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DIY Coron: Entrance Fee for Island Hopping/ Attractions

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For big groups who are visiting Coron, it is advise to do your own island hopping, rent a boat and split the charge with your mates. Yet please do bring your own coal, utensils, plates, glasses and water, and consider paying the entrance fee in every place you’ll visit:

  • Banol Beach: P100/ person
  • Banana Island: P200/ person
  • Barracuda Lake: P100/ person
  • Bulalacao Island: P200/ person
  • Calauit Wildlife Safari: P250/ person
  • Calumbuyan Island: P150/ person
  • Coral Garden/ Lusong Sangat Gun Boat: P50/ person
  • Culion Museum: P250 local/ 350 foreigner
  • CYC Beach: no charge
  • Dalawang Isla: P100/ person
  • Ditaytayan Island: P200/ person
  • Kayangan Lake: P200/ person
  • Malaroyroy Island/ Bulog Island: P100/ person
  • Malcapuya Island: P150/ person
  • Maquinit Hot Springs: P100/ person
  • Pulang Lupa: P100/ person
  • Sangat Island: P200/ person
  • Siete Pecados: P100/ person
  • Skeleton Wreck: P100/ person
  • Smith Beach: P100/ person
  • Twin Lagoon: P100/ person

For smaller groups, I highly recommend group guided tours. Why?

  • you can meet new acquaintances
  • exchnage ideas and stories with other tourists
  • it is much cheaper than renting the whole boat plus paying all the entrance fees
  • you can do more, see more and enjoy more without hassles of thinking when and where to cook, who to pay for every entrance fee, all the things of an individual traveler should do…

Here is a site which I used for my 4-Days/3-Nights Coron Trip: http://www.elcompasstravelandtours.com/

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Why Do Islands Change Names? Isla de Saging to Banana Island?

March 6, 2013

It was day 3 of the 4-days/ 3-nights Coron trip. The face-hidden wanderlust a.k.a. Violet  and her cousin took the island hopping tour D which includes Bulog IslandBanana Island and Malcapuya Island for 1,100/pax.

Heartbroken. The face-hidden wanderlust doesn’t want to leave her pristine Bulog Island, she and the other guests took the last look of the island, not yet leaving but feeling totally nostalgic. The calm and clear salty water, amazing shore of seashells, natural hill as view deck, nearby islands, scenic view, sand bar, and reflection of the blue sky to the vast body of water… maybe God had been His happiest the day He created that island. It was absolutely perfect. But the journey must continue and they had moved to the next island to have lunch.

Banana Island a.k.a. Isla de Saging

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Violet as a talkative and friendly-type of person, she always asked questions regarding places, people, history and events (even non-sense questions) of the places she visit.
She wondered, why some islands in Coron have several names. She found out that most of it really have local names such as the Isla de Saging.

The next island was known before as Isla de Saging. “Isla” literally means “island“, “de” means “of” and “saging” means “banana,” as owned by Tagbanuas (genuine local/ ethnic tribe from Palawan) but when an entire island is sold to another person, all rights are surrendered and thus the place can change its name if desired by the rightful owner. It had  brought the change of name of the island which is now called Banana Island, from Spanish into it’s English name. Simply translated by it’s foreign owner. This was according to our tour guides: Kuya Larry and Shane and other stories from our boatmen.

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Aside from the intriguing island buying, Violet never thought that the Coron islands and even the sea is owned, not by the government, but by local Tagbanuas or foreign owners. Every island or water areas around have entrance fees:

  • Banol Beach: P100/ person
  • Banana Island: P200/ person
  • Barracuda Lake: P100/ person
  • Bulalacao Island: P200/ person
  • Calauit Wildlife Safari: P250/ person
  • Calumbuyan Island: P150/ person
  • Coral Garden/ Lusong Sangat Gun Boat: P50/ person
  • Culion Museum: P250 local/ 350 foreigner
  • CYC Beach: no charge
  • Dalawang Isla: P100/ person
  • Ditaytayan Island: P200/ person
  • Kayangan Lake: P200/ person
  • Malaroyroy Island/ Bulog Island: P100/ person
  • Malcapuya Island: P150/ person
  • Maquinit Hot Springs: P100/ person
  • Pulang Lupa: P100/ person
  • Sangat Island: P200/ person
  • Siete Pecados: P100/ person
  • Skeleton Wreck: P100/ person
  • Smith Beach: P100/ person
  • Twin Lagoon: P100/ person

But all entrance fee are inclusive when you avail a tour. Setting this aside, here are some drooling photos of Banana Island.

