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C O R O N The wonderland for tourism
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: By Tess Dono
Date: 2005-04-13
The Philippine archipelago is anointed with a variety of natural wonders and attractive tourist destinations, the rarest of which are found in Coron. Nature and historical events seem to have conspired in the building up of a tourism inspired spectacle that could only be found in this northern Palawan town. Barely 10 hours away from Manila by SuperFerry or an hour by Sea Air or Asian Spirit, local and foreign tourists who have visited the place could not hold back their amazement and admiration to what they saw.

Calis Mountain, which is the Coron Island itself, is the largest limestone formation on record. It is home for the indigenous people called Tagbanuas who have lived in this rocky terrain for centuries. But significantly, these well sculptured mountain ranges are host to a number of white beaches which had remained unspoiled up to the present time.

The Calis Mountain itself is a crafty masterpiece of nature. Well chiseled limestone cliffs adorn the sides of the mountain with some taking the semblance of huge trophies floating on water. Clean seawater in green and blue surrounds these massive rock formations. A clearance cut in between leads to an uphill climb to a lake called Cayangan. Dubbed as the cleanest lake in the country, Lake Cayangan is surrounded by solid walls of limestone cliffs and the wonderful view of trees and vegetation clinging to them. Other lakes like Barracuda and Lake Tanigue are adjacent to the place.

As if intentionally made, another clearance thru the Calis Mountain leads to the Twin Lagoon. The Twin Lagoon has an inner and outer bodies of water, divided by limestone walls and connected by a small passage which is visible only at low tide. Deafening silence in a serene environment is experienced while inside the inner lagoon. Water is blue, clear, and cool. In there, time seem to be on hold and the colorful view of the trees and the vegetation struggling for space thru the rocks could inspire hopelessness and recharge the depleted spirit.

Ten minutes away is the Siete Pecados. A formation of seven islets clustered in one place. Beauty lies underneath with a variety of corals inhabited by colorful tropical fishes. With the assistance of experienced guides, even non-swimmers could go down into the water to see and appreciate this underwater wonder.

Nearby is the rare Maquinit Hot Spring. Nestled in a mountain side, this salt water hot spring is both therapeutic and a skin treatment. The everflowing water at 40 degrees Celsius is captured in large pools. Maquinit is regularly visited by foreign tourists who have been captivated by its rarity and value.

Fronting Busuanga Island, where Coron town is located is the Coron Bay. Ready for any water sport, the enclosure of mountains and hills around the bay makes it ideal for game fishing, kayaking, jet ski, Power Boat, water ski and Paddle boat competitions. Future expansion could be a floating lodge or restaurant.

And to help one to agree, the Mt. Tapyas structure provides a ready view deck. The Mt. Tapyas at more than 2,000 feet above sea level offers a spectacular view of the Coron town and harbor, together with the mountains and hills that surround its 717 well paved concrete steps, a gift of the creative, Governor Joel T. Reyes of Palawan, who himself hails from this town. This important Mt. Tapyas structure will soon be the venue for kite flying contests, Hang Gliding Exhibitions, Endurance Race, Painting, and Photography competitions.

Within Coron are the commercially developed resorts like Club Paradise, El Rio Y Mar and other resorts. These fantastic tourist sites plus the several white sand beaches, lakes, hot springs and the majestic Calis mountain ranges make up to a contrasting experience of the unspoiled natural beauty from those which man has altered.

Then history made its own contribution to this remarkable town. In World War II, many retreating Japanese war ships took cover in several islands of Coron. American planes found retreating Japanese war ships took cover in several islands of Coron. American planes found them and made the Coron waters their final resting place. Today, these locations are the favorite dive sites of local and foreign tourists. These sunken vessels are now home to a variety of marine life, both fishes and corals.

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