Wuzzap, sportsfans!! The Holgy brood took a brief respite in Coron last September. Coron is the Shipwreck Capital of the Philippines. This is the graveyard of a dozen Japanese support ships which were bombed one early morning as Allied forces landed in Leyte during the campaign to retake the Philippines in World War II. Their presence in the small islands had been tipped off by guerillas, taking the hapless Japanese sailors by surprise.
But other than the sunken ships, there is so much more to see in Coron, from the beaches, the lakes, the mountain view, and so on. Check it out.
Our first stop was the breathtaking Kayangan Lake. We had to take a 150-step climb up to a ridge-top that provided a glorious view of the mouth of the lagoon. This was a natural lookout point against any intruder coming by boat, and it had a cave nearby that was purportedly used by people during the prehistoric times! Going down to the lake was another 160 steps, though at a much faster pace this time. The clear water of Kayangan was great for skin-diving, and for more cave exploration.
Next, we went to Coral Garden and the Twin Peaks to watch the beautiful corals. These areas are now marine sanctuaries, which explains the abundance of color and life. At the Skeleton Wreck, we went fish-feeding and saw our first wreck. This wreck was in relatively shallow water, hence the kids had a blast free-diving.
At the Barracuda Lake, we had our first-ever experience in scuba-diving in a hot spring. We were told not to wear the wet suits here, as the water at 40 feet could get a bit uncomfortable.
Finally, the Olympia and Kogyo Maru wrecks, sunk by American planes during McArthur’s Leyte Landing in World War II. Our ‘wrecking crew’ gave us a good briefing on what to expect. Still, nothing beats being actually there in the cold, dark eerie silence of the Japanese sunken ships. These wreck-dives were truly a winner!!!
Other sights to see were Mt Tapias, with its huge cross overlooking the town of Coron; and the Maquinit Hot Spring Pools, a good place to soothe those aching muscles. Next time we come over, we’re taking the northern trek to try the Calauit Safari Expedition! Yes, Virginia, there’s a mini-version of the the African Safari Adventure here in our very own Coron.
Coron, where there was always something new, something different to experience. A must-see, folks!!!
There’s a Do-It-Yourself-Coron Travel Portal at http://diycoron.wordpress.com/survey/ for those who may be interested. And for more on Coron’s fascinating wreck dives, visit: http://www.coronwrecks.com/sites.htm.
To see Coron up close, just click on the pictures and enjoy our tour.