Back to Coron, Palawan - Day 1

Excuse my room but this is how it looks before leaving for Coron, Palawan. It has been a little more than year last time we we got there. You can read our experience in Coron, Palawan last year, here.

Our flight is around 9:45AM and we're about the leave when this picture was taken at around 6 AM.

You might ask, why go back there in just year?  The reason is we are accompanying some friends who haven't been there and the place is beautiful enough to send myself back.

I would rather Coron than Puerto Princesa due to the higher number of tourists going there after just being included in the list of 7 Wonders of the nature last 2011.

In the south of Manila, Las Pinas, is our popular bus line Tas Trans, transporting us to Mia Road, Pasay.

After the 30min. bus ride, we're at Mia Road, just a few minutes away from the Domestic Airport.
This time, we tried getting on a jeepney to get there. Unfortunately, we learned that it doesn't take the shortest route at doesn't leave immediately unless filled. Coincidentally, a few minutes after leaving, the vehicle lost its transmission and is unable to move.
From there on, we will never take the jeepney again and just accept the higher cost of the taxi cab.
It is only now I learned that the old domestic airport doesn't open early so we're one of the first flights and I could see check-in terminals just getting started when we got there.
To your left is the charging station.
We had to ride an airport bus going to the Zest Airways plane.

It is an MA60 plane which doesn't mean anything but all could I say it is a small and old propeller airplane.  With small airplanes, expect a more bumpy and occasional sensations of slight weightlessness during the flight. :p

Those red lines on the wing indicate the positions of the flap. It varies during take-off, flight, and landing.

The plane having little passengers, I was able to transfer to a seat beside a window.  Unfortunately, the window is not clear and has lots of scratches but doesn't discourage me from doing these.

Click on the image for the image for the enlargement.  My camera has a fixed lens so it can't zoom but the image below is a shot of a Cebu Pacific plane flying beneath us.  It was flying faster and learning later that it was also headed to Busuanga airport and got there earlier.

Again, I can't zoom in.  It is an image of large shipping vessel, probably carrying goods such as the the iPad 3. Hehe.

I just love this vast, open space once you step down from the airplane.  I have a similar shot of this last year.  The flight is supposed to be short to around 45 minutes but traffic at both airports lengthen it to more than an hour.

The Cebu Pacific plane which was way faster than ours, look at those bags.

While waiting for our bags, I took a shot of this. Those are the suggested tourist destinations in Coron which I haven't been to.  Maybe, next time.
This is the very poor process of getting the bags.  Individual bags will be checked by the personnel before you can grab yours.  It is very slow.  If you enlarge the photo, you would see a guy with a hat and he is Mang Rudy.  He is more than 70+ years old and owns Rudy's lodge.  He has been in this job for more than 30 years.
Read my blog post of Coron last year to find reasons not to stay in his lodge,  here.

As usual, this is the 30 minute ride from the airport to the center.  The concrete roads are quite new except for the small bridges for rivers.

The road is filled with nice scenery for eyes and cameras to look at but most tourist vans here have very dark window tints.  Luckily, this time, I was seated at the front and able to take shots on the film less windshield.

This is one of the best bridges there. The worsts are just made of tree parts with small movements and noise which I don't have confidence on.
At last, we're here. I wished to stay at Sea Dive Resort but they weren't able to give us a group discount making Coron Village Lodge our choice.

It's not bad here but the overall quality is typical Coron, not comparable to rooms in Boracay which is better for the same price.

In Coron, no staff will help you with your bags. Almost.

It's quite clean and has pleasing surroundings.  The owner of the Coron Village Lodge resides in BF Homes, Paranaque.

Our room. It has air conditioning, cabinet, and new bed sheets and towels.
This their restaurant for your breakfasts and unlimited free coffee.

Here's my proof of the unlimited coffee.  I still don't know why this is pretty standard in Coron except for Rudy's lodge which they will might give you one sachet of 3 in 1 coffee throughout your stay.

Our lunch.  The quality of food is quite ok, nothing to complain nor praise about.

