Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coron Down Under

Experience swimming in a crystal clear turquoise water with magnificent rock formations. Experience Coron like never before. Experience Coron down under! An Hermès Jour d'Hermès perfume inspired video.

Disclaimer: This was filmed when the "No Life Vest No Swimming Policy" in Coron Islands was not yet implemented. Nowadays its mandatory to wear life vest and no free diving is not allowed as well.




Coron Sample Itinerary

On the first day, people normally go on a Town Tour but still depends on your estimated time of arrival, how many days will you stay and what type of tourist you are. For the following days people go on an Island Hopping tour, White Sand Islands Tour, Reef and Wrecks Tour, Safari Tour, Diving and a lot more. So in order not to complicate things I'm gonna make a simple itinerary that most people usually do when they visit Coron.


DAY 1
Coron Town Tour (others call it City Tour)

This tour usually starts at around 3PM and ends at around 7:30PM, depending on the travel agency and the type of tour (group tour, DIY, private). Town Tour rates starts at 650-750 pesos per person for a group tour or avail a private tour from a tour agency for a higher price or you can also do a DIY tour. This tour involves climbing and swimming so be prepared.

Destinations: Town Plaza, Souvenir Shops, Lualhati Park (Baywalk area), San Agustin Church, Mt. Tapyas Viewdeck (more than 700 steps), Cashew Harvest Store and Maquinit Hotspring (salt water hotsring).


DAY 2
Coron Islands Tour (island hopping)

This tour usually starts at 8AM and ends at around 5PM. It's an island hopping tour where you get to see the lakes, lagoons, snorkeling sites, beaches, marine park and a shipwreck. The travel time from the mainland is approximately 15 minutes. Coron Island Tour rates starts at 950-1,600 pesos per person for a group tour or pay more for a private tour. Different tour operators have different itineraries and rates so choose which is the best tour for you. This tour involves mostly swimming, snorkeling and a little bit of hiking.

Destinations: Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados Marine Park, Twin Lagoons, Banol Beach, Blue Lagoon, Green Lagoon, Smith Beach, Skeleton Wreck, CYC Beach, Dimanglet Beach, Beach 91, Calachuchi Beach, Twin Peaks, Atwayan Beach.

*Different tour operators have different itineraries and rates.


DAY 3
White Sand Islands Tour

This tour is a whole day tour and usually starts at 8AM and ends at 5PM. The travel time is approximately an hour and a half. It's a little bit far and sometimes the water can be rough or choppy but it's all worth it! There are a couple of white sand islands and sandbars in the area but the itinerary depends on the tour operator that you chose. White sand islands tour or others call it island escapades tour starts at P1200-P1700 per person for a group tour.

Destinations: Bulog Dos Island, Banana Island, Malcapuya Island, Waling-waling Island, Ditaytayan Island, Cheron Island, Bamboo Island.

*Different tour operators have different itineraries and rates.

Friendship Goals

The dog and the monkey of Atwayan beach, Coron, Palawan. It's not everyday that you get to see this so watch this video.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mt. Tapyas

Climb more than 700 steps and get to see an amazing 360 view of Coron at Mt. Tapyas view deck. The mountain offers a stunning landscape of the town center, the Bay area and the surrounding mountains and hills of Coron. The 721 steps are equally spaced or equal in sizes and pit stops with shaded benches along the way where you can take some rest. The stair has markers so you can easily monitor how many more steps you needed to reach the summit. On top of the mountain is a big steel cross and a Coron sign. Kinda like our own version of Christ The Redeemer in Brazil and the Hollywood sign in California. Upon reaching the summit a breathtaking view of Coron awaits you. Don't forget to go around the other side of the summit and look for the gazebo. Other tourist bring love padlocks and lock it in the view deck fence so you might as well do. The best time to go here is early morning for the sunrise and afternoon for the sunset but expect more people in the afternoon as they await for the sunset.  Make sure to hydrate first before doing the climb or bring a bottled water. Make sure to observe cleanliness as well and do not litter.





Maquinit Hotsprings

Maquinit is from a local word meaning hot, this hot spring in Sitio Maquinit in Coron is a three tiered swimming pool. Two of the small pools are the source that flows directly to the bigger pool with a temperature ranging from 38 to 41 degrees Celsius. Some say that the output flow of the water is around 60 liters per second and it flows directly to the sea. What makes Maquinit hot springs special is that it's the only salt water hot spring in the Philippines.

What To Do In Coron

Things to do and places to visit in Coron
There are many things to do in Coron and it's very diverse when it comes to the activities and destinations waiting for you to explore and experience. From lakes to lagoons, marine parks, coral gardens, caves, water  fall, hot springs, ship wrecks and white sand beaches. From scuba diving to snorkeling, free diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, firefly watching, bird watching,  hiking, trekking and biking. From the breathtaking landscape of beautiful islands to the countryside, the rivers, the hills and mountains giving you postcard worthy views, Coron is simply an amazing place to be.

Explore the Town.

Coron is a small town and getting around is easy. You can either walk or hire a tricycle (tuktuk) when exploring the area. So what are the things to do and see in Coron town? Here are my lists:

1. Visit the souvenir shops in town and find something you might like. Most of these shops sells Coron tees, key chains, postcards, ref (fridge) magnets, cashew nuts, arts and crafts, pearls and a lot more. There are a lot of souvenir shops in town but the biggest is Coron Souvenir Shop and another interesting shop is ARAMINTAS Arts and Crafts. When buying cashew nuts, people usually go to Coron Harvest. Coron Harvest is a famous local cashew nut store that makes delicious cashew nuts with different flavors. One of their best seller is the garlic flavored cashew nut.

2. Explore the Bay area at Lualhati Park or some locals call it the boulevard, loading area or at the zip line. Lualhati Park is in a reclaimed area giving you an amazing view of the Bay facing the island village of Lajala and Coron Islands to the right and other surrounding islands on the left side. This is also the area where tourist boats docks. The best time to go here is in the afternoon where you get to see the sun as it sets. This is a perfect place if you are looking for the best sunset view in town, well aside from Mt. Tapyas. Lualhati Park is near Coron Gateway Hotel and the public market.

3. Climb more than 700 steps and get to see an amazing 360 view of Coron at Mt. Tapyas view deck. The mountain offers a stunning landscape of the town center, the Bay area and the surrounding mountains and hills of Coron. The 721 steps are equally spaced or equal in sizes and pit stops with shaded benches along the way where you can take some rest. The stair has markers so you can easily monitor how many more steps you needed to reach the summit. On top of the mountain is a big steel cross and a Coron sign. Kinda like our own version of Christ The Redeemer in Brazil and the Hollywood sign in California. Upon reaching the summit a breathtaking view of Coron awaits you. Don't forget to go around the other side of the summit and look for the gazebo. Other tourist bring love padlocks and lock it in the view deck fence so you might as well do. The best time to go here is early morning for the sunrise and afternoon for the sunset but expect more people in the afternoon as they await for the sunset.  Make sure to hydrate first before doing the climb or bring a bottled water. Make sure to observe cleanliness as well and do not litter.

4. Have a dip at Maquinit Hot Springs which is approximately 25 minutes away from town. It's a three tiered swimming pool and two of the smaller pools are the source that flows directly to the bigger pool. They say that the temperature ranges from 38 to 41 degrees Celcius and an output flow of 60 liters per second. What's interesting about it is that,  it's a salt water hot spring. Some believe that there is volcano in the area and some say there is a magma chamber that meets with the sea water. But in general, a hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust.


Go island hopping at Coron Islands which is approximately 15-20 minutes away from the mainland, this limestone island is the ancestral domain of the Tagbanua Tribe of Coron. It has mountain lakes, lagoons, beaches, snorkelling sites and a shipwreck. The island has several lakes but only two lakes are open to the public namely Barracuda Lake (Luluyuan lake) and Kayangan Lake. The rest of the lakes are a sacred place to the natives.The island has several lagoons as well namely Twin Lagoons, Hidden Lagoon, Green Lagoon, Blue Lagoon and other small lagoons but the must see is the Twin Lagoons. There are several small beaches in the island which serves as a lunch area for the tourists. These beaches are Banol beach, Smith beach, Atwayan Beach, Beach 91 and Calachuchi beach but the must see beach is Banol beach. The snorkelling sites are Twin Peaks, Caps Point, Quinn Reef and others. There is one shipwreck in Coron Islands and it is called Skeleton wreck but this shipwreck is not among the World War II Japanese wrecks. A couple of minutes away from Coron Islands is Siete Pecados Marine Park and two other beach namely CYC beach and Dimanglet beach.


Bask in the white sand islands of Malcapuya, Banana, Bulog Dos, Waling-waling, Pass, Calumbuyan, Ditaytayan, Cheron, Bamboo, North Cay, South Cay and Black Island. Some of these islands are a bit far but the popular ones are Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Dos Island, Waling-waling Island (Bulog Uno) and Pass Island.


Snorkel your way to two Japanese wrecks from the second World War namely Lusong gunboat and Sangat wreck, Coral Garden and Decalve Marine Park. Out of the 11 Japanese wrecks, two of these are up for snorkeling because of its depth. Lusong gunboat is shallow enough that you can touch it and Sangat wreck is around 5-10m deep depending on the tide. Coral Garden is like a mini Great Barrier reef, that's how some tourists describes it. Coral Garden is my favorite snorkelling place. Decalve Marine Park is near Sangat wreck.


Go reef, cave and wreck diving. Coron is also a favorite place for divers all over the world. Aside from its beautiful reefs, Coron is considered as the wreck diving capital of the Philippines. During the second World War the Japanese fleet found refuge at the Bay of Coron but on September 24, 1944 they were attacked by the Americans and the rest is history.


