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SETIR: Tropical nirvana in Coron |


SETIR: Tropical nirvana in Coron

RENDEZVOUs - Christine S. Dayrit - The Philippine Star
SETIR: Tropical nirvana in Coron
Enjoy guided tours from SETIR.
Photos courtesy of SETIR

Imagine yourself in the embrace of a luxurious speedboat, as you venture among nature’s most breathtaking islands. The whirling water swishes before you, and the gentle kiss of the wind caresses your face. Suddenly, Coron, Palawan, reveals itself as a priceless nirvana. You are captivated by Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR), an enchanting oasis of natural beauty, luxurious villas, and indulgent service and amenities.

SETIR creates a vacation of luxurious dreams, offering white sand, crystal-clear waters, water sports, delectable cuisine, and even surprise encounters with gentle monitor lizards.

To reach this haven, you embark on a seamless one-hour journey from Manila to Coron via Sunlight Air, sister company of SETIR. One of the most convenient aspects of the daily Sunlight Air flight is that guests can check in their luggage directly to the resort, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free vacation.

Upon settling into our sea-facing room, the serene ambiance drew us in. The most beautiful Sirakan villa, with its luxurious glass-bottom floors and a large balcony overlooking the azure sea, captivated our senses. We shrieked in delight and simply fell in love with our villas with the glass-bottom panels throughout the entire villa. Among my stays in luxe resorts from the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, I can confidently say that the Sirakan Villas at SETIR has the most impressive and largest size and number of these fabulous glass-bottom panels. Incorporated into every area of the villa, including the bedroom, bathroom, and balcony deck, these panels offer guests an incredible view of the crystal-clear waters below. This feature provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for guests as they relax in bed, take a shower, or enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the exotic marine life beneath them. An additional treat worth reliving is the scented bubble bath created by PlusHouse’ Christel Constantino, which the kids in our company enjoyed immensely.

As the glorious sun set beyond the horizon, the balcony became our favorite spot for relaxation. Unboxing a pack of delectable snacks of sweet grapes, small jars of foie gras, assorted French cheeses and cold cuts, including the mouthwatering products of Fatisserie, added an extra layer of joy to our  stay. Salted caramel and white chocolate macaroons by chef Kathy and Lucile Cometa, along with assorted ChocNut (hands down everybody’s favorite), ube and Nutella ensaymada from Baby Pat, elevated our delightful culinary experience.

The most impressive Sirakan Villas with the most number of glass-bottom panels

This priceless trip was a special treat from my dear sister Jaqui Dayrit Boncan for her beautiful family.  From sunrise to sunset, our rambunctious group that included my niece Nikki and Jason Buensalido with kids Annika and Nadia, Christel and Mike Constantino with kids Pablo and Amaya and my best friend Büm Tenorio and I enjoyed SETIR’s activities from snorkeling, diving to kayaking and hiking. Pablo and Annika particularly adored the swimming pool, where they encountered a surprise guest, a large monitor lizard. Nadia and Amaya gleefully played in the sugary white sand and discovered precious marine life. Winsome moms Nikki and Christel shared that such activities in SETIR are perfect for the sensory development of children. Bum, who is an avid biker, couldn’t resist taking the challenge of the amazing bike trails.

SETIR’s charming corporate marketing manager Pia de Villa shared that guided tours to nearby attractions like Kayangan Lake offer mesmerizing views and unforgettable moments. In the morning, extensive breakfast buffets are served and in the evening, we savored a teppanyaki Japanese dinner of fresh meats, steaks and veggies that was prepared before our eyes. It certainly was a delightful gustatory experience.

SETIR is more than just a paradise beach destination for sunbathing and building sandcastles. Its dramatic snorkeling experience beneath vibrant, colorful coral reefs left us breathless. Pablo and Annika donned their snorkeling gear and accompanied by the dive master, were enthralled by the fish and corals. Such an underwater rainbow of hues created picture-perfect memories. The kids rode a glass-bottom boat and fed the myriad of eclectic fish to their heart’s content.

Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort: Heaven on earth

Aboard an 85-foot yacht, we sailed around the islands, enjoying stunning views, cocktails, and delicious snacks. Music lovers Christel and Mike Constantino played their various tunes to the delight of our group.  One highlight of the trip was when Jason Buensalido reminisced about how he surprised Nikki by asking her to be his girlfriend as we sailed right in front of this memorable island where he proposed. This beautiful event marked the beginning of their journey as a couple.

That evening, under the lovely glow of a full moon, we celebrated life and love with a sumptuous seafood dinner by the beach. Pablo and Annika joyously engaged in catching tiny crabs on the silky sand while the infants Amaya and Nadia enjoyed the fresh ocean breeze. It was simply poetry in motion as these precocious children witnessed the starry skies as well.

SETIR proved to be a nature lover’s paradise, committed to sustainability while preserving the island’s natural beauty. Between sunrise and sunset, everything here is tropical bliss, idyllic luxury and paradisiacal reality.

Escape to this paradise within our shores. After all, in SETIR, Heaven on earth has been found.

* * *

Sunlight Air presents its first ever Grand Travel Fest, a celebration of its fourth anniversary. From flights to packages and the Sunlight Air SmartPass for great savings, this three-day travel event is from August 4-6, 2023, at the Palm Drive Activity Center, Glorietta 2, Makati City. For more information, visit

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