Coron – Island Paradise-A A +A
Friday, July 6, 2012
THE Rural Bank of Itogon (RBI), Baguio Branch staff, had their annual outing in CORON - a wedge-shaped limestone island located in northern PALAWAN which has the most scenic part of the province. It is a small coastal town belonging to islands endowed with clean white beaches, clear blue waters, beautiful coves, towering limestone cliffs and enchanting lakes and a host to a number of high-end resorts. This island is unparalleled in its landscape and its sharp vertical cliffs are breeding grounds for local birds, whose prized nests are harvested for Nido soup. CORON has seven lakes, famous of which is the nationally-acclaimed cleanest lake in the Philippines, the KAYANGAN Lake.
Our plane landed on Francisco Reyes Airport in BUSUANGA, an hour’s ride away by coach to CORON. It was late afternoon when we arrived so we went to MAQUINIT HOT SPRINGS to relax our tired bodies from the long travel.
After breakfast, the group went to KAYANGAN and BARRACUDA LAKES, two enchanting serene lakes nestled up among the cliffs. This site is one of the declared ancestral domains of the indigenous Tagbanua people. To get to the lake, the strong at heart climbed about 150 uneven steps carved out of the mountain at an almost vertical angle. We were rewarded with the awesome sight of two lakes, considered the cleanest in the Philippines! We immediately put on our snorkeling equipment and dived to the more than 100-feet deep clear blue waters.
We lunched on crabs, seaweeds, adobo, pancit, mangoes and oranges at ATWAYAN BEACH which is picturesque with its flower trees set against the rocky island. It has sugary fine white sand in its beach line.
More snorkeling was done at the CORAL GARDEN where corals and tropical fishes of rainbow hues, odd shapes, and sizes were seen (I should buy an under-water camera). Another exciting place was swimming at the TWIN LAGOON, so named because at low tide, one could go across through a small rock opening to reach a similar lagoon on the other side. This time, we floated on our backs to view the towering cliffs surrounding the lake. Going back to MAQUINIT HOT SPRINGS to cap our day was hailed as an excellent idea!
Our 30-minute trek from the town proper to MT. TAPYAS started at 5 AM. It provides a breathtaking view of CORON ISLAND, the residential areas, the commercial buildings and the road to BUSUANGA. A stairway of 723 steps lead to the spacious view deck with a giant cross on top.
On our trip back to Manila, everyone reminisced at what great adventures and thrills we’ve had like no other!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 07, 2012.