28 Mar2007

coron1

I’ll admit it up front. I am not the “backpacker” kind of traveler. I never backpacked through parts of the Philippines, Asia or Europe, and while I am certain I could have managed it if the opportunity presented itself, it never did. My parents didn’t bring us on coron2too many trips as kids and we were lucky if we got one trip a year to the province, usually Cebu and/or Bohol. Later on in life, I worked as a management consultant and I basically traveled constantly, wracking up well over a million air miles on the finest airlines and literally thousands of hotel room nights, all on company expense accounts. So I am used to hotel creature comforts, period. But when an opportunity arose to visit Busuanga, Coron and nearby Culion Island, all in Northern Palawan, I decided I was going to do this adventure even if it meant having to “rough it,” – and again, I will admit that is a highly relative phrase. In the 10-15 posts ahead, I will cover an incredible array of posts from this three day adventure that started on Sunday and ended this morning…

Up ahead are posts that cover the natural beauty of the islands around Coron, coron3accommodations we used, markets, seafood, history of Culion and the Leper Colony, ingredients plentiful in the area, etc. It was a terrific trip and the posts will hopefully reflect it. Not exactly backpacking, but close, in my opinion. It was a wonderful adventure and I am even more resolved to see more of this fantastic country and document the sights, ingredients, tastes, markets it has to offer. And for those of you who have no plans for the summer yet, be sure to read the upcoming posts, if only to give you some nice options! The trip started off with an early morning trip aboard Seair’s small 19-seater, but confidence inspiring Dornier aircraft. At PHP7,000+ per ticket, it was the costliest part of the adventure. But I wasn’t too keen on getting on an Asian Spirit flight (I heard Russian built aircraft) that cost 25% less, until I got to the airport and realized their planes looked pretty good as well, especially the new 50-seater turboprops flying to Coron/Busuanga. The flight was on-time, smooth and just under an hour until you spotted spectacular islands off shore from Busuanga that included Club Paradise and other stunning dots of rock and white sand from the windows of the small aircraft. A panoramic view of YKR (the Yulo Ranch, some say the largest cattle ranch in SEAsia, but since sequestered by coron4the government, though its ownership is still being challenged) with vast grasslands between two low mountain ranges and a swift landing on a partially dirt runway within the cattle ranch and my adventure was to begin in earnest… FYI, other ways to Coron include a Superferry once a week, Negros Navigation ship once a week and smaller wooden craft…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. tulip says:

    Welcome back! I wonder if you also had some marine adventures..diving, fishing, snorkeling? Or a quick visit to the wildlife reserve? I’m sure I will miss the group of islands more as you progress with your posts.

    Mar 28, 2007 | 4:05 pm

     
  2. dee says:

    Wow, 15 posts coming up! Must be one hell of an adventure :) LLoking forward.

    Mar 28, 2007 | 4:43 pm

     
  3. wysgal says:

    I love traveling in the Philippines! I bemoan the lack of proper tourist/travel information in the country, but you still get a lot of bang for your buck (although with the proliferation of budget airlines it’s getting cheaper to travel to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore than Palawan and Boracay). I’m trying to line up a bunch of local trips for myself this summer … just a bunch of quick weekend getaways that still give me time to live my city life and handle everyday affairs. Looking forward to reading about your trips! =)

    Mar 28, 2007 | 5:18 pm

     
  4. DADD-F says:

    Wow! Reading your essay waxes fond memories of all three areas. They are really beautiful and the experience they afford is indeed an adventure. And the trip itself–going and coming from this side of Palawan–is really quite exciting. I imagine that these days they offer more conveniences and a much safer trip. Hahaha…

    Of course, I hardly went anywhere that is not borne through “company expense”. Like you MM, I was able to go places because of my job. Though unlike you, hotel comforts are more of a nice bonus; most of the time, I really do “rough it up”.

    Can’t wait for the related posts!

    Mar 28, 2007 | 5:33 pm

     
  5. ykmd says:

    Can’t wait to travel (and eat siempre) vicariously through your upcoming posts…

    Mar 29, 2007 | 3:23 am

     
  6. peanut says:

    This is good timing for us as my daughter and her boyfriend will be visiting the Phils this year and we will be coming home for some vacation time next year.Thanks for the info

    Mar 29, 2007 | 8:53 am

     
  7. Myra P. says:

    Hi MM, thought you and your readers ( wysgal, peanut, dadd-F, etc) would be interested to know that Seair has an Adventure Pass that lets allows UNLIMITED TRAVEL within a 45 day period for only Php18,500 plus VAT… There are limitations for this ticket (you can only reserve your first two legs and the rest is based on seat availability, confirmed on the day itself), but if you are young at heart, flexible and ready for spontaneaous travel (guess thats why it’s called an Adventure Pass), it’s a great deal for this coming summer. Or any other time of the year for that matter… Not recommended for business travelers for obvious reasons, but for anyone else who can keep a bag ready for a spontaneous trip alone or with like minded people, why not?

    If you can get three flights out of the Pass, you’re already way ahead. And since the airline has the most flights to second tier destinations we all love (the whole of palawan, siargao, camiguin, fastest flight to boracay, tawi tawi, lol…), it’s worth the trouble if you want to really make an effort to see the philippines beyond Manila and Cebu. Call +632-849-0100 to talk to an agent, and visit http://www.flyseair.com to check out their routes. Hope this helps all you travelers out there and inspires more to visit the Philippines and see for themsleves how beautiful our country really is despite all the ugliness in our politics!

    ps. I know i sound like an agent with this post, haha, but I’ve been flying Seair for years and I’m a loyal customer :D Mabuhay!

    Mar 30, 2007 | 1:38 am

     
  8. Daisy says:

    Hi MM,

    I am a backpacker at heart through and through and I am always used to shoe string budgets. I really love to travel and read stories from travelers and food lovers like yourself. I am also lucky enough that my own job as environmental conservationist also gave me numerous international trips at company expense. It feels like I am not working when I am traveling :O) I feel so blessed as well. Hopefully I will be able to blog about them. Thanks for inspiring us to continue on visiting our own country. :) I hope this will also inspire others to protect our environment and preserve it for our children. :)we are looking forward to those future post!

    Mar 30, 2007 | 9:58 am

     
  9. Crissy says:

    I love Coron :D It’s the hometown of my maternal grandmother. Did you guys get to go to the Hot Springs?

    Mar 31, 2007 | 10:21 am

     
  10. Jen Ang says:

    Hi! My friends and i will be going to coron end of the month. where did you stay there? any tips on places to see? We’re thinking of staying in sea dive resort or kokosnuss. any comment on both? Thanks so much!

    Oct 3, 2007 | 9:14 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Jen Ang, I have nearly a dozen or more posts of my trip to Coron, including the hotel we stayed in. To view all posts, just go to the archives for March 2007 and April 2007 and keep scrolling down until you have seen them all… have a good trip! I wouldn’t stay at kokosnuss based on what I saw…

    Oct 3, 2007 | 9:27 pm

     
 

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