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/

 

Coron Budget Trip for 3days and 2 nights

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Are you looking for a budget trip to Coron for 3days and 2 nights? I bet Google led you to this page.

Coron, situated at the northern part of Palawan, has a lot to offer to the curious traveler. If you have limited time in your vacation and limited budget, then here are the best sights to see in Coron in 3days and 2 nights without tearing your pocket.

For only Php 3,436.44, you will be able to enjoy the following Coron Tourist Attractions including 3days, 2nights stay, roundtrip airport transfers, island hopping with picnic lunch, and daily breakfast:

  • Kayangan Lake- Kayangan Lake is touted as one of the cleanest lakes in the Philippines. Its water is brackish, a mixture of salt and freshwater. It’s great to swim in  the serene Kayangan Lake. Before getting to the actual lake itself, you have to climb an improvised or should i say natural staircase up to get a view of the famous limestone karst formations that have become Coron’s most photographed site.
  • Twin Lagoon- this site is another noteworthy attraction in Coron, Palawan. Why? Twin Lagoon is unique where you can experience thermocline or a thin layer that divides the surface of a body of water. The upper layer is cold while the lower layer is warm. And it’s also thrilling to get inside the lagoon through a cave like-entrance which is only accessible when it’s low tide.
  • Banol Beach- It may not have a long stretch of white sand but Banol has a distinct charm being surrounded by limestone karst. The view of different hues of blues from Banol beach is fantastic.
  • CYC Island and Coral Gardens- Swimming and snorkeling is great here. You can also enjoy watching the sunset from this area.

  • Twin Peaks Reef or Siete Pecados- For me, snorkeling at Twin Peaks Reef is better than Siete Pecados. It has more colorful marine life.

Traveling does not need to be expensive. You can enjoy your Coron Vacation without having to cash out all your savings. But of course, you should not expect posh accommodations but a basic lodge in Coron Town.

Enjoy your trip!

Sunz En Coron Resort Review: Family lodging in Coron

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In Coron Town, mostly you’ll find lodgings and pension houses. But if you’re looking for a resort-type of accommodation in Coron, then check out Sunz En Coron Resort, a newly built resort 10 minutes out of Coron Town.

This was where we stayed when we returned to Coron this January 2013. Sunz En Coron Resort is a Korean-owned resort and managed by Ms. Angela Kim.

We availed of the resort’s airport services which is Php 150 per way per person. Sunz En Coron Resort is nestled at the hillside of Mt. Tapyas. As soon as we entered the resort, we were enticed to stay at the cabanas while waiting for our room keys.

It took us 10 minutes before we got to our room. Nonetheless, the room was spotlessly clean and has a Zen interiors. We got a Super Family Room, which normally fits four people. But since we were 6, we got two extra beds. The two extra beds were placed near the window. The room was still spacious even with the two extra beds.

Also, you don’t have to worry with your luggage. They don’t have a cabinet yet there’s a bamboo wooden table where you can put your luggage.

On the day of our arrival, the power in Coron went out. Good thing, the resort has a generator set. Though the room has an airconditioning unit, only the ceiling fan worked.

We were too tired to go out to town. Hence, we ordered our lunch at the resort’s restaurant. We tried their bulgogi! It’s a winner! Food was great but of course, it’s a bit pricey.

Even if it was far from town, we didn’t have a hard time going to the wharf for our island hopping because the resort has a free tricycle service. However, on another day, we had to queue because other guests also availed of the free service. On the way back to the resort, we rode the public trike and paid Php 10.00.

At night, the resort turns magical with the changing colors of the pool from purple to red to green.

photo courtesy of sunz en coron official website

 Good points:

  • FREE WIFI- strongest signal at the 2nd cabana
  • FREE Swimming Pool
  • FREE Tricycle service- this makes up for its distance from the town
  • Generator Set

Bad points:

  • Weak Globe Signal / No signal in rooms- If you want to receive messages, stay at the cabanas near the resto.
  • SUN Cellular- no signal at all
  • SMART- this has the only stable signal in the resort

Disclaimer: Nope, this is NOT a paid post 🙂

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! 🙂

Filipino ‘docu’ to showcase PH beyond the destinations on NatGeo

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Photo courtesy of Islands Insider

Filipino-produced documentary show, “Islands Insider”, is set to show
the Philippines in a different perspective as it debuts on
international channel, National Geographic, on June 24.

Islands Insider producer The Extra Mile Productions highlights six
world-class destinations namely Batad, Taal town, Coron, Siquijor,
Mt.Pulag/ Kabayan, and Anilao.

In a special screening for the media and tourism stakeholders, the
Extra Mile Productions together with the Department of Tourism
presented two episodes: Batad and Coron.

Here’s a trailer of Coron:

Executive producer and writer Gabby Malvar differentiated the show
from other travel shows.

“What makes Islands Insider different was that the stories were told
by the locals. It’s not an itinerary show but it’s about the people
and their stories,” said Malvar.

DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez graced the screening and expressed his
delight as a partner of the project.

“This project came as a surprise because I was not yet secretary when this was
conceptualized. This brings the beautiful sights of the country to the
world,” said
Jimenez, adding, “We should share it to the world but as Filipinos we
should see it first and protect it.”

Each 30-minute episode featured stories and issues beyond the
picturesque sights.

Islands Insider producer and host Ginggay Hontiveros shared that the
show aims to emphasize issues that threaten the existence of the
sites.

“Tourism destinations are not static. They evolve and deteriorate over
time so they need to be preserved for the benefit and appreciation of
future generations,”said Hontiveros.

Here’s a 30-second teaser of the show: