- Busuanga, Palawan
- Hooked with SUP
- LIVING IN CORON, PALAWAN
- Coron Westown Resort
- Enchanting Coron
- Coron Hidden Eden
- Enchanting Coron, a 360 deg. view
- Halina sa Coron
- Palawan safest, no earthquake faults
- Coron and the Calamianes group of islands
- Wonderful Beautiful Coron, Palawan
- Foreign Ownership of Land in the Philippines
- Islands of Wonders
SUP means Stand Up Paddling, the latest craze in Coron.
At 60, I was quite apprehensive to do it. But the clear waters in Coron beckons. I was curious to experience the amazing view while on top of a paddle board, also to test my aging knees.
So one day, I finally said yes to the invitation of my friend and part-time neighbor in Fernvale, Michi Calica Sotto to join them SUPping. Michi is the founder of SUP Central, a company that organizes SUP tours in select sites in Philippines. So here I was in my first try:
We paddled beside limestone walls going to the cove. What an amazing view over and under water! I fell out of my board and into the water three times haha. But no worry because you will not be separated from the paddle board as your foot is strapped to a leash connected to the board. So I was not scared even without a life vest on. After few minutes of paddling around the cove, Michi called us to explore a secret beach inside a small cave behind the limestone walls. What a wonderful experience!
After one try at paddling, I was hooked!
Then next time, I tried the mangrove sunset tour. We started at the river at the back of Fernvale.
My 3rd time to SUP
SUPping in Coron lagoons
It was windy and the water was rough for paddling during that day. So the boatman decided to bring us directly inside the lagoons where the water was calm.
Above photo shows part of the enchanting Coron Island. Inside this island are beautiful lagoons.
Here we are with my companions during that day. We started paddling at the green lagoon, then to blue lagoon, then to twin lagoons.
I feel bit scared when the water down there is blue because it means very deep. I don’t like to risk falling down into the water. So I usually sit on the board during this time.
SUP lunch. Delicious!
It’s been almost two (2) years since we’ve moved in here in this beautiful place Coron, Palawan.
I’ve gained some friends, made mistakes and (hopefully) learned lessons along the way. Gardening, which is a passion, took a big part of my time in the 1st year. Previously filled with tall grasses, our garden is now filled with vegetables and fruits that I can harvest when we need them. Fresh and organically grown. My kind of thing.
My partner is now part of a growing European community in Coron. I just hope that soon, medical and health facilities will improve because these are lacking here. We have to travel to Manila for the needed check-ups with specialist doctors. A new district hospital building is at the moment in construction stage to replace the present old worn-out hospital building. We hope that when it is finished, the much needed specialist doctors would also come.
Being a “touristic” place, prices of goods and most commodities are higher here than in other places, except for fish and sea foods being sold in the public market which are still cheaper. The booming tourism industry provided livelihood for locals and migrants. In the near future (2017), hopefully Coron/ Busuanga airport will become an international airport.
Would I still recommend this place as a retirement destination? For nature lovers and active retirees, definitely Yes! Nature in Coron and Busuanga is simply….amazing!
Coron Westown Resort, the newest luxe resort-hotel in Coron is located almost opposite Fernvale Living & Leisure Subdivision. The official video (AVP) of Coron Westown Resort also shows some attractions in Coron with background music of Tribu Calamianen, a local band in Coron.
The article I wrote in Roots&Wings, an online Filipino magazine based in Europe.
By: Pops delos Santos
If you are a nature lover, you would definitely be attracted to Coron.
I have fallen in love with Coron even before I personally saw it. The advances in technology allow you to learn about places that you’ve never been to and people that you’ve never met. It was in 2010 when I first learned about the beauty of Coron through friends. So, in my succeeding visit to the Philippines, Coron was first in my travel itinerary after visiting my family.
The sight before our plane landed in Busuanga airport is fascinating. I saw beautiful islands scattered down there. The first time I visited Coron was during the middle of a rainy season. The islands looked naturally greener then. The second time was in the middle of the dry season, the islands looked bit brown but was still looking amazing.
Coron is known as the wreck diving capital of the Philippines. It is also considered as one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations. Besides 12 World War II Japanese shipwrecks which have become home to colorful fishes and corals, there are also underwater caves, geothermal lakes, coral reefs and limestone walls that make diving a fantastic experience for experienced and inexperienced divers.
For those who are not into diving, Coron nevertheless, offers fantastic sights to explore and a snorkeling experience to cherish for a lifetime. It is a sight to behold overwater and underwater.
This article will give you an idea how I come to love this place. I’ve been to many beautiful places in the Philippines in connection with my work and profession but I cannot resist the beauty and charm of Coron that I decided to make it my next home.
