Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram

Chapter 2: The Pre-Drench Chain Gang on a Hula-Loop of Coron | Palawan

I quickly roused when the alarm clock sounded at 5:30 am, I saw seeping of natural lighting at the small opening of the window curtain. It rained hard the previous day and throughout the night. I've left the possibility of a sunny island incursion around the Calamian Islands inside the cold case folder in my head. Well, how could I complain at how things were shaping up to that point. Although, Lauren and I were still unknowingly fidgeting with our romantic fate at that time. A Lumineer moment was taking shape all along and on this particular day, things were just about to get even better.

Island hopping in Palawan

While in the midst of emptying my plate of Dangit-Silog, the sun suddenly shone brighter than a mid-summer day. We followed it up with a sweet lowdown cheers 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 our 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.

Marky Ramone Go with Lauren Denoga

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 how 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. He seem to have an abundance of hardcore travel experiences one would want to tell to strangers who were willing to listen. 

Lauren Denoga with Ron Cruz

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.  

Lauren Denoga

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 our boat man 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.

Monette Fernandez

We had lunch at Banol Beach. Spread out in front of us like a buffet were fresh crabs and pork liempo. As a non avid vegetable eater, Lauren told us that its her first time to eat a talong cooked in a torta manner, and also her second time to eat crabs–after experiencing it first sampling curacha crabs in Zamboanga a few months ago.

Marky Ramone Go with Lauren Denoga, Ron Cruz and Monette Fernandez

After lunch, we snorkeled a site where a shipwreck dating back the end of World War II had sunk. 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 sunny and any chance of rain quickly became 1%. We were enjoying the island hopping under the sun tremendously that Lauren mentioned to Monette how she already have a "cutey tan-line".

Marky Ramone Go with Lauren Denoga, Ron Cruz and Monette Fernandez

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 one of em fishes too. It was a very interesting moment witnessing all of it, a natural food chain happening right before our eyes. 

Levy Amosin

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".

Chapter 1: Pre-Lumineers' Arrival in Coron

Chapter 3: Meeting an Old Tagbanwa Couple