Club Paradise Resort in Coron, Palawan (check rates) was indeed an island paradise. After our quick tour of the resort, me and my cousin Nikki went back to the front office to check out some activities on the resort. We were given some options like the Island hopping tours, diving for newbies, Calauit safari tour, massage on their Island spa, and much more. Those activities are for a fee but during our stay, we opted for the "free" stuff that they offer and availed (and paid) only for the Coron tour.
There's so much to do in the resort such as;
- snorkeling in their house reef (free use of all the gears)
- swimming with the pawikans (turtle)
- beach volleyball
- play pool, table tenis and darts (clubhouse)
- hang out in their mini library and watch tv or dvd on their video room (club house)
- sing your hearts out in the videoke room (in the restaurant area - it's sound-proof)
- swim at their pool
- do the hiking trail to the topmost part of the island
- there's also an area where the kids can play, do some bead-making stuff and sand castle-making activities
- there's also the sunset cruise
And did I say that those listed above were all for free? And if you just need to connect with the rest of the world, you can use the free wi-fi on the clubhouse. Ok, I'm sounding like I'm part of the PR team of the resort. Going back to our trip.
We explored the island on the first day. We didn't unpack our stuff anymore 'coz we were so excited to check out the resort/island. We saw the lagoon and the way to the hiking trail but we didn't get the chance to do trail during our stay there - sayang.
We first went to the eastern side of the island to check out the beach and the snorkeling site. We then saw this wooden stairs/path leading somewhere and decided to cross it and do some little hike. It was on the edge of a hill and we had a good view of the beach and the forest. The wooden planks weren't as sturdy as it should be and we were thinking if it's still safe to carry on. And yes we did. We followed the path and saw a small patch of shore and beach (I think they call it the Tinago beach). And much to our surprise, our Seaview cottage was a few meters away from this beach. It was supposedly a shortcut from our cottage to the restaurant.
|short stretch of shore on the other side|
On our third day, we went out for snorkeling. We met some new friends on the resort but we particularly loved (and still love) the family of Tita Girlie, Tito Mike, Christine and her Aussie husband Jared. They were there for the same duration as ours and everytime we eat or do some island hopping activities, we were together in a group. That felt like we went there together. They've been traveling around the world (lang naman) and the Philippines of course. Tita Girlie was so cool and we couldn't keep up with her energy level. Me and Nikki both wished that she was our "real" Tita.
|very Palawan sand (may ganun?)|
|tita Girlie with her fab hat|
So when we arrived at the house reef, we saw Tita Girlie and her family. They immediately pointed us to the most interesting parts of the site. Armed with my snorkeling stuff (you can borrow from the resort if you didn't bring one) and my underwater camera (which I actually bought for this trip - this trip was the deciding factor if I really need to buy one), we went to explore the underwater world in Dimakya island. This was the first time that I used my underwater camera and I was happy that I purchased it. It's such a letdown if you go to Palawan and didn't have one.
|just how clear can you get?|
|moi testing the underwater camera|
Underwater photography is a different field. I mean, I'm not really superb in taking land photos but I didn't realize that it is so difficult to capture underwater scenes. Very different. It can be stressful to take photos and breathe in the snorkel while you're being moved away by the water. Plus the fact that some fishes move faster than the others. But I did try and boy it was fun! Here are some photos of my first attempt in underwater photography...
|pawikan with a fish that followed him everywhere|
On our third day, Tita Girlie invited us to join them in the Calauit Safari tour and of course we agreed. But then, the roads leading to the safari were blocked so Calauit was not an option that day. So while we were having our lunch with Tita Girlie and family, she told us that she really wanted to go to the nearby island - that island really looks so inviting from our end.
Tita Girlie went to the front office to inquire about a boat to go to the island. They offered her the Island hopping tour and quoted us 1,500 each (We were 6 in the group) for 3 nearby islets. But she insisted that we only wanted to go to the nearby island and they provided us with a speed boat for 2,500 pesos for all of us. The best thing was that Tita Girlie didn't allow us to chip in - it's her treat daw. So sweet.
The call time was 3 p.m. and we were ready by then. We hopped on the boat and off we went to the island. It took us almost 10 minutes to reach the little island called Isla Walang Lang-aw (Island Without Trees) - it's really weird that they call it such because there were a couple of trees on the island. It is an islet with a sandbar on one side and rocky cliffs on the other side. We arrived there and we ran around the island and explored it with the rest of the gang. It was so beautiful and we had the best group to share the island with.
|can you see the Isla Walang Lang-aw? there, 12 o'clock|
|Isla Walang Lang-aw (Island with no trees) - huh? bakit may trees? :)|
|almost 10 minutes from Club Paradise|
|may future ito...|
|we were required to by Tita Girlie|
|and yes! may signal ang smart at globe...|
Club Paradise also provided us with some snorkeling gear and I must say that this islet has its own underwater charm. Too bad my battery got drained so I only took a few shots.
|oh, hi there! (may British accent dapat sa pagbasa)|
|love love love the color|
And one of the most popular activity in the resort was the Sunset Cruise. It's a free activity and we were still with Tita Girlie and her family on the cruise - which made it even better.
|bought that spot - no...|
There's so much to do in Club Paradise Resort (book online). Actually, our 4-day stay was not enough to really explore and enjoy the island's charm (Nikki wished that we could stay for 2 more days). The people there were great - I mentioned it in my first post that you could actually feel the "community spirit" in them. They never failed to greet us and check on us when we passed by them. And if I may just write again - they know us by our names. Really great.