Date: 30th May, 2013
Today was my last day in Legazpi. I had to head to the airport for my 12:40pm flight to Manila.
Woke up to a view of the backyard not too different from what it’s like back home at my village
After breakfast, I checked my e-mails, packed my bags, said my goodbyes, and hired a cycle taxi to take me to Legazpi airport (I could take it easy as I had the time). Legazpi airport, like most regional airports isn’t very big and they weren’t even beginning the check-in procedures 1.5 hours before the scheduled flight time.
From the departures lounge I got to see Mt. Mayon… cloud-free
At the time of check-in, I specifically asked for a window seat on the right-hand side of the plane, so that I could see Mt. Mayon at take off
To head to Manila, the plane takes off…
And then turns around
Wait for it
There she is!
Truly the world’s most symmetrical volcano
I guess seeing it from an airplane is obviously the only way one can see Mount Magayon in its entirety
Here’s a video I shot:
I landed in Manila at 1:45pm and I had to then make my way to the next gate for my connecting flight to Busuanga Airport (Busuanga is the main airport serving Coron island). I had lunch from the airport itself as my flight would only depart at 3:15pm.
I was on my way to the final leg of my journey
From the sky leaving Manila city; that’s Manila Port down below
A road to nowhere — or one that’s going to connect that small road up north?
Just shy of an hour later, we were nearing Coron island
Hello beautiful waters!
Not a piece of concrete in sight! Bliss…
The very basic Busuanga airport of Coron
How basic? There isn’t even a luggage carousel. Just a platform on which the staff bring luggage from the airplanes and place them for the passengers to pick theirs.
After I collected my one bag, I hopped into a shared van taxi to take us to Coron town (costs ₱150 per person), where all the accommodation is.
Coron, although an island of its own, is part of the Palawan islands. It was lush greenery all around and not a human in sight. We drove through a vast field filled with cows.
LOTS of cows!
You know what I thought about when I saw all these cows in a huge open field? Dinosaurs running through and preying on these cows. Somehow ‘Jurassic Park’ came to mind.
The journey to Coron town was around 30 minutes long. The van taxi knew where to drop me when I told them I was staying at Coron Backpacker Guesthouse.
They had a sign right on the main road
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse was situated in a stilt house colony
It wasn’t the cleanest or the poshest neighbourhood, I’ll admit that
I found this place online
This hostel seemed to offer good value for the amount of money they charge
Despite being on stilts, Coron Backpackers Guesthouse still has an upper floor with rooms
The place is owned by a Norwegian, but run by two Filipinas
My room was no. 7; toilets are at the end of this hallway
And this was my room; ₱500 per night
The staff at Coron Backpackers Guesthouse were great and quite helpful. I booked an island hopping tour through them as it cost the same as was advertised elsewhere. After that, I went out for a walk around town.
Back on the main road, you have plenty of restaurants and activity centers nearby
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse is really close to the town center
Plenty of hotels in this part of town, but not many quiet resorts
Coron seems like a clean, well-maintained town
I walked through the public market because fresh fish always gets my attention
Although the variety was there, I was stunned when a vendor told me medium-sized white prawns ₱600 a kg! The same costs ₱200-250 back in Kannur. It’s sad seafood is so expensive in Philippines (because all the good stuff is exported), a nation that’s largely by the sea.
The public market is right by the sea and Coron port
Fishermen and tour boats were back from the sea
This is Lualhati Park
This park seemed like a nice hangout for Coron’s populace
The weather wasn’t the greatest and I just hoped the skies would clear up tomorrow. Coron was my last hope for a disappointment-free tour.
Koreans here too
I would eat from here the next day
I kept walking around aimlessly like I often do
It was here a bunch of girls who were sitting by a tree struck a conversation with me asking me where I was from and how I ended up in Coron. They, like many strangers who often see me with camera, then asked if I could take their photos. (Filipino girls especially love to pose for photos I guess)
It was the girl in the middle that said “hello” first and was inquisitive about me
The conversation gradually moved on from one topic to another before they then asked me to buy them dinner. Puzzled as to why they would ask random strangers to buy them dinner, I politely turned them down as they insisted if I am to take them out to dinner, I would have to take all three of them to a restaurant of their choice. I initially assumed they were just playing around, but the girl in the middle admitted they didn’t have a whole lot of money on them and they were hungry, especially their youngest friend who they said was the poorest among the three.
Later, a few of their male friends joined them and asked for a group shot… and dinner
Although I felt sympathetic to the 17-year-old, I didn’t know if she was lying or if this was all part of some elaborate scam. I just wanted to play safe as I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea seeing me with a minor, even if it was for a harmless meal. So I apologized, said sorry and went on my way.
The sun had officially set
I decided to walk back
I walked past a restaurant that had lobster and beer on the menu at a good price for one at ₱300. I figured I’d have an early dinner.
Aaaand then the power went.
I used the flash light from my phone to illuminate this shot
I ate my lobster in the dark under a candle light. I could tell by the texture of the meat that this lobster has been in the freezer for a while now.
Just a shot I took at the restaurant before leaving
Back in my room, there was little I could do without electricity. Thankfully, there weren’t any mosquitoes, nor was it hot inside
Electricity eventually did come back and I could finally go to sleep with the fan on.
Previous posts in this series:
Philippines 2013: Lignon Hill Park, Cagsawa Ruins and Mount Mayon
Philippines 2013: Arriving at Legazpi; going to Donsol to see whale sharks
Philippines 2013: Leaving Boracay; Kalibo to Angeles City
Beachfront hotels and resorts on White Beach, Boracay
Philippines 2013: Bulabog beach, Mount Luho viewpoint and sunset at White Beach
Philippines 2013: Boracay island tour, Puka beach and snorkelling
Philippines 2013: Flying from Manila to Boracay, White Beach
Philippines 2013: Taal Lake Volcano and Peoples Park, Tagaytay
The crap I went through to get my Philippines tourist visa this time