And what can you do on this island? It has resting areas like the huts, picnic table, benches, plenty of shades from the trees (mostly coconuts), volleyball area, and most important of all, is an area to eat! The lunch was spicy crab, grilled fish, rice, fruits and bottle of coke (all included in the tour package). This place is also perfect for jump-shots.

Afterwards, off again for snorkeling. Violet forgot to rent a snorkeling gear and it was her biggest regret, but thanks to Kuya Jowel (boatman) who lend his mask and he also fed the fishes with the cooked rice to go near them.

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After an hour or so of snorkeling with her cousin and Kuya Jowel (and the rest didn’t even dipped into the waters just like in the Bulog Island), it was time to leave again. Violet is feeling the burnt sensation in her face, they had forgotten to re-apply their sun blocks. Hello sun-kissed skin or hello sun-burned skin?

*Note: Do not forget your beach essentials like sun blocks and snorkeling gear.

They headed to the last island Malcapuya.

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Scenic Worth-Waiting Bolog Island

March 6, 2013

It was day 3 of the 4-days/ 3-nights Coron trip. The face-hidden wanderlust a.k.a. Violet  and her cousin took the island hopping tour D which includes Bulog IslandBanana Island and Malcapuya Island for 1,100/pax.

Sleepy long-ride. For two non-swimmer, the face-hidden wanderlust and her cousin choose Tour D so they could enjoy the beaches and the islands of Coron. But they never expected that they have to crossed the open sea and travel for 2-hours by boat.

For the first 30 minutes of the boat ride, Violet took several snapshots of the near islands, eating her favorite Ketchup-flavored Piknik and enjoying the breeze. Then, another 30 minutes passed and boredom strikes. She watched Kuya Larry and Shane cook their food. Big crabs and veggies on the menu (included in the tour package).

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Violet also eavesdropped on the conversation of some Taiwanese passenger but with no schema of understanding it. The other male Taiwanese sang an OPM song saying it was his favorite. She tried to entertain herself but she is totally bored thus ended up with a nap.

More or less than 15 minutes.she again woke up. She was totally bored and concluded that boredom is fatal. She stares into the deep blue skies and tracing ever cloud in her memory, and it does kill time. Then, at long last without checking on the time, they finally arrived at the first island.

Bulog Island, for her, the experienced is similar to love-at-first sight. It was something she had witnessed for the very first-time. Plenty of shells in its shore, it’s clear waters, white sands, scenic view and it’s view deck… lovely Island.

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Violet has lots of great pictures with this island, but she wishes to stay as the face-hidden wanderlust, so here are just some of the pictures she wanted to share with you.

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A lesson learned: Patience is a virtue. The 2-hour boat ride took Violet into a paradise. It was definitely worth-waiting for. Going to the island had took 2-hours boat ride, Violet was already bored with sleep but when she saw the first island destination, she knew it was love at first sight. She went down as fast as she could and take as many pictures of the rocks, water, sand and the whole scenery.

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Photographed by Shane

Violet walks into the clear waters. She was headed towards the rocks and the sand bar. Though it was not low-tide, she sat on the shallow water and giggle with happiness. It was a paradise (saying to herself).  And if there’s a place where she can live the rest of her life, she would definitely choose Coron and had picked Bolog Island as one of her favorite places in the world.

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Special Boat Accommodation in Coron

March 6, 2013

It was day 3 of the 4-days/ 3-nights Coron trip. The face-hidden wanderlust a.k.a. Violet  and her cousin took the island hopping tour D which includes Bulog IslandBanana Island and Malcapuya Island,for 1,100/pax.

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The sea is calling once again. She can hear it with her heart. The face-hidden wanderlust had a good sleep last night, except for the sweating due to power lost that awakened her, she was tired but happy with yesterday’s adventure. She got out of the bed and go straight to the balcony of the guesthouse. It was a lovely view of houses standing on bamboo and wood stilts, Coron water and clear blue skies. She looked for Daddy Cat but it wasn’t around. She goes back to the room and found her cousin preparing for another island hopping. So, she prepared her things and herself, too.

ImageA five-minute walk going to centro Coron. Then, Charged up their stomachs with a too-long-to-prepare equally divided huge pancake with butter and honey at Centro Coron costing 85.00 pesos. It looked tempting and appealing, yet it tasted like kababayan bread and there’s nothing special about it. But definitely, it’s a good breakfast to last until lunch time.

