Awesome Coron and Busuanga! – Part II

20 02 2010

Days 2 and 3: Island Hopping and Banana Island Overnight

Island hopping is one real thrilling and unforgettable experience in Busuanga.  But you must really be a little daring and adventuresome especially when you go from late December to January, when the waters get rougher and the wind blows stronger.  The roof of our outrigger boat had to be rolled to make our sailing easier (and get a tan faster for that matter).  At times, the wind and water conditions can even go that worse as what we experienced on the 23rd of December as we sailed back to Coron’s town proper after an overnight stay in Banana Island.  Although a wave alert is available at DIYCoron site (owned by Owen, our tour service provider), you must be prepared to any change in conditions during the amihan (the season dominated by the trade winds) period.                                      

What a big disappointment co’z  we didn’t get a chance to stop by and snorkel in Siete Pecados, a marine sanctuary.  It was still low tide when we passed by on Day 2 so the boat couldn’t come nearer or it would destroy the corals.  On Day 3, the water was not calm enough to deal with. 

So our first stop was in Kayangan Lake, dubbed as the cleanest lake in the country for several consecutive years.   The view as we approached the bay was already amazingly beautiful.

Everyone was excited to see what lies above.  It was another challenging but more exciting 15-minute climb through the rocks to get to the spot to capture the famous postcard view. 

Then we had to manage another steep descent to reach the blue lagoon.  Only about three small groups were in there and one was about to leave so by the time we took our plunge, only a few were left.  After a short while, the lagoon was all ours (an advantage when you go during non-peak season).  It was paradise-like,  surrounded by limestone cliffs with the blue water calm and clear. 

Breathtaking scenery! I wish I knew how to really swim (thanks to my life vest that I can snorkel around).  Just a little below the water surface, near the rocks we saw some tiny friendly fish (visitors don’t seem to bother them at all).  No signs of big fish in the area.  We didn’t notice the passing of time co’z the whole experience was awesome.  I think it was almost 1 p.m. when we decided to leave and have our lunch back down in one of the picnic huts fronting the dock area.

We skipped Barracuda Lake.  According to the boatman, the climb to get to the lake could be treacherous – jagged limestone cliffs.  Sigh!

Twin Lagoons came next.  Our boat anchored on the first lagoon where the water is warm and blue. We snorkeled our way to the next lagoon thru a small edged opening underneath a hanging jagged limestone cliff, which was visible at that time co’z it was low tide, otherwise, we would need to climb up the makeshift ladder and dive. 

I was not too comfortable in the second lagoon which has colder water and is surrounded by grayish cliffs.  Water visibility and temperature are distorted due to what the divers term as thermocline.  At one part, the water was warm and suddenly in one part cold.   All these make for an unforgettable adventure.

Off to our next stop, Banol Beach, a popular stop-over for lunch.  Here we were welcomed by a small shoreline surrounded with limestone cliffs.  This powdery-white sand beach is literally small but fortunate we were that there was only one small group of visitors that time.  The sand is white.  The water is turquoise and pristine – a good spot for snorkeling and also kayaking.  A perfect place to get a good nap under the open huts with the sounds of the wilds and waves, but we couldn’t afford.  The water was more inviting for a swim even when the sun is still up.  We wanted to stay longer but there were other spots to see…

Then to the Skeleton Wreck… The skeleton of the bow (forward part of the boat or ship) was an eerie sight.  I and my sis-in-law felt the same way.  It was unexplainable.  But, we still managed to take a longer look.  It was a rare opportunity, anyway…  So the boat which was about 25 meters long was beached 12 meters from the shores of Coron Island.  This allows the snorkelers to see a good view of the wreck. Another unforgettable exploration of the island….

Our final destination for the day, the Banana Island, for an overnight stay… We had to leave early as the water got rougher.   Estimated travel time was an hour and a half.  By the time we reached the island, it was almost sunset. The water was cold as we disembark.  Two dogs – a black and a white – and the owner welcomed us.  We stayed in the beach for about an hour to enjoy the view, bury our feet under the sand and watch the sunset. 

When the wind was getting stronger and colder to the skin, we decided to leave the beach and proceed to our rented thatch-roofed cabana.  We were told that electricity here is sourced both from generator and solar lights.  

