I was happy to arrive in Coron Town, but not so excited about the 30 hours of travel it took to get here. The day after I arrived I started my Advanced Open Water diving class, which is 5 dives in two days, which turned out to be a bit much for my body. The diving was great and they included some basics as I had not been diving in 15 years. The first day was very basic, we worked buoyancy and navigation skills. The second day was intense. I did 3 wreck dives, which encompassed the skills needed to pass the course, deep diving, wreck diving and an enriched air dive. I was worn out at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that night I started to get a cough, a sore throat and my ears hurt.
All three of the dives included penetrations, which in theory, you are not supposed to do until you take the full wreck diving course. But here in Coron, anyone with an open water cert can go on a wreck dive and do penetrations, hmm, come to think of it, no one asked to see my PADI card. Penetrating a wreck means going inside of it, which can be quite dangerous. It was an amazing experience, but I will be taking some time off from diving. I have an inner ear infection and what feels like the flu.
Coron is not as sleepy as I thought it would be, they lengthened the runway at the airport a few years ago and now 80 seat planes can land here, which has created rapid expansion and all the bad things that go with it. There are power blackouts every day, which the locals call “brownouts.” The night I arrived half the town was lit by candles. Food and accommodations are expensive here, compared to other parts of the Philippines and the Philippines is more expensive than any place else I have been in SEA. I also went on an “exhibition” which is island hopping, camping and snorkeling. It was a bunch of guys teaching English in Korea and me.
The trip was fun, but based on the description of the trip I was expecting something more remote, I don’t think it was worth the money I paid for it.
I ended up being sick for eight days in Coron. Overall, it’s not my favorite country and I love the people, Goodbye Philippines.