Super relax/adventure/bum mode.
This trip has been scheduled for quite some time now (thanks to CebPac promos) and I’m very glad that this trip really, really went well. This is also the reason why I am not active in visiting and checking some blogsites lately (I promise to TRY to be updated of your posts, hehe). I’ll try to do my best to give you the exact figures that we shelled out so this post (series of posts, actually) may help you if you want to have your own Coron adventure as well. And so here it goes….
CORON ADVENTURE – DAY 1
We were supposed to be nine in the group, but the other four could not make it (bleh!) so us five (Jan + Apple, Joas + Airene, Me) went ahead with the trip. Our flight was scheduled at 9AM last Saturday so we were at NAIA Terminal 3 around 7AM. Our flight was delayed by an hour so we kinda bummed around the airport for a while and took some pictures.
So after the delays and a very exhilarating landing (again! again!), we were able to reach Coron by 11 AM. It was there that I realized that Busuanga is different from Coron. Also, the airport here is like only 1 1/2 years old according to Kuya Jhun, the owner of the pension house where we stayed (more about Kuya Jhun and the pension house later). So, going back, the transport van was waiting for us outside and off we went to our lodging house. It took us around 25-30 minutes from the airport to the lodging house.
When we arrived at the place, we were met with a parade, literally, of some of the locals. The place was actually celebrating their fiesta so there were a lot of celebration and festivities around the area. Here is a video that we took when we arrived at the place.
Anyway, as soon as we arrived at our place, we dumped our bags in the room and headed to the nearest restaurant. We were very, very hungry (or it was just me) and it was lunch time already. The first restaurant that we ate at is Kuya Nonoy’s. It has a carinderia feel on it and the food is ok. The staff are quite nice too. They gamely turned the TV on (which I requested) as it was already Eat Bulaga and I want to watch TV while having lunch, hehe. They also gave me a free sinigang soup.
As soon as we had our lunch, we went straight back to our place and started to “really look” where we were staying for the duration of our vacation. Actually, this part would be a review of where we stayed, which I think is very, very important when having a vacation.
RALPH’S PENSION HOUSE REVIEW
Like I said, we stayed at Ralph’s Pension House which was situated at a very strategic location in Coron. I said strategic since the place is very convenient especially for tourists like us. It is near every place that you need to go to when you are staying here so you’ll spend less on the tricycle fares on your budget.
Well, a bulleted presentation might make my life easy on raising my points here:
- It is located right along the National Road.
- It is a few steps away from the Market.
- It is near the port area, which is actually just at the back of the market.
- It is near the tourism office, which is located beside the market.
- It is near the plaza.
- Every great restaurant that you can find in Coron is just a few steps away from the Pension House.
Amenity wise, they have towels and tissues on the room, which I think is mandatory. Kitchen utensils, plates, stuff are always available. You just wash them after using out of courtesy to other guests. One of the fun parts is that they have no corkage fee! So you can buy your food and booze outside (and there are a lot of stores near the area) and bring them to your room without the extra charge. Also, they have mineral water and overflowing coffee available 24/7. I gotta highlight the coffee as I think this was the most convenient and abused amenity by our group as they always get themselves coffee as the place was just beside our room. Sadly, the wi-fi signals are weak to none at all on our room, but it is available 24/7 at the lounge. We really didn’t mind this though as we were out most of the time and we are dead tired when we are in the room so we just go watch TV til we sleep.
Aside from the above, we also have to take into consideration the rooms that they have to offer. The room that we originally reserved for was for five persons only. I think we were the group with the most number of guests so they offered us one of the largest rooms that they have. They bumped us to the largest room, which was for 7 persons, without any payment increase. So I had a whole queen size bed for myself, hehe. Also, I took the pillows on the single bed, so basically it’s me and the pillows.
The fun part in our room is that we are at the topmost floor so our view is nice. The mini-bar is just beside our room so the overflowing coffee so we just need to go outside the room. And the mini-bar has a magic sing which we can use anytime.
Lastly, the service and the staff. All I can say is that I am hands-up to the kind of service that they offer. They were very accommodating and very,very, very hospitable. We were really treated like guests and it really feels like home. Ate Chat, one of the staffs, was very welcoming and even suggested where we can go on our first day. The owner, Kuya Jhun (He doesn’t want to be called Manong Jhun, hehe), even had the courtesy to visit us on our room on our first day and ask if everything was ok. Not only that, he even supervised some of our trips (even though we didn’t avail of the package that the pension offers) and gamely had fun time with us (read as drinking and singing) on our stay. He even visited us in one of the islands when we were island hopping to make sure that everything is ok. Talk about service! Also, he had some good stories to tell (like he and her wife’s love story, how they started their business, stories of Coron, etc.) and made sure that we really felt comfortable and at home. To top it all off, he even gave us free homemade chocolate cakes on our last night! And, actually, now we are calling him Ninong Jhun, and he knows why, haha.
If you want to visit Coron, I highly suggest this place as this is the most convenient, comfortable, and welcoming pension house that I have ever been. And I myself am looking forward to being here again. They really do what is on their tagline.
For more info on their place, you may check their website which you can find here.
END OF REVIEW
On with the trip, as Ate Chat suggested, we can try heading first to Mt. Tapyas and then go to Maquinit Hot Springs. The road to Mt Tapyas was just like two blocks away from the pension house so we arranged our stuff and walked our way to Tapyas Road.
THE ROAD TO MT TAPYAS
A few steps away from the pension house is Tapyas road. There is a very long set of stairs to react the summit of Mt Tapyas where it houses a big cross and gives an ultimate breathtaking view of Coron. Physically fit (insert sarcastic note here) as I was, I wasn’t able to reach the peak of the mountain. I kinda zoned out on the last resting place in the area and I was afraid to push myself more on reaching the top as I was experiencing shortness of breath already. It was just a few more steps actually, but I kinda wanted to be on the safe side since in the event of an unwanted situation, help would be definitely scarce and next to impossible. Baka matapyas ung buhay ko kapag pinilit ko pang umakyat, hehe. Luckily, there were vendors in the area so I was able to rehydrate myself. Also, the view from the not-so-top was already amazing so I snapped a few pictures. Luckily, the others were able to reach the summit and here are some of the pictures that we took:
MAQUINIT HOT SPRINGS
After a very physical and exhausting activity. It was time to relax and check out Maquinit Hot Springs. For this, we walked our way to the national road and hailed a tricycle. The tricycles can comfortably sit six people as it has extra seats at the back (really petite persons can fir four here comfortably). The ride was about 30-45 minutes from the pension house. There is a P100 peso entrance fee to the Hot Springs but the cottages and tables are free to use.
We did not immediately dipped in the waters as it was really effing hot. It was raining then, but not that strong, more of a drizzle, so we were really cold. We lounged and dipped our feets first so our body temperatures can adjust to the heat and then off we went soaking our dead-tired bodies in the pool. Luckily Joas-hole brought his waterproof camera so we were able to take pictures. However, it was hard to take excellent pictures as there were steam and mist all over the place. So these are the photos that are not veiled by steam and mists:
After that relaxing swim, we headed back to the pension house, had a quick shower and went to one of the recommended restaurants as per the in-flight magazine that we read on the plane, Bistro Coron.
BISTRO CORON – LAMON POWERS ON!
Bisto Coron is just a few steps away from the pension house. Located at the corner of the National Road, the restaurant/bar is said to have one of the finest steaks in town. In my observation, most guests of the restaurants were foreigners. The foreigner guests besides us are even playing a game of cards (I dunno what game though) while having beer. After settling in, we placed our orders and after some five – ten minutes, our food was served.
The Pork with Pepper Sauce was quite good. The meat is tender and the sauce was delicious. It was spicy and it does have a kick into it which is just right. I would certainly order one of these again given the chance.
Meanwhile, the meat in the Pork with Herb and Butter dish has the same consistency with the one above. I think they just like have cooked pork and just drizzle it with the sauce of your choice. However, the flavor in this dish doesn’t make that much of a statement so it’s just like eating a regular fried pork dish.
The Chicken Curry dish on the other hand has quite a lot of vegetables in it. I might be biased on this one as for my opinion, a dish loaded with curry powder all tastes the same. That being said, this dish didn’t really quite made a mark on me. I have yet to find a chicken curry dish that would really differentiate itself with the other chicken curry dishes.
One thing also is that their rice serving is very small. It’s like two 1/4 cup of rice. I think this is because their target customers are foreigners so it acts more of a side dish. You have an option though to change them to potatoes but seeing as we are all rice persons, we opted for such. So if you really like a full meal, you might want to order for yourself some extra rice.
END OF DAY 1
That wraps up our first day in Coron. We didn’t had a booze night since we need to get up early for our adventure the next day which is Island Hopping. Also, some of the guests raced us to the magic sing so we just lazed around, watched tv, and played PSP. =p
More photos of our trip to Coron on my Facebook account (if you actually care, hehe).
MY BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
I would not include here our airfare since we got it on a promo. Try to snag one of the promos of our local air travel companies if you plan to go to Coron.
ROOM = P7500 for 3 nights P7500 / 5 pax = P1500
MT TAPYAS = P25 x 2 Mineral Water = P50
MAQUINIT HOT SPRING = Entrance fee = P100
TRICYCLE = Back and forth P300/5 pax = P60
CORON BISTRO = Pork w/ Pepper Sauce = P210
Extra Rice = P20
TOTAL = P1940