5 Fascinating Facts about Coron, Palawan

Coron is already known to foreign tourists 35 years ago. This according to a fellow blogger that commented on this post. Coron, why so fascinating?

Here are some fascinating facts about Coron in Palawan, from how this island is formed to its environmental awards and its keepers’ greatest legacy.

secluded-lagoonFact #1. Coron limestone was formed 260 million years ago as a coral reef along the length of Southeast Asia and was part of the China Continental Crust. It was later drafted to its present location north of Palawan by tectonic movements.

They were uplifted by tectonism some 30 million years ago and then extensively eroded by waves and monsoon rains to create its present unique “karst” topography. These limestone crops rise dramatically as cathedral-like formations more 400 meters above sea level. [Source: UNOCAL company calendar]

kayangan lake Kayangan Lake. Photo courtesy of Carol Caudilla

Fact #2. Lake Kayangan and Lake Barracuda are the only two lakes in Coron open to tourists. Both had been awarded the cleanest lakes in the Philippines. How pristine the sacred lakes…

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5 Fascinating Facts about Coron, Palawan

Here are some fascinating facts about Coron in Palawan, from how this island was formed to its environmental awards to its keepers’ greatest legacy.

secluded-lagoon

Fact #1. Coron limestones were formed 260 million years ago as a coral reef along the length of Southeast Asia and was part of the China Continental Crust. It was later drafted to its present location north of Palawan by tectonic movements.

They were uplifted by tectonism some 30 million years ago and then extensively eroded by waves and monsoon rains to create its present unique “karst” topography. These limestone crops rise dramatically as cathedral-like formations more 400 meters above sea level. [Source: UNOCAL company calendar]

kayangan lake
Kayangan Lake. Photo courtesy of Carol Caudilla

Fact #2. Lake Kayangan and Lake Barracuda are the only two lakes in Coron open to tourists. Both had been awarded the cleanest lakes in the Philippines. How pristine the sacred lakes (Panyaan) in the island, we can only imagine. 

The Calamian Tagbanuas, the indigenous caretakers of Calamianes Islands, believe that a Panyaan is sacred for the spirits dwelling in it. This is usually a big rock or coral reef formation that is separated from its main structure and in relatively deep water. They believe that a kunlalabyut or giant octopus lives in this area.

Fact #3. The World Conservation Organization recognizes Coron Island as a community conserved area because its strict conservation rules and forbidden/sacred lakes and beaches are considered equivalent to its management category: Ia, Strict Nature Reserve and Category V, Protected landscape/seascape.

A community conserved area is defined as natural and modified ecosystems, including significant biodiversity, ecological services, and cultural values, voluntarily conserved by indigenous peoples and local and mobile communities through customary laws or other effective means [Source:Borrini-Feyerabend, et.al, 2004].

underwater-garden

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More info and pictures of Calamian Tagbanuas and their customary laws and traditions here: [The Calamian Tagbanua, Putting premium on the environment, Modern Challenges]

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Fact #4. The Calamian Tagbanua serves as an inspiration to other indigenous communities here in the Philippines and outside the country for securing the autonomous right for their ancestral domain including water areas.

calamianes island
Calamianes Island

Fact #5. “The islanders were impressively clean, their houses spaciously set in courtyards, and there was no alcoholism…There was poverty, but there was no squalor.” This, according to Victor Paul Borg of Geographical Magazine.

These photos below taken by photographer Jacob Maentz during his visit to the island affirms that it remains true up to now, at least in areas of the Tagbanuas because the waters close to the mainland are already polluted.

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coral garden coron palawan

 

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[The rest of the photos were provided by the travel buddies.]

Jewels of Coron

From the jungle-clad limestone karsts that tower around still lakes and lagoons, to the unspoiled beaches that teem with marine biodiversity, Coron counts as a unique tourist paradise for its stunning vistas both in terrestrial and underwater worlds.

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Please read the list of the major tourist destinations in Coron that both adventurous travelers and nature lovers will enjoy in Rappler’s PH Travel section.

Happy weeeeeeeeekend!

Meet the Lake of Kayangan

You are not a photograph.
Although at flimsy intervals I wish you were
So I could hold you in a glance.

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You are not a photograph.
You are most real,
And a lonely wall is not your fate.

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You are not a photograph,
You are not a photograph,
And you will nevermore fade…

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Not a Photogtaph by Miracle Romano

Facts About Kayangan Lake

  • Kayangan lake is one of the two lakes (the other one is Barracuda lake) in Calamian islands that is open to tourists. The rest are considered as panyaan or sacred areas by Tagbanuas, the indigenous people of Calamian islands.
  • Like the Luluyuwan lake (also called Barracuda lake), Kayangan lake has been awarded as the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It holds a Presidential Hall of Fame for consistently winning from 1997-1999.
  • Entrance fee to Kayangan lake is 200 pesos.
  • the lake water is a mixture of fresh and salt water
  • Tagbanuas make a living (aside from fishing, farming and weaving mats) by collecting swiftlet nests at the top of the small cave in Kayangan lake, or anywhere in the island’s high limestone cliffs. This edible bird’s nest is used for making the bird’s nest soup.
  • the most photographed and most visited tourist attraction in Coron

Kayangan Bay Image

  • is accessible via a 10-minute climb in a steep mountain slope
  • is the most photographed view in Coron
  • is a picture perfect point

Do’s and Don’ts in Kayangan lake

  • Diving and kayaking are prohibited
  • Avoid making unnecessary noises (the noise that tourists make can disturb the balinsasayaw or swiflet that nests in the cave)
  • Use chemical solutions (sunblock, insect repellent, etc.) to a minimum
  • Bringing food is not allowed
  • Visit the lake between 8:00-4:00 pm
  • Bring your garbage back to your boat and dispose them properly

photo credit: Carol Caudilla. Thanks te =)

Sleepy Tales: The Twin Lagoon of Coron

“This is a wonderful place to get married.”

Ooops! Did I just say that?

I didn’t really know where that thought had come from. But when one of my travel buddies repeated exactly what I said, I knew that I had let that thought slipped out of my mouth louder than I intended to.

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The “gatekeepers” standing tall and mighty like cathedral walls

The surroundings are not even romantic, to begin with. The place rather looks sacred — two lagoons of transparent emerald waters nestled amid the Calis Mountain, the largest limestone formation in Coron. Under the colossal limestone rocks that separate the twin lagoon is a small tunnel which serves as the entry point to the more secluded lagoon.

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The narrow passage can easily stir fear especially to the claustrophobic and less adventurous. But choosing to face such a fear can be a rewarding experience, if not unforgettable.

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owing much of its enchantment to the quiet, secluded aura that envelops the lagoon

Upon entering the narrow gap, you’d be astounded to discover a grand expanse (probably twice an Olympic size pool) of clean turquoise water encircled with a majestic succession of rock formations. The towering spires of stratified limestone are covered with strange plants and trees, displaying a bizarre landscape of protruding cone-like shapes.

If you find yourself in front of the gates of this secret cove, remember the password: courage. Only those who take up the challenge to swim in the underwater tunnel become worthy of seeing the lagoon that is set blissfully in seclusion.

*Don’t worry if you are not a professional swimmer. There are other options to get in. All you have to do is trust the boatmen. 🙂

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