Some of the islands that you can see before landing and after take-off in Busuanga airport. The photo was taken in the middle of the dry season hence the islands are bit brown in color.
Please note that Coron municipality is not located in Coron island. Coron island is only a part of a bigger Coron municipality. Coron municipality comprises more than half of Busuanga island, the biggest island in the Calamianes group of islands, plus Coron island and other smaller islands and islets. It is located at the northernmost part of Palawan, Philippines. Because it is the location of the airport (Francisco B. Reyes airport) and seaport, Coron serves as jump-off point of tourists and people going the Calamian archipelago and also the center of trade and business in the area.
Blessed with pristine white beaches, turquoise waters, awesome limestone cliffs, volcanic lakes, natural hot springs, caves, enchanting lagoons, stunning coral reefs, a thriving marine population, plus World War II shipwrecks for a piece of Philippine history, Coron is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit and to explore in the Philippines.
Hollywood style “Coron” town sign as seen from Lualhati Park beside Coron bay.
Coron Island is the 3rd largest island in the Calamianes group of islands. The entire island is designated as Ancestral Domain of the indigenous Tagbanua people. Only two out of several lakes in Coron island are open to visitors.
Map of Coron Island. Only portions of Coron Island are open to visitors. Most part of the island is considered sacred, off-limits to visitors to protect the Tagbanuas way of life and traditions.
Attractions & Activities
- Siete Pecados
Siete Pecados is one of the best sites to snorkel around Coron. Here, you feel like swimming in an open aquarium, with great variety of colorful fishes and beautiful corals. It is a marine sanctuary consisting of seven islets and its surrounding waters. It is only 15 minutes boat (banca) ride from Coron town proper.
2. Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake is one of several enchanting hidden lakes in Coron island and only a 20-minute boat (banca) ride from Coron town proper. The water in Kayangan Lake is clear, clean, calm, and brackish, a combination of warm seawater and water from cold mountain springs.
Amazing limestone walls and unique rock formations on the way to Kayangan Lake.
Kayangan Bay, probably the most photographed area in Coron. This view is what you see when you reach the top of the rainforest going to Kayangan Lake by hiking via a carved path. At this point, you can check out the lagoon where you came from and where the boats are parked. Beside this point lies the mouth of a cave that is not yet opened to the public.
Kayangan Lake has clear, clean, calm and brackish (a combination of salt and fresh) water. It takes about 10 minutes hiking up and down the rainforest to reach this lake.
3. Barracuda Lake
Hidden behind majestic limestone walls, Barracuda lake is named after a large barracuda fish that inhabits there. Here, divers experience changes in water temperatures ranging from 28C to 38C, and can see thermoclines (a variation of water temperature at the surface and deeper below) at depth of 4 and 14 meters. Source source of info.: http://www.philippinediving.com
The way to Barracuda lake which is located behind the towering limestone walls is to climb up and down the wooden stairway (in this photo, at the middle of limestone walls, top of the kissing couple). This is accessible via a 20-minute banca ride from Coron town proper. The climb up and down the stairs to reach the lake is shorter than in Kayangan lake.
4. Twin Lagoon
Twin lagoon. An about 2 meter-wide hole connects the two lagoons. During low tide as can be seen in above photo, you can see the hole and can easily swim from one lagoon to the other. During high tide, it is an exciting adventure to swim through the hole to get to the other lagoon. Another way of going from one lagoon to the other during high tide is to climb the ladder shown in above photo.
5. Mt. Tapyas
The base of Mt. Tapyas can be reached by about 5 minutes walk from Coron town proper. The climb to the top of the mountain takes 700+ steps, less than an hour via paved stairs that begins beside a basketball court and ends at the view deck. In between flight of stairs are shaded areas where you can rest or catch your breath. There are also handrails installed from the base up to the last step of the concrete stairs and at the top of the mountain. The view deck at the top offers a panoramic vista of the town and the surrounding islands. It is also an ideal place to view the beautiful sunrise and sunset in Coron.
Beautiful sunset as viewed from Mt. Tapyas view deck.
6. Maquinit Hotspring
A dip at the salty water of Maquinit Hotspring relaxes and rejuvenates your tired body after you’ve done island hopping, trekking or whatever activity you had during the day. It is located 5 kilometers away (or a tricycle ride away) from Coron town proper.
7. Other Attractions and Activities
Looking at a tourism map of a popular eco-tourism entity in Coron, I noticed that there are still lots of attractive places that I still have to explore and experience there. Black island, Dibutonay island, Malcapuya island, Banana island, Malaroyroy island, Calumbuyan island are just few of them plus few more interesting marine parks, in addition to the twelve Japanese shipwrecks in which some are shallow enough for snorkeling.
