CORON DAY 1
We arrived in Manila NAIA 3 Airport at 10 a.m. as our flight was scheduled at 1320 on 26/10/2012. A day earlier, typhoon Son-Thinh had swept the archipelago causing dozens dead in central islands and far south of the Philippines. But boy, it was very crowded in the airport and later we learned it was a national public holiday in the Philippines in conjunction to Aidil Adha (Eid Adha). Our flight was delayed for 2 hours before we could finally embarked on the plane flying through the cloudy and somber skies all the way to Francisco B. Reyes Airport Busuanga. As we neared the airport, the rain drizzled.
Arrival in Coron
Excitement set in as we approached the airport. As soon as we got our baggage, we became subjects of many agents who offered to bring us to Coron town, some even offered hotel and tours. We settled for the air-conditioned van that charged PHP150/per pax. Rather a standard price from Busuanga to Coron Town Proper.
There is certainly no highway that connects Busuanga and Coron, therefore embrace yourself through 30-minute bumpy rides. We happened to share the van with other travellers who were supposed to take the flight to Busuanga the previous day. We were then told the flight to Busuanga was cancelled on the previous day due to Typhoon Son-Thinh. We heaved a sign of relief that we were lucky enough to reach our destination on the same day, especially so when Coron was a far off destination that had us change our transportation at least 5 times just to reach Coron Town proper. Could you imagine how hard it was for us to travel from Clark Airport to Coron Town Proper?
It’s all green from Busuanga to Coron. Lush green we rarely see in big city like Kuala Lumpur.
Coron Town Proper
Immediately after we reached Coron Town we were on the look-out for cheap accommodation. We tried Coron Backpackers Guesthouse that has the cheapest price in town that is PHP380/night but it was fully booked. As we lugged our heavy back to and fro the main road leading to the market, we were stopped by Mr. Ricardo Lim of Seadive who welcome us to Coron and inquired if we were looking for a place to stay in Coron. If you were to follow me on my Coron travelogues, please remember Mr. Ricardo Lim who has played an important role throughout our stay in Coron.
Usually when someone too friendly approach you in a new destination, caution must be exercised as there is more likely he is a scam who will squeeze you out of your very last penny. But Mr. Ricardo is different. He asked us if we were looking for cheap or medium or expensive room. By now, you must already know what my answer was – cheap! He then brought us to Luis Bay Traveller, near the market area and jetty port for a price we couldn’t resist. It’s PHP500/room. We took two room, so it costed us PHP1,000.00/day.
We foresee we would be having difficulty in getting halal food in this far-off island. Good thing is my attentiveness trait noticed a man in big white shirt and a kopiah manning the Sultan store near Seadive office and few scarf-clad women walking down the street near Luis Bay Traveller. We then approached the man in Sultan store for halal food eateries. We were told we could not find any as the muslims only cook at home and do not eat out. But there is a halal street food which happened to be next to our hotel. Yay-ness to food!
We went to the most famous restaurant in Coron just at the corner at the market street to eat seafood but boy, because of the smell of the food, my stomach could not take it. To waste no time, we then walked to Coron Galeri to book for our tour on the next day. For a whole day tour starting from 8.30am to 4pm with lunch provided, it only costed us PHP650.00 (MYR50). The tour covers Kayangan Lake, Twin Peaks Reef, Hidden Lagoon, CYC Island, Isla Bulungan Beach and Coral Eden.
Before we retired from the day, we treated ourself to a very delicious mango ice-blended that costs around PHP20(MYR1.50) for big size cup and a waffle at the price of PHP5 (MYR0.40). Cheap kan?