a floating bar in Coron Bay
Despite my achy joints and sore muscles from our climb to Mount Tapyas the previous day, we were off to an early start on our second day in Busuanga. We couldn't wait to experience Coron Island. It was a rainy morning and I tell you how tempting it was to just stay in bed, have a massage and vegetate. But we've come a long way, baby...I can vegetate at home.
The monsoon rain continued to pour but soon after we reached the pier, it turned into a misty drizzle. I thought we were early but outriggers were already lined up at Coron harbor, waiting for passengers. Cherry, our guide, told us that we'd be sharing the boat with 7 other passengers. It was a big boat with a capacity of 12. Around 8:30 am, 7 of us were assembled by the steps, waiting for 2 more. Ryan, our boatman, kept calling the missing passengers---we were joking around that perhaps they climbed Mount Tapyas, and were too sore to get up.
our boatman, Ryan, a.k.a. Manny Pacquiao, and his co-captain
By 9 am, Ryan received instructions to leave---apparently, our missing companions decided to skip the Coron Island adventure (too bad for them!).
Before stepping into the boat, I paused and gave a silent salute to Mount Tapyas---and remembered an old friend who once explained to me why people climb mountains (while we were walking uphill in Mount Hibok-hibok, half-buried in mud).
Mount Tapyas from Coron harbor
Coron Island or Calis Island, as the Tagbanuas call it, is a big island across the bay just 20 minutes by outrigger from Coron town. The island is made up of massive, rugged limestone cliffs, coves, lagoons, lakes, white beaches, coral gardens---all pristine and natural. Coron is one of the most visited destinations for wreck diving in the Philippines. Wreck dive sites are found in a depth as shallow as 10-30 feet and as deep as 120-140 feet. Underwater visibility for snorkeling is up to 80 feet.
I took this photo as we approached Coron Island. The rocky cliffs are striking yet unnerving. I wonder how the Tagbanuas survive on this island for centuries. Exploring Coron Island must be a formidable challenge even for top-notch adventurers.
Coron Island is the 3rd largest island in the Calamian group of islands in northern Palawan. The island is part of a larger municipality of the same name and part of the ancestral domain of the Tagbanuas.
Get virtually wet at Watery Wednesday