18 Apr2007

bangka1

I really enjoyed my trip to Coron and the surrounding islands. Several readers have emailed me privately asking how I got there, where I stayed and how I got around. So I have decided to do two posts on my local transportation and my accommodations. The bangka3four day trip wouldn’t have been as enjoyable, productive and safe without my local bangkero, Mang Fred and his crew. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I went to Coron with a local who grew up in Culion, but now resides in Manila. That was the first intelligent move…when visiting an unknown place, have some local intelligence. The next step was to locate a reliable bangka to ferry us around and Mang Fred(o) Credo was our man… I wanted a relatively large bangka as I am NOT fond of boats and I wanted someone who was extremely familiar with the tourist sites in the neighboring islands as well as someone who could do the crossing to Culion Island practically blindfolded. Mang Fred lives in Culion but takes on clients from Coron town when he is hired for one or more days…

bangka4

Mang Fred’s bangka is a relatively large private bangka. It apparently can seat up to 12-14 persons so they were a bit surprised that there were only two of us traveling…but the extra space was just fine with me. I would say a group of up to 6-8 tourists would find this bangka rather comfortable. The boatmen knew all of the usual tourist spots, beaches, etc. bangka2and really gave us a nice tour on our first day out. We hired the bangka for two days and they were at our beck and call, ready to set out to sea when we wanted… like at the crack of dawn on our second day where we headed through the scenic route to Culion Island. I think we got a bit of special treatment since I was with a local, so the boat came with a friendly crew of 3 more men, though I think the usual complement is just 3 boatmen total. I was also amused to note that they cooked their meals on board in a crude stove, here seen with some fish being grilled. They also had a little “bathroom” area where you could take a “private” leak or dump into the sea… I must say that I felt very confident in their hands…though the seas were unusually calm and I might have been a bit less happy if the swells got any larger… If you are headed to Coron and need a bangkero, contact Mang Fred Credo at 0909.9832019 and 0912.7783907 and tell him that Marketman sent you. Prices vary depending on how far you are going to go in a given day but expect to pay about PHP3,000+ for a day, less if you book him for several days in a row. Some hotels in Coron say they can get a bangka for less, but make sure you trust the source, and ask them how large the bangka is and if you will have private use of it. I was very happy with Mang Fred (with cap in photo above), and frankly, I hope he gets some other clients as a result of this post…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Maria Clara says:

    Your tips and pointers on how to have pleasant days in Coron are wealth of information. You are indeed right locals are the best source and doing a little homework about your vacation destination really pays off. Thanks for featuring your able and trusted bangkero Mang Fred who knows the islands in and out. Your first picture at the very top took my breath away very pristine with calm, blue water and white sand.

    Apr 18, 2007 | 4:09 am

     
  2. purplegirl says:

    i know Mang Fred! we always use him (as do my cousin’s family). he’s the best.

    Apr 18, 2007 | 5:10 am

     
  3. ros says:

    very informative an interesting. always had d desire to visit palawan

    Apr 19, 2007 | 11:41 pm

     
  4. gene says:

    Hi, we are going to Coron in September and I have several questions regarding traveling from Coron to Culion. Is it okay if I ask for your email that I may email you my questions? I am hoping for your favorable response. Salamat.

    Jul 8, 2008 | 12:26 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    gene, there are over a dozen posts on this blog about coron/culion. With contact numbers for bangkeros, hotels, etc. that should help you along. and my address is posted on the contact page.

    Jul 8, 2008 | 12:54 pm

     
 

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