Afterwards, they headed off to the el compass tour station and greeted by ever-energetic tour guide Shane and another tour guide Kuya Larry. Then, payed the sum of 2,200 for two persons for all inclusive tour D, escorted to walked pass by the market, waited at the boat-docking area and to be loaded with other fellow tourists (6 Taiwanese and 4 Pinoys). Lucky, it won’t be a nose-bleeding day for the face-hidden wanderlust.

Yet, it seemed that the Hinirang boat seems too small for 12 people. So, Violet and her cousin (as their second tour with that boat) were allowed inside the Captain’s area. It’s more spacious and comfy for two passenger and the rest of the tourists were closed-by-elbows in their benches. Special treatment it is!

Some guests are wondering why the two were seated in Captain’s cabin and maybe all they could ever do is just to wonder. LOL!

Aside from that, Violet and her cousin requested to reserve the biggest crab for lunch, and they’ve been totally  the luckiest girls in the islands of Coron.

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Hinirang boat. With two-female guests comfy seated in the Captain’s cabin.

Next Stop: Scenic Worth-Waiting Bolog Island, one of Violet’s favorite places.

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List of Traveling and Beach Essentials

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On my 2nd dress-ever.
Photographed by Mami.

Spending some time at the out in a beach or a vacation? Then, this list is just the right thing for you!

  1. BAG: I prefer bags that are comfortable to carry. I like medium-sized backpacks and sling bags for there is no chance I could ever forget them, and I must always make my hands free from holding anything. I also prefer bags that are made in the Philippines and which are limited edition.
  2. BEACH TOWEL: I don’t usually bring any towels for my trips, What I use are my colorful sarongs (at least 2) and definitely my violeta lagu (sand-repelling blanket). Why it? It’s easy to carry, it occupies small portion of my bag, it can serve as a body cover, beach blanket, head cover, accessory,umbrella, bed blanket and many more.
  3. SWIMWEAR: In picking up any swimwear, you must imagine yourself wearing it and if you think you can be comfortable with it, you should wear it. Rash guard is better if you are protecting your skin. If you want a sun-kissed skin, you can wear bikinis or tankinis. I prefer tank-tops and shorts.
  4. SUNGLASSES: Protect your eyes from the rays of the sun.
  5. CAMERA: Capture every moment. Take nothing but pictures.
  6. BEACH SLIPPERS: I like colorful flip flops but to make my feet safer I usually use my sandugo sandals. Why? You never know if you might have a good trek around the area. Protection from sea urchins and stone fishes, too. When at the beach, it was best to walk in bare foot. 🙂
  7. DRINKS & SNACKS: Must never forget this. Exposing yourself to the beach and sun can dehydrate your body. Charge up with a bottle of water and nice snacks.
  8. ZIP LOCK BAGS: Use them to protect cameras and other electronics from getting wet. Store your wet clothes, too.
  9. TOILETRIES: It includes soap, brush, ponytail, toothpaste, toothbrush shampoo and conditioner, insect reppelant lotion, sun block (for skin protection), body deodorant and the like (all in small amounts).
  10. DRY CLOTHES: Comfy clothes which is soothed for a hot summer day. Usually, I wear pants on the first day of the trip and also use it at the end of the trip. I bring 2-3 shorts and 3-4 tank-tops, smaller spaces to be occupied in the bag. When I had no more clothes left to wear, I usually buy from souvenir shops. Hitting two birds in one stone! Clothing and souvenir.

When traveling, you must also try packing-up light. You save a lot of space in the bag, it’s easier to carry around and never the less, if your things are limited, you can never lost/miss anything on the road.

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The Life Saving Cupcake

But what turned out to be an unlucky day for her had made someone else’s day better.

The face-hidden-wanderlust wishes to travel the world but also wishes to see a better world. It has been her dream (for many years) to serve her country, serve her fellow Filipino people and be a person who can make this world a better place. Finally, her dreams are all falling into pieces, this was her first actual self-less act (teaching is her vocation and profession but she earn from it so that’s not really count for volunteerism for her), and would be one of her advocacy- Donating her blood.

