Friday, April 6, 2012

Destination: Coron, Palawan (Day 1)

~ a photo travelogue ~

March 28 has finally arrived.  Thanks to CleverBuy and J2 Travel & Tours, we were able to have a great 3D/2N vacation deal at Coron, Palawan for only Php 4,816.66 per person (so it's Php 14,450 for us 3).  It includes airfare, buffet breakfast, Coron Island tour on the second day, and airport transfers.  I was beyond excited as this was my first vacation trip outside the usual spots like Laguna and Batangas.

We're at 11:20 AM AirPhil Express flight to Busuanga, so we met at Terminal 3 around 8AM.  We checked in at 9 then looked for a place to eat inside the airport and tried Rajah Maynila.

The price ranges from Php 60 to Php 100.  Not bad.  They're selling puto, kutsinta, palabok, arroz caldo, dinuguan, pares, and drinks.  I love their puto!  Very creamy.  They have other stores around the metro, so, yeah, will scout for it next time.

It started raining.  Our flight got delayed for two hours due to 'air traffic', and I didn't want that to ruin my mood for Palawan.  Good vibes!

we rode a bus going to our plane

No napping time for me on this 45-minute-to-an-hour flight as I wanted to take shots of the view outside.  And as we're nearing Busuanga, beautiful landscapes and bodies of water were right before my eyes.

The landing wasn't smooth at all.  Oh well.  Touched down around three in the afternoon.

all domestic airports look the same.. :)

As soon as we got off our plane, we went straight inside the arrival area of this tiny airport and we were handed out an info sheet for us to fill up.  It would just take you a minute to fill it up and hand it back.  The restroom was blah.  No water and it stinks.  Thank you, government, for making use of the taxpayers' money.

There are kiosks of travel agencies and resorts right before exiting the airport.  We were welcomed by a staff of Dive Link Resort and ushered us to our van for J2 Travel & Tours.  The chauffeurs have signboards with our names in it, so you won't miss your ride to your destination.  

I assumed the couple who were with us inside the van were guests of the said resort, but they dropped off at a hotel near Harbour Center.

The ride took us around 30 minutes to get to Harbour Center (we actually lost track of the time we spent on the ride).

photo taken at Day 3

Right behind the establishments and this landmark is where the port is situated.  We actually dropped off the port not on the Harbour Center.

We were then approached by Cherry from J2 Travel & Tours and oriented us on the details of the tour.

  • Boat transfers from Dive Link to the port is free of charge until 7PM.  Php 100 per head on boat transfers from 7PM onwards.
  • For our Coron Island tour, we'll be picked up between 8:00-8:30 AM and we'll be snorkeling at Twin Peaks, swim at Twin Lagoons, lunch at Smith Beach, swim at CYC Beach, and be amazed at Kayangan Lake.
  • If there's more time to spare, she can book a tricycle to tour us around the town: climb Mt. Tapyas, get refreshed at Maquinit Hot Springs, buy souvenirs, and dine in local restaurants.  It will only cost Php 350 (per trike) for the ride, plus Php 150 per person on Maquinit.
Cherry from J2 Travel & Tours at the bottom right

While waiting for our boat, I managed to observe the place and saw Coron's Hollywood-style sign.

Dive Link Resort ahead

Mang Lucit, our friendly boatman from Dive Link Resort

Coron signage at the center, Mt. Tapyas on far right (with the cross)

near yet so far

that's where the bar is located
at long last!  'twas a 10-20-minute boat ride :)

top view.  thanks Google Maps.

no longer cloudy at the resort :)

What a great way to welcome their guests!  Orange-mango juice to beat the heat, and necklaces made from shells and capiz were worn on our necks.

By the way, don't forget to bring your vouchers if you purchased your trip from deal sites.

All other expenses in the resort, such as food (except for buffet breakfast that was included on our package), drinks, massage and transfer fees (boat from 7PM onwards) will be paid upon checking out.  Bar opens at 6PM and videoke is at first-come-first-served basis.  The bar is open until you get tired of singing.  No videoke charge, which is a plus, and you can make reservations so that you could have the place for your friends or family.  Electricity runs from 5PM to 9AM.

And if you're going on tour the next day(s), you can borrow fresh towels from the reception but make sure to hand it back to the resort.  So, no need to pack towels on your luggage :)

receiving area right behind the lens; pool area in front.  cottage straight ahead.

receiving area on bottom left.  dock ahead.  pool on the right (not seen on the pic)
4 PM

Now to our room - Dalandan-3.  :)

path to our cottage.  on my left, there's a trek trail going to the summit of this island.  it'll take you 30 minutes depending on your pace.  very steep trek though.

our room key.  drop off your key at the receiving area when you're going on tour or back to the town proper.
our room :)
3 beds, AC, wall fan.  
shower, sink, toilet.  at least you don't have to fight when using the bathroom.

Famished due to flight delay, we went straight to the restaurant and indulged on their dishes.
my 'welcome' necklace

Sinigang na Hipon - Php 350
it has generous number of shrimps! though, everyone's hungry, so we poured some on our separate bowls, that's why it ended up like this.

Fried Chicken - Php 220
so hungry, only these pieces were left for me to take photos.
Mixed Vegetables with Seafood - Php 150

The food was great.  Three to four persons can share on every dish, so it's worth it.  Too bad we weren't able to try their chili crab.

Then we thought of going back to the town to buy water for next day's trip and explore the local market as well.

At the port.  Coron Island ahead.

I wasn't able to take shots of the place since it's drizzling and I don't want my camera to get wet.  But I was able to take a snapshot of their dirty ice cream or sorbetes.  Manila or Cavite's dirty ice cream tastes better.  I think it has something to do with the real 'dirt' LOL.  
sorbetes ala Coron
our rockstar boatman.  way back to Dive Link.

As soon as we got back to our room, took a shower, then went to the bar for an hour and a half of fun and singing while waiting for the family who reserved the place.  Great food, great drinks! :)  I wasn't able to bring the camera with me.  Bummer.

Next post, day 2.  It will be loaded with more photos!


Tourist Guides at J2:
  • Cherry - 0929.795.9819
  • Divine - 0929.595.2921

Tourist Guide for backpacking trip next time (our tricycle driver/guide on our Day 3 trip):
  • Jun - 0929.199.2549


  1. This is the beautiful place. But does it take a huge budget to visit there?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So beautiful, totally totally worth the visit.