The Northern Palawan Archipelago as a whole offers a lot of scenery and it will take more than a day to see most of even just near Coron. This post is the continuation of a previous post about the sights to wander around Coron Island.
Admittedly, last night was fun filled and tiring but we have to wake up early to see some other sights from and around Coron Island. As per usual, we have to go to the same hoopla: Riding a van to the port even though it was walk-able, signing with the Coast Guard manifest, buying supplies for the day and the usual instructions but today it was a bit different. Since it was a Sunday, we rode one of the freelance boats and it was noticeable by the crews different uniform and the smaller, rougher looking boats and equipment (I’m not saying substandard nor ill-equipped, the right word could be battle tested).
After travelling through much calmer waters than yesterday, we arrived at our first location: Luluyuan/Barracuda Lake. This is the only other lake (located west of the other open lake, Kayangan Lake) that was permitted to be seen by the local Tagbanwa people as they considered all of these lakes sacred. As was mentioned to us yesterday, most people travel to these lakes in the morning and upon going up and down the steps to see the lake, you can see why: The sun blesses the lake with its rays and the waters looks more pristine and beautiful. We spent around 45 minutes marveling at the view and swimming but even though both lakes are one and the same: brackish crystal clear waters that you have to climb up and down to get to, maybe because of the sun’s effect on the lake on that specific moment, that I prefer Luluyuan over Kayangan (and even though it is also called Barracuda Lake, I did not see one from my surface level point of view).
The next part of today’s itinerary is Twin Lagoon. The boats will actually have to enter a passage up to the first of the two lagoons. Some tourists are already swimming here as the water is (once again) clear and inviting. But for you to access its twin, you have to climb above a hole on the rock wall or swim below another opening that can only be accessed when it is not a high tide to gain access the other lagoon. Once inside the other lagoon, the towering cliffs around gives you a feeling of being on Kayangan or Luluyuan but swimming on seawater. There is also a tiny beach on the other side if you want to took some break from swimming.
It is now near lunch and once again, we went to Atwayan Beach. We spent again around one and a half hour there and I spent most of my non eating time lounging by the large bamboo benches. Throughout this time, I got the chance to know more of our guide Vince. He is in college and spends his non studying days being a freelance guide. The one thing that I really appreciate about him is that he actually asked us if we would like for him to took photos of the sea from a cliff above Atwayan. He didn’t have to do that but he wanted to. #Respect.
Our last destination of the day is a coral garden called by different names by different tours but upon checking on Google Maps, it is called Malwawey Coral Garden. It has a shipwreck though not those famed Japanese Ship Wrecks but the main attractions are the corals. Even though that ship wreck is not the famed ones, tourists (the most we’ve seen on an attraction so far) seems to flock it like crazy that we did not bother staying there for too long. One dip to see it is enough. We rested on the very little beach for a few minutes to prepare for a long swim to see the corals. As a whole the corals are wonderful and beaming with life but sadly, some of the corals are already in disrepair mainly because of Haiyan but I guess maybe in some part due to human activity as well as I might have found out later on. I was snorkeling mindlessly when I suddenly felt pain in my right leg. I figured out upon looking back that I scratched my leg on some of the harder corals. It was painful but I continue to snorkel until our time is up.
We surprisingly went home early and even though this trip is tiring (and painful on my right leg), seeing some more attractions around Coron Island makes me want to see more. And more we will see (albeit in another place) by doing something that most tourists on these parts don’t usually do … hear a mass.
Next: Closer look at Coron Town Proper…