Monday, January 20, 2014

All good things must come to an end

After my day on the water, and a refreshing shower, I figured I should devote a little time to the streets of Coron.  I ventured out with my camera, but no real purpose or destination in mind.  On the way out of the Sea Dive resort I ran into our captain from the day, Jam-Jam, who seemed amused when I responded "I don't know" to his question of where I was headed.  If there was a rush hour in Coron I think I ran straight into it, the market and surrounding streets were overflowing with people, many of which appeared to be school kids, recently released from class.  I zig-zaged my way through the rows upon rows of market stalls, covered a few blocks of the center of town and started to head up towards Mt. Tapyas when I ran into Ian, my new friend from the previous days boat. 

Like me, Ian was out for an afternoon walk to explore the town, after spending the better part of his day studying - he was planning on completely his scuba diving certification while in Coron. I decided to join him and continue wandering, eventually finding ourselves in a very Korean cafe.  I was actually surprised by the amount of Korean I saw in Coron; Cebu sure I know a lot of Korean's move there, but all the way our here on this tiny island? Well that's a little more impressive.  We eventually found ourselves at Lolo Nonoy's, an unassuming but delicious spot for dinner.  Although I wasn't very hungry thank to my lunch feast, we ordered a variety of Filipino dishes: pork sisig, pancit bihon, and lumpiang ubad, after all this was one of my final meals in the Philippines.  We finished the evening with a few more drinks back at the Sea Dive resort, relaxing evening to a great [first] day in Coron.

One of these things is not like the other 

First school bus scene in the Philippines

More impressive than the coast guard 

Cute and delicious  

Friday morning I was up early, no surprise there, and after arranging my airport pickup for later that afternoon, decided to make the trek up Mt. Tapyas.  Ian had told me the view wasn't really that impressive but I didn't have many other options for the day and also had barely done any form of hiking during my trip, so I wanted to check it out.  It's not so much of a hike as it is a never-ending staircase up the side of a hill, 720 of them to be exact.  From the top of Mt. Tapyas (and on the way up) you could see some of the effects that typhoon Haiyan had on Coron.  There were many trees uprooted from the ground, buildings destroyed, and most notable was the cross at the top of Mt. Tapyas which was completely knocked over. 

Maybe halfway up

View from the top 

Had to do something different than the peace sign

The cross which was unfortunately destroyed by the typhoon

Could've kept hiking that way, but I had a plane to catch


After my hike it was still early so I wandered around town trying to decide what to do with the rest of my day, more importantly, what I was going to eat.  I did another stroll through the market looking for any last minute purchases or souvenirs, and then wandered over to Lualhati park to relax and observe the boatmen at work.  Before heading back to the hotel to pack up and leave I returned to a small restaurant I had walked by the day before.  I ordered my final Filipino breakfast, this time opting for the Longsilog, and throughly enjoyed every last bite.

After effects of the typhoon 

Good place to relax, besides all the boat men asking if I want to go island hopping 

Boat captains in the making 

My time in Coron definitely went by too quickly, I wouldn't have minded another day to relax and explore, hop around some more islands or check out the hot springs.  There were definitely less tourist in Coron than in El Nido which let me get a better feel for what the city is really like. In El Nido you really only get to experience all of the stores and companies catering to the tourist, not too many mom and pop shops left, and if there are you kind of have to look for them.  Although I was reluctant to leave my airport shuttle arrived right on time to deliver me to the airport.  It was an interesting ride, winding through the countryside of Busuanga island, but allowed me to meet Jan and his friends - providing me with a great ending to my time in the Philippines. 

My home for two [short] days in Coron 

Your'e welcome, and I will 

Busuanga island from above 

A nice way to say goodbye 

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