Through photographs, stories, and unfiltered Instagram posts are where I used to get quite envious glimpses of how marvelous Coron in Palawan is. From the majestic bodies of water to vast forests and grasslands, I was really fascinated by the place even just by staring at them in some of my friends’ ad acquaintances’ pictures, especially those who have been there and experienced them first-hand. Luckily, I believe that it was already my time that I came upon the chance to have my schedule freed, resources checked, that I have managed to immediately plan a visit to the place I used to dream of traveling to.
Being it my first time to explore Coron, I was glad to be with one of my travel buddies @krisbst08 together with the three winners of our Coron, Palawan travel giveaway in Instagram – @Jampong_mga_daliri , @HyperYozo , and @RamuelMercuriojr (Check out their Instagram accounts!). The photos I used to stare at in Instagram and the stories which I only hear from people finally became a reality, that which I could already experience and witness. During that time, I was more grateful not only because I’m a blogger based in the Philippines, but also because I’m a Filipino citizen, myself.
Staying in the Funny Lion Resort (@thefunnylion) felt like we were home away from home. Only 30 minutes away from Busuanga Airport, the resort’s cozy amenities will surely destress you with their clear swimming pool where you can have a view of virgin mangroves and kayak trails. One of their fascinating facilities are the Hunt Restaurant, a dining lounge which is decorated with antique furniture and hardwood, and the Pride Rock Deck which provides guests with an extraordinary dining experience, one wherein they can eat, chill, and adore the sun as it slowly turns into a darker shade or marvel the rising sun. Both sunrise or sunset, the Funny Lion Resort provides a conducive environment for both tourists and locals. As for the accommodations, the Funny Lion Resort offers three different kinds of rooms, namely, the Cub Room, King Room, and Pride Room. The minimalist design of the rooms offers guests with a relaxing and unwinding atmosphere after a tiring day of activities and exploration. With the contemporary design and embellishments of the resort, we had a wonderful experience after tiring yet enjoying days of touring around Coron. You can check out their website at www.thefunnylion.com and visit them in Sitio Jolo, Poblacion V, Coron, Palawan.
First on our list of itineraries was the Kayangan Lake. We made sure to go there as early as possible for us to take photos without much people on the background. Also, visiting the Kayangan Lake early will give you a sense of intimacy and connection with the surroundings. You can also visit the lake when you want to meditate or do soul-searching as it provides a tranquil ambiance and clear water. A lake on top of a mountain surrounded by lush trees, the Kayangan Lake photos you might be seeing online might not do justice in depicting the lake’s beauty and wonder. The best tip here is to go there EARLY for you to experience it without much distractions wherein you can best appreciate the view, environment, and the over-all vibe of the place.
The island hopping tour was our next activity which cost us 2100 pesos. What was nice and convenient was we were on a private boat that we could easily tell the one operating the boat where exactly we wanted to go. Included in that trip is our venture in Kayangan Lake where we went early to avoid the crowd. Next off was the Twin Lagoon where the water was clear and calm; it is a combination of 70% fresh water and 30% salt water. The Banol Beach experience was only short, but you could have a sumptuous seafood meal there. Among other part of the itineraries were the Coral Garden and Twin Peaks. Island hopping is a great way not just to tour Coron, Palawan itself, but also to get to know people. As a Filipino based near the metro, it is only rare that I get to mingle with the people from other islands. Try to get to engage with the locals and you will learn a lot from them.
The most fun activity for me was when we went to the Calauit Safari Park which cost us 2200 pesos. Located in the Busuanga Island in Palawan, the Calauit Safari Park is known as the little African Safari in the Philippines. My photoshoot with the adorable giraffes was the highlight of my experience there as I tried to mingle with them, and as usual, post my photos with them on my Instagram account. But aside from the beauty of the safari and the island, one issue to ponder on is the continued “trophy hunting” around the globe which directly affects the wildlife population. In the Philippines, RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) clearly prohibits the collection and hunting of threatened wildlife. Seeing the animals in the safari, I realized that sooner or later, if trophy hunting continues to be done especially by influential people that can evade the law and/or easily pay fines, these animals will soon face endangerment and eventually, extinction. More than appreciating the animals and the whole safari, it’s also necessary to be aware of what’s happening to them.
Capping off this blog post, I have realized that the Philippines has treasures just waiting to be discovered, explored, and introduced to the world.
Coming from a tourist’s perspective, I believe that Coron in Palawan is one of the country’s most precious gems that we do not have to travel so far to get sight of paradise; it is only here in our home land. Also, visiting the safari made me realize about the depleting population of wild animals due to “trophy hunting.” More than the Instagram-worthy photos, we should still be responsible and conscious tourists.