear waters, amazing view, what’s new on this part of the Philippines? I wonder aloud, reminding myself to expect being awed at whatever I will see next.

We went for a short swim, took silly pictures including a jumping by the beach pose, which I thought to be a silly thing to do before, still thinks its silly now but who cares, anyway.

Then after CYC beach, we headed to the twin lagoon, too bad we didn't have an underwater camera. It is called Twin lagoon because it consists of two lakes divided by a passageway wherein one would go under a bridge composed of rocks to go to the other lagoon.

- on the way to the Twin Lagoon

There were many visitors aside from us at Twin Lagoon, it was an awesome sight looking at scores of people wearing orange life jackets illuminating against the sunlight and the crystal clear lake. Looking underwater ahead, one can see sets of feet kicking against clear deep blue waters.

Over-all it was a totally unreal and wonderful memory that will provide me with beautiful images as time goes on and will then light up a fire in my desire to travel more, thus giving me more reasons to come back in the future.

The next day, we went to Malcapuya Island.

Underwater in Coron, Palawan

August 28, 2009
One should not forget an underwater digital camera when one would go snorkling in Coron, Palawan. There are many snorkling areas all around the Calamian group of islands. Feeding fishes in Siete Picados with bread, you can easily attract lots of them, the coral reef at Twin peaks, a snorkling area between two small islands and at the back of CYC beach also boasted some of the finest corals.

We didn’t have an underwater digital camera, we rented an underwater film camera with only 27 shots, we should have brought extra films for it.

Here’s some of the shots we took.


For others who may want to explore World War II shipwrecks in the area, an extra 2K will give you an opportunity to dive in to these spots. I’ll probably try that next time, this time we just enjoyed a day of snorkling around Coron.


Sunburned and all after two days of island hopping and snorkling, all doesn’t matter as Coron, Palawan will be among the place I’d definitely come back to in the future.


Maquinit Hot Springs, Coron, Palawan

August 27, 2009
Another place one should visit while in Coron, Palawan is the Maquinit Hot Springs. Located in the hillside part of Coron, about 25 minutes from the town center. Visitors will be enchanted by a pool filled with salt water coming from the bottom of the nearby mountain, it is said to come from an underground volcano and the water’s temperature ranges from 38-40 degree Celsius.

It is really hot at first dip, but once your skin settles into a groove with the temparature, it can become a very relaxing. Swimming or just dipping your whole body into the hot spring brings a dose of therapy to your aching muscles, tired joints and near wrecked bones.

Around the hot pool, anyone will be equally enthralled by the mangroves found nearby where the hot spring eventually meet the sea water. Thick stems from trees rise out of the ground forming figures that varies in almost everybody’s imaginations.

After arriving at Busuanga Airport, we went straight to our lodge and settled in our room and rested for about 25 minutes before heading out to Maquinit Hot Springs, we thought we were rushing things but it turns out going for a swim there after becoming tired of a long trip actually did wonders to our body as it soothed and relaxed our muscles. Just do remember to get out of the hot spring once in a while as a prolonged stay under hot water can produce a bit of dizzy spell, but all things considered it is actually great for the body.

Everything seems right in place, the location of the pool, the mangroves even the scenic view around the area all conspired to make this a very unique place.

It was so good, that we went back Sunday night for a bit of night swimming. And I don’t mind coming back again sometime in the near future. How I wish there's a hot spring like Maquinit near our house.

Capping it off with a shot of whiskey at Helldivers Bar afterward.

Coron, Palawan: “Town & Country”

August 26, 2009
Coron is the center of economic and tourist activity in the area of Busuanga, Palawan. It serves as the sail off place for island hopping throughout the rest of the Calamian group of Islands. The view from nearby Mount Tapyas gives you the over all perspective of the town, one can clearly see the nearby islands, hillside roads, boats and ships on the horizon and the people living their simple life in a wonderful setting nobody could asked for more and we, big city dwellers could only envy and save up to experience for a few days in between our daily grind as career oportunist trapped in the big corporate set-up. Somehow, there’s this appreciation for the people living in Coron especially those who knows the importance of living in such a beautiful place.

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Going to Mt. Tapyas requires climbing more than 750 steps, a good 15 minute workout but definitely worth it once you get to the top and the best time to climb is either near the time of sunrise and sunset. Atop can be found a tall cross as well, it lit up the sky during night time.

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Coron is a 2nd class municipality, the scenes here are just like the same as other places, the market is located beside the main port and a stone throw away from a proposed boulevard that is currently being reclaimed.

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We stayed at a lodge called L&M PE, it is located near the market, nothing fancy, just about the right place where all you’ll do is to take a quick shower, sleep then head out again for more island hopping and souvenir items hunting.

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These are the kids working at the kasoy factory, where they take out the kasoy fruit from its shell. Our guide told us these kids belongs to the “Tagbanua tribe”. We went to Coron a week earlier as it would be the town fiesta this coming weekend, but still the preparation for that event is already visible everywhere, street parades are being practiced already all over the town.

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Coron town, just like other municipalities around the Philippines represents the very best of Pinoy living, rich in culture in traditions, simple lifestyle, friendliness of the people makes every visitors feel welcome and wanting to come back. The thing that differentiates Coron town with some is maybe its scenic location, the hub of island exploration, knowing that paradise is just a short boat ride away. That is if you still don’t find Coron town as such.

Bullets over Busuanga, Palawan

August 25, 2009
August 20, 2009: we flew aboard a Cebu Pacific propeller plane to Busuanga, Palawan planning to do nothing but to explore around Coron town and the rest of the Calamian Group of Islands. The place is about an hour of flying away from Manila. I was barely falling asleep when I heard the plane’s captain telling us that we’re about to land at Busuanga airport, then I looked out the window and saw nothing but these beautiful island formations, blue waters, visible shorelines and reefs. “Putang ina ang ganda” is all I can mutter to myself.

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A sea of excitement went through my body while I try to envision what will happen, what will I see and experience in the next 4 days, for it’s almost given that among those group of islands lies some of the finest beaches, cove and canyons, lakes, corals, white sands that will leave a bloke like me with mouth open in awe and a recurring vision of paradise.

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I actually been wanting for the longest road, to pack my backpack and point my direction towards Palawan. Busuanga, where the Calamian group of islands are located (which includes Coron town) is actually located just within the tip point of Palawan and the nearest part to the mainland of Mindoro. But I’m sure this will be just a start of my Palawan sojourn, as I’m pretty sure Puerto Princesa is just there
awaiting my itchy feet and curious mind. But that’s for another planning and saving up to do.

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The flight attendant was wrapping up the “give me a” game, but I didn’t really paid any attention as my concentration was firmly focused on the view outside the plane.

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I was just glad just to sit on a window seat, seeing what I was seeing at that moment and content that I can live a simple life  in order for me to be able to afford such joys of traveling.