Sunday, September 15, 2013

Seven Questions and Two Brains for Coron

Brennan of Baktin Corporation has been trying to get me to cooperate in something blog related. He suggested an interview. No way! How about be part of his 7–Questions blog entry? Uhh… I gave many excuses to not be part of any blog entry where I have to answer his (or anyone’s) questions—I am allergic to interviews, including job interviews; it makes my mustache droop.

A month later I receive an email from Brennan with seven questions about Coron (in Northern Palawan). And a deadline. The deadline became an imaginary gun poking my brain. With mustache drooping, I type my answers as fast as I possibly could and here's the outcome...

Why go to Coron?
[Brennan] My quick answer to this is that you can embark on a variety of adventures at Coron: beach bumming, island hopping, shipwreck diving, among many others. But despite the many activities that the island has to offer, it still exudes a charming and laidback feel. It doesn’t pretend to be the next Boracay. And I do hope that it stays that way as well. 
[Mustachio] My quicker answer to this is: Why not? :D

How do you get there, and how do you get around the town?

[Mustachio] Grow wings or gills! Impossible? Then grab a ride on something with wings, like a plane. Cebu Pacific and PAL Express fly to Busuanga (Coron) from Manila and Cebu. Or if you’re coming from El Nido and don’t mind floating around for eight hours, take the boat! There are daily boat trips to and from El Nido for Php1500 per person. In Coron, you can get around in three ways: walk (if you have a lot of time on your legs), hire a tricycle, or hire a van. 
[Brennan] Coron town is small, so everything is just within ‘walking distance.’ ;)

What can you do there?
[Brennan]  Don’t leave Coron if you haven’t experienced the Coron island loop tour, climbed Mt. Tapyas to catch the sunset, and dropped by Nanay Lita Escarda’s backyard cashew factory. You can book your adventures through your hotel/inn or the many tour providers by the town center. The fees, including the bangka (outrigger boat) and trike rental, are fixed so you would not feel ripped off in any way. For backpackers, you can also form/join a tour group through Owen Ferrer’s DIY site. It has all the information (tour packages and travel advisories) that you would need in finalizing your itinerary. 
[Mustachio] I am sure you will get sore muscles from Brennan’s suggestions (too much swimming during the island loop tour plus climbing the 700+ steps of Mt. Tapyas). Loosen up those muscles with a good soak in Maquinit Hot Spring and you'll be up and running the next day for more adventures: get a tan in the surrounding islands (Malcapuya, Banana, Calumbuyan), check out the former leper colony in Culion Island, or see zebras and giraffes in Calauit Island.

The view from Mt. Tapyas

Where can you spend the night?
[Mustachio] Depending on the ability of your wallet to spew money, there are many options from high end ones to really cheap ones. I stayed in Patrik and Tezz Guesthouse, a simple place that serves my purpose, a place to sleep in. The guesthouse has only four rooms (Php500-600/room/2 pax) and all four share two bathrooms. Tours can also be arranged through the guesthouse.
[Brennan] I highly recommend Mommita's Lodge, a residence-turned-backpacking-friendly-lodge owned by the very motherly Mrs. Esther Reyes. It is located right along the national road and is just a few meters away from the wharf and Mt. Tapyas.

What food stops should you not miss? 
[Brennan] I’ll name three: 
♦ Try the pitik (slipper lobsters) that are offered in various restaurants in town. It is cheaper compared to the usual lobsters but you can save some more if you can request your hotel/inn to cook some for you. 
Danggit lamayo, for me is the ultimate Pinoy breakfast. It is the product of the curious marriage between marinating and then drying danggit (rabbitfish). You can have one at Foodtrip, an open-air eatery near the public market. 
Savor on Filipino dishes at Kawayanan Grill Station, whose interiors are largely made out of bamboo. The incessant playing of an album from Tribu Calamianen, a local band, completes its semi-exotic vibe.
[Mustachio] May I suggest a shopping stop? Don’t forget to visit the market and buy some danggit lamayo to send to me when you get back. Thank you.

What would you do differently, next time?
[Mustachio] Definitely stay longer.
[Brennan] Me too!!! I’ll also find a way to get to Cabugao Lake, the largest lake in Coron, without disrespecting the Calamian Tagbanuas who consider it as a sacred domain.  I would also like to stay with a Tagbanua family even for just a few days. I drool every time I read Jacob Maentz's stunning narrative of his encounter with them.

Rate your Coron experience.
[Brennan]  It’s 8/10 for me and that says a lot already considering that I am actually not a 'water person.' ;)
[Mustachio] 5/10 only because I haven’t seen the other half of it.

Just so you know, the town of Coron is in the island of Busuanga and not in Coron Island. Both islands are part of the Calamianes Group of Islands of Northern Palawan, which also include Calauit, Culion, Malcapuya, Banana, Calumbuyan, and some other smaller islands.

Brennan has consistently (and regretfully, or so he claims) declined my travel invitations. Maybe I did not invite him nicely. Next time I shall invite him oh so nicely with a gun poking his side. Or maybe not. Because if he gives in, it could result in another 7–Questions blog entry. And the cycle will never end.


  1. Why are you allergic with interviews when in fact your answers are good. I love reading this post. Nice facts about Coron. I hope to visit this place soon.

    1. Because interviews are like spontaneous speeches and I hate speeches hehehe :D Thanks for reading Fred!

    2. Hahaha same here...I hate interviews! You're welcome bungoton. ;D

    3. Mustachio, who should I interview next for a Cebu City edition?
      Any suggestions? Any takers here? :)

  2. yes, the cycle will never end. :)
    thank you mustachio!

  3. im already convinced to go to coron...

  4. Mustachio, let me interview you also.. hahaha

  5. I reaaaaaaaaaaaally need to visit Coron!!! (and dive there!)

    1. You haven't been there Noefly??? I thought you have visited Coron too.

  6. Kani jud si Brennan bisan unsa lng ipa-uso. Mangdamay pa jud. ahihihiih

    Laagholic Buyog