There is always one trip that starts everything. One splendid vacation that makes you decide to travel a lot: and I mean A LOT!
As a college student, I didn't have enough money to spend on a luxurious out-of-mainland Luzon adventure. I may have enough allowance but the money spending habits I had back then was beyond control.
Then after several years, I graduated and had a job. Realizing the opportunity I had and finally having the money to spend for myself, Agnes organized the first of our many adventures. We went to the enchanting Islands of Coron, Palawan.
There was a time when my mom told me of this beautiful island in Palawan called Busuanga. I really did not imagine that the certain place she's talking about was the province I would soon be stepping on.
We boarded our 777-peso round-trip flight and arrived at the Busuanga airport before noon. By lunchtime, we were already at the wharf, ready for an action-packed 1st day.
The first destination was the place called "Siete Picados". In this part of Coron, the sea was teeming with different kinds of fishes. With every morsel of bread we gave, the sea-life ecstatically engaged in an eating frenzy that almost blocked our goggles.
It was very enticing to give the creatures more as they were impatiently waiting for the next food we would throw. I was so ecstatic. Little did I know that this was just the start of an epic adventure that I'd surely long for. A trip that will start something new in my life.
After the feeding frenzy, a simple hike to Kayangan Lake followed. Swimming in its crystal clear fresh waters, I was convinced this was the highlight of our first day.
Diving into the lake made me realize that without a doubt, this lake had indeed lived up to its reputation as the cleanest lake in the Philippines: it is in fact the cleanest body of water I’ve ever swam into.
Swimming, diving and dipping into such sparkling waters was so refreshing to the eyes that wearing goggles became immaterial.
We had a brief dip at the Barracuda Lake before proceeding to the twin lagoons. There, we savored the awe-enticing views of the limestone cliffs while floating on top of the calm blue waters of the sea.
It was relaxation at its finest. The water was so dense that I could float atop by just staying still. I swam, glided and relaxed. Staring at the blue skies up above the lagoon, I was like a man dazed by drugs, floating in his own version of heaven.
Though I found ultimate respite at this lagoon, we enthusiastically carried on to the final leg of the 1st day. We went straight to the eerie contours of the skeleton wreck.
There we were, diving through the sea just to have a peak of the sunken ship. Luckily, the sight of colorful fishes distracted our minds from the scary looking wreck. In the company of sea creatures, we spent almost an hour snorkeling and swimming.
Being the travel newbie that I was back then, I didn't bring or even rent a snorkeling set. I was struggling just to see the corals but fortunately, our boatman lent his goggles for me to enjoy the place.
Before sundown however, we went back to the mainland. I thought it was the end of our first day but as we were going back, Agnes approached us and offered if we would still want a refreshing dip at the Maquinit hot spring.
With a resounding yes, all of us went to the place and had a hot and relaxing bath. We didn't stay long however. After an hour, we were settled on top of our beds, ready to recharge our batteries for the coming days ahead. It was just the end of the first day but a grand adventure was yet looming ahead.
At the break of dawn, we hurriedly went back to the wharf to start the second day. This time, there were only 3 destinations but great destinations they were!
Our first stop was the white sand beach of Malcapuya Island. Having Boracay as the only top vacation I had during those days, I readily conceded then that the white sand beach of Malcapuya Island was the best beach I had ever stepped on.
The serenity and tranquillity that Malcapuya possessed definitely outweighed the sceneries and the nightlife that Boracay offered. We relished the island and experienced the crisp clear waters for an hour then we went off for Banana Island
Seeing Banana Island from afar, I was like a kid in awe. My mouth was open the whole time our pump boat was docking. I was stunned.
We ate our lunch and spent most of our afternoon swimming in its picturesque beach. It was like eating in heaven's restaurant. It was just so magical. For a kid like me having my first out of town trip in a place like that was sheer joy.
For almost half of the day, we stayed at the island but no one complained. It was so beautiful that I envied the caretakers of the island having an astonishing beach as their place to take a bath.
There was even a hut where you can buy food, soft drinks and coconuts. The island can actually sustain life for weeks. Most of us unintentionally fell into a short nap but we were awoken though as the sun neared the horizon.
The next destination was Bulog Dos. It had a connecting sand bar. With heavy waves constantly battering the sands, it was quite a mind boggler how the sand bar was able to sustain its form up to the next island.
We took pictures and drew our fun-filled and tranquil second day to a close. We went back to our resort, had some time for drinks until we weren't able to resist the call of our beds.
The next day was a simple hike up Mt. Tapias. It took us 30 minutes to reach the top and from there, we were able to see almost all of the islands of Busuanga. After the hike, we toured the small town, went back to the resort, prepared our stuff and reminisced about our just concluded Coron trip.
Being the first adventure I had, It was very emotional for me when the trip was finally finished.
It took about a month before I was able to move on and accept the fact that the trip was over; but up to now, I still long for a chance to be again touching this wonderful heaven-like place on earth.
Fortunately, those emotions became the start of what I may call, my traveling crave and since then, my roving feet never stopped exploring, constantly squeezing time to bring itself for more adventure.
*Because I was so addicted with my new lens back then, I'll add more photos that I got from the trip.
|Rock Formation of Malcapuya|
|Hanging by a rope|
|The sand bar|
09:00 - departure from Manila
10:00 - arrival at Busuanga Airport, arrange van
11:00 - arrival at Coron town
11:30 - arrange boats, buy food
12:00 - start island hoping, lunch at boat
12:30 - siete picados, snorkeling
13:30 - Kayangan lake
14:30 - Barracuda then straight to twin lagoon
16:00 - Skeleton Wreck
17:30 - departure for Coron mainland
18:00 - dinner
20:00 - Maquinit hotspring
21:00 - back to resort, socials
23:00 - lights out
06:00 - wake up call, breakfast
07:00 - departure for Malcapuya Island
09:00 - arrival at Malcapuya, explore island
11:00 - departure for banana island
11:20 - arrival at Banana island, prepare lunch
12:00 - lunch, rest, swim
16:00 - arrival at Bulog Dos
17:00 - departure for Coron mainland
18:30 - back at Mainland, buy food, prepare dinner
20:00 - dinner, socials
23:00 - lights out
04:00 - wake up call
04:30 - arrival at Mt. Tapias jump-off
05:00 - summit of Mt. Tapias, breakfast at the top
07:00 - back at the jump-off, start tour of the town
09:00 - back at the resort, prepare stuff, rest
11:00 - departure for Busuanga airport
12:00 - arrival at Busuanga airport, lunch
15:00 - departure for Manila (Zest Air flight was 2 hours delayed)
How to get to Coron
From Manila, you can book a flight straight to Busuanga airport. From the airport, you can arrange a van for transport.
By boat, you can ride a super ferry from Manila directly to Coron
you can check their website here: www.superferry.com.ph
We stayed at Gran Vista lodge. I recommend this place for its ambiance, amenities and hospitality of the owners and crew. Check their website here: http://coron-castaway.com/gran_vista_infos
*I would like to acknowledge the effort of Agnes Navales for organizing our first ultra-budgeted out-of-Luzon trip