Sunday, March 4, 2012

Coron 2012

I should have posted this ages ago but I got caught up with work and other demands of life. Anyway, here’s a recap of my Coron trip.

Day 1:
Before landing at the Busuanga airport, I was amazed with the view from the plane. Lush greenery was everywhere (well, maybe except for some hills which were a bit barren). Nevertheless, I was impressed.

View from the plane
Upon arrival, a van brought us to the Busuanga Island Paradise, about 30 minutes away from the airport and 20 minutes away from the town. The trip cost us P150/head. The ‘resort’ was a bit like a rainforest hotel on the outside. It sits on the foot of a tiny mountain and is surrounded by hundreds of trees.

Busuanga Island Paradise's restaurant
For a little over P3,000 a night,our room was very spacious and relaxing. The contrast of the white linens and the brown furniture gave the room a rustic feel. The hotel restaurant was just across our room so food was very accessible. Haha. Since there’s no other establishment near the hotel, we had no choice but to eat at their restaurant. Food is pretty good, just steer clear of any dish that has shrimps. I think they use frozen shrimps bought at the supermarket so there is an aftertaste of some sort.

There is also swimming pool and we took a dip after lazing around for a while. After all, there’s not much to do since they do not have cable TV (they have a wide VCD collection though).

And after the tiring swim, we capped the night with steamed crabs (very big ones) and a movie marathon afterwards.

Day 2:
Busuanga Island Paradise has two trips to and from the town everyday. We headed to the town and did a little bit of exploring. I was a bit shocked when I first saw the town and thought ‘is this it?’. The streets were a bit narrow and there were not that many establishments aside from a few good hotels, and there’s no Starbucks. There’s no other phrase to describe it but probinsyang probinsya with tons of tourist activity.

I read somewhere that there was this cashew house and you get to watch the workers peel the cashews and everything. So we asked around and I told the tricycle driver to bring us to the cashew house. The driver looked at me with a blank expression and asked his fellow driver where is the cashew house. Turned out that they know the place as ‘bahay ng kasuy’. Haha. Lesson learned: use the Filipino term! And once in the ‘bahay ng kasuy’, I found out that it was just a tiny place selling cashews. No workers peeling the cashews, nothing. But then, one wall was filled with pictures of the lady selling the cashews (I forgot her name) with different celebrities and icons. The cashews were good and we bought some for pasalubong.

In the sweltering heat, we bought some stuff to bring home. I bought this very cute capiz frame with a ship on it. Very good craftmanship. We looked around for some tours and we were very happy to find out that there’s no need to rent a boat for ourselves. We can just join a group tour for a lower price.

We had lunch at Bistro Coron. I read this from Smile Magazine (Cebu Pacific’s Inflight Magazine) and I thought that we should check out the place. It was a quaint little bistro a few blocks away from the town center. We ordered the Bistro Pizza. It was ok but I ended up wanting something else. The other table’s orders seemed more delicious – gourmet sandwiches. Yumyum.

Back at the hotel, I was supposed to do my homework for an online course that I’m taking but I had a pretty long nap. The trip to town was really exhausting, considering the number of shopping bags I had to carry. I ended up doing my homework in the middle of the night. What a vacation!

Day 3:
Island-hopping day! Woke up really early, had breakfast and headed to town. For only P850/head, the trip included 5 destinations and lunch!

First stop was Kayangan Lake –the picturesque view of Coron. We had to climb almost a hundred steps (how many steps was it? It felt like a hundred) to see the magnificent view. It was so striking and I was simply in awe of the beauty surrounding me. Took a few photos then headed to the actual lake for a swim.

What a beauty!
Kayangan Lake
Next stop was Banol beach where we had lunch. The water was very clear and the sand very fine and white – a hundred times better than Boracay.

Lunch at Banol beach
Twin lagoons, the Skeleton Wreck and another beach (sorry, I forgot the name) were also part of the itinerary.The Skeleton Wreck was a bit creepy but the marine life was very exciting towatch. We fed the fish our bread (for snacks) and it was definitely worth it,they were eating from the palms of hands. Some of the fish were really fascinating – bright colors and in different sizes.

The sky, the rocks and the trees
Overall, the trip was so worth it. Went back to the hotel with darker skin and exhausted bodies.

Day 4:
Time to go home. After all the shopping, sightseeing, food tripping and relaxation, all vacations must come to an end. Waited in the non-airconditioned airport for less than an hour and then we’re back to Manila in no time.

This is one place that I would definitely love to visit again. Every peso spent was worth it. The hotel was very relaxing, the staff were very accommodating and the people in the town are simply helpful.

Til my next adventure! Ciao!

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