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

A Return to Kayangan Lake in Coron | Palawan

 

If it weren’t for the state of the world grappling with a new Covid-19 variant unfolding during my latest return trip to Kayangan Lake, I would've said “third time’s a charm, indeed”, as I again take a dip on its crystal-clear waters. It feels like it was only yesterday — actually, year 2009 — when I first caught a sight of this magical lake. I can still vividly recount myself and my then girlfriend Marianne wearing oversized life vests pulling one another into the middle of the lake.


Sarah Jane Santos from Newcoast

It was a wonderful memory vault entry made more pleasant by the picturesque setting. To swim in one of the cleanest bodies of water in the Philippines, surrounded by lush greens that grew out of edgy rocks, was an enjoyable experience. It was a definite fine remembrance in my book. What’s not to love about Kayangan Lake?


WOrld's most beautiful lakes

A few years later, I made my second journey to this place with the girl I was dating at the time, along with her three female friends. It's as if the lake somehow attracts my wanderlust when I'm with someone. It was also worth noting that a year after that, on an another Coron trip, I was with Lauren (who later became my girlfriend). However, I remember that time, we skipped Kayangan Lake because nighttime caught up to us during our Coron loop tour of the affordable Coron tour package we availed. 


Marky Ramone Go

This time however, I came back to Coron, Palawan with no love in tow. Instead, I came as part of a media trip with the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism tasked to slowly but surely promote the re-opening of tourist destinations in the country.


Sara Abdollahi

This was the week when typhoon Odette ravaged many parts of the Visayas and Mindanao region in the country. The northern part of Palawan where Coron is was spared as the storm’s main eye bowled south to Puerto Princesa and El Nido.


Sophie Gianan and Koryn Iledan

A day after holing up in our hotel rooms as safety procedure and because the Coast Guard disallowed any sea journeys, the sky returned to its blue color. As updates about the damages suffered in the provinces of Siargao, Cebu and Bohol start coming in on our social media feed, a feeling of sorrow casted over us. I felt a little guilty of going on an enjoyable island-hopping tour while many of my countrymen are suffering with no water, electricity and flattened homes.


Marky Ramone Go

However, the moment calls for its own introspection about how the Calamianes group of islands (where Coron is a part of) has suffered economically because of the pandemic lockdown and restrictions.  I just focused my mind that what we’re doing here is helping kickstart the tourism industry by instilling confidence that traveling is becoming safer especially for fully vaccinated travelers.


A half an hour of boat ride and a 10-minute hike later, the beautiful view of the Calamianes Islands greeted me again as I stand on the view deck near Kayangan Lake. The postcard-like image never gets old.


Ruth Dela Cruz, Aisa Ipac, Ferdz Decena

The same can be said of Kayangan Lake itself. Gone maybe the sharing of the experience with a special someone, but still the same, I was sharing it with a group of people who are passionate about helping the tourism industry get back on its feet.


Leni Robredo for President

As for myself. Maybe the days of traveling with a special someone is over for me, or just not in the books for the immediate future. Nevertheless, the opportunity to revisit places like Kayangan Lake and to have this simple and low-paying but personally rewarding job of being a travel writer, is something I must not take for granted.


“Third time’s a charm indeed” and also, a fitting closure to my past highlight experiences in Kayangan Lake.