If you enlarge this photo, you could see the giant cross above the roof.  Getting there later, Mt. Tapyas, is our first itinerary which is probably the most popular on the first day in Coron.  The reason being it is the only one who could fit in the day after a flight from Manila.
I forgot the name but this souvenir shop is just across the Coron Village Lodge restaurant.

After taking those photos above and taking an hour or two rest in our rooms, we are fetched by our contact in Coron through their tricycles heading to Mt. Tapyas.  We left around a quarter to 4 PM which I thought was pretty early waiting for the sunset. The reason for it was so that we could still have day light while we're on our way to our second destination for the day, the Maquinit Hot Springs.
The climb to Mt. Tapyas peak requires around 720+ steps which is pretty difficult to most.  If you don't have bottled water with you, there are boys selling bottled water who will climb with you till the top and just buy from them.

Tip: Take photos as an excuse for stopping and resting. :)

As you might have noticed, there's quite a lot of pictures I took.  :)
In these covered spaces, engaged in conversations to prolong your stay and rest.  Discuss work! :p

Getting closer..

That piece of even, vast land you see on the pic is man made, similar to the land where SM Mall of Asia is standing on.  Coron is small and maybe in anticipation of increased tourism in the future, they created this piece of land.

Take all the pics you can once you reached the top since there really is nothing else to do except appreciate the scenery.

As you might have noticed by now, I keep shooting the same scene below. I was shooting the mountain across the waters which appears to be a sleeping person to which the Coron residents call this, the "Sleeping Giant".  

My friends got bored and suggested leaving.  It's already 5:30 PM and we're going to miss daylight going to Maquinit Hot Springs. One thing I will be missing though is the sunset which should give beautiful colors.

The next time I'll be back to Coron, I'm going to get that sunset and just refuse going to Maquinit Hot springs because of the reasons I will tell you below.

This is on our way to Maquinit Hot Springs which is about 30 minutes away.  Half the journey, the tricycle will traverse rough and dusty roads.

One good about the place is it is large and has plenty of water so crowding is not much of problem to this place.  Foreigners from colder countries seem to love hot water place such as Westerners, Koreans, and Japanese.

The hot water is natural and flowing. One proof for that is they don't have actually water for taking a shower.  The hot spring water is actually filled and minerals that if you tasted it is quite salty and metallic.
If you're the kind with sensitive skin, I don't recommend taking a dip to these waters. Possibly, you can by resting your tired feet and legs from the climb to Mt. Tapyas under the water which feels good.

Moon rise. :)

Actually, the scene is dark but my camera with manual settings allowed me to change the shutter speed to a few seconds which allowed the camera to take this shot in low light.

After all those pics above, I decided to take a dip in the hot waters.  The hot water feels good to the feet and legs but not for the body and face.   This is my third time to try the pool and I can really say that it is uncomfortable to stay longer, like 30 to 60 minutes.  You have to be really hydrated and full  to conquer this hot waters.
After this experience, I think, going here to Maquinit hot springs is not worth it for me especially that they don't have fresh water for shower or rinsing.

The tricycle ride back to the lodge was  dark with my body wet and sticky from the water I got from the springs.  Everybody took their showers before having dinner.

We decided to have dinner at Sea Dive Resort despite we're already hungry and there's Coron Village Lodge's restaurant just across the street, as you could see on the image.

Having our orders done and waiting for the food, I decided to take pictures

 The menu.
Click for enlargement. Their breakfasts are priced reasonably and heavy.  Other food choices are more expensive which make sense as this resort is frequented by foreigners, mostly divers.

Waiting for food is long, reason is they bring in all orders in just one serving. I went outside and took some more pics.

Food is great. I have no complaints except the prices which are high for a place like Coron.
This is my last image for our first day and it was good.  My companions are quite complaining with their tired legs which I think brought them early to sleep which is good for a big and long day tomorrow. Click on the link below for second day.

Fly to Coron, Palawan with the help of CNM Travel and Tours. They're the only agency that allow you to travel now and pay in a 6 month term at "zero" interest.

Go here at CNM's website to get their numbers and look for Khrizia regarding your inquiries.  She will also help you get your contacts in Coron for hotel, transportation, and boat arrangements.