Coron, Palawan - Day 2

Coron Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Skeleton Wreck
Day 2 in Coron is mostly dedicated to Coron Island, one of the country's protected areas.  It is home to stunning limestone cliffs, virgin rainforests, secluded lakes, a rich wildlife, and is inhabited only by the indigenous Tagbanua tribe.  Thus, a tribesman can be expected to collect a minimal fee (anywhere from P50-200 or US$1-4) at every attraction point.

The first stop was the Skeleton wreck on one of the Banol beaches that line the island.   Like the gun boat, the Skeleton wreck is submerged a mere 5 meters at the bow, 22 meters at the stern and just a few meters off the beach.
Skeleton Wreck
  After the spine-chilling feeling I got at the first wreck the day before, seeing this one didn't seem as bad.  Maybe it was just the first-time jitters.  Or maybe this one wasn't as creepy.  In any case, there wasn't much of the boat, just the skeleton - the keel, ribs and stingers and hence its name.

As that proved to be a rather unexciting sight even for chicken snorklers like myself (the gun boat was way more captivating!), I wandered off again to discover the life aquatic below.  Now this was more like it!  There more of the same corals - both hard and soft, spotted/striped/luminous fish, starfish, urchins, anemonaes, bivalves, invertibraes - and so much more my mind once again drew another blank, the diversity of marine life was simply amazing.   I must've gone around for a good hour, sweeping the entire reef and back, but sticking mostly near the surface where I found it, heee, safer.
Banol Beach
  And that was just right below the surface.  A few meters down was like another level in that vast, wild habitat.  I'd like to lie and say too bad I didn't have any diving gear, but the truth is, sissy me was content admiring it from a distance.

It was near lunch time by the time I had my fill and decided to have lunch at another one of the Banol beaches. This was a perfect picnic spot with three small huts and bamboo tables and benches.  After a quick packed lunch of curry crabs, stuffed squid, rice and Coke, it was time to give the corals a break and enjoy the crystal clear blue waters, the fine, white sand and bask in the sun.  Truly, a slice of heaven on earth.

Ok so half the day is gone and there was still so much to cover.  From a distance, the Coron Island looks like a solid formation of limestone and greens.
Skeleton Wreck
  Upon close inspection, there are parts that are actually separate from each other, adding new dimensions to the already magnificent island.  And this is where I'm headed next - through a maze of limstone cliffs and emerald waters towards the Twin Lagoon where, at low tide, one can explore the other side through a fissure in the rocks wide enough to swim through.  But alas, it was too late for the opening had already been blocked by the rising tide.   So over to the Barracuda Lake next.

Dubbed as the "craziest dive site in the Philippines," the Barracuda Lake has been likened to "flying over the surface of the moon."  What that means exactly, I can't tell you.  I only went as far as the strenuous climb up the sharp, craggy limestone cliff to get a view of the gorgeous emerald Lake, home to a 1.
Banol Beach
5m mother of a barracuda.  Ok that's it, Kayangan Lake here I come!

Getting to Kayangan Lake is similar to Barracuda Lake, only a hell of a lot friendlier.   At the mountain opening by the emerald-blue waters of the Blue Lagoon are a series of stone steps that go all the way up and down the other side of the mountain and finally leading to the Lake.  It's a longer distance to traverse, but way less grueling and way worth the sweat.  Enclosed by a huge rock formation with a lush vegetation, it stretches about the size of two Olympic-sized pools.  It's also the cleanest and clearest lake in the Philippines.  Going under in its brackish waters and without a mask this time, all I could see was nothing but pure blue and the rays of light shining through. 

It was getting late but I still had enough time for one more destination - the Siete Pecados, a marine park just a few minutes away from Kayangan Lake.
Banol beach
  Right smack in the middle is the park ranger's bangka, to where we were to moor ours as dropping an anchor is prohibited in order to protect and preserve the corals beneath.  I wonder how life underwater here differed from the other sites I had visited previously.  Well, amaze me now!  This by far proved to be the best snorkeling site in the whole of Coron. 
      
In addition to the usual species I had already seen, here was an assortment of even more!  And I saw fish I could actually identify (wink, wink) - a blown-up puffer fish, schools of alligator pipefish -  the stretched out relative of the seahorse that swim and feed vertically, and something that resembled a gar, only with a long, thin, cylindrical and slithery tail extending from its body.  But the absolute highlight was the clownfish taking me on for a stare-down!  When I first saw it swimming in my direction, I held out my hand to try and get its attention.
Me by Barracuda Lake
  To my surprise it did, and looked at me as though to say, "Whatchu lookinat, Willis?!"  Now he got my attention!  I teased it some more and closer it came, daring, taunting me to do something.  It would turn around, pretend to swim away and turn back to me to check if I was still at it and stare me down some more.  This little game between chicken and fish went on for a good 3-5 minutes until I decided to check out other areas.  A little while later, I found myself in the same spot, and lo and behold, the clown fish is there, recognizing me, checking me out for another game.  I swam away this time as it was late, the water was getting cold and it was time to head back.

My little escapade was not over yet though.  I had to take the same attendant-less flight back to Manila.
Hahahar
  At a small eatery by the airport the early the next morning, I was joined for breakfast by two pilots waiting for their next flight to take off.  I had told them about my horrific landing experience coming here and asked to confirm the possibility of the plane flipping over with that kind of a one-sided landing.  They assured me that it was impossible for the plane to simply flip over given the situation, but that it could have easily overshot the runway.  Grrreat.  Now, how could a trained pilot ever land a plane that way?  "He was probably too lazy and made the co-pilot land it!"

planisphere says:
sige... fede.. :)
Posted on: Nov 15, 2008
Isabetlog says:
Next year? :)
Posted on: Nov 15, 2008
planisphere says:
balik tayo ng coron.... :)
Posted on: Nov 15, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Skeleton Wreck
Skeleton Wreck
Skeleton Wreck
Skeleton Wreck
Banol Beach
Banol Beach
Skeleton Wreck
Skeleton Wreck
Banol Beach
Banol Beach
Banol beach
Banol beach
Me by Barracuda Lake
Me by Barracuda Lake
Hahahar
Hahahar
Sponsored Links
Coron
photo by: TravellinChic