Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #48: Captivating Coron – Touring the Town Part 2

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

A ray of sunbeam was tugging at my closed eyelids and I smiled in my half-asleep state. Finally! The gods smiled on us on our last day. We will get to do what we missed on our first day in Coron - completing our town tour.

More than A-OK! :D

With a bellyful of yakisoba for breakfast, we clambered on Kuya Eric's tricycle and made our way up to the view deck of Mt. Tapyas. The LGU of Coron constructed concrete steps up this elevated area of Coron which according to travelogues, will give us great views of the Calamianes peninsula on a clear day.

We were dropped off at the foot of this view deck and craned our necks to see the winding cemented stairs. Okay. I didn't realize we'd have a hiking challenge here in Coron but it just seemed fit for us. :)

We seem to be the first ones to visit today so a kid carrying a styro box of drinks started climbing with us. I told the kid to just wait for us when we get back so he won't have to tire himself out. I could only admire the perseverance and entrepreneurship of the locals here. Even the young ones have to earn a living.

Several photo stops and water  breaks later, we finally reached the summit of Mt. Tapyas view deck with the metal cross dwarfing anyone coming close. I think we made record-breaking time climbing all 744 steps in 20 minutes. Whew! :D

One step at a time
Picnic areas mid-way to the view deck
Skies were still overcast but our lofty position still gave us a sweeping view of Coron town and the surrounding islands. After a few snaps, we decided to descend when we saw dark clouds bringing rain looming in the distance. Just as we cleared the last staircase, the heavens opened up and we had to run to the nearest shed for shelter.

Metal cross on Mt. Tapyas' view deck
Easy, breezy. beautiful with Coron in the background. ;D
Huff and puff - 744 steps up and down.
The rain seem to be chasing us. Sino kaya may balat sa pwet? :D

While waiting for Kuya Eric and the rain to peter out, we bought Gatorade from the kid and he was all smiles. I thought about the 5-6 people we left at the view deck. They'd be soaked if they didn't get to the halfway-shed in time since there were no shelter at the topmost view deck.

When our tricycle service finally arrived, we asked to be dropped off at Lualhati Park in the town center. It was a boardwalk park that featured a zipline (non-functional when we were there) and also gave a good view of the Mt. Tapyas cross and the Hollywood-esque Coron sign on the hill next to it. I suppose on warm summer nights, hanging out in this park/plaza would be great. :)

A zipline over the sea, anyone? :)
Nag-date sa plaza. :D
Coron Town, with the CORON sign and Mt. Tapyas cross
Lualhati Park after the rains.

Feeling hunger pangs, we asked for a tricycle driver to bring us to The Old House resto but we learned it actually closed down awhile back so we went to Coron Edge Resto instead and ordered food like there's no tomorrow. I especially enjoyed the local danggit with the spicy vinegar while dining al-fresco.

Kain tayo! :)

We were planning to go back to Nanay Lita Escarda's Coron Harvest to grab some pasalubong but it started pouring again with matching thunderstorm. I asked we go back to the lodge again as I was already getting antsy. What if we don't get to fly out because of the weather? Busuanga is one of the airports often getting flight cancellations.

Confiscated sand and shells. Tigas ng ulo, sabing bawal ilabas.
Bye, Palawan. :(

After an hour delay from our ETD, we finally took off from the tiny airport of Busuanga. Vin can attest as to how I vow to return to places with small airports (Caticlan, Naga, etc) by land or by bus and never by plane again because turbo-prop planes get buffeted by air pockets ALL the time. Turbulence is my biggest nemesis.

This time around though, we haven't even boarded the plane, I was already checking seat sales for next year. Coron, Palawan sure has lived up to it's name. I am hopelessly, irrevocably enchanted. ;D

Getting captivated yet? Read all about our Coron adventures:

Kwentong Kaladkarin #45: Captivating Coron – Touring the Town Part 1
Kwentong Kaladkarin #46: Captivating Coron – Behold, Bikini Bottom!
Kwentong Kaladkarin #47: Captivating Coron – Beach Bums Away!

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