I booked this flight months before and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity because the ticket only cost me around PHP700. It was through Cebu Pacific during one of their sales – as usual. I asked friends if they wanted to come but September came, and it was still just me. I almost didn’t go, because filing leaves at my previous company was such a pain in the butt. But I already looked for a guest house, booked it on Agoda and paid for it so I thought, I might as well go. Also, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see this wonderful island even if it meant going alone.
I chose to stay in Seahorse Guesthouse because I read about it on one blog, and I saw that it had good reviews on Agoda. It’s also close to the town center, which is always a top priority for me when choosing an accommodation. I want to be able to walk around town, and at the same time, I won’t be too scared to get that far. It has a pretty good location because there are a lot of restaurants around, it’s close to the market and the port. The bed is super sturdy, which I really liked. I had total privacy due to the dark curtains. It has free breakfast, which you take on the roof deck. I loved it, the only con I think is that the internet can be pretty bad, which I heard is pretty normal in Coron. And in every island in the Philippines. If I want to use the hostel Wi-Fi, I need to either go to the reception or the roof deck. I was staying on the 2ndfloor so I would normally just go to the reception because it’s closer.
My flight to Coron was in the morning so I arrived in the island quite early. The Busuanga Airport is around 20km away from the town center, but luckily, there are vans waiting for you outside the airport to get you there. You just need to inform them where you’re staying, and they will lead you to a van that will take you. I think they put all the people staying in hotels located in the same area in the same van. The ride to town was pretty good, lots of trees but the roads still need a lot of work, there were still a lot of dirt roads.
I arrived too early and the guesthouse didn’t allow early check-in, so I decided to have lunch first at this Chinese restaurant around the block. I pretty much wasted the first day because I was so tired from work. I had to work until 5am that morning and I had to do extra shifts so that I can go on this trip. I was planning to do the town tour in the late afternoon, but I didn’t wake up in time. I just really wanted more sleep. I just went out to walk around again and had dinner at this empty café called La Morena Café. It’s a two-story café that looks like an old house. The view from the second floor is pretty nice but I decided to dine on the first floor. When I came down, there was a couple who came inside to eat as well. I had an iced coffee and a bacon sandwich, and the serving was huge. I had to get them to go because I couldn’t finish it. After eating, I went back to the hostel because I had an early tour the next day.
The first tour I booked is called the Island Escapade Tour. I decided to go on this tour first because going to Coron, I really wanted to go to only two places –Malcapuya Island and Black Island. I was worried about the weather for sure, so I booked the tour that I wanted to do the most. On the pamphlet, it says that it includes Malcapuya Island, Banana Island and Bulog Dos Island. We ended up still going to Malcapuya Island, but they replaced the two islands with Coco Beach and Ditaytayan Island. It was raining in the morning, so I was a little bit worried that the tour might not push through but it did. There was actually a typhoon the week before so I’m lucky that the rain was quite tolerable when I came. We left quite late because we were waiting for 2 guests who were super late. Then, we had to change boats and the 2 guests finally arrived. We ended up leaving for the tour at around 10am and that totally screwed up our schedule. Malcapuya Island is about 2 hours from the town proper, so it would’ve been nice if we left on time. But since so much mishaps happened, it was already noon when we got there. It’s too bad because the time we spent on the islands, especially Malcapuya Island was limited. However, it doesn’t take away anything from the beauty of this island. I was mesmerized the moment I saw the beach peeking from the leaves of the palm trees that lined the beach. It was amazing. I think it’s perfect that the boats are parked on the other side of the island. There are grassy areas where you can rest, under the trees. I definitely had a blast taking photos (of me by me LOL). Some joiners went to snorkel somewhere but since I was going on a different tour the next day, I decided to just chill on the beach. I just wanted a relaxing day.
We had lunch at Coco Beach, which is in Bulalacao Island. We were told that Banana Island was closed for lunch that day because it was booked for a private wedding. It is really not so bad. Lunch was great – there was a lot of food, I enjoyed chatting with the members of the tour. There is a clean toilet with water, so I was able to actually wash my hands after eating. There were hammocks around, so I was able to rest after having lunch. It was the best way to spend a few minutes in the afternoon after lunch.
