Philippines 2013: Aerial view of Mount Mayon; arriving at Coron

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.

Backyard Legazpi coconut trees
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.

Legazpi airport Mayon volcano background
From the departures lounge I got to see Mt. Mayon… cloud-free
Magayon volcano smoke Legazpi Philippines
Still smoking
Legazpi airport runway Mayon mountain
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
Flight take off Legazpi
To head to Manila, the plane takes off…
Legazpi aerial view
And then turns around
Legazpi city aerial view
Wait for it
Mayon volcano Legazpi city aerial view
There she is!
Mount Mayon volcano full view from sky
Truly the world’s most symmetrical volcano
Magayon volcano full view from sky
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:

Mount Mayon aerial view from plane
Goodbye epic mountain I had a tough time photographing without the clouds

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.

Terminal 2 Manila airport
I was on my way to the final leg of my journey
Manila port aerial view Philippines
From the sky leaving Manila city; that’s Manila Port down below
Aerial view dead end road
A road to nowhere — or one that’s going to connect that small road up north?
Cebu Pacific propellor plane Coron
Just shy of an hour later, we were nearing Coron island
Coron island aerial view Philippines
Hello beautiful waters!

Coron island hills aerial view

Coron island hills from airplane
Not a piece of concrete in sight! Bliss…
Busuanga airport Coron Philippines
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.

Herd of cows Coron island Philippines
LOTS of cows!
Cows paddy field Coron Philippines
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.

Coron Backpackers Guesthouse sign
They had a sign right on the main road
Coron children playing Philippines
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse was situated in a stilt house colony
Stilt houses Coron neighbourhood
It wasn’t the cleanest or the poshest neighbourhood, I’ll admit that
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse entrance
I found this place online
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse details
This hostel seemed to offer good value for the amount of money they charge
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse floors
Despite being on stilts, Coron Backpackers Guesthouse still has an upper floor with rooms
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse lounge
The place is owned by a Norwegian, but run by two Filipinas
Coron Backpackers rooms
My room was no. 7; toilets are at the end of this hallway
Coron Backpacker Guesthouse room
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.

Tribal adventures Divecal center Coron Palawan
Back on the main road, you have plenty of restaurants and activity centers nearby
Coron town road restaurants dive centers
Coron Backpackers Guesthouse is really close to the town center
Road to public market Coron
Plenty of hotels in this part of town, but not many quiet resorts

Street market Coron

Public square Coron town Philippines
Coron seems like a clean, well-maintained town
Coron Public Market Philippines
I walked through the public market because fresh fish always gets my attention
Fish stalls public wet market Coron
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.
Sea Coron port Philippines
The public market is right by the sea and Coron port
Coron port boats docked Philippines
Fishermen and tour boats were back from the sea
Lualhati park Coron Philippines
This is Lualhati Park

Lualhati park shade Philippines

Coron marina wall
This park seemed like a nice hangout for Coron’s populace
Lualhati park Coron rain puddle reflection
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.
Coron dive center Korean restaurant
Koreans here too
Coron sushi bar Philippines
I would eat from here the next day
Coron barangay evening Philippines
I kept walking around aimlessly like I often do

Coron Palawan heritage building Philippines

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)

Coron Palawan young girls Philippines
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.

Coron youngsters at night Palawan Philippines
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.

Coron at night street light trees
The sun had officially set
Coron church at night
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.

San Miguel beer in dark
I used the flash light from my phone to illuminate this shot
Lobster meal Coron Palawan Philippines
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.
Keys candle light in darkness
Just a shot I took at the restaurant before leaving
Dark room Coron Palawan
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: Aerial view of Mount Mayon; arriving at Coron

Philippines 2013: Coron island-hopping tour (Part 1) – Siete Pecados, Kayangan lake

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

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2 Comments

  • nan

    06/12/2013

    Hi there. Those three ladies who tried to intimidate you into buying them dinner are whores. So many whores around here. I am a local and boy I can tell from their make up. They’re the scum of our society not because they happen to be prostitutes but because they tried to scam you. Many of my friends are actually whores, girls, boys, gays and lesbians alike.

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Hmm, I guess I played it safe then. I didn’t want to be seen with an under-aged prostitute anyway.

    [Reply]

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