Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron

Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron
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Coron, Palawan is one of the places that I always return to. There’s always something different and something new. Our experience in Coron was one Hakuna Matata! Remember that song?

Hakuna Matata… 

“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s a problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!” – Simba, The Lion King

The jungle atmosphere started to unfold as I rode the free airport transfer of The Funny Lion Inn. The van passed by the grassland, where cows were grazing until it stopped at the modern-contemporary hotel in 25 minutes.

Warm smiles of the staff and a glass of refreshing drink welcomed us as we checked in at the newly-opened boutique hotel located at Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion V. The staff then ushered us to our room called the CUB ROOM.

THE CUB ROOM

The room was neat and tidy with twin beds covered with white linens and comforter. I approached the desk and saw a note from the manager, Mr. Edwin Taghoy. It was thoughtful. The personalized welcome note is  a signature of the One-of-Collection group of hotels, which include the Funny Lion Inn.

Room Amenities:

  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Safe
  • Coffee and Tea bags with electric kettle
  • Hair Dryer

The bed was comfortable that I slept soundly throughout the night.

THE HUNT RESTAURANT

The night before, the kitchen staff handed me a checklist of breakfast choices. I like how they prepare ahead of time for the guests’ meals. I chose the lamayo (a local dried fish) and bacon paired with sunny side up egg and hot tsokolate drink.

It was perfect. I’m in love with the breakfast by the pool set-up while the sun embraces us with its warmth.

After breakfast, I had a chat with the Funny Lion Inn’s manager, Mr. Taghoy. He fondly related a folklore of a cheerful lion which once lived with the Tagbanuas in Coron Bay. He said that they have adapted the story, hence, the name of the boutique resort.

He then introduced us to the executive chef of the restaurant, Rafael Ongchiong. Chef Rafael shared that they offer a mix of Asian and European cuisines.

Take a look at these mouthwatering dishes. Meals range from Php 250- Php 500.00.

Noteworthy among these dishes is the “pinangat”. Pinangat is a local dish of Coron with ground pork meat, salted egg in the middle wrapped in gabi leaves and boiled in coconut milk.

“Mahilig kasi ang mga taga-Coron sa gata (The locals of Coron like dishes with coconut milk),” said Chef Rafael.

Guests may dine outdoor or inside the restaurant. You can also play board games inside the resto.

THE POOL

The infinity pool of the resort was fantastic to cap off the whole day of island hopping in Coron. It was indeed relaxing.

THE PRIDE ROCK 

By sunset time, I went to the Pride Rock, which is the lounge and bar of The Funny Lion Inn. One can take a dip at the two jacuzzis with a bottle of wine and a view of Coron Bay.

That’s what you call Hakuna Matata!

INTERESTING TIDBITS about THE FUNNY LION INN:

  • The Funny Lion Inn is the first resort that has the technology to reuse water from the toilets for gardening purposes.
  • The resort uses biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
  • Solar Panels are used for power generation. They have a back-up electric power as well.
  • There are two access roads to get to the resort. One is from Coron Town itself while the other one is used when you’re coming from Busuanga Airport.
  • Guests can use the safari-type jeepney to get to town for free at scheduled times. Or you can borrow the bikes for free at your own convenient time. It’s 10 minutes away from town.

For bookings, check out their website: http://thefunnylioninn.com/

 

Snorkeling in Coron: Siete Pecados vs. Twin Peaks Reef

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When I first set my eyes on Coron back in 2010, I knew it was love at first sight. Since then, I vowed to return as a diver to enjoy Coron’s abundant marine life and mysterious wrecks.

This January 2013, I went back to Coron. And no, I’m not a diver yet. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed snorkeling in Coron.

SIETE PECADOS

During my first visit, my parents and I witnessed the marine life in Siete Pecados. Siete Pecados is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Coron.

It was named as such because it is composed of seven islets scattered on turquoise waters. When you snorkel at Siete Pecados, you would see colorful marine life. However, most of the corals here were dead.

Many years ago, Siete Pecados has been a victim of cyanide and dynamite fishing but now it has been a protected area. As the rehabilitation of corals began, the school of fish returned to the area.

Entrance fee at Siete Pecados is Php 100/head.

TWIN PEAKS REEF

This time around, we snorkeled not in Siete Pecados but at Twin Peaks Reef as part of our Coron Island Tour. The skies were getting darker making the visibility low as well.

Most of my companions were tired. Hence, they stayed on the boat. My thirst for seeking new adventures urged me to still jump into the water. I was the only one who went snorkeling.

As soon as I went farther away from our boat and nearer to the limestone karst formations, that’s when I saw the flourishing marine life at Twin Peaks Reef.

The corals were much more colorful at Twin Peaks Reef rather than in Siete Pecados. Sea urchins abound as well so extra caution must be taken so as not to get pricked.

Seeing an anemone and its resident clown fish made my day! Oh yes, hello there Nemo and friends!  Time was passing by and it was time to bid farewell.

SIETE PECADOS vs. TWIN PEAKS REEF

Between Siete Pecados and Twin Peaks Reef, Twin Peaks Reef has a better and colorful marine life. But I give a thumbs up to the efforts of the locals to rehabilitate the corals in Siete Pecados. Mabuhay sustainable and eco-friendly tourism!

This won’t be the last time, Coron. I’ll keep on coming back to you! 🙂

Coron ordinance closes some tourist attractions

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Tourists are no longer allowed to visit some of Coron’s tourist attractions starting July 1,2012.

In order to stop the collection of multiple fees, the Council of Elders and members of the community of Coron Island decided to close the following sites: Tangingi Beach, Twin Lagoons, Smith Point Beach, Kaliwantay Beach, Banol Beach 1 and 2, Atwayan Beach, Malwawoy Beach, and the Skeleton Wreck.

Infographic courtesy of Darayonan

Through a municipal ordinance, the Municipality of Coron has implemented a one-fee system for visiting tourists. Tourists won’t need to pay multiple fees but a single fee of Php 250.00.

Ordinance states that:

  1. The User Fee shall be paid/collected at the Treasury Office of the municipality.  Tickets and receipts will be issued.
  2. All tourism related establishments are to purchase their tickets at the said offices.

Source: Municipal Ordinance