Our last stop was the Ditaytayan Sandbar. The tide was starting to get high when we got there so the boat had to park somewhere quite far, and we had to swim a bit to the sandbar. It was really beautiful actually. The tour guide said that Bulog Dos Island isn’t really that seen anymore due to a typhoon. But I think tourists still go there. It’s just that some tour agencies start to bring their tourists to Ditaytayan. My take on this is, it’s fine but maybe start changing the pamphlets? I really don’t mind it but just be more transparent on the advertising. Going back to the town proper was another 2 hours and we were back by sunset.
Ok, I super love Malcapuya Island, it’s so freaking perfect. I would definitely want to go back and just spend an entire day there. Or maybe I should stay overnight next time – when I have friends with me. I’m so happy I decided to this tour first. I really just wanted to chill on the beach and honestly, even if I didn’t do the island tour the next day, I wouldn’t feel bad at all. I definitely would want to do this tour again next time, I would love to see Malcapuya Island again, and maybe visit Banana Island and Bulog Dos Island for the first time.
On my second night, I decided to hang out and eat at Fika Indulgence Café. This is really close my guesthouse. It’s this really cozy café on the second floor of one building. I had matcha latte and pancakes with bacons and eggs. I love the place, it seems popular cause a lot of people were coming in and out. The matcha drink was good but the pancakes were awful. The WiFi was also a bit intermittent. Overall though, I like the place. It was comfortable and it was a great place to hang out.
I booked the Coron Ultimate Tour for my third day in Coron. The destinations were as follows:
Siete Pecados – I am the most disappointed in this area. It was the first destination and I don’t know if it was because it had been raining, but the water was really unclear, and I can barely see anything when I snorkel. Also, it was so hard to go far cause the current was super strong. I got tired so easily, so I just went back to the boat.
Kayangan Lake – You need to walk through a wooden walkboard to get to the entrance. And this was hard for me because this scares me. I was walking really really slowly, and I was right, somebody almost fell cause one of the wooden planks broke. Once you get to the entrance, you need to climb up the stairs going to the view point where you can take that postcard-like photo. Then you need to go down another set of stairs to the lake. Ok, the water was super clear, and I really enjoyed swimming here. There were too many people though and it’s so unlike what you see on Instagram. I think you need to go here super early to get that IG-worthy photo. It was crazy though because someone took my life vest while in here. Good thing it was after I went swimming at the lake cause the lifeguards are really strict about wearing a life vest when swimming. We were waiting for our turn to take a photo at the view point so I took it off so I can take my photo without it. I think one of the people from this one group before us took one girl’s life vest, and then she took mine. I know how my life vest looks like and I saw her wearing it. I caught up to the group in one of the stores at the entrance and they know they took an extra life vest and they said they gave it to their guide. That is so irresponsible. I had to run after them when I found out it was missing. So please please, be responsible and don’t take other people’s life vests!
Barracuda Lake is right next to Kayangan Lake and it was optional if you bought the Ultimate Tour, you just need to pay I think like PHP200 more. But I sat that one out because I was quite tired from all the swimming so far.
Banol Beach, Skeleton Wreck, Coral Garden – We had lunch here and again, it was an amazing lunch. Coron tours have the best seafood lunch ever! Then we had some time to go snorkeling and I just love it here because you can see a lot of fish even in shallow waters. I enjoyed snorkeling here. I am not 100% sure but they said that all three places are in one area. I didn’t really care cause I’m not into diving anyway. I was happy with the lunch and seeing Nemo.
CYC Beach – I sat this one out, too. Hahaha, this island tour is actually pretty tiring. I did the activities alternately. I stayed on the boat while everyone else did kayaking or swam to the beach to take photos. I was too tired to do any of that, so I chilled on the boat and took photos for other co-joiners.
Twin Lagoons – This is the last stop and I think like Kayangan Lake, this is also so unlike what you see on Instagram. Or you can achieve that photo if you go there super early. Ok, so the water here is so weird. It’s cold on the surface but warm around your legs. We needed to swim a bit to get to the small door that’s separates the two lagoons. This is exactly like that area in Halong Bay, where we had to kayak through a hole to get to a lagoon where we could swim. What I enjoyed so much here is when we did the caterpillar swim. I think it bonded the tour members and it was just a lot of fun.
