Last week I had the chance to visit Palawan again, this time my friends and I explored the northern islands of Palawan. While Puerto Princesa left me in awe when I visited the place two years ago, Coron simply took my breath away. I have been reading much about the place from travel blogs but still, nothing compared to seeing it with your own eyes. The sheer beauty of the different islands of Coron as we toured and explored them truly captivated us. The limestone cliffs and pristine white beaches are simply breathtaking and so are the coral gardens underneath the sea. There simply is a whole new world out there and I was glad that I was given the chance to see that world myself.
We set aside one whole day for our snorkeling activity. We went to three of the best places to snorkel in Coron and made two fantastic stop overs in between.
First stop was Coral Garden in the vicinity of Atwayan Beach. Here you will find corals of different kinds as well as whole schools of fish in different shapes and colors. We had fun throwing in some bread so they can come near us.
Second stop was the Skeleton Wreck where you can go about 5 miles deep into the sea to see the wreckage of a fishing boat that sunk during the 1940s. It looked kinda eerie down there so some of us just contented ourselves with feeding the fish while others in our group had fun testing how far they can go deep by diving down the wreckage with the help of the bouy rope.
After Skeleton Wreck, we made a stop at Atwayan Beach for our lunch. It is actually a small beach, perfect as rest stop if you want to dock and eat in decent cottages in the middle of your snorkeling trip. There are a lot of these pocket beaches around Coron as I would later realize.
Before heading off to our third and last snorkeling site, we stopped by Twin Lagoon to check out this interesting site. On the way, we saw a lot of beautiful limestone formations. The Twin Lagoon are both accessible through this little hole on the cliff, an underwater tunnel. Since it was low tide when we reached the second lagoon, we were able to pass by the tunnel easily to go to the first lagoon. We had to get back though since the first lagoon is where the bancas usually stay. The water in the second lagoon was calm and tranquil so we were able to enjoy a leisure swim around before we headed to our final snorkeling stop.
Last stop for our snorkeling adventure was Twin Peak near the Barracuda Lake. This spot is much deeper and has more corals than the Coral Garden in Atwayan Beach. You have to be careful not to touch the corals or stand on the rocks though since sea urchins are all over the corals. There are a lot of different fish species here around too. Fish wise, this spot is much better than Coral Garden.
It was my first time to snorkel that long, imagine a whole day. It was a great great experience. I was taken by the wonderful treasures that lie underneath the sea of Coron. It felt surreal being there, snorkeling there. I felt humbled, lucky, and blessed to be given this opportunity to see these wonderful sea creatures up close.
I know that come June, when I get back to the classroom and start teaching the natural resources of the Philippines to my class again, I will talk about it differently. I will be more passionate as I talk about preserving and conserving our natural resources. I will be more intense as I talk about safeguarding our waters against things that might destruct the marine life. For I swam with the fishes and paid homage to the corals. I bore witness to the beauty that God has blessed and entrusted us with. Coron definitely changed me.