Thursday, November 10, 2011

CORON, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES I: CORON TOWN and DIVE LINK RESORT circa 2009

It has been two years since I have been to Coron, but I know this will still be timely because the beauty of Coron is in its natural resources = the beaches, the limestone island formations, clear blue waters and most of all, the beauty beneath the waters.

Here is the description of Coron from Wikipedia:
from Wikipedia:
Coron is a first class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it had a population of 32,243 people in 6,264 households.

The municipality covers part of Busuanga Island and all of the nearby Coron Island. Both islands are part of the Calamian Group of Islands in northern Palawan. The main industries of Coron are fishing and tourism, being a popular diving location.

The aquatic views from the sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island are listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s top 10 best scuba diving sites in the world.[1][2]

In 1950 the town of Busuanga was created from the barrios of Concepcion, Salvacion, Busuanga, New Busuanga, Buluang, Quezon, Calawit, and Cheey which used to belong to Coron.[3]

In 1954, the islands of Linapacan, Cabunlaoan, Niangalao, Decabayotot, Calibanbangan, Pical, and Barangonan were separated from Coron to form the town of Linapacan, Palawan.[4]

These are the ways to go to Coron.
http://www.coronphilippines.com/

Coron By Plane

* Fly into Busuanga from Manila with PAL Express, Cebu Pacific or Zest Air.

* Aiport to town: Jeepney or 12 seater A/C Vans.

Coron By Boat

* SuperFerry stops in Coron on their way to Puerto Princesa. Leave Manila on Friday afternoon (4:15pm)and arrives in Coron early Saturday morning (5:30 am). Heads back to Manila on Sunday night (10:45 pm). Wait until a couple of days before it departs to get cheaper tickets. Don't wait too long, though.

We arrived in Busuanga via Cebu Pacific.
at Terminal 3 Airport

our plane


arriving at Busuanga Airport

via Cebu Pacific but there are also other ways to go there
Enchanting Coron
Enchanting Coron is the tarpaulin that welcomed us to the simple airport. 


From Busuanga, we traveled to Coron by van for about 45 minutes.
Other visitors were fetched by a jeepney.
the jeepney going to Club Paradise


You can see the red colored soil appearing like clay.

via moving van... so pardon the motion!

We also saw a cattle farm along the way.
The Yulo King ranch on Busuanga Island is one of the largest cattle stations in Asia.
part of the Yulo King Ranch cattle farm


We passed by Coron town proper circa 2009 and these are some scenes here. It was drizzling a bit when we passed by the town.

mostly tricylces and motorcycles....



Then, we reached the Pier which was still being developed at this time. 
Even in the town proper, the soil still appeared red and clay-like.
red clay soil!

still improving the Pier in 2009! ... it must be done by now


pumpboats line up... many of the resorts are located in smaller islands
.I wonder how this place looks now?

walking through this narrow planks!!!!
.I was really quite afraid walking on the planks. (period)
And more so, walking on planks and carrying my bag and my camera bag! (exclamation point!)
I was also worried for my Mom who was almost 80 years old at that time.

this intimidated me!


But, she easily did it. Eventually, I learned how to do so because there was no other way to go as we visited all the scenic spots.

We had to ride the pumpboat for another 10 minutes just to arrive at Divelink Resort where we were booked.





And these were the entrancing images we saw during our boat ride to Dive Link ...

just like Hollywood


some of the sea side resorts and lodges...

very cheap fish and other sea products... and very fresh, too!

natural beauty!




Mt. Tapyas close-up
This is the view of Mt. Tapyas, which is a 30-minute trek from the town proper. You go up to the spacious deck with a giant cross on top of Mt. Tapyas via a staircase of a hundred steps (someone said 720 steps!).
But this view is from the pumpboat!


Mt. Tapyas is also viewed from Divelink Resort.
note the docking area of Dive Link Resort with yellow and blue color...
and Mt. Tapyas in the backdrop


We arrive at Dive Link Resort.
http://www.divelink.com.ph/
Welcome to Uson Island, Coron, Palawan!

Dive Link Island Resort, Uson Island, Coron, Palawan, is owned by the children of the late Placido Noel C. Matta Jr. and is now being managed by Mr. John Patrick Saddul Matta, the eldest son. It is strategically located just 10 minutes by banca from the busy town of Coron and in the center of all the best tourist destinations of the area.

It is the perfect jump-off point if you want to get to mysterious Coron Island, Calauit Wildlife Reserve, Siete Pecados Marine Park, Maquinit Hot Springs, Bintuan Coral Gardens and Marine Park and of course to experience the best (World War II) wreck dives in Asia found in and around Coron Bay.

Dive Link Resort is your cozy nest within the Philippines’ last ecological frontier, Palawan.






The Dive Link dock is painted attractive yellow and blue. 
From Dive link website: The end of our pier is the center of our water sports activities. It is here that you can rent masks, snorkels and fins; borrow the paddles for the kayaks and life vests for those who do not know how to swim.
Our staff will assist you put on your life vests and get into the kayaks and will also point out the best areas for snorkeling. We have a reef just in front of the resort that is teeming marine life and the underside of the pier is home to thousands of tiny fish.


a bit of drizzling when we arrived... there was a storm the next few days
Welcome to Dive Link Coron Adventure Island Resort.

