On my previous trip to Sagada, our tour guide taught us of a way to measure one’s peace of mind. On the river side, she said that if you are able to successfully pile at least 10 rocks without it falling apart, then it means you’ve achieved peace of mind. But judging from this image alone, it is quite apparent that I am yet to attain that.


Oh how time quickly flies when you’re having such a grand time. I didn’t even realize it but I’ve already been in Coron for four days. I am a bit saddened as I slowly pack my things up for my journey back to Manila, back to my tedious reality.

Let met take this chance to look back on my three-day stay in the island.

Overall, my three day stay is one filled with fun and adventures. Being someone who enjoys the sea more than the mountains, this travel is something that I truly relished. Though I didn’t get the chance to enjoy it with my friends, I nonetheless enjoyed it because I was able to gain new friends.

Coron is a place that I look forward to visiting again. I will miss the tranquility it offered once I am back into the chaotic urban foliage with its cacophonous bedlam that perpetually rings on my ears.

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Feels like summer in July.

Here are the links to my Coron adventures:

Coron Travel Diary: A Turbulent Start
Coron Travel Diary: Coron Island Tour
Coron Travel Diary: Chasing Beaches


Expenses

Below is a summary of my main expenses for the trip:

summary-of-expenses

Normal round trip airfare to Coron ranges from PHP 6,000 to  PHP 9,000. One can book with either Cebu Pacific or SkyJet (Philippine Air Lines). As the Busuanga Airport is relatively small, only propeller planes are used for trips to Coron. I chanced on a promo fare by SkyJet that’s why I was able to book cheaply.

I made my tour package reservations through Red Popsicle Travel & Tours. I was quite lucky because they promptly responded to my queries in spite of the fact that I only made my reservations a week prior to my travel. Normally, the minimum reservation time prior to actual travel is a month. I guess I was lucky or maybe because I am travelling alone.

Red Popsicle gave me five options from which I chose three tour packages, one half-day tour and two whole-day tours. It was also through them that I booked the airport transfer to my accommodation. The agency was the one who made arrangements for my smooth Coron trip. I commend them for their prompt service considering the time frame. If you want to ask quotations for travel arrangements, you can contact them by email at reservations@redpopsicletravel.com.

For my accommodation, I booked it through agoda.com. I browsed through their site for available accommodations. Luckily I was able to find Ricardo Valley Inn which charged me PHP 600 per night. The Inn is rather new and the facilities are fine. Moreover, the staff are warm and accommodating.

However, Ricardo Valley Inn doesn’t serve any meal. I had to go to the town center to eat for my breakfast and dinner. Lunch for the whole-day tours is inclusive of the tour packages already. The inn is located off the highway and most tricycle drivers aren’t quite familiar with it. However, if you want to have more comfort, needless to say that you should be willing to pay a bit more as room rates range from around PHP 800 to as much as PHP 5,000 per night.

All in all, I’ve spent around PHP 12,000 for this trip, which is just a little above my projected budget. Prior to taking this trip, I didn’t read any travel blogs. I think that had I done so, I probably would’ve saved more.

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Take nothing from the place but pictures and memories.

Notes

If you intend to travel during the rainy seasons (June to October), make sure to bring mosquito repellents, or wear long-sleeved clothes. If you forgot, you can buy from the locals. In our tour at Coron Island (Day 2), my fellow travelers were swarmed by mosquitoes. Luckily, I only got a couple of bites.

Be very mindful of curfew of your accommodations, too. I nearly got locked out on my second night because the curfew for the inn is 10 PM and I got home around 12 midnight. Fortunately, I got the staff’s cellphone number that’s why I was able to  call her and have her open the door.

As always, be very mindful of the place and its customs. Though I didn’t get to observe any traditions during my stay, it is still incumbent upon us to respect the locals’ traditions and beliefs.

As always never forget to leave no trace behind.

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Learn to fly, with your wings spread wide. Only then will you will grasp how it feels to be free.

Final Words

As the plane taxis down the airstrip, I can’t help but be overwhelmed as I bid goodbye to such an amazing place. Coron gave me a badly needed vacation away from my quotidian existence. I can’t help but feel sad. However, I am also elated because my three-day stay has rejuvenated my empty manna.

But beyond the rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, the best part of this trip is meeting new people from different walks of life. Yes, at first, they’ll constantly bug me with questions, incredulous to the fact that I am flying solo. But once past this stage, it was as if we’ve always known each other. Reminds me of that old Filipino quality, hospitality. We are hospitable at heart that we practice it even beyond our homes and localities.

I initially thought that I’d feel alone. But that was never the case because from the very first day, He was with me, through that turbulence until the day I returned to Manila. I’ve felt His presence all around me during this trip. Maybe my friend was right when she said that I am blessed. To be able to experience something like this is surreal to say the least. I had a grand time and if I ever get the chance to come back, I will grab that opportunity, without second thoughts!

So, till the next adventure!

~CLB

 

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