It was raining quite hard in Manila the week we were off to Coron. June was officially the start of the low peak season for the beaches in the Philippines. Well, as I always say, I love the beach without the sun so we still pushed through. I just never thought I'd get super rain one fine day in Coron haha. Let me just say that 2 full days of adventure at this part of Palawan was not enough. You should make it at least 3 whole days out for activities in Coron (add in flight in and out days) to put in the snorkel-able shipwrecks (which I think is unique to this place), to visit more sites like the Barracuda Lake and to allow for bum day/s in the hotel or resort when you can't go out due to bad weather. We got a very good deal for this day and managed to get the Sun, Sea & Sand Ecotours day tour package of Coron Galeri at our own terms. It was also as fun for me as the day before when we went on the Coron Ultimate Island Tour - except our hearts skipped a few beats with that water spout (buhawi) coming our way at Bulog Island haha. Well, we got lucky on this day and managed to laugh it all away. Read all about it below. If you haven't read Coron Day 1 and Coron Day 2 posts yet of this DIY trip, I suggest you do that first to get my other tips and suggestions ;)
So this is our Coron Day 3 and the last full day here. We booked for another Coron Galeri tour the day before (just dropped by their office and made a deposit). This time we chose the Sun, Sea & Sand Ecotour which had Malcapuya Island (P950 if that only, minimum of 5 pax), Bulog Island and Banana Island. We paid P1200 per person + P100 per snorkeling mask for the whole trip and since we were already 5 people, we got to haggle to have the boat to ourselves! It's smaller than the Day 2 boat but at least, we didn't have to wait for others or, in our case, have anyone object to leaving late at 9:30 a.m. hahaha.
I think we were the last ones to hop on a boat hehe. There was no sun, just cloudy skies and a drizzle when we left.
The reason why it costs more is that the boat ride there took more than an hour from Coron Town. We passed by mangroves, the Sleeping Giant and several islands.
10:50 a.m. I was thinking I've been here before or the island next to it with the sandbar (the water was high at this time so we couldn't go there). Anyway, it's nice with water on both sides so like 2 near beaches? Hehe.
Just a short distance away is the new Two Seasons Coron Resort. It's a luxury resort that's a "turtle and giant clam sanctuary", has its own beach and has higher rates than El Nido Resorts ;)
We spent the time taking pictures and just sitting on the water hehe. Without that sun, it's very easy not to notice stuff
like the fact that there was something going on before our very eyes. See that giant cloud behind the boat?
That cloud wall / curtain brought sheets of rain. It was pouring so hard that the droplets started to hurt. We were in beach wear by the way and it got very cold haha. We stayed in the water coz it was warmer that way..
The cloud didn't go away. It got bigger and was coming towards the boat - And fast. The skies got a lot darker too as the seconds passed.
We were about to run to the boat when the Kuyas told us to stay away and pointed to our left (code for hide near the trees). The cloud wall turned into a water spout (buhawi) and to our good fortune, shifted to the right. Here's a view from where we were.
Even the girl that we saw kayaking went ashore to hide then quickly prepared to leave after that incident.
A caretaker in the island was up and about while all of this was happening and told us that we shouldn't be in the water (we misunderstood the Kuyas and did not go to the trees, we went to the water with the rocks..). He said there might be sea urchins or jellyfish there as big as this with tentacles still attached (and might sting us). We touched the sample he showed us (took out the stingers already) and it felt like hard silicone.. I thought, "How can you escape this in the water?" I was ready for the boat haha.
11:40 a.m. We went to the Banana Island nearby for lunch. The cloud wall / buhawi passed through here before heading for us. Some stories that my friends heard - It left tables upturned and their food flew all over. One person was saying he just hid / held on to something and closed his eyes. When it was all over, he discovered cuts all over his body.. They said it was like a sand storm and one of the structures was totalled.
And it was on its way to us and we were just sitting there on the beach laughing just a few minutes ago. I breathed a sigh of relief and gradually got the gravity of the situation (and how ill-prepared I was). Later on, Kuya explained that the water spout could have easily carried the boat like the Wizard of Oz. And there I was wondering why he sent us away even after the incident haha. At least now I know about a cloud wall / water spout!
The Coron Galeri Tour Package that we got included table rental and entrance fees already. We didn't have to pay anything else (except maybe for the voluntary tip to the guide after).
I think you can stay here. Wasn't able to ask but I saw in TripAdvisor, it's P1000 / person / night.
sidings, banana and a bottle of water for us (like the day before). It was so tempting to eat a lot here while in bikini wear. haha. All food here (included in the package) was bought from the Coron market by our Coron Galeri guide before we hopped on the boat.
We were in control of our time since we had the boat to ourselves so we stayed around for a bit. There were duyans (hammocks) on the island and a basic comfort room & shower area on the far right of this picture (without hot water, tabo-style salty water).
1:40 p.m. We also swam and snorkelled a little in the sandy area. Kuya said it's called Banana Island because of the shape from above. Depending on the wind, sometimes the sandy part will be to the left or on the right side of the island. Cool, huh? The beach may be on the right side or left side of the island throughout the year. Be careful swimming here though, there's a strong current that might take you the other way. I also noticed that I couldn't reach the bottom quickly so taking the life vest with you when you go down the boat would really be a nice idea. There are fish here to see, I just had a hard time paddling.
After the Bulog and Banana Islands, it was time for Malcapuya Island =) Note: The P950 below is for Malcapuya Island only. We added P250 for the additional 2 islands above.
Look for Al or Mae Linsangan (popular in Coron Town)
#11 San Agustin St., Barangay Poblacion 3,
Check out my Coron Posts:
Day 1 - Hotel Accomodations, Corto del Mar Hotel Review in Coron Palawan, Busuanga Plane, First Day in Coron, Recommended Tricycle Driver Slash Guide & Best Baby Back Ribs Meal in Coron at Santino's Grill!
Day 2 Part 1 - DIY Trip Palawan, Intro to Coron Galeri, Coron Island Ultimate Tour - CYC Island, Kalachuchi Coral Eden, Hidden Lagoon, Lunch at Bulungan Beach, Twin Peaks Reef, Underwater Shots of Coron Life