Tuesday, June 11, 2019

DIY Coron Dreamy Birthday Getaway


Are you planning something different for your Birthday? Are you adventurous and tired of partying in the bar? Do you wish to chill and escape stress and the bustling city life?

Chillin like a villain 

Then let me guide you to an awesome and unforgetable birthday getaway that won't break your bank, and come home with full of new experiences you'll treasure forever!

my happy place! 

So why celebrate in Palawan and not in other places?
Palawan is for the third time the best island in the world and yes, I am proud to be a Filipino for this!

Diwata (=fairy 😜) at Atwayan Beach 

Travel + Leisure has just announced their yearly list of the best islands around the world, and I am ecstatic to hear that Palawan island in my home country, the Philippines, has been named the best island in the world for the third time consecutively.

The famous Kayangan Lake

Of course, you will have to choose for your own, where you wish to spend your birthday getaway since it's your special day not mine! Just in my case, I chose Coron because Coron is just jaw-dropping, and the people here are kind and friendly. I feel very safe here and there's still really so much more to see. 

The deck view at Kayangan Lake

So first thing first, book a flight or ferry ticket months before your Birthday, preferably because tickets to Coron can be quite expensive. 
I and my friends opted to take a boat for experience and of course to save a bit of money because we only decided to go to Coron a month before my birthday. 

Let the journey begin, 4 days and 3 nights in Coron! Ajaaa! 

North Port, Tondo

Patiently waiting to board.
We departed at 7pm on a Friday in North Harbor Pier and arrived at 6am on a Saturday in Coron Pier. You can basically just sleep and try to rest well as long and tiry island hopping tours await you! For booking and more info you can go to www.phbus.com/2go-travel/.

Our aircon in the room was not working.. 

Our business class cabin, good for 6 pax.
This has no private toilet, just a sink. 

Finally after 11 hours, we arrived in Coron. We booked for 2 nights in Al faro Hotel, so we travelled 1 more hour to get to Busuanga via our private van. We got a good deal for our hotel via traveloka and had 600p- off using their coupon! Try it! 

Joyride for 5min before reaching Al faro

Our romantic bed

Privacy please!

Infinity pool area

View from our balcony

Bar and Dining area

Our breakfast  

Lovely Breakfast view

Day 1 Itinerary:
6-7 Am : Arrival in Coron Pier
8-9 Am : Travel to Salvacion
10-11Am : Breakfast at Kings Lodge
12- 4 pm : Island Tour, Black Island
4-5 pm : Al faro Check-in
5-7 pm : Rest Time
8-9pm : Dinner
10pm : Social

Day 1 Expenses :
Private Van : 4000php
Breakfast at King's Lodge : 400/4 = 100php each bfast meal
Black Island boat from Ocam-ocam : 2000php
Lunch at Black Island : 1000php, depends on your request
Black island entrance fee : 200php each x 4 = 800php
Cottage fee : 150php
Ocam-ocam to Al faro : free courtesy of our friend in Coron
Dinner at Al faro : Depends on what you like to eat prices ranges from 250php-500php
I had garlic prawns with rice : 390php

Total Expenses: 8,350.00php without dinner
Total Expenses for each : 8,350/ 4 = 2087.50php each + 390php for my dinner = 2,447.50php


Can you see the mermaid? 

Cave, Black Island

Have some sun and fun! 

What would life be without friends! 
Day 2 :

We decided to hire a private boat and went to Coron town to get a cheaper boat deal since booking in the hotel was a bit pricey.
In Coron town, we met our boat guide and asked to go to Kayangan Lake and if he could suggest a non touristy beach for us, so he suggested Atwayan Beach.
First stop was Atwayan Beach, then we headed to Kayangan Lake :

Setting up creatively our lunch

Yes! I learned how to float! 

Watermelons, anyone? 

I got a paradise for myself!

on the way to Kayangan Lake

My second time in Kayangan Lake

Hi, there! 
Day 2 Itinerary :
6-7 am : Breakfast at Al faro
7-8 am : Preparation for island hopping
8-9am : Pick up of the van going to Coron town, you will need to climb up the stairs to get to the mainroad for about 10min.
9-10am : Arrival in Coron town
10-1pm : Atwayan Beach
1-3pm : Kayangan Lake
3-4pm : Coron town
4-5pm : Al faro Hotel
5-8pm : Rest time
8-9pm : Dinner
10-12 : Free time
12-2 am : My Birthday, stargazing and night swimming
3am : Social

Expenses :
Breakfast : included in the hotel rate
Van to Coron : 600p /4 =150php each
Boat Tour : 2700P / 4 = 675php each
Lunch : 1200p /4 = 300php each
You have a choice to buy your own food and let it cook by the tourguides, in our case we requested to do the grocery for us
Entrance Fee Kayangan Lake : 1200/4 =300php
Van to Al faro : 600p/4 = 150php
Dinner : 1,060p / 4 = 265php

Total Expenses for 4 : 7,360php
Total Expenses for each : 1,840php

Day 3 :

We woke up at 7am so we could watch the sunrise from the infinity pool, as we were not able to enjoy the sunset the day before due to walk-ins in the hotel. We were not so happy about this, but luckily we had a bit of time to swim and take pics before our check-out.

