"Coron kambak kambak" Coron Island by gurangna

Coron Island Travel Guide: 102 reviews and 457 photos

Return after 16 years

I first visited Palawan's southernmost town of Balabac in the mid 1980s. The first word I learned was kambak-kambak (come back, come back). They said that once you visit the place you can never leave or if you leave you will always return. They said the spirits put a spell on you. They told me to bite a trunk of a tree or a rock to please the spirits. I laughed then but that first trip was followed by another a few months later and then many more over the next few years. Then in the late 80's, I was sent to work in Coron on a fisheries project. I lived there for 5 years then left for another country.

I lost contact but got reconnected last year. I learned many things have changed in Coron, many tourists now visit the place, many resorts and inns have sprung up, and many new faces have come to live there.

I googled Coron and got many hits: photos, videos and stories of people who have visited the place. Most of them loved the place, very few were not satisfied, none hated it and several said they had gone back or will go back. I enjoyed the posted photos reminding me of the exceptional beauty of the place. I had to go back and I had to let my family see it.

After 16 years I was back. This is the start of the return journey. The best way to go there is by the Friday night superferry, clean, comfortable, friendly and efficient staff. Before you sleep go up the deck and enjoy the beautiful star studded sky. Early next day you arrive there.

Many things have changed

Then we had batils (passenger-cargo boats) plying the Manila-Coron route. It was an adventure crossing the rough Mindoro straights especially during the amihan (northeast monsoon season of October to March). Now the superferry trip is fun and if you get seasick the staff have motion sickness pills.

Kayangan lake was virtually unknown and seldom visiited, now you can not be alone there. Still the beauty and enchantment of the place remains.

New attractions

Several sunken Japanese warships have been located, became popular diving sights, attracting famous names such as Antonio Banderas and Oliver Bloom.

We didnt know twin lagoon then. Getting there is amazing with rock walls suddenly opening up as you go deeper and deeper into the first lagoon. Then you stop at a rock wall, dive under it and get to an inner lagoon. Our first visit there was in the morning when the tide was high and we had to dive under the wall. I surfaced too early which was a big mistake resulting in deep cuts on my hands and back from the sharp barnacles clinging to the roof of the opening. But I didnt mind and the cuts healed quickly too. We went back in the afternoon when the tide had subsided and was easy for my kids to swim to the other side.

A selection of photos are available in the travelogue below... Enjoy

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Magnificent sights, friendly people
  • Cons:A bit costly getting there; needs a good seafood restaurant
  • In a nutshell:White sands, clear waters, colorful corals, lots of sun and time stands still
  • Last visit to Coron Island: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 6, 2008
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Reviews (6)

Comments (4)

  • yellowcab's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2009 at 5:37 AM

    Hey its nice to hear your wonderful stories at Palawan. you must be the expert on this place coz u have lived here. thanks for loving this country!

  • sugarpuff's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    I love everything I have read about Coron and would like to go in Jan 09. I would be back packing it a little so nothing fancy, but just want to swim and have fun! Do you have any suggestions!? Thanks!!!

  • Apr 9, 2008 at 7:10 AM

    looking at those spectacular views makes me feel free...wanna spread my wings and fly high....so high.......

  • asiantraveler's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2008 at 7:15 PM

    ahhhhh lets keep it secret pls

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