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Dream Trip: Coron (Day 1)

Things happen when you least expect them.

I have lots of dreams and I never thought that some of it would come true. Maybe because they just seem impossible to happen. And I’m glad it did.

It was an ordinary Saturday. I woke up and I read a blog post from Stephanie about Coron. I fell inlove with her pictures. Coron is in my bucketlist and seeing it in Stephanie’s blog elevated that desire of wanting to go there. Unexpectedly, an email came that afternoon. An email from Lois of We Are Sole Sisters. An invitation for a Sole Sister on Assignment to Kasadyaan festival in CORON! I just can’t believe reading the words. Of all the places it would be Coron. When I got addicted to traveling and blogging about my trips, I have wished that one day I would get invited by some travel magazines/sites and they’ll send me to a place and write about it. Of all it would be for We Are Sole Sisters whom I have been following for a long time and who have inspired me about travel.

I stare blankly at my computer. Reading  the email again and again. It still would not sink in. I wanted to shout, and I did. My heart was beating fast and my hands were trembling. So I took a deep breath. This is it! Dreams really do come true. And I cried a happy tear.

Everything just fall into place. My leave got approved and I get to go with Maiza because it was an invitation for two . The other invitation was originally for another blogger but she could not make it so Lois asked me to bring another friend. It was actually really hard to choose which one. I have two people on my list, Sam and Maiza. And I was really sorry I could not bring them both.

Our flight is Cebu to Manila to Coron. The ticket booked for us was Manila-Coron so we had to get ourselves a ticket from Cebu to Manila. There was no other available cheap flight so we took the 3am schedule. Our Manila-Coron flight is at 8am so we have stayed at Naia airport for 4 hours. We just have to sleep at the benches. It looks like we were not alone on that situation. I see a lot of people sleeping not only in benches but also on the floor near the restroom, under the escalator and beside the window glass.

We met up with Mike Marasigan, our tour guide and contact on that trip, and his colleagues Carlo, Maria and Noli Gabilo. They were professionals. Travel photographer, model and cameraman. While we were just a nobody. A newbie to travel blogging and we were really privileged to go on this trip with them because we know we could learn from them.

Coron’s airport is my favorite so far. As the airplane descends, the mountains of Coron got more visible. It wasn’t the ordinary mountains I’ve seen. There were treeless spots and it was covered with grass that looked like that of the mountains I see in my childhood cartoon series Heidi. And I see a herd of sheeps. When we finally landed, the vast land of grasses and mountains welcomed us.

A van was arranged for us to be our service during our stay there. Going to Coron from Busuanga airport took us 1 hour. It was a whole new place for me. The mountains and fields are not the usual rice fields or corn fields or vegetable fields. It’s a grass field with trees that look like that from a medieval period where anytime soon a prince would come out from behind the trees with his white horse. And the mountains are just beautiful. Then there are cattle crossing road signs too. It just made me feel like I’m in New Zealand. There are just lots of wild animals like horses and cows and to my surprise a bayawak which crossed the road on our way home and our van had to stop to let it pass.

It was almost noon when we arrived. We had to settle our things at our hotel which was just right in front of the base of Mt. Tapyas, Daven’s Palace. Me and Maiza had the room all to our selves. It was pretty big for two people. I think it could accommodate four people in it. And they got a free wifi!

We had our lunch at Centro Coron. It’s a restaurant co-owned by the owner of Daven’s Palace. It’s a short walk from the hotel. They’ve got a generous serving here.

After having our lunch, we still have to wait for the second batch of our group. While we do that, we went to take a short stroll around the town. It’s not hard to get around the place coz it’s just a small town with small and busy roads. Lots of motorcycle and cars coming from different directions. We almost got into an accident when there was this big truck which was going up this road while we were trying to walk down the opposite direction. Good thing we didn’t keep on walking. It seems something was holding our feet to keep us from walking and we just stared at the truck which we think was having a hard time going up the road. Then suddenly somebody from the truck jumped off and the truck loses its brake and it went down and crashes.

It scared us but didn’t stop us from exploring the town.

souvenir items

We were looking for a shore with sands here but it looks like there isn’t any.

Mt. Tapyas

We got lost on our way back to the hotel. Luckily we met these adorable kids along the road and we asked for help. They were also glad to help us. They’ve just asked for some pictures and they’re happy with it.

I really thought we could no longer have our island hopping trip because it was almost 3pm but we still did. Nothing’s impossible with Sir Mike. We got really excited. Island hopping at 3pm it is! We only got a short time before sunset so we had to do a quick stay on the two lakes we’ve visited. The lakes are not that far from town. It took us 10-15 minutes to get there.

First stop, Twin Lagoon. Beautiful as ever, the limestone rock formations just like that in El Nido. Palawan has really got a place in my heart. On our way in to the inner lake, we had to swim under a small hole which was visible because it was low tide. An enchanting place where I could just lay on my back, float and think of nothing. We don’t have a water proof camera so we sacrificed Maiza’s camera and brought it with us. My dry bag was of great help. Our boatman who went with us inside the lagoon carried it for us and took our pictures. He was confident with it so we trusted him. We were so glad we trusted him, if it weren’t for him, we would never get a remembrance of this beautiful place.

Next stop, Barracuda Lake. It’s a lake hidden behind the limestone karsts. We had to go inside these rocks, go up and down the ladder and walk on wooden bridges.

Last stop, Maquinit Hot Spring. A privately owned hot spring surrounded with mangroves. The sun was setting when we arrived and the glow of the sun coming from behind the mangroves is magical. I love how they built the bridge out of mangrove woods. I’ve also spotted a colorful bird who welcomed us here. Palawan is home for different kind of birds.

To end our first day in Coron, we had a dinner at SeaDive Resort where we ate very delicious food, tasted our first lobster, chatted and laughed with new friends. Me and Maiza had to sleep ahead of the others coz we badly needed it to prepare ourselves for our adventure on the next day.

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