|Aerial View of Dimakya Island (Club Paradise)|
Photo taken by the author
Kayangan Lake and the Postcard of Coron
I continued to film as we descended to Kayangan Lake, trying to capture the sight and sound of a lush tropical forest, the chirping of the cicadas and the twittering birds. Once we got to the lake, the site was stunning. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of nature. I put my snorkeling gear on, but after seeing a few needle fish I decided to just swim, float and relax. The water was so clear and the stunning views were soothing. I felt I was floating between water and air – I have never felt such serenity.
Coron Marine Sanctuary
Back in the boat we headed towards the marine reserve. Ricky said, "this area is protected by the local government of Coron so fishing is not allowed". As I dove into the water, the undersea was a vision of abundance indeed. I was especially struck by what seemed to be an underwater garden with corals that looked like red, yellow, blue, purple flowers in extravagant bloom. Some corals looked like polyps and elongated stalks. The pale white corals I was used to seeing in the Pacific Ocean formed a wall that seemed to highlight the fish of different colors. As I swam farther I could see the water getting from pale blue to darker blue, which indicate an increase in depth. I noticed a cluster of black corals scattered in this area. I actually got scared. Perhaps it was from the cluster of black corals and the deepening sea or both. When I popped out of the water and saw our boat, I realized how far I have drifted. So I decided to head back. I was fascinated by the magnificent coral formation that I only begun to notice the variety of fish as I head back towards our boat.
Maquinit Hot Spring
It was amazing how we navigated our way from sea water to fresh water and back to salt water and how we ended up at the hot spring without getting off the boat. We crossed the bridge, which was made of mangrove trunks and roots, on foot. On the other side of the bridge was the Maquinit Hot Spring, where we relaxed in hot (more than warm) water – a perfect place to hang out after a long day of activities.
Coron Market (Market Pier)
Leaving our boat, we walked from the quayside along Coron Market. I headed straight to the fish market to buy fish and green caviar. (I was disappointed with our dinner the night before as I was hoping to have a meal of fresh seafood, but Club Paradise offered international cuisine of German and Italian food).
That evening, back at the resort, Ricky had the chef prepare the green caviar and fish. Before heading to the open-air restaurant for dinner, I stopped by the Dugong Bar and got me a bottle of sauvignon blanc. In addition to CP’s usual buffet dinner offering, Pia, our waitress, brought the grilled ‘lapu-lapu’ (rock cod) and green caviar salad (with fresh tomato and onions with kalamansi (lemon) to our table. A perfect dinner in paradise! I thought.
The following morning, I strolled along the ‘Hidden Beach’ and trekked up the hill to Eagles Point. The hill was steep but not strenuous. As I reached the top, I found Abbey and Pia (Club Paradise staff) relaxing. I thought it was a nice hideaway for them. We were also accompanied by sinister looking creatures. They were fruit bats that inhabit the island. They were harmless according to Abbey.
We were here on this hill towering the sea with a 360 view of the sea and the Escapade Island. Seemed so far-away, so pretty, so gorgeous... the Philippines more beautiful than I imagine.