-= View from Mt Tapyas =-
It was July 2012 when I was still in UK that I’ve decided to book for Busuanga while Skyping with my girlfriend. Missing the beach so much on a cold weather pushed me to GO and click CONFIRM. We even thought of cancelling this at the very last-minute and go to Sagada/Banaue instead because of the things we needed to do but failed to do. It was late in the evening before our flight when I started searching for a place to stay in Sagada and Banaue as a backup plan. Good thing a friend offered to do it for us and so we managed to go on and continue with the trip and packed our things then went to the airport with no sleep at all.
At the airport, the security directed us to check-in at the nearest counter only to find out it’s for disabled/senior citizens. Haha! We didn’t realise this until they asked who told us to do so. Luckily instead of asking us to go to the other counter we we’re allowed to check-in our baggage. Looking back at the line, and indeed it was for senior citizens. Ooopss!
At the boarding area while waiting for our flight, I started sending sms, calling and emailing different lodges, inns and backpacker places in search of a cheap place to stay since we’ve only managed to book for a tour. Most of the accommodation included in the package are quite expensive and knowing I could find a better deal, I decided to rough it instead.
At Busuanga Airport, it was quite difficult to get a Globe signal. No network coverage for Sun Cellular, ONLY Smart. They said I can get a good network coverage for Globe at the Town. I don’t have a Smart number so I had a hard time getting in touch with my contacts.
Outside the airport, I was able to get a signal from Globe so I decided to immediately call Backpackers place only to find they’re fully booked so I rang Rudy’s Lodge and got a Fan Room for 500 a night. Not bad so I took it. We rode an air-conditioned van (mode of transportation for airport-coron route) and paid 150 per head and asked the driver to drop us off at Rudy’s Place Lodge. Rudy’s Place Lodge is just few meters away from the main town accessible by tricycle for a minimum fare of 10 pesos per head.
At Rudy’s Place Lodge, we met Fati who’s taking care of the place and guided us to our room. I then sent a message to Liezl, my contact in Coron, to advise her of our arrival. (Again, they only have Globe and Smart network coverage in Coron right now so I turned off my Sun phone. What a loser!) Few minutes later, she called so she could meet us before the tour and to set proper expectations. We both agreed for pick up at 3PM. Feeling a little tired, we decide to take a nap before touring the town.
-= Rudy’s Place Lodge =-
Excited on our first day we prepped early and was picked up before 3. Our first stop was a Souvenir Shop for us to have an idea on what to buy before we leave the island on our last day. We then went to Lualhati Park, a park by the bay facing northeast.
-= Lualhati Park =-
We also visited the tourism center to show us the map of the island and the whereabouts of the places we’re going to visit. Before going to Mt Tapyas, we stopped at the Municipal Hall for a quick photo opp.
-= Coron Municipal Hall =-
It was around 4 when we arrived at the foot of Mt Tapyas. The trail going to the summit consists of 700+ steps on a nicely cemented path with hand railing and covered resting areas with benches along the way.
-= Almost There =-
At the top you’ll see the big steel cross and a spacious view deck. Once there you’ll see a panoramic view of Coron and its surrounding islands. Sunset and Sunrise viewing is one of the best here. Just make sure you bring a flashlight if you plan to go down after the sunset.
-= Coron Sunset =-
After Mt Tapyas, we went straight to Maquinit Hot Spring. The road going there is not entirely paved so it might be difficult to get there during rainy season. At Maquinit Hot Spring, they have 2 small pools and a main pool. The water temperature is really relaxing, perfect after trekking Mt Tapyas. Due to freshwater scarcity in the area, we only managed to change our clothes after taking a dip. Here you can also have a picnic. They have a store wherein you can buy food and drinks. They also have a baggage counter for safekeeping of your things.
It was 730PM when we arrived at Coron Edge for dinner. We had Adobo and Calamares as well as Banana Flambe for dessert.
After dinner, we took a tricycle going back at Rudy’s and paid 10 pesos per head.
Day 1 Itinerary – Mt Tapyas & Maquinit Hot Spring
0830 Flight to Busuanga via Airphil Express
0925 Arrived at Busuanga Airport
1000 Left Busuanga Airport via Van
1030 Arrived at Rudy’s Place Lodge
1045 Early Check-in at Rudy’s Place Lodge
1100 Nap Time
1445 Pickup Time
1500 Souvenir Shop
1520 Lualhati Park
1535 Tourism Center
1550 Municipal Hall
1600 Mt Tapyas
1620 Summited Mt Tapyas
1730 Descended Mt Tapyas
1745 Swim and Relax at Maquinit Hot Spring
1930 Dinner at Coron Edge
2030 Back at Rudy’s Place Lodge
If you wish to tour the town without a package, you can simply rent any tricycle around the town for around 300-400 pesos for the entire day. Entrance to Maquinit Hot Springs: P150/ person. Cutoff is 8PM but one can stay until 10PM.
Check the full Itinerary here.
Click here to see next day’s Itinerary – Kayangan Lake + Vivian Beach + Twin Peaks + CYC
Here’s the rundown of our expenses for the day:
P300 Taxi going to the NAIA Terminal 3
P300 Van going to Coron from the Busuanga Airport
P6,000 Full Payment of Tours good for 4 Days (Boat Transfers, Food during Tour, Entrance Fees and Tricycle Fare)
P520 Dinner at Coron Edge
P20 Tricycle Fare
P65 Other expenses
P7,205 Total Expenses for Day 1
If you need help in Coron, you may contact Liezel Abringe at +63907 723 2451
Rudy’s Place Lodge : +63999 581 5019