Monday, April 2, 2012

Travel: Day 1 in Coron, Palawan

Part of my birthday wish and promise to self is that I will travel again this year. Travel/Me time for a mom with two kiddos and a full time career is not easy to pull off so I said 'If I'm really serious about this goal might as well start early.'
So as early as October last year, I already booked a flight to a place people all over the world is raving  about and a place that has been on my bucket list for the longest time: Coron, Palawan! 

As soon I booked our Airphil flight (which was a delayed flight by the way but why am I not surprised...) I started doing research on accommodations. Friends are really heaven-sent because one friend suggested to check out Calamian Travel and Tours. I must say, I'm happy with the service - they answer to emails, calls and texts promptly, very professional and very considerate. Here's their site and the package they gave us for our 3D 2N stay:


TOUR DESTINATIONS & ACTIVITIES

Coron Town TourDestinations
  • Souvenir shops
  • Coron Baywalk
  • Harbor Center
  • Town Plaza
  • San Agustin Church
  • Mount Tapyas View-deck
  • Cashew Harvest
  • Maquinit Hot Spring

Activities
  • hot spring dip
  • souvenir shopping
  • easy trekking
  • photo-shooting
  • sightseeing


Coron Island Tour

Destinations
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Banol/Atuwayan Beach
  • Skeleton Wreck
  • CYC Beach
  • Twin Peaks

Activities
  • beach and lake hopping
  • swimming
  • snorkeling*
  • easy-moderate trekking
  • photo-shooting
  • kayaking*
*Kayaks & snorkel gears must be rented


The package we got was for a standard hotel and we were booked at Mt. Tapyas Hotel. It's a little off town proper but an P8.00 - P10.00 tricycab ride can get you to and fro town anytime of the day, just request one from the front desk. The hotel is fairly small but it has a good view of the Coron sign ala Hollywood and the bay. They serve mean camaron rebosado, by the way :) 

Coron's tricycab
Tricycab is what the locals call their tricycle because it can accommodate up to 6 passengers. I had fun riding this tranport. Reminds me of my vacations in Negros when I was a child. 
In our previous travels, Stephen and I usually just go backpacking. No guides, we just went wherever our feet took us so this is actually our first time to go with a tourist guide. One thing about tourist guide especially to places you've never been before is that they share a little more information, local stuff that you wouldn't really get from internets, etc.
Here are photos of our day 1 in Coron:
Our hotel room, small but clean

Did you know that Coron means pot in the local dialect? This  giant pot here is the symbol of  the town.
Our very first stop, souvenir shop, so we already checked the wares for possible pasalubong on day 1 and went actual shopping on our last day. I fell in love with the embellished pouch :)

 Afterwhich, we got a tour of the small town and the bay. Coron is currently planning on setting up their first and probably the highest zipline in the Philippines near the bay area. Sounds exciting, right?

By 5pm, we were off to Mt. Tapyas which we had to climb the 724 steps to get to the cross. It was tiring but so-worth-it hike. The view was magnificent especially at sun set. That was one of those moments when you just marvel at God's creation.


After that exhilarating trek, we were off to Maquinit Hotspring to relax our weary bodies. On the way there, we passed by Coron's Cashew Harvest where I tasted the crunchiest and freshest kasoy ever! I never realized may iba't ibang level pa pala ng lasa ang kasoy and Coron's version tops the list so far. According to locals, Antipolo kasoy are actually imported from Palawan.

Now moving on the Maquinit Hotspring. This bath place boasts of salt water hot spring. Our swim was  totally invigorating, really help relax my sore and city-stressed body. They say that the heat or bukal came from the dormant volcano near Mt. Tapyas. Ideal swim time is at night or before seven in the morning as the water may be too hot for swimming in the late morning especially at noon. When going here, be ready to go home salty or without a shower as the place doesn't have a shower room, just changing areas and sink. I actually ended up washing off the salty water with mineral water.

I can do this all day...
 We stayed in Maquinit for almost an hour so by the time we got back to the hotel it was dinner time. We decided to make most of the lively town and had dinner in a place friends recommended: Seadive Hotel Restaurant. It's a place near the bay and many divers (usually foreigners) dine here. The place is cozy and not too crowded. The locals say it's one of the most expensive so I guess that's one reason tables are always available for guests. I ordered grilled prawns with rice and veggies (P400) while hubby ordered grilled tanigue (P3++). My prawns were a little overcooked and tough but the serving is big and the ambience is just so relaxing so I thought, it's a good enough experience.

One more thing about Coron is that the prices of food is no different from Manila. In fact, the shrimp and other seafood in the wet market is priced even higher than here in the metro. That's one sad truth that the locals cringe at and I hope the LGU can do something about the price ceiling of seafood. Fishing is still the major source of economy of the place anyway, tourism only ranks second.

On my next post, I'll share day2 of our Coron Trip.




4 comments:

kimmy said...

oh! wish i could go to Coron someday!

anney said...

Kelan kaya ako makakapunta ng Coron? Dami ko gusto mapasyalan at isa ang Coron dun!

Dianne Khu said...

We have our honeymoon at Coron! It's like living in paradise (temporarily ;-))!

march on... said...

@kimmy - book na. maraming promo fares ngayon :)

@anney - ilagay na yan sa top 10 go-to places :)

@dianne khu- the place really is a paradise. I hope they keep it that way for generations to come

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