Revenge Travel in Coron

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. - The Philippine Star
Revenge Travel in Coron
Kayangan Lake, also known as Blue Lagoon, is reportedly the cleanest lake in the country.
Photos courtesy of Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel

Blue is the hottest color but in Coron, an island paradise in Palawan, blue is the color of cool. It might as well be the color of peace and hope.

The azure waters of Coron spell peace. Ditto with the blue sky. Tourists, who now come steadily to the island after a lull of two years due to the pandemic, are a picture of cool and calm. And for tourism, revenge travel is hope for the weary soul and the lagging economy. Many hop on the plane — ready to explore again.

What better way to contribute to the country’s economy than discovering the many paradisiacal places in the Philippines. Many people’s wanderlust is again unleashed and with it comes experiences that are unforgettable.

Twin Lagoon.

Indelible in my memory bank is the recent trip to Coron with my best friend Christine Dayrit, my forever travel partner. It was my first time in this side of Palawan and I hardly knew what to expect. “Coron is a crown jewel,” Christine said.

For a glorious vantage point from where to enjoy the island, we booked a two-night stay at Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel in the town proper.

The eclectic Baya restaurant of the resort.

The mid-afternoon experience began with a welcome drink — a fine glass of ice-cold fruity drink — at the impressive lobby of the boutique resort with eclectic colors of a magnificent aquarium. What took my attention next was the expanse of the reception that led to a splendid deck leading to the ocean. The berth was inviting.

Next thing I knew, and we had only been at the resort for a few minutes, I was unloading my Allan Popa poetry chapbooks from my maleta and on the berth, I was reciting “Isang Silid ang Kailanman.”

Poetic was the scene as the nearby mountain, that looked like a floating sentinel, provided the perfect backdrop for my own meanderings. The after-the-rain breeze lent more cool to the place.

The same breeze ushered us to our classy room with tastefully done furnishings.  Most amazing was the huge deck with water views and hues of blue and green that opened up to the gentle waves of the ocean. We took a stroll along the bay. At night, we rested on the lounge chairs while stargazing and moon bathing.

Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel offers 48 spacious rooms and suites that spell sheer comfort and undeniable class. Each standard room, bay-view room, bay-view deluxe room or panorama suite is designed as a picture of utter comfort, featuring a verandah, a spacious bath, and plush beddings. From here, one can take a 45-minute speedboat ride to the scintillating Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa, an impressive, expansive, luxurious tropical paradise unlike any other that you may experience on a secluded island.

Our stay, arranged by our dear friend Rudolf Yaptinchay and the dynamic John Penaloza, who owns the Two Seasons properties in Coron and Two Seasons Boracay, was made more truly magical by our visits to nearby islands.

First on our island-hopping list was Kayangan Lake, often referred to by locals and tourists as Blue Lagoon as its waters are really spotless blue guarded by towering limestone cliffs and unspoiled greenery. Some 15 minutes away from the town proper, the Blue Lagoon is a paradise masquerading as a fresh-water lake that features underwater rock formations, caves and islets. Fairies seem to bathe in this place, for it is so peaceful. Not only that, Kayangan Lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the whole Philippines.

We then trooped to the nearby Twin Lagoon, composed of two bodies of water separated by magnificent limestone cliffs, where we were awed by the largest limestone formation in the island known as the Calis Mountain. The two lagoons are divided by a limestone wall, connected by a small and narrow opening. The inner lagoon is visible and can easily be accessed during low tide. However, one must have astute diving skills to get to the inner lagoon during high tide. Otherwise, it can also be accessed via the wooden stairs recently built by the Tagbanua, the indigenous people of Coron.

Island hopping made us hungry and the resort’s Baya Resto Lounge, with charming jellyfish accents in the ceiling, was ready to pamper our cravings. We ordered the famous gooey four-cheese pizza that was thin and crispy. Pancit bihon guisado also matched our appetite for merienda.

The food at the resort was never second best. For the duration of our stay, chef Felwin Pangilinan and the staff pampered us with their impeccable brand of service, serving us steak rice, gambas, Thai glazed fish and piping hot bulalo, among others. The eclectic cocktails in assorted flavors and spirits set the mood for a celebration.

Coron is a happy and indulgent vacation for revenge travelers. It is a gem, a “crown jewel.” If this island paradise is simply a dream, I dare not awaken from it. *

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