Friday, April 21, 2017

Starry Starry Night at Kingfisher Park

A 45-minute tricycle ride (Php 800 for 5 pax, roundtrip, arranged through Kingfisher Park) from Coron Town and we found ourselves at the gate of Kingfisher Park, where Ale (short for Alejandro), the park ranger, welcomed us.

The small hut at the gate was lit by a single lightbulb and all the rest of the park was lit by moonlight. Even in the dark, we immediately knew we'd like this place. Or maybe it's our age and wanting to get away from crowds (we were the only guests at Kingfisher Park that night).

Blurry, blurry, starry, starry night. (Sorry, I had no tripod!)

Before starting the Starry Starry Night Tour (Php 300 per pax), the name of their one-hour firefly watching kayak tour, Ale took us to the boardwalk where we happily conversed in Visayan, telling us about himself and about the park, looking at constellations and trying out his newly installed constellation app. It was a good 15 minutes of free flowing conversation in our native tongues and staring at the moonlit surroundings before we had to go back to the shore to don lifevests, meet our guides, and start the tour.

Since none of us were experienced kayakers, we requested to have a guide per kayak. We were on three tandem kayaks and one three-seater kayak. And off we went gliding on the water with our guides doing all the paddling. Oh, what lazy bums we were! (If you'd like to paddle on your own, that is most welcome!)

Into the night we go

The guides shared bits and pieces about fireflies, taking us to trees where there were twinkling little fireflies. When my guide found out we were all Bisaya and when we all found out our guides (except for one) were Bisaya, that's when the serenity of the park was shattered. It was a big relief to speak in our own dialect! That's how the guides must have felt too for from then on they were on a roll with their jokes.

Don't know how to take photos of fireflies but, honest, there are fireflies in those trees!

Yes, we saw fireflies. And planktons too! It was an enjoyable night and we wish to go back to Kingfisher Park to try their daylight activities (hiking on Lunes Santo, kayaking through the mangroves, bird watching, and trekking to Kaluluwang Falls), camp, and enjoy the nature, peace and quiet, and blanket of stars that surround it.

Kingfisher Park
Kingfisher Park Road, Malbato, Coron, Palawan
Alejandro (Ale) 0921 716 2391 / 0916 489 8040
facebook page

To book (advance booking is required) any of the activities in Kingfisher Park, contact them at the numbers posted above. Transportation to and from the park can also be arranged through them.

Coron 2017
Coron Accommodation: Centro Coron
Starry Starry Night at Kingfisher Park (you're here!)
(more soon)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coron Accommodation: Centro Coron

Six years, red paint, some Chinese characters, and Centro Coron doesn't look anything like the photo I saw in their facebook page. Nevertheless, I was glad to find that it was indeed in the center of the town of Coron, just walking distance to Mt Tapyas, the market, and the port.

Centro Coron

We booked their room for 5 persons for Php 3000 a night, with free breakfast and airport transfers. (Full payment through BPI deposit is required to confirm the booking.) They let us check in when we arrived a little after 10AM and the room was already prepared and cool (AC was already on).

Centro Coron's rooms are simple and clean. Towels, toilet paper, and hangers were readily available. The room for 5 persons did not feel cramped. The room also had an electric fan (though we never used it because the airconditioning unit did its job well) and flat screen TV. Centro Coron also has WiFi.

 Room for 5 pax

Breakfast is served from 6AM to 10AM, but we found that it is best to place your orders early as it takes their undermanned restaurant (I only saw 2 waitstaff and 1 cook) quite a long time to prepare the food. For the free breakfast you can choose from any of the below-Php100-priced breakfast items (only the pancakes come with free coffee). I recommend their daingsilog.

Breakfast menu. Click to enlarge.

I'd like to commend Angelica, Centro Coron's receptionist, for being very helpful when we needed to go to the airport earlier than scheduled. When most vans had already left and we couldn't wait for our schedule, she found us a ride. Thank you very much Angelica!

Centro Coron Bed and Breakfast
RV Rogers Building, Brgy 4, Poblacion, Coron, Palawan
Khimmar dela Torre 0927 745 4625

Coron 2017
Coron Accommodation: Centro Coron (you're here!)
Starry Starry Night at Kingfisher Park
(more soon)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Wisdom from the Road #50

On forgiving and forgetting
Forgive and forget.
But if there's nothing to forgive, don't forget.

Forgive. If your itinerary goes all awry, forgive yourself or whoever or whatever caused it. Go to Plan B. If there's no Plan B, smile, wing it, and just make the most of the situation.

Forget. Or rather, when you travel DO NOT FORGET to...
  • bring your underwear. My little piggy friend forgot to bring his undies when he traveled to Myanmar for a week! Haha! Or maybe he did that on purpose. Must have been very airy down there in the scorching, dusty lands of Bagan!
  • keep your passport with you at all times, else you undergo horrifying minutes that could feel like hours like Brennan of The Weekend Dispatch experienced when he traveled in India.
  • bring your memory card and/or extras (if you're using a camera). When we were in Sabtang Island (Batanes), a fellow tourist approached us begging to borrow an extra memory card because he had forgotten to bring his!
  • turn off your MP3 player (or whatever gadget) after using. Or if you do forget and it drains the battery, I hope you did not forget to bring your charger.
  • have an open mind. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy your trip!

For more lessons from the road, please visit Go Learn.