the whole wednesday afternoon was spent contemplating whether to head back to Puerto Prinsesa and take a plane back to Manila or to move further north to calamianes. where the island Coron is located, a place which i had been wanting to check-out for the last 4 years and for some reasons, something would always come up between me and the island. lol. its the last imperative destination on my local list.
so after sitting on a rock in a cove 2km north of el nido town, i walked back to our cottage to inspect if theres enough moolah left to continue travelling up north. and i had barely enough to stretch for 3 more days including transportations, accomodations, tours etc. but being the stubbornly carefree that i am, i was certain to set out the next day and just take it from there. i know il figure something out anyway.
so we went to the pier that night to inquire on tickets. with some twist of fate, i got a bargain from the security guard, scoring 800pesos less than the regular rate of 2,200. it was a good sign.
i was early at the pier next morning, instead of riding the banca “joe”, which was full to the brim, i was asked to ride the other banca “welia”. we sailed around 10. tada, maria, canadian guy and me were the only tourist on board. there were more crews than passengers. i bumped into tada and maria in el nido, theyre from a town next to munich in germany but currently calls hongkong their home.
it was some sort of like an expensive, long island-hopping tour sans water activities. we passed by different islets of el nido and after lunchtime we sashayed between islets of calamianes peninsula. it was a quiet sail under the clear blue sky over the azul sulu sea. it was nice that it sailed along waters near land so we got to see all those beautiful islands. it was a smooth 6hr ride.
we touchdown coron minutes after 4pm. our boat docked at seadive resort, instead of the pier. it was big let-down as we passed-by houses on stilts built under murky, littered waters. definitely not the picture of coron i had in mind. we scoured the town streets for affordable accommodation. i opted to stay at seabreeze for their 350peso-room while tada and maria went for a more expensive lodge.
we met up at coron galeri the following morning. its a lot cheaper to share a boat so thats what we did. it costed us 650pesos each for the island tour. we went with another swedish girl and a filipino couple on the tour. the limestone cliffs are beautiful and so are the lagoons. it resembles to those in el nido only i favor the ones in el nido more. the lunch was so good. rice wrapped in banana leaf, lechon kawali, salad, grilled fresh big fish plus watermelons and bananas. damn good.
we toured kayangan lake, twin lagoons, reefs, an island and a beach. the sun was out and scorching the whole time. snorkling at the coral gardens was definitely a treat.
that night, i bade goodbye to tada and maria as i was hitting home the next morning.
i left coron 10x darker and 10x happier. it is definitely one of those hassle-free, most relaxed trip i ever had.
i am happy to finally set foot on coron. its the last on my list. long awaited. i can say now that i am already contented with the places i visited in our country. i can now travel outside =)