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One afternoon at Quezon City Hall, the face-hidden-wanderlust inquired for scholarship for her to re-continue her masters degree, but unfortunately the scholarship was put on hold for the meantime (due to election).Together with her friend, they both decided to talk to the City Mayor. While walking in the City Hall, City Health Staff are scattered in the corridor, asking people to donate blood. Tess Bote (City Health Staff) spotted her, they both caught themselves in the eye and Ms. Tess  then asked her if she is willing to try. The face-hidden-wanderlust as ever being witty and compulsive asked further questions, showed interest and promised to return once they talked to the City Mayor.

302387_10152407650797925_7045541_nThen at the City Mayor’s office, it is really not-a-lucky day for her, the Mayor is out for his campaign. Oh well, they just left a letter for him to hear their sentiments and suggestions.

But what turned out to be an unlucky day for her had made someone else’s day better. She met with Tess again in the lobby and agreed to be screened for bloodletting.

For a first-timer, she was totally and excited and nervous. A man then came too and also wanted to donate. She was also trying to convince the man but it seems the man is intimidated with her charms (LOL) and he ignores her. Then the man asked about all the stuffs about the ID and other benefits if a person donates a blood. Well, she didn’t know there was any benefits, she just wanted to give her blood right away and she just continues to answer the tiring form.

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She passed the sphygmomanometer  or blood pressure meter, and then she passed the doctor who is a bit weird about asking too many questions. The best part was the blood screening, they’re about to test the hemoglobin using Copper sulfate solution blue sol’n., if the blood submerge she pass; floats, she fails. They pricked her finger and get some blood samples and dropped it into the solution. WOW! Amazing! She passed with flying colors (Geeky Chemist, she’s just excited to tell all this to her chemistry students)!

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Now, she lay in bed along the corridor where people are passing by every second and keep on starring. LOL (shameless, her face is not-hidden to them)! She started to become talkative as ever, asking every non-sense, freaky and some intelligent questions as well.

She saw the needle (freaky fat needle)! Heart beat becomes faster.

Aileen said, “this might be painful.” and the face-hidden-wanderlust avoid to look, then she felt the needle pushing into her veins but nothing is painful about it. She turned to look at her arm and saw the blood rushing into the bag. Aileen said, “the pain is variable to all, it depends on the pain tolerance of the person.”

Well, Violet (face-hidden wanderlust) guess she is numbed. She had encountered too much pain and this once stands nothing to all of it. Then, she thought of her Dad in the hospital, for not a single bag of blood could save his life, and that’s really painful. Anyways, Violet thought Aileen was great in what she does. She’s an amazing woman to be in the field and doing her best to keep the volunteers unharmed and okay. She often asked Violet if she’s okay and what does she feel. Now, Violet tries to ask further about the ID, about Aileen Abalos (that’s her, also avoiding the camera) work and she also tried to tell her about work, her special children students, her advocacy and plans.

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After 10 minutes or so, the bag was already full. It will be separated into three bags in the laboratory (to separate the components). She was still laying bed for 15-20 minutes more before she was allowed to sit and be discharged. But before that, they gave her a piece of cupcake and a juice drink for free. Violet was delighted about it. They talked some more, thanked each other and said goodbyes.

It was indeed a good day for our face-hidden wanderlust, to share a little piece of her self to save a life. Another soul whose face is also unknown but both will definitely be connected by the blood she gave whole-heartedly.

Violet aside from gaining new encounters, experiences and perspectives, she became aware of her self, too. She doesn’t need an ID for this deed, she never would have wanted one (she is not donating to secure that when she needs blood, she can ask it for free. Never). She did this because she is still healthy, could help, should act and could pass the screening process. By the way, the man who asked for an ID didn’t passed the screening, I just don’t know why.

For inquiries about bloodletting and who wants to join Violet a.k.a. ME (after 3 moths), please kindly leave a message and see you soon.

For those who wanted to donate, please look for Aileen Abalos at the Philippine Blood Center.

Thank you so much!

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Morning Rush at San Marcelino and Finding a Computer Shop

I have to be early to print out my lesson plan, and since I don’t have any idea where I could find one near the Pearl of the Orient Tower, I decided to get off LRT at Central Station and walk the busy streets of San Marcelino where during my college days we often do our research and rents computers.

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I knew exactly where I could print out my lesson plan and I also need to find a photocopying machine so I’d crossed roads going to Adamson University, got lucky found one that is open that early. Then, walking again until I reached Taft Avenue but before riding a jeep I took a snapshot of my Alma Mater -Philippine Normal University.

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