The places covered in this tour are not too far from the town proper, so it was easy going back. If you really are into snorkeling and diving, then this is the tour for you. It was really tiring for me since I’m more of a just chilling on the beach kind of girl. I forgot where I ate that night. LOL. Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe I went straight to bed because I was effin tired. LOL.
For my last full day in Coron, I was thinking of doing the Calauit Safari Tour just because I wanted to see Black Island. But I heard that it is so far, and the Calauit Safari Tour is not really worth it. Which actually makes sense, the only photos I see of people going on the Calauit Safari Tour are photos with the giraffe. I’m starting to think it’s the only animals you can see there. LOL. Also, you start the tour super early, I think 5am cause the breakfast is included in the tour price, and then you come back at 7pm. I was too tired for that, so I decided to forego that tour.
Seahorse Guesthouse has a sister resort called Sunz En Coron, which is located 1.5 km. Guests can go there and can use the pool. I decided to go on my last day instead of booking another tour. I took a tricycle going there and I think that was the only time I had to commute within the island. I really just wanted to relax by the pool. I sunbathe and cooled off by the pool. I think I actually tanned so much during that few hours by the pool than the past two days by the beach and lakes. They also provide a free towel when you visit. I also had my lunch at the restaurant here. It’s a pretty nice place and the service of the staff is so amazing. The iced coffee was so good, but the carbonara was not good. As usual, I didn’t finish it.
I stayed there until an hour before my town tour. I was planning to DIY this because I can walk to all of the places included but what the heck, it’s not even that expensive so I decided to book a tour for it. This was a little crazy though because they were so late. Apparently, they had to pick up so many people and I guess that took so long. I don’t blame that on the driver at all, I blame that on other guests because it usually happens when other guests aren’t ready, and the driver has to wait for them. The places included in the tour are as follows:
Coron Souvenir Shop – This wasn’t really exciting for me because I don’t really buy souvenirs anymore for my trips. LOL, I am so over it.
Lualhati Park – This is where the boats dock, so I have been here a couple of time as it is my last day in Coron. But I don’t have a photo yet so I asked the driver to take my photo.
St. Agustin Church – The oldest church in Coron, which was built in 1901.
Mt. Tapyas – I honestly didn’t know if I could do this. I already had Salonpas on both legs and here I was, climbing another set of stairs again. But if the two aunties who were on the tour with me could do it, then I could, too. I’m happy I did though because the view is amazing and gosh, I took so many amazing shots during the sunset.
Cashew Factory – We got here like just a few minutes before closing time. It was crazy. I really didn’t buy anything here either. This factory is really famous though and a lot of celebrities and other famous has gone here to check it out.
Maquinit Hotspring – It was a perfect way to end the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed just soaking my body in hot water. I think it was awesome to come here in the evening, as it would have been too hot to come here during the day. View is probably better but soaking in hot water on a windy night is the best experience.
My flight going back to Manila was early the next day. I booked my van to pick me up at 5am, and It was pretty easy. I just booked through the reception and they signed me up. It helps that the reception at the guesthouse is open 24 hours, so I wasn’t anxious about the whole thing. Busuanga Airport is super crazy though. It’s a small airport and it was still close when we got there. I had to sit outside and wait. And that’s totally fine. What’s nuts is that their scanner wasn’t working so they had to open all bags, all pockets, all small bags inside your bag. Luckily, my bag had one zipper and you see everything once you unzip it all through out. I just cringed because this girl beside me had to explain what a tampon was to the male airline employee. It took a while cause the line was super long. Most of the stores were closed, and when one food stall opened, I checked its out and the prices were awfully expensive. It is probably the worst airport I have been to. With all that money from tourism, I think they should use that fund for the roads and airport. Seriously.
Overall, I think I am not totally sold on Coron. The beaches are freaking amazing, every beach has pink sand. But I think it’s still lacking on places to go at night, or maybe I just didn’t get to explore. And yes, definitely, roads and airport need improvement. I don’t mind the weak internet connection because it is nice to be not online all the time. I actually started reading Crazy Rich Asians while on this trip cause I had some offline times. I can’t wait to see El Nido though! Maybe this year.