Location: Coron, Palawan
Date: June 28 2011
Present: Kaiz and Jie
MNL to USU
Rowjie and I were scheduled to fly at 12:00 noon so we still had ample time to finish packing our stuff since we went home right away after our night shift. This was the first time that we left this late.
If you happened to have been reading my blog posts since I started the travelogue, you would know that I am not a fan of regular-amount airfares. I always wait for seat sales and promos because I cannot afford to pay for P4000 worth of tickets. With that being said, our trip to Busuanga via Cebu Pacific only costs us 100-plus with no check-in baggage. We brought Rowjie’s 45-liter backpack, my small sling bag, and a camera bag. Our things weighed in 9 kilos, at most. Alright, here’s the terrible part (what a nice way to start the trip, I thought).
At the check-in counter, we fell in line and waited for our queue since there were a few people ahead of us. When it’s finally our turn, we were told that we can proceed to the boarding area as our stuff didn’t excess their baggage allowance and we needed not to pay for anything. Alright. I didn’t bother to ask if they needed to put any sticker on our stuff or whatsoever because their policies change from time to time.
When we were about to pay the terminal fee, one of the crews of CebPac asked us to go back to one of their counters and have our backpack weighed again. He said his weighing scale showed that our baggage weighed more than 10 kilos. Uhm, okay. Why were we told that we were good to board and now this man was telling us that we needed to have our baggage rechecked and that we needed to toe the line again? FINE, to cut the discussions short.
We fell in line, we waited for our turn. I think this has happened already. Déjà vu? Anyway, the next lady who assisted us told us that we had 7 kilos of baggage allowance each and we needed to lessen our 10-kilo stuff and/or separate it for it to weigh 7 kilos plus 3 kilos. Separate, how? Good thing I had plastic bags. Okay, to avoid further annoyance and delay, I just took some clothes out of the bag and put them inside the plastic bags even if it meant we had to carry several small bags. Lesson learned. Next trip, we’ll bring two big backpacks.
I thought we’re good to go but I thought wrong. When we were paying the terminal fee, the very same guy who told us to have our baggage rechecked approached us again and told us that we needed to go back to get a hand-carry sticker. WTF. We already waited for several minutes, TWICE, to get assisted and now he’s telling us that we needed to redo the whole stuff. Effin’ no! We went straight to the x-ray thingy without minding the crew and with him yelling, “Hayaan mo yan. Pababalikin din yang mga yan.” We only had a few minutes left before boarding time so I said to myself, keep your cool. If not for the small amount of time we had, I would have gone back there to tell right to that guy’s face, “Eh kung ayusin niyo kaya trabaho niyo para wala tayong problema?”
Calling Cebu Pacific’s attention, you have the biggest fleet of aircraft here in the country; you gotta train your crew well.
Alright, that almost ruined my day but thanked Him I was able to sleep during the 1-hour delay due to air traffic and during the air travel itself.
1300H, hello Busuanga!
USU Day 1
Nothing has changed, the airport still looked the same since we first landed there. But most parts of the road to Coron town proper were already fixed and cemented. Our 30-minute van ride to Coron was smooth and fast.
The first time we went there, we stayed at one of the superior rooms of Darayonan Lodge. I liked it the first time, so I’ve been recommending the lodge to all of my friends who want to visit Coron. I just got disappointed this time since we paid for standard rooms for 1300/day/2 pax. Darayonan has been honest, the room was located in the old building and the room was not at par to my expectations. But what the heck, we were on a budget travel and complaints won’t be helpful.
We just left our bags and hurriedly walked out of the lodge to eat since we haven’t eaten our lunch yet. There were quite a few new restaurants, and to my amazement, there was a newly-built BPI branch with two ATMs. What a relief for travelers who are not fond of bringing cash.
Anyway, we decided to try out some of the new restaurants and so we had our lunch at Centro Coron. They serve pizza, pasta, and a lot more. We ordered their version of chicken ala king and siopao. After satisfying our hungry tummies, we went to Jackie’s Restaurant and asked if they still do “paluto.” And yes, they still do for the same amount, P70 for one kilo regardless of the type of food. Ate Jackie was attending to his sick son and so we were entertained by her employees. After buying all of the ingredients for our dinner at the market, Paltik (local version of Lobster), and lunch for the next day, Guinataang Alimasag, we headed back to the lodge and took a dip at their cozy pool.
Around 8PM, we went back to Jackie’s Restaurant for our dinner. Paltik tasted just like lobster but it was MUCH cheaper (P130 vs P500). After munching on five barbecue sticks, we bid Ate Jackie a good night and walked around the town looking for a place for our happy moment—a few bottles of booze.
Gawd. I think every restaurant/bar/pub in the town had a connivance that a bottle of beer must be served from 50 to 70 pesos. Too much, eh? Oh well, tourism is money.
We haven’t consumed half of our first bottle yet when the entirety of Coron was filled with darkness due to brownout. Then one of the foreign customers in Lolo Nonoy’s Restaurant where we were that time yelled, “welcome to Coron!” Brownout is nothing but a common phenomenon in Coron. Whoa! That did rhyme!
Trivia: The electricity of the town of Coron is being supplied by Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BISELCO). Coron experiences its everyday-brownout because of the rationing scheme of the said cooperative—to provide electricity to every resident—since their source of energy is very limited.
After a bottle, we decided to call it a day as we had a set of tiring activities awaiting us the next day.
Lights off at 2300H.
Download itinerary HERE.