Monday, September 26, 2011

amazing Coron!

Just 2 days after our wedding, we were on our way to Coron! This trip is actually a gift from my parents. My mom asked me where we wanted to go when we go home to the Philippines and since I've never to Palawan, and I've seen photos of how pretty Coron is, this is where I wanted to go.

We pretty much settled all the arrangements months before returning back home. I've researched a couple of websites about people offering Coron packages and we've chosen Coron Wonders to help with our trip. Our transaction with them are all done mostly via email and a couple of times through sms, and dealing with them is a breeze.

We took the early flight going to there and after an hour flight, we reached paradise.

Not only my family came with us in this trip but a couple of relatives too. There are 11 of us in this trip.

When we reached Busuanga's Francisco B. Reyes Airport, there is a van ready to pick us up and drop us off to the hotel we're staying, Princess of Coron. Ate Rina  of Coron Wonders met us at the hotel and welcomed us. We freshen up a bit and changed clothes then we're off to discover Coron.

The town proper, airport and all the hotels are all situated at Busuanga Island. Coron is the island next to it. From Busuanga, it takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the place you're visiting to discover the island. We went first to Banol Beach where we would be having our lunch.

Banol Beach
There were about 4 nipa huts at the beach and they are mostly occupied by other tourists as well. Ate Rina and her team prepared a really good lunch for us. It's simple but very filling.

Lunch right on the beach
After lunch, everything that we took to the beach (food, utensils, trash), we took back again to the boat to preserve the beach's cleanliness. It's the best way to care for the place. With tummies already full, we're off to discovering the island. First stop: Barracuda Lake.

There is a bit of a trek going to the limestone walls covering the lake. As you descend on to the lake, one word would come to mind. Serenity. There were no other visitors at the time when we were there and it feels like the whole place belonged to us. We (the younger members of the group) and the mamang bangkeros are able to persuade all of our group to dive in, with jackets on of course.

Next stop: Kayangan Lake and Cave

Kayangan Lake
Next to Kayangan Cave is the most photographed spot in the whole of Coron. Just looking at this picture, one would immediately know that it was taken there. The photo above is the island on the photogenic spot. Going to the Kayangan Cave/Lake takes a HUGE effort. You'd have to trek a slippery and rocky trail going up the Cave. Most of our group members have to take breaks in between to reach the infamous spot. Oh mosquito-repellent lotion is absolutely necessary.

trekking to Kayangan Cave/Lake

After trekking up to the cave, you then have to trek the same rocky slippery trail down the Lake. It was well worth it, jumping down a cool and refreshing lake would the very thing that you would love to do after the trek. Rock and tree formation surround the entire lake.

Kayangan Lake

Next stop: Siete Pecados

Siete Pecados is named as such for having 7 small islands surrounding the coral marine area. I loved this spot, we spent most of the time snorkeling with the fishes.  And boy, we saw tons of fish. Fishes of all sizes and all colors. We come prepared to feed the fishes, buying bread for them to eat. They take the bread right out of your fingers!

One of the Siete Pecados
marine life at Siete Pecados
It was almost 6pm when we're done snorkeling with the fishes. The rest of stops in Coron Island we'll continue tomorrow before heading back to the pier.

Day 2: Banana Island, Malcapuya Island and Bulog Island (sand bar)

Our second day didn't start in sunny note. It was raining and with the rain, waves are definitely big. It took us almost 2 hours to reach Malcapuya Island and to be completely honest, that had been one of the scariest boat ride ever. We can feel each wave as it slam on to our boat. It was completely terrifying. And as we reach Malcapuya Island, it was sooo worth the boat ride.

It was still raining a bit when we got to the island but after half an hour, the sun shone. =) Ate Rina prepared morning snacks for us and we eat them at the island. There were a couple of sari-sari stores in the island too, but prices are exorbitant.

Malcapuya Island
It was definitely of the nicest beach I've been to. The sand is powdery white and it sooo fine. It's beautiful. It's a long stretch of beach wherein you can frolic at the sand or have fun crashing with the waves.

Next stop: Banana Island

Banana Island
This is my favorite place in the entire trip. It's postcard perfect. If given the chance to go back again, I'd definitely spent the night here at this island. It is just sooo beautiful.

We had our lunch at the island. Ate Rina and her team prepared to food for us again. There were several cottages scattered around the island. We had a minor incident though, my brother got stung by a jellyfish here and it damped the team's spirit for a while. I thought he would have been done enjoying Coron, but after a few hours, he went in and swam with us again. Oh, and they caught the evil jellyfish.

Bulog Island (sandbar)

Bulog Island
After leaving Banana Island, we stop for just for pictures at Bulog Island. This is an great place since it's basically a sandbar. When the tide is low, you can see the ridge of sand formed. Check out the sand that we're standing at.

Skeleton Wreck

This is supposedly included to yesterday's itinerary but since we're short on time, we are not able to squeeze it in. Good thing we were able to go to it today.

school of fish
Again, there were plenty of fish at the wreck. It was actually a Japanese tanker that submerged in Coron in 1944. It was eerie to find the wreck and you can still see the whole image of the tanker ship just a few meter below the surface. Most of the media that we have on the wreck are videos, should have took pictures of it.

