September 11, 2011

Foodie Trip: Kopi Tiam

I may not be a hard-core food critic but I'm a hundred percent foodie! I love food and I love to eat (that's why I easily gain weight lol!). I have a long list of my favorite dishes and desserts. You can't force me to choose just one. I have a group of friends, a.k.a. Pokerfaces, who I have been friends for 7 years now... and counting! For several months now, a couple of us get together and bond over food. Almost, or every other Sunday night, we look for new  places where we can dine and just converse about anything under-the-sun.

A few months back, we have discovered this restaurant near Camp Crame, named "Kopi Tiam". It's one of the restaurants from the North Park group.

September 7, 2011

Missing Coron...

Missing Coron.... I never liked the rain... it makes my days seemed so gloomy. I can't do much and makes me feel lazy... it may sound exaggerated, but when it rains I feel like anytime it'll be the end of the world... Since it's been raining occasionally and almost every week now, I suddenly wished that it was summer once again... and then I thought of Coron... I miss Coron... 

Coron from up above

Coron is one of the most beautiful Philippine destinations I've ever been too. Well, it's on top of my list... I've been to few tourist spots that claim that they're the best. But for me nothing, still, beats Coron; especially its beaches! I've been there twice (once in 2010 and the one was in early 2011) and I will always go back whenever I have the chance. It's a complete paradise in Coron! There's so many things I love about Coron... the destinations, the locals, the town, the food, and our host! You'll be surprised to find yourself to be the one  surrendering from all the things that you can do and from all places that you can go to.

Missing Coron...Mommita's Lodge

Where we stayed: Mommita's Lodge. Our accommodation was a referral to a friend, who was with us during our first trip: Mommita's Lodge. It's not a hotel or any fancy place to stay, but you will be overwhelmed from the hospitality that this place will make you experience.

I think it's their house converted into a lodge with spacious areas and a couple of rooms and toilet/baths. The  place is well maintained and always clean.

Missing Coron... Barracuda lake

This lake somewhat gives me a sense of eeriness. Stories say that it was named after a barracuda that supposedly resides within its waters. The trek to get there is shorter than Kayangan's, but steeper. Thank God that the second time I visited this place, there were already wooden ladders and they put wooden pathways on the side of the lake (like those at Kayangan's)

The depth of the lake is as tall as the surrounding cliffs, our tour guide told us. There were divers when we arrived, and I don't know if they were just playing with our minds, but they said they saw the barracuda swimming in the deep water. Barracuda lake is one the top diving sites in Coron, btw.

Missing Coron... Other Popular Beaches in Coron

Atuwayan Beach
This is where we had our lunch during our first trip to Coron. The sand is brownish but very fine. The water, is as usual, crystalline clear.

There are kayaks the you can rent as the water is quite calm and the beach is in a a cove. Corals and fishes are also bountiful and just a few steps away from the shore.

Missing Coron... Helldivers' Bar

Since I am a WWII fan (not the war itself, but the stories and memorabilia from that era) I loved Helldivers' Bar! Helldivers were bomber planes back in WWII, I guess.

The bar have a collection of WWII memorabilia displayed in some parts of the place. Some of which were taken from the shipwrecks sunk on the seas of Palawan. The drinks and the food are just ok for its price.

Missing Coron... Limestone Cliffs

My jaw dropped the first time I saw these limestone cliffs, all I can say was: "Ganda! (Beautiful!)" These are the moments when you say to yourself, God is really powerful that He is able to create things like these... these are the moments that take your breath away...*sigh*

Missing Coron... Mount Tapyas

We climbed all the 700+ steps of Mt Tapyas, on our last day of our second trip. We got out of our beds at 5:00 am and reached the view deck, where the cross is, just before the sun rose. It was a breath-taking view. The view from the top of Mt Tapyas is an enlivening panorama of Coron Bay and the neighboring islands.

I often don't get to see the sun rise, so this is one memorable moment for me. But if you'll ask me if I'll climb Mt Tapyas again? Probably not! Lol! I thought I was going to faint halfway through our climb! had to make a several stops just to catch my breath and get some few minutes of rest. I felt so unhealthy, when on our way down, we saw some locals jogging their way up Mt. Tapyas.

Missing Coron... Maquinit Hot Springs

Maquinit Hot Springs

One mountain in Coron is a dormant volcano and where there is a volcano, hot springs are nearby. The first time I took a plunge, the water felt so hot. But when the heat conducted through my entire body, I wallowed and that was one relaxing dip!

the hot spring pool surrounded by mangroves

The floor of the pool was full of smooth pebbles, so when you're walking around, it is as good as having a foot massage. The best time to go there is at night after your whole day of trekking, snorkeling and swimming :)

Coron 2014 Trip:

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Missing Coron...Best Beaches in Coron: Malcapuya Island

These are my top 3 beaches in Coron

Malcapuya Island is probably my most favorite and the most beautiful island in Coron. Its long stretch of shoreline reminds me of Boracay in some way minus all the establishments and bars.

Malcapuya's sand is powdery and pinkish. Its fineness falls between Boracay's Station 1 sand and Station 2 sand. It was like walking on refined sugar! One of the best sands I've seen and walked so far :)

September 6, 2011

Missing Coron... Best Beaches in Coron: Banana Island

These are my top 3 beaches in Coron

Banana Island
On our second trip, Banana island was one of our beach destinations, instead of Bulog Island (tourists are not allowed anymore). By the look of it, it's one island that tourists frequent the most. There are alot of cottages in the island where you can stay all day or overnight. The owner of the island was there and she was fishing using her small boat and was manually putting the fish line and baits.

Unfortunately the little fishes outsmarted us. So we gave up and decided to just walk a little further from the shore. We were shock when we got near the corals and seaweeds! There swim the larger versions of the  baby fishes that we were trying to catch! And we can see them without dipping!

Missing Coron...Best Beaches in Coron: Bulog island

These are my top 3 beaches in Coron

Bulog Island
It was almost a 2-hour boat ride to Bulog and we were getting bored. I kept on asking the tour guide like I was Dory of Finding Nemo: "are we there yet?". She said "It's that island" while pointing to a tiny island. I answered: "ok..." And as we were nearing the island everyone of us gasp from what we saw from afar:

after hours of somewhat endless boat ride.. this is what will greet you...Bulog Island

We were just muttering "Ang ganda.... (Beautiful...)" in awe of what was in front of us. We were  immediately filled with excitement!

Missing Coron...Siete Pecados and Twin Lagoon

This Coron destination is a group of 7-mini islands, hence the name "siete". Just a few meters away from Coron port, Siete pecados is a protected marine sanctuary with a variety of corals and fishes. Our tour guide told us about one of its legends, she said that there were seven sisters who went swimming against their mother’s wishes, on their way home they're boat sunk and they all drowned and afterwards, seven small islands sprouted from the sea.

The first time we visited this sanctuary, it was almost sunset, so we didn't get to enjoy it that much and the current was also very strong. So the second time around, though I'm always scared to snorkel, I didn't want to miss it; and look what greeted me, schools of fish that are very excited and hungry for the bread that we fed them:

Missing Coron... Kayangan Lake

Named as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan is one of the top stops in Coron! But make sure you have the strength to trek just to go there! You need to hike quite a few steps up and then quite a few steps down just to reach the lake. But once you reach the lake, all the stress and tiredness will be blown away, yes, you will surely be blown away by it's beauty. 

The water is aqua blue and a mixture of fresh and salt water. The place is peaceful, you can just sit on the wooden paths for hours, or you can opt to snorkel or dive. The lake is very deep but the visibility of limestone formations underwater is terrific!

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