Coron and the Effects of Booming Tourism

It’s not a secret that Palawan is indeed a paradise. I must say it is one of the front liners of Philippines tourism. With its beautiful islands, beaches, and diverse marine life, Palawan can easily rival and even outclass the likes of Maldives, and the beaches of Thailand and Hawaii. Upon its roster is the cluster of islands near Coron area.

I am so in love with Palawan that I wouldn’t mind coming back several times if not for the financial issues. We’ve been to Coron a few years back and it made a mark on my heart. In fact, I am not the only one who’s been enthralled by the charm of the place.

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Taken at Maquinit Hot Spring

Coron also successfully swooned the hearts of my friends. I have always listed Coron on my top destinations list since then.

Just recently, we got a chance to visit Coron once again. Timing is everything. We spotted a cheap flight on a date where everyone was free. We booked it and everything went on.

Nostalgia. The same old feelings crept down my skin as our plane landed at Busuanga Airport. The same warm smiles welcomed us. As we were heading to Coron proper, old memories recalled in my mind. At the same time, the anticipation of seeing the beauty of the place again kept my chest tugging.

As we entered the town proper, unfamiliar buildings and establishments grabbed my attention. Coron is already on its momentum. Old houses and trees replaced with modern hotels, restaurants, and establishments. The old building where we once stayed is already gone. More tour operators are popping out and even more visitors are strolling on every corner.

Our day started with a quick welcome rain. Good thing we found a place to stay right away. Thanks to our van driver who suggested and brought us to a very money worthy accommodation. We stayed in a very friendly and very hospitable hostel called Happy Camper Hostel. More of the hostel information below.

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Happy Campers Hostel

Prior our arrival, we contacted our old island hopping guide to, once again, tour us around the places and islands in Coron. Guide details below. The following day, we started our island hopping tour.

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Island Hopping Tour

Revisiting the old places we once visited. We started off in Siete Pecados then followed by the other islands and beaches. A thing I noticed is the garbage.

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visible floating plastic bottles

I am not sure if I just forgot or what but I cannot remember Coron to have garbage, plastic or not, floating around on its waters before. I don’t know if those were from the residents living in the coastal areas or from the uncontrolled irresponsible visitors.

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garbage floating around the surrounding waters of Coron

Regardless, this must be prevented. We know very well the impact of garbage towards our marine ecosystem.

Same as before, we visited the famous lakes in Coron. The pristine Kayangan and the spine-tingling Barracuda Lake. I noticed that the uphill trail heading to the mouth of Kayangan Lake already has concrete steps. Barricades and stair handle change the natural trail towards the lake. There are more visitors on the lake this time, mostly from foreign countries, that a long line of visitors to the famous Kayangan view deck can even obstruct the other visitors heading straight to the lake.

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The long line to Kayangan Lake’s viewdeck

Rescue units are now stationed nearby the lake and visitors are no more allowed to swim in the lake without wearing a floating vest. I remember so well that we even tried cliff jumping on the lake before, but now it is not allowed anymore.

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sign boards in the vicinity of Kayangan Lake

The water is no more as clear and cold as it was a few years back. But still, both lakes still have their possessed signature beauty and charm.

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Diving in Kayangan Lake
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The very deep Barracuda Lake

 

I noticed the negligence of several visitors. I saw visitors carelessly leaving their trash on the place, from their candy wrappers down to their plastic bottles. As long as they had their fill and satisfaction, they don’t care about the impact of their actions. Or maybe they were just unaware of what they were doing. Without their guides and other responsible locals and visitors, that small act will be left uncorrected.

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The famous sight from Kayangan Lake’s view deck

Progression. There is nothing wrong with progression. The problem arises when people start neglecting its opposite impact.

Hindi na masama ang pag-unlad at malayo-layo narin ang ating narating. Ngunit masdan mo ang tubig sa dagat, dati’y kulay asul ngayo’y naging itim.

As the famous old song goes. I can only hope and pray that Coron’s tourism will not reach the extent of destroying its natural ecosystem and biodiversity. I also hope that we will become more aware and responsible of our actions with regards to its impact to our environment. More importantly, I hope we continue to educate ourselves as to the basic preservation of our natural resources. Small acts like LNT (Leave No Trace) principle can collectively create a huge impact if we do it religiously.

Without humans, mother nature can live on. Without mother nature, humans cannot exist.

Leave No Trace.

Leave Nothing but Footprints, Take Nothing but Photos, and Kill Nothing but Time.

What you bring, take it back with you.

Dispose waste properly.

Leave what you find.

Respect wildlife.

Where we stayed in Coron:

Happy Camper is a traveler friendly hostel personally managed by its owner Sir John Gie. Sir John Gie offers the upper part of their house as the guests’ accommodation. With a very low rate, Happy Camper offers guests a very spacious bed space on a very cozy attic-like room. Each guest will have his/her own fan, lamp and bedside electric outlet.

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inside Happy Campers

The place also has a very spacious terrace area where you can bond and talk with the other guests.

They also offer complementary breakfast bread and coffee. But the most interesting of all is the hospitality of the owner. Sir John Gie visits his guests during his free time and talks about random interesting stuff. He even welcomes his guests to their modern and simple family area. Another bonus, they offer beers for guests who wants to just chill. I highly recommend this place if you want accommodation that offers beyond what you pay.

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Sir John Gie at the right most of the photo
Tip: Ask Sir John Gie his recommended places to visit especially the other trail heading to Mt. Tapyas’ view deck.
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sunset view in Mt. Tapyas

You may reach out Happy Camper on:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Happy-Camper-PH-HostelDorm-122517741661568/

Contact number: 0999-991-8407

Our tour contact:

Avel owns a motorboat which can accommodate around 15 people. He was our island hopping tour guide when we went to Coron a few years back and earlier this year.

You may contact him through this number: ‭0939-815-0044‬

4 Responses

  • Coron was the very first place that I visited since I started traveling solo. It was like a postcard that came to life and it was what has inspired me to pursue traveling around the country. It is also one of those places that you will have to visit not just once. It’s so sad to read something about how other people could simply not care of their surroundings. Buti na lang din at hindi na matutuloy yung plano na magtayo ng underwater theme park.

  • I agree about Palawan’s booming tourism. I’ve never been to Coron (yet) but was able to explore the other side of Palawan which is in El Nido, Puerto Princesa and Port Barton. Regardless of it’s tourism industry, I still want to visit those place, the province itself is just stunning, indeed, it’s called one of the best island in the world. Thanks for sharing this, bookmarking for my future reference in visiting Coron.

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