Perfect day on my b-day! 

Overlooking the sunrise! 

Waiting for the falling stars! 

Time to leave this dreamy resort. 
We booked another hotel at the Sanctuaria Treehouse, which was 30min away from Al faro. This is just to maximize our time and see as many places as possible. From Al faro, again we had to climb up the stairs to get to the main road, while our luggages were taken by the staff via motor so that we didn't have to carry them all the way to the main road. We really had a good exercise here, I'm telling you! I wouldn't advise doing my way of travelling here to those who are lazy and not so adventurous, because you know and I know that you will be just complaining walking around in heat.
But for me it was all worth the struggle and sweat!

Entrance of Sanctuaria 

No, unfortunately we didn't stay in this treehouse room. 

Birthday Celebration on top of the mountain

taking a break from our hike

Let's eat! 
I didn't have much pics of our room in the Sanctuaria, because we had to leave right away upon check-in for another hike in Ocam-ocam. Since it was my birthday, a good friend of mine who is a local prepared lunch for us! It was delightful, but before pigging out, we had to hike up the mountain.
Also because it was my fourth time in Coron, I made friends with locals. Don't be afraid of them, they are so helpful and nice. They will even invite you to places, no tourists would know.
We wanted to leave Ocam-ocam early to catch the sunset there and check out their amenities, but unfortunately we couldn't get there on time for the sunset. It was already dark as Sanctuaria was 1 and half hour away from Ocam-ocam.
So we ended up just having dinner which was by the way delicious, and we got to meet the owner, Brian, who was very friendly.

Day 3 Itinerary : 
8am : Breakfast
8-10am: Swimming
11-12pm : Al faro Check-out
12-1pm : Tricycle Ride going to Sanctuaria Treehouse
1-2pm : Ocam-ocam hike
2-4pm : Late lunch in Ocam-ocam
4-5pm : Chill at Ocam-ocam beach
5-7pm : Travel to Sanctuaria Treehouse
8-9pm : Dinner
10pm : Social

Expenses :
Breakfast : included in our hotel rate
Al faro happy hour : 95php
Al faro cocktail : 220php
Tricycle to Sanctuaria : 200php / 4 = 50php each
Van to Ocam-ocam : 2000php (sponsored by our local friend for my birthday)
Lunch : sponsored by my local friend

Total Budget : 365php

Wonderful view from Sanctuaria Treehouse, early morning before our check-out

The day had come where we needed to leave this paradise, we checked out quite early at around 5.30am. We arranged a pick up van from Sanctuaria to the airport which took about 30-40min drive. We booked the first flight at 8am via traveloka from Coron to Clark as we wanted to catch our midshift work schedule. From Clark we took the P2P bus or Point to Point bus going back to Metro Manila. It was so convenient as the bus station was just right outside of the airport. Also, I love the Clark airport, it is so clean and less crowded!

Day 4 Itinerary: 
5.30am : Check out
6-6.30am : Busuanga Airport
6.30-7am : Breakfast at the airport
8am: Flight to Manila
9am : Clark
9.30-12.30pm : Metro Manila

Day 4 Expenses : 
Van to Airport : 1500p / 4 = 375php
Breakfast : 120php

Total Expenses for one person: 495php

Additional Expenses 

Hotels Expenses:
Al faro 2 nights : 6,272.07php - 600php = 5,672.06p/ 2 pax = 2,836.03php
Sanctuaria one night : 880p /4 = 220php

Total Expenses : 3,056.03php for 3 nights

Flight, Ferry and Bus tickets :
2go Ferry Manila to Coron : 2,712.83php each
PAL Coron to Clark : 2,587.84php each
P2P bus fare Clark to Manila : 380php

Van Driver : Junmar - 09758484130
Boat Tourguide : Kuya - 09092232761

Our travel date
May 31, 2019 - June 4, 2019

Total Expenses for the whole trip for one person:  Php10,828.17

Disclaimer : Pictures and Contents were taken and written by me based on my observation and experiences.