I have gone to a few places when I was younger, mostly via educational trips, my mother’s company outings, and when I started working, our office’s. Yet, as I prepared for our trip to Coron, it certainly felt like the first time. It most probably has to do with the fact that this is, in fact, the first trip where I was in control. The more involved you are about a trip, the more you know; and the more you know, the more you want to know more.
For our 5day/4night Coron sojourn, we decided to stay in the city on the 1st and 4th nights, and stay in an island the nights in between. We went for Tapyas Hotel as we didn’t want to stay in kubo/cabana- type rooms offered by Darayonan and Coron Village Lodge, the two more popular inns in Coron.
The room was clean, though the bed was hard. Food was blah and kinda pricey, which is no big deal as there are other restaurants in the area. As to the location, we had to ask for a tricycle to take us to the town proper, especially at night.
DAY 1 – CITY TOUR
As we planned to spend the coming nights in Banana Island, we decided to tour the city that day. The only place worth noting is the Maquinit Hotspring. While it wasn’t beautiful, I found the heat calming.
We headed to Sea Dive for dinner, whose highlight is the que sarap lobster.
DAYS 2 & 3 – CYC Island, Skeleton Wreck, Banol Beach, Banana Island, Malcapuya, Bulog Uno and Bulog Dos
We sought the help of Owen (www.diycoron.wordpress.com) in customizing our itinerary, arrived at after a few rounds of consultation via email and SMS. The two most important parts of the deal were that:
(1) the boatmen were to provide us with food for the entire trip; and
(2) owing to the distance of Banana Island to the city, the boatmen were to spend 2 nights in the island as well, so that we effectively had them at our beck and call.
Day 2 was spent island-hopping en route to Banana Island.
As we soaked up the sun, our knights were busy with lunch-preps.
We were ready to take a nap after the filling lunch. Good thing Banana Island, so named because of its shape (half banana leaf), was next!
Did I hear someone say white sand?
The truth about Banana Island
While a lot of people are raving about Banana Island, I wonder if they truly saw its beauty. If I only made a few hours’ stop in the island (as what is normally done), I would have dismissed it as just one of the many. After 3 days and 2 nights, however, I was inebriated.
Top 5 Banana Island Experience
(1) for the duration of our stay, we owned the island. we’d take naps in the afternoon and chat with the lady-owner at night. in the morning she’d take us fishing (called pangangawil), singing to the vastness of the surrounding body of water, hoping to catch even just one fish.
(2) we took to kayaking to spend the rest of our mornings. we circled the island, once by boat, and another by kayak, with free stories from the lady-owner.
(3) we didn’t go very far to snorkel. in fact, we didn’t need to use our snorkeling gears at all. a great variety of fishes was within sight even as we walked along the shore.
(4) the island is right in front of another beautiful island – malcapuya.
(5) time went by ever so slowly, that what was a mere few days’ stay felt like a week of uninterrupted vacation. much thanks to the kind lady owner:
Day 4 – Siete Pecadoes, Kayangan Lake, Lake Barracuda
We continued our island-hopping as we went back to the city.
I’m not new to the underwater world, but nothing prepared me for this:
Nor, for that matter, this beauty:
Day 5 – Mt. Tapyas
For the sake of “completeness,” we went up the 600+ steps to the top of Mt. Tapyas.
Hanggang sa muli, Coron!