Pablo Swept Me to Coron

Busuanga in my mind.
It didn’t look promising a few days before. Typhoon Pablo
unleashed its fury in Mindanao, Negros, and Southern Cebu that the chance of
the trip coming to fruition was naught. But like a miracle, the sun shone, flights
resumed, and Coron beckoned us with promises of rainbows and clear blue skies.
So we succumbed.
The plane ride was not smooth to begin with, as the residue
of Pablo’s wrath stubbornly clung to the clouds.  I tried to defocus on the turbulence and
played a “name-the-island” game with my cousin Nino, who sat next to me and who
also needed the distraction.
Ah, the islands of Negros, Panay, Palawan and the islets
that dotted the West Philippine Sea were indeed a sight to behold! No wonder
the neighboring giant wants a piece of that paradise. As we approached Busuanga,
I had probably exhausted all accolades to God for being so artistic!
On land, we were greeted by a cheerful staff of CoronEcolodge, who not only gave us welcome bottles of cold water, but also provided
us with audio-visual entertainment inside the van (read: music videos of ‘90s
rock, it couldn’t get any better). 
Thirty minutes later, we were ushered into our comfy rooms by the
ever-smiling lodge crew. Loved the accommodation: clean, basic, airconditioned,
with cable TV, hot water, crisp sheets, sweet-smelling towels, with a complete
set of toiletries to boot. Breakfast was free and there’s complimentary coffee all day! Talk about
value for money.
Coron Ecolodge is the hippest budget accommodation you can find in town.
After a hearty Filipino lunch at Lolo Nonoy’s and a quick
nap, we geared for the first adventures of day 1 organized by Coron Ecolodge.
Aboard a comfy van we toured the quaint town before taking on the 700-plus
steps to the peak of Mt. Tapyas to witness what was to be one of the most
beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in my life! I admit that climb was no mean feat, left me gasping for air. But it was the panaromic beauty of Coron that took my
breath away.
Climbing Mt. Tapyas was no mean feat, but the view made it worth every step.
As night
descended upon the town and enveloped the mountains and limestone cliffs, our muscles ached for a soothing dip at Maquinit
Hot Springs. So we steeped ourselves in the warm healing sulfuric pool, and for
the time being, shunned thoughts of Pablo and dreamt of what was in store for
us on day 2 in this place they call the Philippines’ “Last Frontier.”
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