August 13, 2016

Back to the Most Beautiful Island in the World + Coron Island Tour

Six years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Coron, Palawan. It is now hailed as the most beautiful island in the world. I didn't get to finish my travel blog series that time. I was all for living the moment and experiencing everything (BUT I felt that need to write about it - I just couldn't find the right motivation, inspiration and time). I am like a prisoner of my own travel backlogs. I have travel stories left untold since 2010 :D 

Last week, I received an awesome invitation to visit the island again (!!!).

This is me whenever I plan or receive an invitation to travel: check "personal commitment", check my menstrual calendar (it should be plotted against my period) and tell parents about the plans. 

Unfortunately, my calendar told me that I would have the monthly thing on the date of departure. How hard it is to be a girl? I was hoping I get delayed (but that won't happen because I have healthy eggs! TMI). The first time I went to Coron, I also had the same problem. 

Anyway... it was a rainy weekend but everyone seemed excited to explore Coron, Palawan. 

I am always proud of the Philippines and how rich our underwater life is. I remember meeting a Project Manager from Intel during my coverage of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and he told me that he loves diving in Palawan. It makes me proud each time.  In the deep sea water in  Coron is where I saw the most colorful marine life. I will always remember the experience - it is like watching a cartoon or animated film. It was like watching Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. 

How to Get to Coron: 35 Miunutes via SkyJet Airlines

coron island tour

The Coron Blog + Vlog Squad

It is always good to travel and meet new bloggers (and vloggers). I love our group and we all easily get along. 

Where We Stayed: The Funny Lion

We arrived in Busuanga Airport and was welcomed by the Funny Lion Inn crew. We initially planned of climbing the Mt Tapyas but because of the rainy weather, the group decided to take a dip at the Manquinit Hot Spring after the "heavy snack".

I thought it was okay to just skip this since I have tried this during my first visit. I was worried about my period :D  I just dipped my legs - and it was so relaxing. The water is not too boiling hot - it won't burn your skin - but it sure relaxes your muscle.  I thought it would be awesome to try this and dip in a cold water after. 

Maquinit Hot Spring is one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world. 

A photo posted by R U T H D E L A C R U Z (@ruthilicious) on

The group had an awesome time as if they were re-born again. It is a must visit when in Coron. Entrance is only Php 200. 

Coron Island Tour

Day two of #RuthGoestoCoron started at 6 in the morning. I actually set my alarm at 4:30 am (I am always that early!). Ana and I stayed up until 1 in the morning (I enjoy tita life and chikahan!). 
It is interesting to know how bloggers/friends do things during travel. Ana said that she can prepare in 30 minutes; while I need my time to (1) spend a little more time in bed (2) have coffee in my room [then do my ritual]  (3) have breakfast (4) take a bath (5) wait for second round of ritual Haha - my little secret how I stay thin. The very reason why I always get up earlier. 

But we both agree on one thing, we cannot miss breakfast!

Off to our adventure, we took a 20-minute van ride to the sea port where our private boat was waiting for us. 

Safety first: I love that we have "washroom" in the boat. 
Sir Ric of Expedition is our official tour guide. He ensures that we are always secured and safe during our island tour. He even speaks in English (when talking to Wil Haha) and he has his own witty remarks. Our private tour is complete with van transfers (to and from hotel), first aid kit, snorkeling gears, individual life vest, lunch, refreshments and entrance fees. 

coron island tour expedition

Our crew was excited about the island tour especially that most of them were exploring Coron for the first time. 

coron island tour expedition
Wil Dasovich in action

I was amazed with how hardworking and dedicated Wil was in recording and vlogging. I was always curious at how he did his vlogs. I really enjoy watching his vlogs - nice camera angles, awesome editing + he is very engaging. Funny that I just started watching his videos after I met him in an event. It is cool to be surrounded with talented people. You learn from them. It was awesome to see him in action. He asked why we were not doing a buzz online - and I told him we do our homework after the trip (and here I am working :)). He told me we were the first bloggers that he met and he never expected that I was this crazy :p

Anyway, everyone was excited to explore and catch Pokemon! 

Our first stop: 

Siete Picados

I got my swimming dilemna sorted (thank you Cha for saving me! Haha). So I took the chance to explore the Siete Picados. It is one of the best spots in snorkeling. Based on the legend, 7 sisters went swimming without their mother's consent and they never came back. Later on, seven islets were seen in the area. Stories like this makes traveling much more interesting. 

Anj (wheninmanila) and I found comfort in hugging the lifebuoy. 
The others explored the sea. When we went back to the boat, it started to rain heavily. It was piercing us like arrows. It was my first time to experience thunderstorm in the middle of the open sea. 
We all went quiet for a while - hugging ourselves and just telling each other that it was an awesome adventure. It sure was an adventure!  I  wish I could have taken a video or photo. 

Then I told them, so this is what Magellan exactly felt when he sailed and discovered the Philippines. We just all started laughing at how, even at the darkest sky, we found beauty and light in life. 
I was so happy to have experienced it with such a funny, positive bunch. 

coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition
Paul (the #AppleofMyRightEye) and McPol (new friend! So funny and witty!!) catching Pokemons :D
Thank you for teaching me the rules of the game :D 

Kayangan Lake

coron island tour expedition

Our next stop was the Kayangan Lake. When I first visited the place, I didn't have expectation of it. I never knew there was a need to hike to get to the most beautiful lake I have ever seen in my life. 

During our trip, I knew that I had to stretch my muscles. I was worried about my condition (girls get weak once a month). Luckily, we were with Kuya Ric to guide us. We took it easy and carefully especially that it was raining and the steps were slippery.

coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition
The most photographed area: the entrance to Kayangan Lake

I love that even other tourists care about others. We were all patient and giving way to the small pathway that we need to take. 

It was funny when one of the tourists just randomly asked, "Oh My God, are you Wil Dasovich? I watch your vlogs!" and Wil said:

You are in the vlog!

It was funny, witty and so accommodating of Wil. We just started repeating the dialogues until we reached the beautiful lake - Kayangan Lake. 

I remember back in 2010 when I first saw it - I was surprised to see the paradise waiting for me after the struggling hike.

Photo from my visit in 2010
coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition
Me, 6 years ago. Haha

We walked down the walkway of wooden planks until I found myself trapped in one of them. My left leg slid and one of the wood cracked open. The next thing I know all the camera was pointing at me. I was laughing because I know I didn't feel any broken leg or scratches (well, 2 days later, I found a big bruise in my leg, but it is just a minor. Thank you God). 

I know I just needed to move my leg to a wider space but I felt so immobile. Kuya Ric and Cheena pulled me up and I was back in my feet - 5'10 inches tall! Haha. 
Kuya Ric gave me bottled water - still cold to put on my left leg. I didn't worry much about it because the place is so beautiful. ;) 

coron island tour expedition
with Justin (he is very talented at photography and writing about budget trips), Ana (roomie!!) and Melo (the first official travel blogger haha). You can see Wil still filming and working. :) 

The walkway gets really slippery so please be extra careful. Paul also had his moment - and it was funny because he tried so hard not to fall but McPol's scream made him panic and fall straight to the water. 

We took a dip in the lake and we just love floating like babies. 

We went back to the boat and parked at the secret lagoon - because the beach where we were supposed to have lunch was already crowded. 

The Secret Lagoon

coron island tour expedition
from #RuthGoestoCoron 2010

We loved our secret getaway and the food!
Sir Ric was very hands-on and even served us refreshments. 

coron island tour expedition

Little things that made the trip more comfortable for us - especially for me who is "very girl" that day. My movements were always calculated. I would have wanted to sit on the edge of the boat, let my feet play with water and (maybe) dive in to the clear water. 

I wish I were braver and knew how to swim just like Cheena and Cha. These ladies rock. They can swim in the open sea without life vest! (but at least life vest can cover my fat :D) 

coron island tour expedition
When it was calmer. 

coron island tour expedition
The photographers :D 

The Twin Lagoons 

We didn't waste time and off we sailed to our next stop - the Twin Lagoons. We came in the perfect timing as the other boat was about to leave the place. We however, encountered a jelly fish. 

coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition
coron island tour expedition

I didn't have photos from this stop. I am still waiting for the photos taken by the Bog Squad's GoPro Cameras :D A few years back, I would risk my camera and phone for a good photo, but this time around, I decided to enjoy and live the moment. 

The Twin Lagoon is a must-visit place in Coron, Palawan. The first lagoon is where the boat docks, and the second one is a secret lagoon which you can access by swimming under or climbing a ladder in a rock. 

It was high tide and we couldn't see the crevice. I chose to climb over the rock (just like what I did during my first visit). When I got to the other side, I just floated and enjoyed the view of the sky and rock formation. The temperature of the water is alternating hot and cold where the cold freshwater meets the hot warm water. 

It was so relaxing especially that we were the only group in the lagoon. I just floated and let the water bring me in the middle of the lagoon. 

We stayed in the lagoon for a while and just enjoyed its beauty. 

Just when we thought the island tour was over, our tour guide Sir Ric brought us to the Barangay Lajala to witness how the famous Tagbanua Coffee is made. 

Barangay Lajala: Tagbanua Tribe

Barangay Lajala is the home of Coron's Tagbanua Tribe, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the country. 

coron island tour expedition

Barangay Lajala is a simple community. It started raining when we were walking. I left my dry bag with Wil and we had to run to save our camera. Haha. When we arrived at Nanay Maurit's home, she was so warm at welcoming us. 

She is so funny and cherry - and can even throw banters with Wil 

tagbanua coffee
tagbanua coffee
tagbanua coffee trube
tagbanua coffee trube

The roasting and preparation process took around 30 minutes. It is all hard-work and I really love that the Funny Lion Inn supports Manang Maruit and local businesses. The Tagbanua Coffee yields a dark roast, full bodied coffee. It is also organic :) 

The Barangay Lajala is also the chosen beneficiary of the popular Viner for his project. Look at all those solar powered lights. It was amazing to actually see this. Cha is so passionate and excited about it. :) Watch out for her vlog :)  

tagbanua coffee trube
tagbanua coffee trube
wil dasovich
Trying my hands at making the coffee. Wil being Wil Dasovich!

wil dasovich palawan
with the Coron Blog Squad and Manang Marauit

wil dasovich palawan
Ana and I were more careful now when walking in walkways like this. I sort of developed a trauma. But it is always good to stay safe than sorry :D 

The #RuthGoestoCoron makes me realize how lucky I am to be living in the Philippines. We are rich in all the natural resources and beautiful marine life - most especially hard working and dedicated people. Thank you for making me a part of this. Thank you guys for making this a super fun trip!

Read here for more of my travels and adventures. 

Til the next adventure!

Thank you Ana, Paul and Melo for the photos.

** #RuthGoestoCoron 2016 Adventure is sponsored by Sky Jet Airlines and The Funny Lion Hotel. 
Special thanks to Out of Town Blog.
For more photos, check out #flyskyjet #skyjetcoron #thefunnylion 

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