When you are in Coron, other interesting islands in the Calamianes archipelago are also nearby. One is Calauit island which is located on the other side of Busuanga island. Declared by the government as a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1977, it is home to both endemic animals and African wildlife. Here, animals from Kenya such as giraffes and elands, zebras and gazelles co-exist with endemic Philippine animals such as the Palawan bearcat, mousedeer and peacock pheasant. The island is also home to more than seventy species of birds, of which ten of them are rare.
One other interesting island we have visited while we were in Coron is Culion, the second largest island in the Calamianes. Culion was once the world’s largest leper colony for nearly a century. After the declaration of World Health Organization that leprosy has been totally eradicated, Culion has started to attract local and foreign tourists because of its colorful history, in addition to its breathtaking nature and unique sets of flora and fauna.
The view upon approaching Culion island. You can reach Culion island via a 2-hour bigger boat ride from Coron town proper.
Establishments in Coron
Tourism in Coron has been booming after the opening of Busuanga airport in 2008. Since then, the number of tourists has increased many times over. This resulted in continuing construction of hotels, lodges, resorts and related establishments to accommodate and service increasing number of visitors.
With the government now realizing the potential of tourism in the nation’s economic progress, we can expect new constructions and/or improvement of roads, bridges, airports and seaports all over the country. When I first visited Coron in mid2011, lots of bridges there were in state of disrepair you would feel bit nervous to cross it. But in my second visit there last February 2013, I noticed that those bridges have already been replaced with new concrete and steel structures. The local government of Coron has also already solved the perennial water supply problem. The power problem will also be soon a thing of the past with the construction of a new power plant which will have a capacity of more than triple the current capacity. In addition, Coron will soon have a high-speed internet and telecommunications network with the on-going laying and installation of fiber optic cables in Palawan by Globe Telecommunications company.
There are no malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Coron and in Calamianes group of islands. However, you should take normal precaution as you would in any place with ordinary mosquitoes. Applying mosquito repellent on exposed skin when sitting outside at night is always advisable.
Peace and Order
The atmosphere in Coron is very peaceful, with very low (almost zero) crime rate. The people in Coron are tourist-friendly. Tricyle drivers and boatmen are also oriented to act as tour guides. A prominent Coronian told me that people in Coron have jobs. This fact plus the natural beauty of the surroundings could be the reason why Coron is a peaceful place. But as they say, there are good and bad people everywhere, so exercising a bit of caution is always advised.
Risks from Natural Calamities
As can be seen from the hazard maps of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, there are no active faults traversing in and along the whole province of Palawan. It is also seldom visited by typhoons.
How to Get There
There are daily flights to Coron from Manila (Manila-Busuanga) and vice versa via Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, and Zest Air. There are also boat trips from/to Manila, Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and other islands.
References and links
About the author:
Pops delos Santos is a Certified Public Accountant and a licensed Real Estate Broker in the Philippines. She presently resides in Nieuwegein, Netherlands.
from Living Asia Channel
A 360 deg. view of Coron town as seen from the baywalk (Lualhati park) beside the sea.
I took this video during our first visit to Coron in July 2011. Coron town is protected by outer islands. It was love at first sight. Beautiful!
Welcome to Coron by Tribu Calamianen
Palawan safest, no earthquake faults
RP Fault Zone one of world’s longest at 1,200 km
By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:50:00 01/16/2010
Filed Under: Earthquake
APART from the profusion of spectacular landscapes and seascapes that has made it the favorite of many travelers, it would seem that the paradise island of Palawan also offers the safest haven for those fearful of a Haiti-like tremor occurring in the country.
Compared to other parts of the Philippines, Palawan is “relatively stable” geologically, according to Mahar Lagmay, a professor of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS).
“There are hardly any earthquakes in Palawan and certainly none strong enough to cause major damage. The whole island is probably the most stable area of land in the country,” Lagmay said.
An expert on earthquake faults, Lagmay has constructed a map of earthquake epicenters which he plotted using information from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) from 1929 to 2009.
Lagmay said there were hardly any active faults under the island compared to the rest of the country. (A fault or fault line is a fracture in the rock within the earth’s crust that is the causal location of most earthquakes.)
Continental, not oceanic, rock
While Palawan does have fault lines, these are “old” and experts are still debating whether these fault lines are active or not, Lagmay said.
For instance, there is an ongoing and heated debate on whether the Ulugan Bay fault near the famed Palawan Underground River is active, Lagmay said.