Rent a motorbike and explore the countryside of Coron. The countryside offers you a magnificent mountain ranges, rolling hills and an ocean view. There are a couple of motorcycle rental shops in town but the two most popular are Angel Motorcycle Rental Shop and Boyet Motorcycle Rental Shop. One popular route that tourists go to is the road going to Busuanga where you get to see the Malbato stone church and Conception falls. You can also explore the road going to the airport area where the cattle ranch is and the YKR falls. Another place that interests tourists is the road going to Marcilla and Borac but these routes are a bit of a challenge due to extreme uphill and downhill. Always be careful and wear a helmet when renting a motorcycle.


Experience a one of a kind safari tour and go feed the giraffes at Calauit Safari Park. Located at Calauit Island in Busuanga, it is accessible by land or by sea. Aside from giraffes, there are zebras and Calamian deer roaming around the island. The island has its own mini zoo where you get to see an eagle, monkeys, civet cats, porcupines, land turtles and a python.


Go paddle boarding or kayaking. There are a couple of shops that rents paddle boards and kayaks or you can also avail some kayaking or paddle boarding tours from certain tour operators.


Firefly watching is another interesting activity that you can do while in Coron.


Explore Kingfisher Biodiversity Park and enjoy mangrove kayaking, nature trek and firefly watching. Kingfisher Park is at Barangay Malbato in Coron.


Bird watching is another activity that you can do in Coron. There are a couple of bird watching tour guides in town and they will take you to places where you can bird watch. The best thing about Coron is that most of the birds are endemic only to the area. There are eagles, sun birds, kingfishers, doves, mynas, parrots and a lot more. My favorite bird so far is ashley drongo.


If you like climbing mountains then Mt. Darala is perfect for a day hike. The mountain is Coron's highest peak where you get to see a 360 view of Coron and the neighboring town Busuanga. There are four trails or jump off points to choose from namely Balisungan, Mabintangin, Capayas and Pali. The fastest but steepest trail is at Barangay Pali near CCFT. These jump off points are not easy to find so make sure to hire a local guide to accompany you.


Explore the historical town of Culion which is a former Leper Colony and visit the 17th Century Church, Culion Museum and its Historical Landmarks. Approximately an hour to an hour and a half away from Coron by boat.


Another interesting place to visit while in Coron are Cabu Beach, Mabintangin River pool, Jungle View Resort, Mt. Avangan Eco-Adventure Park, Fernvale Swimming pool and COSA Firing Range.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tourists of Coron: Four crazy sexy cool


Meet Rodrigo, Mario, Erwin and Ricardo...the four crazy sexy cool dudes from Brazil.
Photo taken at Calachuchi beach.
#TakeMeToCoron



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Exploring Calamianes: Culion

One of the four municipalities of the Calamianes Group of Islands and a former leper colony but now a promising tourist destination which is approximately an hour to an hour and a half away from Coron. The town itself is rich in history, very laid back with nice and friendly beautiful people. More about Culion soon!







Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bulog Island Coron

Bulog Island is a small island with a sandbar just beside Two Season Island Resort. Enjoy this time-lapse video filmed during the peak season.
Music: Charlie Puth - Marvin Gaye ft. Meghan Trainor
#TakeMeToCoron

Sunset viewing - Its more fun in Coron

Sunset Viewing... It's more fun in Coron.
A time-lapse video at Mt. Tapyas View deck.
#TakeMeToCoron




Lost Somewhere In Coron: Buenavista


Lost Somewhere In Coron: Buenavista
Photo taken at Barangay Buenavista.
#TakeMeToCoron

The Sandbar

How would you like to spend your day in this amazingly beautiful sandbar?
#TakeMeToCoron

Tourists Of Coron: Own company


Sometimes you just have to enjoy your own company.
Photo taken at Malcapuya island.
#TakeMeToCoron

Save The Date at Mt. Tapyas

This is Ralph and Cherry's save the date video at Mt. Tapyas.
Music: Disclosure - You and Me
#TakeMeToCoron



The Golden Hour

The golden hour. Coron Sunset.
#takemetocoron


Tourists Of Coron: BFF's


 Sharing a good laugh with friends in the world's number one island...priceless. Meet the bff's from Manila, Baguio and Pangasinan!
Photo taken at Banol beach.
#TakeMeToCoron

Cool and Calm...Coron

Coron at Dusk...Cool and Calm.
#TakeMeToCoron



Tourists Of Coron: Renee




"I love traveling alone, and it's a goal of mine to travel solo once every two years. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, and you're so much more open to meeting and connecting with people. Coron is incredible, there's so much variety, from lakes to seas, villages to beaches, paddle boarding to diving, hiking to safaris. The food here was also (to my surprise) better than in El Nido. Three days is just not enough! I spent two days island hopping and beach hopping, and the third day wandering about town, and wish I had more time for diving. One of my favorite moments in Coron was the day when I rented my own boat and island hopped around the island. While snorkeling, I saw a green turtle about five feet away and followed him for a good ten minutes! Then during lunchtime, we went to a small island and my boat crew literally cooked up a feast for me. It was such a beautiful and chill day."
- Renee from San Francisco, California

I don't own the music used in this video. CTTO

Friday, October 28, 2016