Exactly how do you plan an authentic travel experience? You ask those who know the place by heart, of course. On our Living La Vida Locals series, we feature trusted locals and their insider tips and experiences.
For Coron, we interviewed Marc Justine P. Nivera, the owner of Coron B2J Travel and Tours.
What’s the best way to get around Coron?
Coron is not that big, so everyone can have a walk or take a tricycle around the town to go to the banks, stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, and markets.
What’s a local dish that every traveler needs to try?
Travelers should not miss the seafood of the town. Freshly caught crabs, lobster, and shrimp are the specialties in town. One has to prepare the money for it though. But it’s definitely worth trying!
What’s a big no-no for those traveling there?
When you visit Coron, do not leave without a swim in the crystal-clear and turquoise waters of Kayangan Lake or Twin Lagoon, the cleanest lagoon in the Philippines. Your stay would not be complete without visiting these two!
What’s the best tip you can give to a first-time traveler to Coron?
End your first day by hiking the 727 steps of Mt. Tapyas and witness the sunset on top of the hill with a panoramic view of Coron. Take a warm dip right after at the Maquinit Hot Springs!
What are some of its secret spots or hidden gems?
Aside from the astonishing limestone rock formations in Coron Island, powdery white-sand beaches, rich marine biodiversity, and historic sunken ships, Coron has a popular delicacy called "Balinsasayaw" (or bird’s nest). It is made from saliva coming from little indigenous birds called swiftlets.
What are the best ways to get to know the locals more?
Coron is part of the Calamian Island, where the dialect of the locals here is Cuyunon. The language of Coronians is worth trying as you can get to know some words or phrases like Maganda - Pustura, Matinglo; Pangit - Marimo; Tawa - Kadlaw; Iyak - Tangis. These words will surely be a hit with the locals if you can say it to them.
What are the real souvenir(s) that one should bring back from Coron?
Kasoy (cashews), marinated rabbitfish or danggit (or locally known as lamayo), and basket products are the top pasalubong choices in Coron.
What do you love most about Coron?
What I love the most about Coron is the unending journey.
I am still amazed, overwhelmed, and grateful whenever I visit its destinations. Coron’s rich environmental resources and marine life prove to be the reasons why I choose to go back each and every time.
If you can describe Coron in just one word, what would it be?
Enchanting! This island is magical. Every tourist who visited Coron can’t get enough of it. This is what makes this place so special.
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