Lagmay believes Palawan is stable largely because the island was once part of continental Asia which separated around 100 million years ago and drifted toward the Philippines.
“The rock of the island is continental and different from other parts of the country, which is made of oceanic rock,” he said.
Hence, the crust of the island is thicker at 30 kilometers, compared to the oceanic rock’s 12 km, having derived from the Pacific seabed.
“The crust of the island is thicker and older and, therefore, not as prone to earthquakes,” said Lagmay.
No major faults
The island is also not bordered by any major trench or fault line, he said.
“The South China Sea area is more stable tectonically. Combined with the continental material, there is little chance for the development of active faults in Palawan,” he said.
Also, the movement of the ground in the South China Sea is not as fast as the eastern side of Luzon, which is moving toward the Asian mainland at the rate of 7 centimeters a year, and the eastern side of Mindanao, which is moving toward the Asian mainland at 10 cm a year.
“Because of the slow movement, there is no compression of forces in the island,” Lagmay said.
On the other hand, large parts of the Philippine archipelago are sandwiched between two trenches, the Manila Trench in the west and the Philippine Trench in the east.
“Movements in these trenches generate stress in the faults. That is why there are so many earthquakes in the mainland [Philippines],” he said.
“If you ask me where I would build a house in the country, I’d say Palawan,” he said.
Longest fault system
According to Lagmay, the Philippines is encased in an intricate network of trenches and faults that is one of the most, if not the most complex in the world in terms of tectonics and geology.
The centerpiece of the country’s fault system is the Philippine Fault Zone (PFZ) which is one of the longest in the world at around 1,200 km.
The PFZ starts in Aparri and snakes past the Cordilleras, passing through Nueva Ecija, down to Quezon and the Bondoc Peninsula into Leyte, and from there skipping into northern Mindanao to the southern end of the island into Davao.
The PFZ, Lagmay explained, is a left-lateral strike slip fault. This means that if you were to put one foot on one side of the fault and the other foot on the other side of the fault, the left side of the fault would be moving toward you while the right side would be moving away from you. Also, the right side, or block, would be more advanced than the left block.
A strike-slip fault means the two blocks are moving against each other horizontally.
Lagmay explained that the length of the fault is related to its capacity to generate a large- magnitude earthquake.
“The larger the fault, the greater its potential to produce a strong earthquake,” he said.
In 1990, the PFZ generated a 7.9-magnitude quake that shook Metro Manila and Luzon.
Other earthquake fault lines are the trenches running underwater on the western and eastern sides of the country.
There is the Manila Trench on the west of the country which runs from the Batanes islands, curving through the waters off the Ilocos region, Pangasinan, Zambales and into Mindoro island.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), movement in the Manila Trench caused the Jan. 12 magnitude 5.2 earthquake near Olongapo City that was felt in Metro Manila.
There is also the longer Philippine Trench located underwater east of the country. It runs roughly from waters off Aurora down to Samar, and past Mindanao.
Other underwater trenches in the country include the East Luzon Trough, the Negros Trench that is connected to the Sulu Trench, and the Cotabato Trench.
In addition, there are also the smaller faults. Notable of the smaller fault lines is the Valley Fault System, also known as the Western Marikina Valley Fault System, which is nearest to Metro Manila.
According to Lagmay, Metro Manila was damaged heavily six times in the last 400 years by earthquakes. But the source of these earthquakes is uncertain.
A study by the USGS and the Phivolcs in 2000 showed that the Valley Fault experienced four large surface rupture events since 600 AD, occurring over a period separated by between 200 and 400 years. The study also said the last fault event in the Valley Fault occurred in the past 200 years.
Lagmay said the Valley Fault is capable of generating an earthquake with a magnitude of between 6 and 7.
Luzon, Mindanao faults
Besides the Valley Fault system, other faults in Luzon include the West Ilocos Fault System, the Dummon River Fault System in Cagayan, the East Zambales Fault, the Iba Fault and the Lubang Fault.
Fault systems in the Visayas include the West Panay Fault, the Southern Samar Lineament, the Central Negros Fault, the Cebu Lineament and the East Bohol Fault.
In Mindanao, there is the Mindanao Fault, the Lanao Fault System, the Davao River Fault, the Central Mindanao Fault and the Tangbulan Fault.
The result of all these faults is that between 5,000 and 7,000 earthquakes occur in the country each year, or an average of between 200 and 250 quakes a day, according to Phivolcs. But most of these earthquakes are not felt. Last year, Phivolcs tallied around 210 earthquakes in the country.
“As we are talking right now, there is a small earthquake occurring somewhere in the country,” Lagmay said.
from the Living Asia Channel