The water was a little calmer that morning as compared with last night’s.  Everyone had a hard time falling asleep co’z of the sounds of the strong waves – our cottage was just about 20 meters away from the shoreline.   

After breakfast, we decided to explore the whole stretch of the island. Between the sandbar and shore of the island, a few corals and colorful clams embedded in a coral can be found sitting in the above-ankle-deep water.  At first, we thought the clams were corals until our boatman, who followed us, told that they were clams.  We stood there dumbfounded.  Stunning! 

A little farther, our boatman showed us a small dwelling of three clown anemonefish (a.k.a. clown fish), then one surprisingly came out. 

We headed to Bulog Dos Island after lunch.  Just a few minutes away from Banana Island, the shoreline is even smaller than Banol’s.  The sand is also powdery-white.  This is a good place to snorkel.   

We didn’t notice that we had gone quite farther exploring the water – lots of fish – big and small – and sea urchins.   The boatman who guided me on my swim back to our boat even showed me a giant squid.  Our snorkeling didn’t last that long co’z there were still a number of islands, in our itinerary, to see.

Malcapuya Island was next.  “Puya” is Cuyonon for “girl,” so Malcapuya literally translates into “You’re bad, girl.”.  This is said to be the Boracay of Palawan.  We took the back side to dock our boat and then walk up the hill past some coconut trees and huts to go to the beach.   The main strip is the widest among the island beaches, a half-kilometer stretch of white-powdery sand.  

From the view cliff on one side, you can see another magnificent view of the water and the other islands.   How I wished we had enough time to swim in the crystal-blue water. It was such a brief encounter!  I’ll definitely return to this place…

The waves were getting bigger as we sailed farther toward Coron’s town proper.  We were hoping to see Siete Pecados and CYC but it was no longer a good idea.  Our return cruise was at its most challenging situation.  The wind was whipping harder, the water was rougher.  The young boatman was really good to be able to maneuver the boat.   Each tried to put on a brave face that time.   We were all dripping wet.  We failed to take our snack.  But we didn’t mind anymore.   All we wanted was to safely reach our destination the soonest.   We never had the chance to see Siete Pecados and CYC Island but we were grateful for another beautiful sight – the sunset

… and the safe arrival.   It took us more than 3 hours.   

Hasta la vista, Coron and Busuanga!

Awesome Coron and Busuanga! – Part I

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11 responses

8 10 2010
a cup of tea and a story

It’s awesome! Plan for it now and see it soon… really worth it!

8 10 2010
wandering lass

This post just made me want to visit Coron asap 🙂

6 03 2010
a cup of tea and a story

It’s good to plan ahead so you would enjoy more without the hassles…

6 03 2010
chyng

will surely do a lot of researching when our coron trip is near. kaso layo pa. super layo pa. Ü

23 02 2010
a cup of tea and a story

Thanks, Malen. Actually, you’ll see better photos in other sites but the ones posted here were raw, unedited shots taken using an SLR camera (by a newbie) and a digicam.

You’re right… Coron and Busuanga photos have that certain power! Hahaha…

I wanna hear your version after your visit. Wink, wink…

23 02 2010
malen

great photos! you nailed me there! to coron for summer!

22 02 2010
a cup of tea and a story

You know what? I downloaded a trial software that converts 50% of your video file. Luckily, the portion I needed was part of the first 50%, hehehe. I think, the still shot I got was good enough, agree? Hehehe…

22 02 2010
Vic

Great that you posted a pic of the skeleton wreck…That was an eerie experience I agree. But an unforgettable one though.

21 02 2010
a cup of tea and a story

Yep, I really want to go back to these awesome places. We still have a lot of spots to explore. Just can’t get enough yet….

20 02 2010
Vic

A truly exhilarating experience this was. I love Palawan. I’ve been to El Nido and you cannot compare the two because both of them are unique on their own. Each stopover, each experience is incomparable. I wish I could explore more islands in the Philippines. Palawan is indeed nature’s treasure. Can’t wait to go back.

20 02 2010
Awesome Coron and Busuanga! « A cup of tea and a story

[…] Awesome Coron and Busuanga! – Days 2 and 3: Island Hopping and Banana Island Overnight Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)£14 to fly to ParadiseCoron […]

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