PALAWAN cannot be described in a single page. There is so much to see and talk about that I have to depict its beauty piece by piece. Let’s start with Coron, found in the northern part of Palawan. I had the opportunity to explore its exquisite beauty six years back and the memory of its lush surroundings and breathtaking landscape still lingers in my mind. Typhoon Haiyan has already ravaged this part of the province but Coron has risen from the challenge.
Overlooking the Bay
There were about 720 steps to climb before we reached the peak of Mt. Tapyas where a huge white cross stood tall. The steps were even paved and there were handles on both sides where one can hold on to. Still, I was running out of breath as I got somewhere in the middle of the climb. The reward was spectacular though – the magnificent view of the bay, including the rugged peaks of what they call as the sleeping giant. It was a good prelude to our Coron adventure because during our island hopping, we had to do another climb to get to Kayangan Lake, tucked inside an island. Going back to our boat, we needed to climb the same steep barrier, which divides the lake from the bay, to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kayangan Bay that has always been a postcard symbol of Coron.
Around Calamian Islands and Into The Wild
Hopping from island to island is a must when you are in Coron, which is part of the Calamian archipelago. Islands that were practically deserted had a different kind of charm that rendered us breathless. The beaches of Banol, CYC, Black Island, and Calumboyan welcomed us in their bosoms where we floated at sea and relished on the fresh air and natural beauty of the surroundings while time seemed to have stood still. One particular island we ventured into was Calauit. It is a wildlife sanctuary where zebras, giraffes, and other animals roam freely in its savannah. Some animals that are considered dangerous were placed in certain portions for safekeeping. It was a fun experience to explore certain areas of Calauit inside a caged jeepney while the animals were out in the open.
Under the Sea
A garden of corals of various shapes, colors and sizes was really a sight to behold. Fishes and other sea creatures played with us as we snorkeled in certain parts of Coron Bay. Sunken ships and Japanese war wrecks can also be found undersea, which have been transformed into a home for various marine species. Yet, the best part was when we were snorkeling and we saw sea turtles also swimming in the area. It was a beautiful experience seeing them in their natural habitat, enjoying life as we did. Palawan is truly a paradise. Let’s explore Puerto Princesa in my next column.