Tuesday July 17, 2018

The long way to Coron, Palawan

CORON! Finally, the Palawan destination will be ticked off the bucket list. I have my best friend to thank for making this happen. He was coming home to visit and he wanted to kick off his vacation with a trip to the islands before heading to Davao.

Our trip to Coron came before the airlines announced the direct flights from Cebu. Thus, we took the longer route, Davao to Busuanga via Manila. Connecting flights with long layovers can be such a waste of time and taxing. It takes away time from enjoying the destination, too. However, when you're traveling with a group of "Palawan virgins" (read: first timers), the excitement trumps the long and tiring travel time. Can you imagine how boisterous the chitchat can be?

We all met up in the Manila airport, Tenny flying in from the US and the rest of the group coming Davao. The pre-announced delay of the flight gave us time to catch up with Manila-based friends over breakfast. Nothing happens by chance. It was good to see the group together after a long time.

Not everyone is a fan of turbo prop planes. It's always best to be seated next to someone engaging. A good chat can take one's thoughts from the size and engine of the aircraft. Just don't let the anxious one take a window seat by the wing.

No panic attacks and we landed mid-afternoon at the Francisco B. Reyes Airport, formerly Busuanga Airport, one of the gateways to Coron. The other is via a ferry from El Nido, which takes about three and half hours.

In Coron, we decided to stay a night at the Two Seasons Hotel to explore the town before heading off to the hotel's island resort.

The shuttle ride to the hotel passed through the main town and it was quite surprising how busy it was. Tourism seems to drive its economy. And high tourist arrival meant there were accommodations at every corner for the thrifty and extravagant travelers.

As for the food, to dine at the most popular joint meant breaking the bank. There are other options in the area.

We opted to dine in the hotel and visit one of the most popular spots in town, the Maquinit Hot Spring, about 30 minutes from the center of town. The place charges P150 entrance fee for adults.

The hot dip was just perfect on a cold night. It washed off fatigue from the long flight. It made the ideal prelude to a good night's rest.

Exploring more of the town will have to wait on the last day. We decided to return early from the island resort and tour the city at daylight. In the meantime, it was time to rest. The next day will be adventure-filled.

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