First of Summer: Coron

The last time I was in Coron was in 2008, over ten years ago. That time, Coron was not that popular. We arrived via a ship that took us first to Bohol then Boracay, with Coron as the culminating destination. My fond memories of that trip included a beautiful set of islands, untouched and absolutely breathtaking.

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Coming back was something I had looked forward to because one, I love the beach and couldn’t wait to be reunited with the sea. And two, Coron was one of the locations at the top of my list of favorite beaches. Pocholo and I had been eyeing it for some time but had never been able to actually book a trip. Luckily, the Perreras family decided that this year’s annual trip would be in Coron–finally, it happened!

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We stayed at Coron for a total of four days–two days were cut short for travel, while two whole days were allotted for island hopping. We stayed at Coron Westown Resort and booked our tours through a well-known tour agency named, Calamian Islands Travel & Tours.

Indeed, Coron was just as captivating as in my memories. Pristine beaches with clear waters, hidden azure blue lagoons, and a myriad of sea life all at your midst. The weather was perfect, too–February brought sunny skies and a cool breeze. I highly recommend traveling at this time of the year, not only because of the weather, but also because it’s not yet peak season. Here are the places we went to.

Our hotel wasn’t on the beach so we had to drive about half an hour to get to the dock where our bangka awaited us.

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  • Twin Lagoons

A mix of salt and fresh water, the twin lagoons opened our morning with crisp blue waters and peeking rays of sunlight. Rocky cliffs enclosed the lagoons with only a tiny opening connecting the two bodies of water, allowing us to swim to and from each one. Serene and really so relaxing, we took our time treading the cold waters and we marvelled at the array of rock formations that surrounded us. Since we came early, we had the place almost all to ourselves! Our guide said that the place usually gets crowded by 10 o’clock in the morning so he purposely took us here first, before the mass influx of tourists–something good to note for those who are planning to go island hopping here in the future.

  • Shipwreck Site

Following a most relaxing start at the lagoons, we headed towards a nearby shipwreck site. The sea lover that I am couldn’t not wait, so the moment the boat driver gave the go signal, I jumped right out of the bangka and started navigating my way through the deeper waters. Though a more detailed tour of the wreckage is possible by diving, we were still able to see the ship remnants even while snorkeling from above. Aside from the wreckage, corals and fish greeted us. We were taken to a farther site afterwards to see more of Coron’s deeper seas that were teeming with sea life. Our guide also tried to teach us basic free diving so that we could get closer to the ship. Sadly, I was not able to do this, but Mica, got pretty deep and almost touched the bow of the ship.

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  • Beach 91

A hearty buffet lunch greeted us as we docked at Beach 91 before noon–think seafood galore and overflowing fresh fruits. Aside form gorging down the food after a tiring morning full of swimming and snorkeling, we also went kayaking here and took some photos at the beach.

  • Kayangan Lake

Our last stop for the first full day of exploring was at Kayangan lake, another freshwater lagoon amidst towering rock formations. Since we got here late afternoon, it was already quite full, so, honestly speaking, I enjoyed the Twin Lagoons more.

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  • Bulog Dos and Malcapuya Islands

For our second full day, we decided we just wanted to chill–what else is the beach for? We hopped on a bangka once more and headed out early to Malcapuya Island. On the way, we stopped by Bulog Dos Island which had a sand bar and a small cliff, both perfect for those mandatory tourist shots (the trip will not be complete without such shots). But the main event for the day was really just to pass the time at Malcapuya Island and enjoy its fine white sand and clear waters. We rented a hut and ate yet another satisfying lunch that included crabs, fish, squid and fruits! We also made sure to fill ourselves with fresh coconut juice–a beach must–and some halo-halo. If only this could be my everyday!

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According to our guide and also others who had already been to Coron, there are still a lot of places to go to. For example, we missed out on Siete Pecados, another site famous for the coral reefs with diverse species of colorful tropical marine life. We also missed out on Banana Island. But I would say that this can be saved for another trip. In my experience, having too many places to go to in one day hinders you from staying long in each site to enjoy the place more. And I don’t think anyone would object to returning to such a stunning destination anyway.

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Before flying out, we were able to explore the main street of the town. It’s lined with quaint local shops and restaurants. We bought local delicacies and local products that had that chic island vibe, like these bags that are made of pandan leaves. We also spotted a cute coffee shop along the way and finally had our much needed coffee fix!

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Four days was just enough for a quick escape from the city, and Pocholo and I will definitely come back to fully immerse in all that Coron has to offer. From the white sand beaches and the scintillating blue waters, to the hidden lagoons where one can find repose, Coron, you are another perfect reason why I love the Philippines.

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