It’s been almost a month since my short holiday in the Philippines, and our visit to Coron, Palawan seems like it was just yesterday. My sun-burnt skin has started peeling though- much to my dismay, because it means that it will be back to a paler, winter tone for me. But anyway, the trip was amazing, and I would love to go back! I’ve heard about Coron a lot already from my friends and family, and they did not exaggerate one bit. The waters were beautiful- so very clear, with emerald green and cerulean blue hues.
Snorkeling was an adventure. We visited two lagoons on our first day, and the waters were so clear, they reflected the mountains and the trees around it. Kind of like the Milford Sound here in New Zealand, but only, you could swim in it! I’ve never experienced swimming in a lagoon that was 50 meters deep! That was in the Twin Lagoons, the most adventurous part I believe, of our island hopping. The boat or bangka just stops in the middle of the first lagoon. To get to the second lagoon, you have to swim across the first one and either climb up a ladder over a small, rocky hill, or swim under a limestone crevice. When we were there, the tides were high, so expert tour guides will have to guide you as you dive under the tiny cave, if you dared. I chickened out and opted to climb the steep, slippery ladder and actually slipped all the way down! I got to try passing the under the crevice though on the way back to the first lagoon because the tide lowered a little, and there was space for us to kind of float our way out. We had to lie really still and float on our backs because the rocks were really sharp and they were just a few centimeters from my face that if I decided to even lift my head just a bit, I’d get scratched… Very exciting!
The only casualty was that I was careless enough to drop my snorkeling gear in the second lagoon… even after the tour guide instructed us twice to be careful with our things because nothing floats and objects sink really, really fast! Yup, I saw that first hand. Goodbye snorkeling gear.
We noticed that it was harder to swim around fresh water because it seemed like you had to exert extra effort just to get from point A to point B. We swam back to the first lagoon to get to our bangka and I actually felt like it took forever for me to get back! But we did, and all was well. Good thing we had a lot to eat during lunch time. Our tour guides brought us to another part of the island for lunch. Eating at the beach is something I’ve always enjoyed. After a whole morning of snorkeling and paddling, it’s really lovely to have a stop over at a different island where the tour guides had our lunch set up. They never ran out of sweet mangoes, which is always a good thing! And of course, after eating, if the sun’s too hot, you can easily jump in the cool waters and have a splash!
Overall, I’ve got enough beach, heat and sunshine within the 3 nights and 4 days that we were there. Corals were everywhere and the fishes were really bold- they’re not afraid to swim up to you and say hello! Getting to see a real shipwreck of a Japanese World War II ship was really cool too. Lots of fish and coral have taken residence in the remnants of history, and while we were trying to get a closer look at the wreckage, I could honestly feel them nipping curiously at my feet.
If you fancy the tropical weather and would love to take an oceanic adventure, Coron is the place to be! Meanwhile, I’m back here in chilly Auckland, as we are just in the middle of winter, and as I’m typing here from my room and looking back over photos of the beautiful island of Coron, I try my best to remember the intense heat, the beautiful and overwhelming depths of ocean, and the feel of the breeze as we rode the bangka. I’m so glad I was able to make this trip!