Category: Luzon

2013 Travel Year: Looking Back


What better way to start the new year than looking back at the travel highlights of the past year? 2013 was a year of stunning scenery and spectacular land and seascapes in my travels. My wife Reizel and I were able to cross a few more items from our travel bucket list. In February I went to California to be with my wife on our wedding anniversary. She was in Silicon Valley at that time for an eight-week business trip. I arrived via a direct MNL-SFO flight on a Friday evening US West Coast time, and after having dinner and a couple hours of rest, we (along with the gang of officemates who were also on business trip) started past midnight on a 750-mile (1,200-kilometer) drive to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Laguna: Beyond Buko Pie and Hot Springs

Whenever there’s an upcoming long weekend (there are two coming up: October 26-28 and November 1-3) and we don’t have a big trip in the pipeline, I usually search for one-day getaways near the metro. With a good destination, minimal planning, and lots of snacks on board, a quick road trip can give one much-needed time to unwind and relax.

Laguna comes on top of the getaway list of the Metro Manila populace particularly during the summer months when jeeploads of tourists flock to the province’s resorts. The ease of access either through the South Luzon Expressway or via Rizal province along the Manila East Road also makes it a popular Visita Iglesia route during the Holy Week. One can visit all the stops in this article with a very early start from the capital, but luckily for this road trip we got a headstart by starting from our house in Calamba.

Leaving Coron

"Hollywood style" Coron sign and Mount Tapyas

We had no specific itinerary on our last day in Coron. Our flight was still in the afternoon so we asked to be fetched at the resort after lunch. We got up a little late to offset the early morning departure we had the day before.

Calauit Safari Tour

The Calauit Tour Truck

Alarm clocks are highly recommended if you’re going on a Calauit Safari tour as this needs a pre-dawn departure from Coron. On day three of our Coron trip, we were already at the boat by 5 a.m. We boarded at the Port of Coron instead of the town wharf since we needed a bigger boat for the three-hour voyage to Calauit.

Coron Island Loop

Kayangan Cove with Coron Town in the far left background.

On our second day in Coron, the van from Calamian Tours promptly fetched us after breakfast at Sunz en Coron resort. In less than thirty minutes we were at the wharf where our bangka (outrigger boat) was waiting for us to board.