Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Love You, Coron

Sun-hugged face, insect-bitten back, beautiful tan line, bloated tummy - that's me after I got back from one of the best adventures I have to date! I am feeling a bit under the weather now but my inner self can't let this night pass without me scribbling something for the trip. But on the hindsight, I am also quite unsure whether I can give justice in describing how great the experience was. Nevertheless, let me try by giving you a glimpse as to how our three day expedition went - maybe not that perfect but I will try to make it so close to real.

Welcome to our humble abode in the midst of the sea. This I tell you -  the best place to sip your coffee, savor your sumptuous meal, and drink your beer is right at this boat. Our captain, who was also our chef during the entire trip, is the best at both of his crafts. It was not just the natural beauty that put us in awe but the wonderful experience of exploring the depth turquoise waters and abandoned islands through admirable service of Kuya Rodel. Just imagine being in a remote island but have all the good food served at you at all times of the day. And when I say good food, it IS good food. Luxury in its own kind!

After we immersed ourselves under the water and enjoyed the shipwreck and the hungry schools of various fish, the most majestic sunset welcomed us at Calambuyan island. The sunset was so perfect in its magnificent ring with golden rays singing through the faces of the darkening clouds. As his majesty slowly puts himself to sleep, I could see his promise of another beautiful day when he rise at the other side of the world. It was just so dramatic...

The Calambuyan island was all for ourselves that night. There wasn't any electricity and fresh water was limited but in exchange of that scarcity, we found solace having dinner under the clustering stars sitting through the peaceful sky. Delectable treats were served to us - chicken curry (yes, chicken curry in a remote island!), broiled fresh fish, a mountain of ripe mangoes, and an ice cold Coke! We did party that night, too. We had the gushing waves slapping the sea shore as our DJ, the gleaming stars as our disco lights, the red moon as our spotlight, and our unfathomable laughters as the noise of the crowd! I say that was the best party I had!

The chirping of the hornbill was our alarm clock like as if the bird was scolding us for nearly missing the first smile of Mr. Sun. The equally beautiful sunrise welcomed another day for us with an admirable pride on his magnificence. Seeing the calm waters made us too excited to explore yet another wave of unexpected beauty underneath. With our life vests and snorkling gears on, we dived into the clear waters and rummaged through the beauty of the different corals dancing to the tune of the nature's beat. They were so fragile and magical that I want to put some sort of an indestructible fences just so their beauty can be preserved forever.

Our next stop was Brgy. Concepcion where we didn't expect much on the waterfalls side trip but what was memorable was meeting the six young boys (who happened to be brothers as well) who have touched our hearts while swimming with them. They don't have much. They are thin little boys but their genuine brotherhood is beyond comparable. They enjoyed the simplicity of the falls and you could see their simple joys in swimming through the cold waters. As we leave the falls, we noticed that one of the little boys was carried by his brother at the back. Then we realized that he was stricken with polio which deformed his legs and disallowed him to walk in an uneven surface. They could have left him in their home, but no, they brought their disabled brother to play with them. And what's more striking? The older siblings were alternately carrying their brother with no slippers at all. Heartbreaking scenes. We gave them 20 Php each and chocolates which brighten their faces to a very pleasing state. Simple joys, simple joys.

It was freaking hot as the sun stood straight to our faces when we hopped in to our boat. Just as exhaustion starts to creep into our system, Kuya Edwin, our assistant, handed as ice cold beers and played some beach appropriate songs that put us all to a yet another wonderful experience. "This is the life!" - we all screamed through our lungs while acting like lost explorers in the vast body of water. The feeling was indescribable. There is a sense of fulfilment thinking that you earn that priviledge of lounging to the beach and taste life's luxury from all the hard work. And how can I forget our lunch? We all munched on liempo, red eggs, fried fish, and watermelon to satisfy our hungry tummies.

Let the photo below describe how great it is to bond with your cup of coffee under the clear blue skies and in your Rayban shades while being surrouded with amazing people! I tell you, Starbucks is out of the game. :)

In the middle of a three-hour boat ride to Pamalican island, we again drenched ourselves in the wonderful waters and feasted on the spectacular beauty of marine life. There is just that certain state of serenity when you visit their world underneath which tells you that life is full of vibrant colors. The calmness of the sea evokes a sheer peacefulness that drives you to love life more.

Pamalican island has one of the best sand beaches I've been to. May the rundown of photos help me describe how great this island is.

Then our boat led us to the another island called CYC which became our home for the night. Pitching our tents under the stars and securing a pitcher of fresh water to refresh ourselves are just some of the best experiences we had with the island. We filled the entire island with the night's jokes, laughters, and quirky stories. And yes, some of our friends when emo while jamming with love songs under the lovely stars wrapping the island's life.

With aching body from last night's sleeping adventure in the tent, we greeted the morning with same excitement to see Coron's iconic scenery - the Kayangan and Barracuda lakes! But before the fun begins, of course we have to give respect to the king of the sky - our favorite nature's gift - the sunrise! It was a majestic scene to behold - with silver rays creating a curtain onto the thick cottony clouds and amiable summer gleam! Our breakfast nearly brought us to comatose state as all the types of "silog" were extended on our table. Ah, Kuya Rodel really doesn't fail us when it comes to bloating our tummies!

Just as I thought that corals reign the underwaters, these lakes proved me wrong. What we unearth into these jaw-dropping giant limestone formations and bodies of water are ___ shining through the summer's heat. Reaching the lake is like opening a pandora's box. Kept in the middle of vast sea are these two amazing natural treasures that enveloped a Brazilian guy (who was swimming with us) with envy to our wonderful country. The glorious formations lying on the bed of the lake is something that exudes mystery and depth of the nature's limitless beauty. It was just so breathtaking!

...and it was time to get back to reality. Boom, everyone was still clamoring for more but with a pang of heavy heart and a lazy pair of feet, we need to face our world and leave our home in the middle of the sea.

Yes, it was an adventure that is worth all these babbling and day dreaming. I miss everything that made this trip to be one for the books! Certainly, we are coming back.

As we get back to the cozy airport of Busuanga, we have that sense of pride seeing a lot of foreigners pavede their way to this amazing part of Palawan. We were outnumbered but we were damn proud to be Filipinos!

Coron, you left a remarkable spot in my heart. Till we meet again. :)

Photo credits to my friends!