Friday, April 15, 2016

The Amigos' Coron Camino Part 3. Beach Bumming in Malcapuya Island

We had only two full days for our Coron Camino so we had to make the most of it.  The helpful front desk staff at our hotel, The Funny Lion Inn, suggested that for day 2  we take another island hopping tour to more of Coron's white sand beaches.

We were so pleased with our guide Niel,  Captain Morris and first mate Aris, that we requested for the same crew for today's journey.  They were ready and waiting for us at the pier when we arrived.  

Niel said that we would be sailing much farther today to reach our first destination -- a good hour and a half away.  On the way out, we passed by this cruise ship -- it may seem small by today's behemoth standards but it certainly loomed large docked in Coron's pier.

There was quite a stiff breeze blowing  --  while the photo above may not show it, the waters 
were much choppier than yesterday.  Our boat had quite a bumpy time riding through the waves.
Thankfully no one got seasick.

From the deep blue depths, we finally reached calmer, shallower, tourmaline green waters.  
Niel said that seaweed or agar agar was being cultivated in this area.

I was so mesmerised by the glassy transparent waters -- I wanted to stop the boat and dive right in.

I would have to wait but not for too long.  The boat slowly approached this stretch of beach where we would dock.  This was not the swimming area though as Niel said the real beach was just beyond that small hill.

We all let out delighted whoops when we saw this wide expanse of fine white sand and waters 
of varying hues of blue and green.  This is Malcapuya Island, one of the top white sand beaches in Coron.  Small picnic huts were set well away from the sea under coconut trees that provided much needed relief from the hot summer sun. 

There were hammocks strung by each picnic hut.  What bliss!  

One thing we missed out on yesterday's tour was a stash of alcohol.  Today we were better prepared. Rum cokes for all to celebrate the island life!

Malcapuya Island is a sparkling, dazzling gem among Coron's many jewels.  

The white sand beach is wide, clean and slopes down gently to the multi-hued sea.  Perfection.
One of the best beaches I have been fortunate to see.

The sand may not have been as fine as Boracay but it was infinitely cleaner -- the only debris I
came upon were these shells arranged like a still life on the sands.

How delightfully cool to just stay in the impossibly clean and clear waters of Malcapuya Island.  
I could see my toes through the green waters -- and even saw some fish swimming around me.

As in yesterday's tour,  our boat crew again cooked and served up mouthwatering grilled delights -- two kinds of fish, barbecued chicken and a native ensalada -- grilled eggplants, salted eggs and tomatoes.  A heaping platter of rice and we were all set for our picnic fiesta!

Everything was just so yummy -- right down to the bones!

For dessert, what could be better than ripe, golden sweet Palawan mangoes.

I made sure that a few morsels were left behind to share with my new friends -- the island dogs 
were well behaved and more importantly looked well taken cared of and adequately fed.

The tide had gone out by early afternoon and the waters looked calmer and even more tempting.  
We decided to just stay put  in Malcapuya and passed up on visiting the two other beaches on our itinerary.   After all, when you have achieved nirvana -- you are content.

Malcapuya is an inhabited island and the few locals who stay there make their living by selling
fresh coconuts and snack items to the visitors, renting out the picnic huts and conducting banca 
tours to an area they call the "Aquarium" where  live corals, giant sea clams and colourful fish abound.

It was mid afternoon before we finally packed our things and returned to  our boat.  
Sadly, our guide Niel mentioned that the island has been sold to a foreign hotel conglomerate 
and it may not be long before they start to restrict access to Malcapuya.  
What a shame!
While I am grateful that I was able to enjoy Malcapuya's remarkable beauty -- I have to ask 
the question ... do we really need another ultra-luxury premium resort -- exclusive and unattainable except for a privileged few?
I think it's wrong to keep ordinary Filipinos from seeing and experiencing the many riches that our country has to offer. 

Jay and I decide to pose for posterity -- who knows if we can ever come  back to this  
blue green heaven again? In case this is the first and last time I will see Malcapuya Island, 
I have memorised her singular charms and burned them in my mind's eye.  


A huge thank you to our very efficient, hardworking and caring boat crew of Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours.  Here they are with Onel on the way home from Malcapuya.  First mate Aris on the far left, guide Niel third from left and Captain Morris at the controls.  Maraming salamat and see you next time we visit Coron!

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