There are pineapples behind our cottage. Coconut trees line the shore. And there are hammocks in front of the cottages where one can retreat to should you want to relax and escape from the heat inside the cottages.
Coron Island Tour – We wouldn’t want to miss the best Coron has to offer. Majika offers this tour so we were covered.
Sangat island Tour – Majika is located just across Sangat Island and they also offer this tour. However, because of my dysmenorrhea, we had to miss this. No worries though. We have time in our hands.
Culion – I’ve always wanted to see this historic place. Majika doesn’t offer tours going to Cullion. That is why I arranged for a two-night stay in Coron Village Lodge. Many tour operators in town offer a trip to Cullion.
Calauit – Since we are already in the area, we wanted to take the opportunity to see this animal reserve. This is closer to Club Paradise so we opted to take the tour there.
With these in mind, I’ve arranged 3 nights stay in Majika, 2 nights in Coron Village Lodge and 3 nights in Club Paradise. The last leg of our vacation was really meant for rest and relaxation, save for a trip to Calauit.
We didn’t stay long as we made an arrangement to meet one of my very best friends and her hubby for dinner. Michelle, her husband Jay, sister and parents were also vacationing in Coron. They were billeted in a lodge just beside Coron Village Lodge. We initially planned to eat at Bistro Coron but it was full so we went to La Sirenetta instead. The restaurant was located near the pier so we had a great view of the sea. We ordered two types of pizza and pasta. The food was great, the company even better.
By the time we retired for the night, I was already feeling ill. I feel a bad cold coming.
Day 5 – Coron Village Lodge
Today’s itinerary: Cullion Town and Sangat Island Tour – Coral Beach, Gunboat Wreck, Caldave Marine Park
We woke up early today. Breakfast at 7am. Ariel and I opted for Filipino breakfast which consisted of longganisa, sunny side up and fried rice for me, Tocino for Ariel. It was pretty good. This would be our only breakfast experience in Coron Village Lodge.
By 8am, we were back at Corong Galeri, the meeting point for today’s tour. For a group of 5 people, the usual fee is P650 per person for a day’s tour. In our case, because we are going beyond Coron Island, and there’s only two of us, we had to pay P1,750 each – inlcusive of all fees plus lunch and drinks on board. I thought it was a pretty good deal since boat rentals alone would have cost us P3000. We bumped into Michelle’s family at the Galeri. Turned out they also booked their tour with the same operator. They were taking the Coron island Tour which we already did while we were at Majika.
At around 9:30, we docked into Culion Island and started to walk uphill to the Culion Sanitarium. The heat of the sun was beating down on us and the uphill walk was exhausting. Finally, we were able to enter the museum located behind the Sanitarium. We watched a video on the history of Culion. I was almost in tears while watching. I couldn’t imagine the sad plight of the lepers during the early 1900’s. I was also amazed to learn that Culion was the best leprosarium in the world during the 1920s-1930s. With modern medicine’s ability to effectively treat leprosy, Culion became a regular community and broke down the barriers that enclosed the leper colony. During the presidency of Mrs. Aquino, it was finally declared an independent municipality.
After viewing the video, we went around the museum. Photography is prohibited so i wasn’t able to take photos. The museum showcased the tools and amenities of the leprosarium. There are also photos of people who helped make Culion the best leprosarium during the early 1900’s. I was amazed by the dedication of some of the American doctors who chose to spend their lives in Culion to help the Filipinos.
By the way, the Culion Sanitarium is currently the only General Hospital in the Calamian group of islands.
After touring the museum, we proceeded to the Culion Church to snap some photos. It is currently undergoing a renovation. The inside has been completed but there is still some work being done on the exterior, including the bell tower.
We had lunch at a lodge near the docking area. It was a simple but tasty meal of fish sinigang and pork adobo. After lunch, we already proceeded to Sangat Island for our snorkling tour. Our first stop was the Coral Garden. The water was teeming with colorful fishes and corals. Again, there were sea urchins and I was terrified. the water was a bit shallow so I was afraid of getting into contact with those creepy spiny creatures. The Coral Garden is just a few meters from the shores of Majika.
Our next stop was the gunboat wreck, just a few meters from the Coral Garden. The water was deep, dark and still but the hull of the wreck was clearly visible from the surface. Ariel and I dove in and saw hundreds of colorful fishes. There was an eerie feel in the area, specially in the deeper, darker parts of the wreck. Since we are not divers, we can only see the wreck from above. Corals have begun to attach to the sunken ship which probably account for the number of fishes in the area.
Finally, we stopped by Caldave Marine Park, another snorkling area teeming with fishes and corals. The whole area – Caldave Marine Park, Coral Garden and the wreck are part of the Bintuan Marine Sanctuary.
We were back to town by 3pm. Ariel and I just took a shower before going to the restaurant for merienda. We had pancit bihon and sandwich. It was ok – I have high standards for pancit because it’s one of my specialties. We just relaxed the rest of the afternoon.
For our last meal in Coron, we ordered chili crabs and chili prawns. Both were out of stock. It was so frustrating trying to order seafoods!!! I also didn’t see a single lobster in the market. I wonder where they are taking all those fresh catches?! So we settled with Chili Squid (they have an abundance of squid) and Pork Sisig. Both are very good! I also ordered a serving of frozen margarita which I found to be too bland. So I ordered Mango Daiquiri next. It tasted like mango shake with only a drop of alcohol. It was refreshing enough but still not quite to my liking. Oh well.
After dinner, I went to the front desk to settle our bill. We were leaving at 6:15 for Club Paradise so we wanted to pay that night. We paid our balance save for the cost of our merienda earlier today. The cashier said that the restaurant has not yet forwarded our bill and will have to be settled the following day. From the look on her face, it was clear that this is something they don’t want to fix that very hour. I asked what time they open, and the girl said they do at 6am. So we just went back to our room to finish packing.
Early day tomorrow.
To read part 4, click here.