A visit to the Calauit Safari Park is usually packaged with a Busuanga island hopping tour. Since they are basically in the same area, the tour is clumped together to maximize the time spent in Busuanga. With the safari tour completed by noon, our afternoon was spent on the islands of Malajon, Debotunay and North Cay islands. These islands in the west are also part of the Calamianes group of islands. Each island has unique characters of its own.
Coron may already be marvelous as it is, but Busuanga municipality adds a more rugged and idyllic experience to visitors in Busuanga island. I call Busuanga as the wild west. Imagine an island where exotic animals roam freely. An island with imposing limestones and stunning soft white sand beach. Our first stop in our exploration of Busuanga is the Calauit Safari Park. Ever wondered how the exotic animals are now? Me too.
Guidelines, tips, what to expect, and list of DOT-accredited hotels and tour operators in Coron Palawan.
Palawan is one of my favorite places in the country and news of the destination slowly opening up excited me. It bids well for the tourism industry which was badly hit by the pandemic. Coron Palawan is now open to receive tourist albeit with safety protocols in place. Here’s a handy guide to help you travel safely and enjoy one of the world’s best island and destination.
Coron has been declared one of the most beautiful islands, not just in the Philippines but the whole world. So, if Coron is not on your bucket list, then it is time you did so, or you would be missioning out on a whole lot of fun and excitement. It is a haven for the adventure lovers who simply love the breathtaking scenery, the pure nature, and the clearest waters.
There’s an advantage and disadvantage of staying in San Vicente town proper as I have learned. Advantage is that I get to stay real close to San Vicente’s Long Beach, the longest white beach in Palawan which I have immensely enjoyed combing through. Disadvantage is that Island Hopping here is costly unlike if I stay in Port Barton. The Island hopping tours (A to D) only cost Php 700 per head for a minimum of four people in a group. But since I’m travelling alone, I would have to shell out Php 2,000 to get to Port Barton by boat. The people at tourism office said if there are any groups from here that would do the tours I could always join in but from the looks of the people coming and going through this town, chances are pretty slim. I was resigned to spend my last full day in San Vicente by the beach when Ate Flor, the owner of Ursula Long Beach Travaller’s Inn called me up while having breakfast that she’s at the tourism office and managed to get me a slot to join a group doing a Port Barton Island Hopping Tour. I immediately said yes, quickly packed my camera and gear and hopped on a motorbike to take me to the port.
There was a night in Sibaltan, El Nido where a group of performers from the Sibaltan Heritage Society (SHC) showcased a few Cuyonon folk dances. Cuyonons, are an ethno-linguistic group that originated from Cuyo Island. I watch at least five pairs of young boys and girls enthusiastically dance on the sand, under somewhat dim light of the night from Tapik Beach resort. The sound coming from a boom box was all treble with scratchy bass but the performance was all heart and passion as we could see the expressions from the young performers as they execute dance steps highly Spanish-influenced, often upbeat to jumpy with a lot of swirl movements from the girl. I could not understand the lyrics but I was told these dances are often about Cuyonon life – livelihood, courtship, marriage that are often depicted with witty naughtiness to slightly obscene which is a character of Cuyonon songs. Watching this humble spectacle made me imagine how the Cuyonons manage to cross the Sulu Seas, traversing at least 100 nautical miles to reach the shores of Paragua, what we know now as the land of Palawan. The newly built Pangko Maritime Museum in Sibaltan, sheds some light into the history of Cuyonon migration.
All eyes were on me. Somehow, my presence interrupted what seemed to be an early morning trade of freshly caught fish and other seafood. I was running the upper stretch of the San Vicente Long Beach in Palawan and just reached the rocky cliff cutting the long stretch of this white sand beach on the other side. I was already heading back when I caught this small crowd and it seems from their reaction, they don’t get as many visitors as early as this morning. “Magandang umaga po! Ano pong meron dyan? (Good morning! What’s in here?)” I asked, bringing out my best smile which seemed to have broken the tense and curios atmosphere. I was reciprocated with the genuine smiles from the locals and they went on with their bargains, weighing-in of goods and sale. I went on with my run back to where I started.