Exploring Coron town and climbing Mt. Tapyas

We check in at Krystal Lodge (some signs spell it as Crystal Lodge), then went off to settle in our hut. We have asked Mai, Krystal Lodge’s manager about boats we can use for island hopping. She refered Eran, a seasoned guide, who proceeded to tell us about the must see places for island hopping. We told Eran that before anything else, we wanted to have lunch.

Eran took us to the town center, and as we walk, none of us could really believe that we’re already in Coron. After settling in a carinderia, Eran left us to tend to his other contacts. He came back just as we were finishing, and we were off to an informal tour of Coron town. The town is quite small. You can easily walk from one place to another, though if you’re tired, you can hail a tricycle.

Sayuri with Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and half of Eric
Sayuri with Coron Mayor Marjo Reyes

 
Tricycles are the main public tranport option in the small town of Coron. There are jeepneys and busses, but they are only for traveling long distances. A ride in the tricycle costs Php 7 each around town, and I was surprised that the tricycle driver actually gave me change and didn’t overcharge. For longer distances, like to Mabentangin pool and Maquinit Hot Spring, you’d have to agree on a fee beforehand. These two places are more than 2 or 3 kilometers from town (Maquinit is about 4 kilometers away), and if you’re going there, you have to ask your driver to wait or come back for you. We paid Php 125 for a two way trip to Mabentaning, and Php 200 one way from Maquinit into town.

Be proud you are a teacher
Be proud you are a teacher. The future depends on you.

 
Walking through Coron town, we passed through the town hall. Right across it was a basketball court there Coron Mayor Marjo Reyes was playing. We were astounded that we can just walk into town and meet and have a chat with the mayor. Like any homeowners, Mayor Reyes welcomed us into Coron, his home. And like any homeowners, he apologized at how dirty the town is. We were shocked at this — less than ten minutes ago, we were all marveling at how clean and orderly Coron was. According to the mayor, Coron is already dirty; it used to be so clean and they’re working towards bringing it back to its pristine state. Dang. I wonder if Manila mayors can promise and deliver the same?

RELATED:   Flying into Coron, Palawan with Seair

We walked into the public elementary school, where we saw a building that has been standing since the time of the Japanese occupation. There’s also some rumors going around that there’s gold underneath this building. Hmmmmm.

Fishies!
Fishies!

 
Back into the town center we go, heading this time to the market to buy dinner. Ferdz and Marc picked out a couple of fishes, and one huge lapu-lapu, and 3/4 kilo of shrimp. We also bought two kilos of rice, some tomatoes, onions and calamansi to go with the grilled fish. This trip to the market set us back around Php 550. Krystal lodge has cooking facilities, which you can use for a small fee. Eran was an all around guide; he even cooked our shrimp and rice for us. We took our seafood haul back to the lodge, and set off for Mt. Tapyas.

Where in the Philippines is Mother Boyle?
Where in the Philippines is Gert Boyle?

 
I didn’t read much about Coron prior to coming here, but I received a text from a friend who’s been there before that he climed 700+ steps to reach its summit. We walked from the lodge to the jump off point, a feat in itself quite taxing. There are several benches lining the steps should you get weary, and about four that’s covered. Gail and I stopped at the first covered rest stop and chatted about… things. We never thought we’d ever go up to the summit, but when a caucasian coupled passed us on their way up AND down, we got up and started climbing. Just a short climb from where we stopped was a picnic area. The area was built in a plateu, so it was mostly walking on flat ground and a couple of gradual steps. We passed Marc going down on the way up. He was going back to the lodge, after going up and taking photos from the summit. There wasn’t any shops selling cold drinks at the top, so it’s advisable to bring some bottled water when going up Mt. Tapyas.

Coron, Palawan - Ferdz's Cam 03
Whee! 😀

 
After several rest stops, Gail and I finally reached the summit. Yay, my second mountain for the year! Who’d have thought? We made it just in time — the sun has set, the last rays of light setting off beautiful colors in the horizon. When it got dark, the cross on top of Mt. Tapyas lit up. Even with this shining beacon, majority of Coron is still uninhabited, so the stars can be clearly seen in the sky.

Cross at Mt. Tapyas
The Cross atop Mt. Tapyas

 
Leaving nothing behind but memories (heehee), we started our descent back into town. The path was lit by several lamp post, but there are areas when it gets really dark. It was lucky that I brought my flash light along. We made it all the way down without stopping, but by the time we reached the bottom, our legs has turned into jelly. Stopping for some cold drinks at the first sari-sari store we came upon, we waited for a tricycle to come along. We gingerly got in and within a minute, we were at the Krystal Lodge, where a sumptous dinner of fresh shrimp awaited. The shrimp was simply boiled, but it was the best shrimp we’ve ever tasted. Dinner was even better with great company and conversation, and after hours of talking about mangroves, coffee and rabid fanboys, we retired to our huts to get some much needed sleep. We’re island hopping tomorrow.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 15 Comments
  1. eric says:

    leave nothing but memories…. ahahhaah how cheesy!!

    LOOOL

  2. nina says:

    Kaw naman, parang iniinsulto mo kung sino man ang naghayag ng mga salitang iyan. Syempre di ko na sasabihin kung sino XD

  3. ronnie says:

    I saw that motivational poster too. Only in the Philippines where you step into a school, and the motivational posters are for the teachers!

  4. Eric says:

    I love that saying “Be proud you are a Teacher, the future depends on you”…..good thing that I took up education and finally realized that my spiritual gift is in teaching….

  5. nina says:

    Ronnie: Haha, maybe they have something inside the classroom for students? Hey, if I were a teacher, I’d be inspired by this quote!

    Eric: Good on you, Eric! 😀

  6. […] for the next two days. After going around the town (and meeting the Mayor), we proceeded to climb Mt. Tapyas. Read more about our Coron, Palawan adventures on Just […]

  7. […] Gratuitous Plurk plugging aside, the one thing that I’ve been itching to blog about Coron are my experience with the Dicapac. Since I’ve been remiss at buying or borrowing ANY […]

  8. […] lights and soon moved to my bed careful not to make much commotion as not to disturb cottage mates Nina and Eric below. As I lay in bed, I could clearly see the lit cross at the top of Mt Tapyas from the […]

  9. Shoot! I didn’t realize there was a place called “The Cross atop Mt. Tapyas”. I was just by the sea most of the time.

  10. ARCHIE says:

    ASK KO LANG PO HOW MUCH PER DAY SA CRYSTAL LODGE..THANKS

  11. ARCHIE says:

    ASK KO NA RIN PO KUNG PER ROOM/DAY ANG RATE OR PER HEAD.. THANKS ULI

  12. ARCHIE says:

    ITO PO PALA EMAIL AD KO ARCHIEPERUNA@YAHOO.COM OR PWEDE RIN PO PAKITEXT NA LANG PO SA KIN SA NUMBER NA ITO 0922-779-2040.. MARAMING SALAMAT PO

  13. […] cheapest part about this Coron trip was the food. Coron town is pretty small, and there’s plenty of cheap dining options. If you’re not to picky, […]

  14. I DO BELIEVE THE ISLAND

    WAS CREATED TO BE LOVED

    SEE THE PIECES OF ISLES

    AND FOR YOU TO ENJOY & LOVE

    HAVING FANTASTIC TIME HA!

  15. jer says:

    great blog… it’s totally inspiring quote for the teachers and my father was a teacher where that board posted.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: