CORONicles Day 2: Coron Island Loop Tour
CORONicles Day 3: Malcapuya Loop tour
CORONicles Day 4: What Should've Been An Awesome Calumbuyan Tour
CORONicles Day 5: Wrap Up and Post-Travel Accounting
This was the day we'd been all waiting for. After months of preparation and a fewproblems on the way, the time has finally come for us to momentarily forget about the rat race and put on some sunscreen. Even with just a few hours of sleep, Toto, Kert and I excitedly prepared for our 9:25 flight. After eating breakfast at McDo, we hailed a cab to take us to the the airport.
We arrived before 7AM and were pleasantly surprised to know that there's actually an express counter for lite fare passengers. The verification of tickets didn't take 5 minutes of our time. The guy at the counter didn't even weigh our bags anymore. He just said, "7 kilos lang po ang allowed ha?" Our boarding time was 08:55AM so that's about 1.5 hours to burn. Time was very slow, especially for Kert who was so anxious to take his first ever plane ride :)
Cebu Pacific's ground crew started calling Busuanga-bound passengers. Kert was extra nervous :) I suddenly remembered my first time to ride a plane -- also bound for Coron!
I'm not sure about the exact time our plane took off but our flight was definitely not delayed. As far as my memory's concerned, my first flight with Cebu Pacific was a little bit delayed due to air traffic.
We finally arrived at the Francisco B. Reyes Airport in Busuanga Island without any problems. It was a short 45-minute ride from Manila. "'Yun na 'yun?!," sabi ng nabitin na si Kert ;p Since we didn't check in any baggage, we went straight outside the airport and looked for a guy holding a paper with my name on it. Didn't have a hard time spotting kuya. Our resort already arranged for a van to fetch us, but I think the one-way fare from the airport to Coron town is P150/head.
After less than an hour of bumpy ride, we finally arrived at the resort. The sight of Gran Vista made me smile. It brought back lots of wonderful memories. We were so happy and tremendously excited to be back! Ms. Gigi, the owner, and her staff warmly welcomed us.
After resting for a bit and while waiting for our lunch to be served, we decided to walk around the resort. There have been a lot of changes over the last three years. There were some additions that I personally didn't like (which I will be discussing in a separate post), but changes are inevitable -- especially in a business that constantly changes to accommodate the ever-dynamic needs of the guests and does everything to catch up with competitors. Competition is stiff, especially now that tourism in Coron is on the way to its peak and Boracay investors are starting to creep in.
Lunch time! For day 1 lunch, we had unlimited rice, adobong pusit, fish a la pobre and sinigang na bangus. They charged us P200/person for this meal (and for the succeeding lunch and dinner meals ahead). You could save a lot of money if you eat in decent eateries in town, but the town is 10 minutes away from the resort and we wanted to save ourselves from the hassle of scouring for cheap food when our stomachs were already declaring war. Besides, that's the reason why we availed of Ms. Gigi's packages -- we wanted to just relax, take it easy and leave everything to her and her crew's hands.
Time to start our town tour. Kuya Bobby, Ms Gigi's nephew, was our tour guide and tricycle driver. Our first stop was Mt. Tapyas. No entrance fee required but you need to hire a tricycle to take you around town. We paid P500 for the rented tricycle (tricycle fee not per site but for the whole duration of the tour, max. of 3 pax/tricycle).
700+ steps. That's a lot, especially for someone who hasn't had a decent exercise for the last year or so. The result? I was the last one to reach the top because I took a rest for every 10 steps I made. I was a whiny, fat-ass chick that time.
Make sure you bring a lot of water with you when you climb Mt. Tapyas. It's gonna be an exhausting climb, I tell ya!
Finally, the sight of the cross!!! I finally reached the top of Mt. Tapyas! More than anything else, I was so happy and so proud of myself to have reached the top without fainting (I almost did halfway through the climb). That's definitely a sign that I need to lose weight now!
And it provided us a perfect venue for these:
After a seemingly endless session of picture taking and cam whoring, we finally decided to go back to Kuya Bobby. Going down was definitely a loooot easier than going up. We were all so exhausted and were looking forward to having a nice time at the Maquinit Hot Spring. We were also excited to spend the rest of the night with Ate Pong, Ate Inday, Kuya Jojo and Yenyen, who took the 3:05PM flight to Busuanga.
Maquinit Hot Spring is 15 minutes away from Mt. Tapyas, but the ride ain't that smooth baby. We had to endure the very bumpy and very muddy tricycle ride before we reached the hot spring. Entrace fee is P150/head. Drivers are not allowed to stay inside the site, only the guides can stay in the cottages to watch over the tourists' personal belongings.
For dinner, we were served with crabs and adobong manok with pinya. I really enjoyed this meal because I haven't had anything since 1PM and the hike to Mt. Tapyas made me really hungry.
Day 1 expenses below per person (without airfare).
P150.00 - Van from Airport to Gran Vista
P200.00 - Lunch in Gran Vista
P167.00 - Tricycle hire for town tour
P150.00 - Maquinit Hot Spring Entrance
P200.00 - Dinner
P867.00 - Total expenses per person