"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Sunday, April 05, 2009

how i ended up in coron, palawan

"if you want it, decide on it"

coron, palawan was not in my list of dream destinations. i added it to the list during the last quarter of 2008 -- even bumped it up all the way to the priority part of the list -- after my friend, sealdi, posted photos of her coron trip in her multiply album. i saw through the pictures that she enjoyed the experience. because of those pictures, i got to think this way: "coron is something that i have to see for myself even if it means i have to 'go solo on a group tour' like sealdi did".

it was a few days after my birthday when travel factor posted their 2009 first quarter schedule. i checked the lineup of tours, saw three coron trips for march, and decided there and then that, as a birthday gift to myself, i will sign up for one of those march 2009 coron trips.

so it happened that during the last days of 2009, i forged my decision for my first ever palawan trip. i purchased my manila-busuanga-manila roundtrip ticket online and immediately forwarded my registration form to travel factor. where i was concerned, it was "all systems go" for my coron adventure. take note, this was as early as december 2008.

"best laid plans..."

when i made my decision, i was blind to my first quarter work schedule. i was aware though that, at some point, there'd be things coming up that could possibly endanger my "best laid plans" for march. one of the first things i did when i got back to work after my 2-week december leave was to tell my immediate superior and our HR that i'll be taking another leave in march. i was so looking forward to the trip!

then, jeopardy came. one of our company's project partners pushed for an activity schedule that fell within the very dates that i've already blocked off for coron! when i saw the communication, i was no different from chicken little who felt that the sky was falling down on him. inwardly, i panicked. being one of the activity's focal persons, i had more than enough reason to be troubled. my mind was ringing with this: "if the higher ups would agree to the proposal, then for sure i'd never be allowed to go!"

"...the universe conspires"

as they say, "every cloud has a silver lining." i saw my silver lining days after when, through a conference call, our chief technology officer told our project partners that we could not push through according to their proposed schedule just yet. there were technical stuff both sides had to iron out first; bear in mind that the decision to postpone the activity was not because of me. but, haha, it was what i wanted! i could not contain my feeling of relief, i let out a gleeful smile while the concall was ongoing. i was no different from a child who has just been given lotsa candies!

jeopardy number two came, too. on march 9, 2009, just about three hours after i deposited my tour fee for coron, i received a forwarded text message from my younger sister. it said: "Te gic: la n jud si lolo at 3:20." i'm normally able to process a lot of information in one go but that line -- though limited in letters and words but full of clarity as a message -- really clouded my thoughts.

i knew in my heart that i had to fly back to mindanao for my lolo's wake and funeral but if i had to do it that very week, i would have ended up with a nervous breakdown. i had work piled up to my neck and i couldn't just go off because i was set to put in ten days' worth of effort that week in lieu of the days that i'll be absent due to the coron trip.

i was saved from the dilemma of having to take an emergency leave by family demographics. three of my lolo's children -- two aunties and one uncle -- had to fly in from US and canada to attend the funeral; for this reason, the interment couldn't be scheduled until after the 17th of march, the day of my aunties' and uncle's return to the country. the 17th of march also happened to be the last day of my "march 14 to march 17" coron trip with travel factor.

someone up there really didn't want me to miss anything!!! someone crafted things for me so i can have my cake and eat it, too! to do my part, i purchased another roundtrip ticket (manila-cagayan de oro-manila) and filed another leave, an extension -- from march 17 to march 21 for lolo's wake and funeral. so it happened that it was again all clear for my coron adventure!

if the universe conspires for you, you don't just sit back... you also have to do your part.

the night before my flight to busuanga, i didn't sleep. i spent most of the night completing reports which i knew some people at work might look for during the week that i'd be away. after sending the reports out, i packed my stuff for coron, took a bath, fixed myself, checked where my money and tickets were, and called out to my housemate that i was going. i left batangas at around 6am in a bus bound for manila. i had a 9am flight to catch at the ninoy aquino international airport terminal 3.

at this point, i'll have to direct you to my multiply albums. the photos i posted there can do all the talking for me... at least until i find the time to write about the awesome experience.

i forgot to say that this trip was actually my first travel adventure with my new travel buddy, steward, the nikon d60 dslr.

go here:
from busuanga airport to kayangan lake
banana island, palawan
bulog island, palawan
coron sunrise and waves
finding africa in palawan
north cay, coral garden, and wreck site
sunrise at mt. tapiyas and the flight from busuanga to manila
coron, palawan tour groupies
coron, palawan memories... reloaded!

i'm sharing the photos with the hope that you would be inspired to travel, too. biyahe na!


  1. val---, package na nga tour? pila pud? covered na tanan tanan? what ang name sa agency nga ga offer ana? pasencia ha kay interested jud kaayo ko. thanks.

  2. wow, wow! i want to go to palawan, too! :)

    there was somebody who was asking me kung asa nang busuanga ba. i had no idea. ang ako nahibal-an kay buruanga, near boracay. hehehe:)

  3. Hi, I will be travelling alone to coron palawan on hallowen, I just want a little adventure and asses myself more. From the forums it seems that coron is not the best place for solo traveller. Can you give me advice, if what activities I can do there if Im alone?


  4. hi glyza! my friend and I are going to coron too this december. maybe we can join your group to minimize costs in island hopping. please please contact me. timberwolves812@yahoo.com


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