The Walks of Kulot


I WOK’d in CORON Part 1.

PART 1 CORON: The Crowning Glory of Palawan

Coron: Philippine’s Last Paradise

When the gods have chosen to shower the Philippines with thousands of islands, most of them must have landed in Palawan. The province is truly blessed with the best islands in the country, not to mention even the best in the world. Every isla, big or small, is a paradise on its own. Coron is no exception with its unparalleled beauty. An island situated at the northern tip of Palawan, Coron keeps up to its promise as the Philippine’s Last Paradise.

In transit: Busuanga to Coron

Our jump-off point was from the Francisco B. Reyes airport in Busuanga. On our way to the town of Coron, we passed by a newly paved road in the middle of grasslands and mountains. From afar, the mountains looked like it was swarmed with miniature broccolis with pom-poms of different hues of green. Suddenly, I became curious with the brown objects scattered on the white concrete road which looked like mud cakes. I couldn’t help but ask our driver what it was, but before he could even reply our van came to a full stop to allow a herd of cattle cross the street. The cows seemed to be taking their time crossing the street but I already knew what the mud cakes were. Too much information to discuss, but according to our driver, the area is used as cattle breeding ground and experimentation site. It took us around 45 minutes to reach the town proper of Coron and I was excited to see more of the island except for another cattle dung on the road.

Coron town marker at the municipal hall.

Exploring the town

Since we arrived past 12 in the afternoon, we decided to explore more of the town by ourselves. We did not have a hard time exploring the town because everything was accessible by walking and large signages were perfectly visible on the streets. The town exuded a rural charm – free from commercial establishments by popular mall empires and fast-food joints. Everything was simple and basic with old houses being transformed into souvenir shops and quaint restaurants selling fresh sea foods and other continental choices. Meals in Coron can be quite expensive, because according to a local vendor most of the commodities and fresh products sold in Coron were being imported from Batangas and Mindoro which makes the price double when sold in town.

Students playing volleyball near the town's sports complex.

We dropped by the Coron Town Plaza near the public market, where the tourism center was located. The building is still currently being developed but when completed it will also serve as Palawan’s tourism hub where local fares from different islands of the province will be showcased. With the installation of its tourism center, it shows that the government of Coron is serious with its effort to promote the island as the next big eco-tourism destination in the country.

Tricycle stand at the Coron Town Plaza near the tourism center. We rode a tricycle here going to Mt. Tapyas.

Hiking Mount Tapyas with Fidel

After asking for directions at the tourism center, we rode a tricycle going at the foot of Mt. Tapyas. I thought we have to climb through muddy soil which will be a great hiking adventure, but I was surprised that a concrete staircase was mounted all throughout to the top of the mountain. Just before I made my first step, a kid with red-colored dyed hair which perfectly complemented his tanned skin asked me to buy a bottle of mineral water.

Sir, tubig po. Baka mauhaw kayo paakyat” (Sir, water? You might get thirsty on your way up.”) the kid offered carrying his styro box filled with bottled waters. “724 hakbang pa po yan paakyat…” (“It will take you 724 steps going up…”) he continued. I bought a bottle afraid that I might get dehydrated during the climb.

The concrete staircase going up Mt. Tapyas.

The first few hundred steps was a brisk without even having a sweat. But as we continued, I already felt my legs wiggle because of my lack of exercise. Then I realized the mineral water boy, whose name by the way is Fidel, was following us on our climb and volunteered to accompany us. He skipped one step from another while carrying his styrobox without any hint of getting tired.

Sanay na po ako.” (“I am used to this.”) he replied when I asked him if he doesn’t get tired since that was his second hike for the day.

The cross on top of Mt. Tapyas.

Having the will power of the kid, we were determined and we knew that we would reach the top, so we took one step at a time and stopped at every 100th marker to rest and enjoy the view for a while. Finally, after the 724th step we reached the top and a gigantic white metal cross welcomed us. The cross nestled on top of Mt. Tapyas was overlooking the whole town of Coron and from above a breath-taking view of the whole town, the sea and the sky was a delight to those who dared climb its steps.  It took us some time to enjoy the view above and going down the mountain was a different story. We had to leave Fidel, who was offering bottled water to those who just arrived and maybe it will be his third time to climb Mt. Tapyas that day.

View from the Mt. Tapyas deck overlooking the sea and the town of Coron.

Therapeutic Maquinit Hot springs

To cap off our Coron town tour, we headed to the Maquinit hot springs which is one of Coron’s unique attractions. It is known to be the only salt water hot spring in the country and is considered therapeutic because of its 40 degrees Celsius water temperature. I am not sure if the word Maquinit was derived from the Tagalog word “Mainit” because the natural pool was really hot, but you’ll get the hang of it afterwards as your sore muscles get relaxed from the warm water. The hot spring is really a must-visit place most especially after hiking Mt. Tapyas.

The Maquinit hot spring pool.

I was lucky to witness this enchanting phenomenon just before sunset near the hot spring overlooking the sea.

To read the continuation of I WOK’D in CORON, please click here.

Part 2 includes the beaches and lakes of Coron.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Astig!

Comment by Danica

Maraming salamat!

Comment by walksofkulot

I loooove Coron! The hike upwards Mt. Tapyas, not so much. Haha. And oh, I love the Twin Lagoon! Did you go there too?

Comment by elaine natividad

Hi Elaine,

Thanks for visiting. Yes, we also went to the Twin Lagoon. Will post another entry about it 🙂

Comment by walksofkulot




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