Twin Lagoon

Last stop of the day is the twin lagoon. The entrance cave to the lagoon is visible only on low tide, such as the time we went there. Otherwise you'd have to climb the stairs to reach the other side. We rode a balsa going to the lagoon. Salt and fresh water are said to be mix at the lagoon which is why there are places where water is cool and at times warm.

3rd day: Mt. Tapyas

On our third and last day, we decided to climb Mt. Tapyas. Only 3 of us climb as the others were busy buying pasalubong at the town proper. The trail to the top takes about 700+ steps but was safe as it is paved and concrete. There were hand railings to aide you to the climb to the mountain. It was sweltering hot when we reached the summit and then a huge rainfall fell on us. There were no cottages at the summit! We had to stay underneath a tree waiting for the rain to stop. But of course, it didn't stop. So we decline the stairs and waited at the one of the steps with roof. After the raid stopped, we climbed the summit again.

at the summit

We stayed at Princess of Coron during our stay and it was one of the most convenient hotels since they have the most amenities in the island. We booked them through Coron Wonders too.

Monday, September 05, 2011

i made my Groom cry

June 11, 2011

I've seen enough wedding SDEs to know that there are grooms who cry on their wedding day. I asked Topher if he would cry once he saw me walking down the aisle, his answer -  maybe. I was actually just teasing him. I mean if he was moved to tears once he saw me walking down the aisle, that's awesome, if not that's ok too. While doing our misalette, I asked if we should create our own personalized vow for each other and he declined.  I know him well enough to know that he may uncomfortable with reading his vow in front of hundreds of people. We designed and created the misalette to know how the ceremony will flow. However, God has other plans.

As I started to walk down the aisle and my parents met me halfway, I saw my Tatay crying. It was one of the few occasions that I saw my Tatay cry and that almost undid it for me. I had to tell him jokes about not crying so that I will not cry myself.

Then we started to walk to the altar, to the man I will be marrying again. I am sooo happy to see him. I missed him since we haven't seen each other since breakfast that morning. My parents handed me over to Topher and I kiss Mama and Papa. Then we made our way to the altar and Fr. Allen started the mass.

The homily was incredible. Fr. Allen's words were full of lessons and stories and jokes in between. He even sang a song for us. After the lighting of the candle, it was time for the vows. Fr. Allen asked us if we have any personalized vows that we would be reciting, we told him we don't have any. He then instructed us to think of any message that we would want to say to one another after the vows. This made me nervous but I know what I wanted to tell Topher. So after the vows, I gave him my message "As early as 14 years ago when we first met, I will always be here for you. You are the only person that I cannot live without. I love you." And my Groom starting crying. When he gave me his message "Thank you for being there for me, through good memories and through tough times. I really appreciate it. I love you." I started tearing up too.

That made our vows more special. Although the message is short, it was heartfelt and honest and it is what we were feeling at that moment. It is priceless and I am eternally grateful for Fr. Allen for giving that moment to us.

Next came the blessing of the Arrhae, Rings and Bible and then the Lighting of the Unity Candle. Then it was the laying of the Veil and Cord and then the Nuptial Blessing. After the communion, the ceremony was concluded and we were presented as Husband and Wife in the eyes of our family and friends and importantly, in the eyes of God. And then we kissed and hugged. It was such an amazing moment.

After signing the marriage contract/license (again!), it was the pictorials inside the church and then the recessional. We informed the guest to proceed to the reception venue while we are shooting pictures around Caleruega. It was my parents who waited for us to finish, then we all proceeded to the venue.

Traffic is not as horrible northbound but still the usual 30 minute drive took almost an hour and I'm scared that the guests may have not been able to figure out where the reception venue is. The relief I felt when I saw the number of cars park was so great, I can almost touch it. Guests made it! :) And our OTD team happily reported that people are having fun getting their coffee and photos taken while waiting for us. Awesome! We were led to the room that we would stay the night and my HMUA team is still there. How I love them. They really waited for me, for my retouch. I started eating some appetizers while Ms. Chichi is retouching my make-up. Then we were led to the reception place for the program to start.

We had our Father-Daughter and Son-Mother dance, and then Topher and I had our first dance to Incubus' Admiration. I love that song. And then it was cake-cutting time! Afterwards, it was pictorial time with each table so that the guests can start eating! I'm sure they're hungry because I am. While having dinner, we had the games and the AVP presentation that Topher created was shown. It was our growing up years. Then our SDE was shown, and I'm happy with the output. Topher was almost moved to tears again!

A few messages from our families and godparents and then before we know it, the reception program is finished! We didn't really got to eat since we had photo booth pictures with family and friends. I went over the suppliers who were having their dinner and I'm glad they've got to eat properly. I saw them lining to the Starbucks kiosk too, I'm happy they had a good time too. After all the guests left and most of the suppliers, we retreated to our room and was sooo happy and glad that the wedding is a success. God is truly great to us.


Related Posts with Thumbnails