A Beautiful Busuanga

Vacationing at this city was really being away from the busy Manila life and it was a rare and life-changing moment for me. Imagine how I was able to reset my 10-15-year-old body clock after the trip because I had no choice but to wake up early (7am!!) for the 3-day tours. I was really worried spending time alone while others are enjoying the sea! Also, imagine how I could sleep really early (8am!!!) because I got so tired from the tours and also, the night life was not so bright.

I kind of liked it anyways because I really loved Busuanga and Coron Island. All these wouldn’t be possible without my my friend Oman, who’s a real traveller (and i realized how amateur I am haha). He’s just so prepared for everything – waterproof cases, mini toiletries, researches of the best food and places. Our total trip didn’t cost above P8000 (inclusive of tours estimated at 2000+, accommodation of around 500-800 per day, etc) due to the Cebu pacific promo  and his expertise at budgeted travelling which i really liked! Below is a visual diary of my trip to this city!

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View of Coron

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Wet Market near the dock. This is their primary market and lots to be found here!

We arrived at a super-friendly budget backpacker hotel (which dominates this part of Coron) at around 2pm and we immediately left to explore the town, Coron which is located at Busuanga Island. We asked what we can visit given our time and the family suggested the Mt. Tapyas and The Maquinit Hot Springs, both accessible through a tricycle.

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Mt. Tapyas is a destination for everyone in the town where you can see a beautiful panoramic view of Coron Islands. We didn’t take a rest after the plane trip and we climbed 700 steps to get to this place but it’s definitely worth it. I felt so accomplished because this is prolly the first mountain I climbed (but I guess this tourist-friendly climb doesn’t count because one doesn’t have to hike hehe)

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We went back to town after and explored restaurants . Below are all food photos of everything we ate at our 3-day trip at Busuanga. The most unique I’ve tried are the fishes. What I’ve learned from one restaurant: Balinsasayaw, which is basically a spanish term used to describe Palawan (a bird’s nest) and a local delicacy, the bird’s nest soup – though I didn’t tried this hehe.

We also went to La Sirenetta which is probably the most busy and active bar & resto in the town where you can find foreigners and travellers alike. I like their pinacolada’s!

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Night life in Coron is pretty much dull because the tours are very early and we all go to Coron for that right? hehe On our first day, we also went to Maquinit Hot Springs, which is a 30-minute haggard tricycle trip (the roads going there are really rough). But again, all worth it: the saltwater hot spring + surrounding beach and mangrove forest + warm water said to be heated by a volcano + the starry sky. It’s as if they’re all meeting all the same time at night.

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I had little time exploring the town and I will definitely be back for more adventures!

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Adventures at Coron Island, Palawan

Coron Island is my favorite island so far and while I cannot compare it to El Nido because i have only gone to one private island, my ultimate traveller friend says that he finds the latter more beautiful even under the sea, but it’s so easy to fall-in-love with former’s pristine beaches, seven mountain lakes, it’s quiet and simple environment, and of course, its history.

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On our second day at Bunsuanga, i woke up at 7am to prepare for the tours and we chose Tour A, which includes a trip to 3 greatest beaches that are accessible after  2-3 hours of boat trip . And my god, the beaches are really white and the waters???  crystal clear!!!!

We arrived at Malcapuya Island at noon which for me is the most beautiful island I have ever seen. They say it’s very much like Boracay but I don’t really think so. It is known as a an ultimate virgin beach with a long stretch and rich marine life ( we even saw whale sharks!!), it’s blue-colored candy in my eyes the whole time. Spell PARADISE.

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There’s nothing much to do (well snorkeling but the waters are quite shallow) but that’s not possible for my camera’s haha! I had to capture everything and store it in my digital devices because it’s just pretty and dreamy. Our tourist guide said that it was just recently acquired by a resort company and they’re planning to place a 5-star resort which makes me lucky. I don’t wanna be charged 6-digits for a visit there (but well, maybe?? let’s see! haha)

After having lunch, we went to a nearby privately-owned island which is the Banana island, called as such due to its shape. This is where the snorkeling happened which I haven’t done for a long time so I had to refresh my skills – thanks to our tour guide. The beach isn’t as nice but my friend who loves to go under water (really deep!!) said that it was nice (relatively Ok, compared to El Nido).

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Then we went to Bulog Dos Island for a short time only because we had to go back to Coron island before the sun sets. It’s adjacent the Two Seasons resort but the other side is still free for all. I like the sand bar (perfect for pictures because you know, you can face the sun and take a nice photo haha!). It is said that there’s a pretty marine life there but we didn’t get the chance to really explore due to time.

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Tour mates!

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Lunch

We had to call it a day and going back, I loved how i got to know people and travellers in this tour as well through the games and activities we had in the boat. 2 hours was long but it didn’t feel like it.

The second day was supposed to be really for my friend who graduated Biology and just loves marine life, and have already travelled a lot of local destinations in the Philippines. Tour C consists of the top tourist destinations in Coron, including historical ones, and the kind where skills in swimming is really required (ughh).

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The first destination is just a few hours away, but we struggled inside the boat (we all got wet due to the strong winds and waves and I just kept praying the whole time). But when we arrived at the Twin Laggoon, it was all worth it. I have heard of this from friends and it’s truly magical because the temperatures and visions vary due to the meeting of cold fresh water and hot salt water.

Then we stopped by the infamous Kayungan Lake where we found lots of tourists experiencing the emerald water and the vision of beautiful limestone formations. But also, where I nearly drowned!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t know it was so deep ( the look of the water can be decieving)  so i left my life vest and I really struggled going back (hello weak lungs and 20 ft.!!!). I had to rest and catch my breath while waiting for my friend who swam into the cave chamber and when I saw his pictures underwater, pretty lights and rock formations can be seen.

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There’s also a nice view at the top of the lake..

We took lunch and shortly went to a public beach called the CYC beach which is a public one. It’s not as pretty and clean as the beaches I visited the other day but it had nice marine life according to my friend.

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We ended the tour after and the 2 days were very tiring for me but I also challenged myself to avail of the other tours (more hard core ones) – probably after I learn how to swim again and maybe when i’m secure that I wouldn’t be easily killed by stonefishes etc .

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I am super thankful for my friend, Oman Santos, for bringing me to this island and to the tours – it was magical and dreamy really and while I got so busy taking photos, he always reminded me to relax and just stare the this beauty. I learned so much about Coron and its people (the Tagbanwa’s) too through the tour guides, and I am hoping that they will be able to preserve its beauty and tourism despite the private resorts coming in.

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Black & Blue

Here’s one of the outfits I wore in my Coron trip. What I like about black or minimalist swimsuits is that you can pair it with cover up’s or skirts and you can have a new set of beach outfit already.

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I paired a Cesa swimsuit (which is part of their new dramatic black collection this Summer 2015) with an H&M skirt. It saves up space in the luggage, and well, some sort of planning on how to mix and match things when the beach is all you need to think about. 😉

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Photography: Oman Santos

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