I'd like to show you different parts of Dive Link.
As we enter the Resort, we see the Poolside.
From Dive Link website: 
The pool is of modest size designed for dive students to try out their first encounter with the dive equipment. Its deepest part is only six feet while the shallowest is four feet with a set of stairs for small children while guided by an adult. The pool is open 
from 6:00am to 10:00pm only.


the pool with view of the jetty

entrance and poolside as Joko walks to internet room

internet and computer area

During the time we were there, we weren't able to get a good connection with wi-fi and the computer room was available for those who needed internet access.
As I understand the internet access has improved compared to two years ago.
Dive Link Island Resort also has wireless internet access available for guests who cannot get away from their work or for those who simply want to check updates online for emails and news. WI-FI connection is available at the Coconut Grove Restaurant or at the pool side 24-hours a day

viewing the dock




Dining Area...
The name of the restaurant is the Coconut Grove Restaurant.
From Dive Link Website:
The COCONUT GROVE RESTAURANT looks out into the bay and is framed by coconut and cashew trees. Sit and watch as dive boats and fishing vessels go by in the morning while you enjoy your coffee and breakfast. At dusk, watch as the sky turns from a royal blue to a deep purple or fiery orange whilst the birds come back to roost in the resort’s trees around the restaurant.
Dinner and all other meals are served in this large pavilion atop the Resort. Lunch is ala carte as most of the guests are away on some island adventure but breakfast and dinners are usually served buffet style for groups of more than 12 persons.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by the welcome drink.



This is where we have our breakfast and dinner.




made friends with divers who are also guests of Dive Link...
The Coconut Grove at night... from the poolside... and in the restaurant.




sharing stories and film clips about the shipwreck dive

Poolside Bar...

This is also where my mom sat just to watch her teleserye.


Cottages...
map of the rooms seen near the Dive Link Resort sign




cottage at night
(from Dive Link website)
There are several types of cottages from single, one-room affairs to four-room cottage that can fit an entire family and some of their cousins.
Cottages are named after the fruit bearing trees that can be found on the property. There are 7 Bungalow Cottages, 4 Family Garden Cottages with 1 room and lounge, 1 large family cottage on the hill that has 3 rooms, and 5 room family cottage a top a hill on the western end of the Resort. All have air conditioning unit, hot and cold shower, and balconies overlooking the Coron waterways.
The available accommodations are as follows: 
  • 7 Bungalow Cottages perfect for couples or a family of three with one child;
  • 4 Duplex Family Garden Cottages with 1 room for two persons and a lounge that can be converted to accommodate another couple;
  • 5 Large Family or dormitory type rooms that can accommodate up to 8 persons per room;
  • 8 Standard Rooms for couples or groups of four;
  • 2 Family Rooms that can accommodate 10-12 persons at a time.
All have air conditioning units, hot and cold showers.

Here are the other cottages.



Rooms...
Twin Room

Double Room


Beach side...


The sand is beige in color in Dive Link and as I noticed there are less sprawling white beaches in Coron.
There are pockets of white beaches in the smaller islands but I noted their treasures are found underwater and also with natural havens like the cleanest lakes and hot springs.

Beach side at dusk...



You can sit at this bench by the sea.

Interesting pattern!

This is the pathway to the dock at night!


My mom decided to stay a day in the resort to rest instead of going for snorkeling and she told us that from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there was no electricity in the resort. 
Maybe, they are expecting all guests to be out on tour.
I don't know if this is still so in 2011...


What is unique about Coron are the boat rides to the places we go to. 
Most of the scenic spots can be reached by boat and island hopping indeed it is! 


I am not a "water person" so initially I was a bit apprehensive, but the attractions beneath the water were too much to resist so in the next set of blogs, you'll see how Coron "infected" me! 

Dive Link is just our jump-off point to the many beautiful sights of Coron!

3 comments:

  1. The best and safest way to go to Coron is to coordinate with Tour operators/travel and tours accredited by the Local Government of Coron. They will provide what you need from the All-in tour package and Day tour trips. You may also create your own itinerary and coordinate it with them. A good air conditioned airport-town transfer is also included. There are lots of hotels and resorts to stay in Coron. You may ask the tour operators to recommend the best. The Coron Licensed Tour Guides Association (CLTGA) can be a great access if you want to look for a tour guide (contact 09998826043-President) or simply leave a message to facebook account Coron Licensed Tour Guides.
    Secure your payments/deposits. Always ask confirmation or official receipt for every payments made.

    Please be informed that Coron is now under the Municipal Ordinance # 81-A. An ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags and styrofoam in business establishments in the Municipality of Coron, Palawan and prescribing penalty thereof.

    A reminder from Sea Farers Tours and Coron Licensed Tour Guides Association (CLTGA).

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