|La Immaculada Concepcion on a clear, moonless night|
It bears mentioning the boat terminal in Coron as the wi-fi signal was better than in our lodge and the facilities were orderly, owing to the recent resumption of big ferry trips from Manila via Puerto Princesa. The terminal's walls were plastered with 2Go posters advertising the promo fare of P1,200 which was impossible to miss and difficult to ignore -- something to keep in mind for a return trip hopefully in the very near future.
Hmmm, why go to Culion and not stay longer in Coron? While I still like Coron, I personally wanted to venture somewhere new. The last time I visited, we had a side trip to the wildlife reserve of Calauit farther north and enjoyed it. This occasion is no different. I was also eager to venture somewhere quieter, less touristy as I've always been a fan of small towns. Besides, it's always fascinating to go somewhere I've only read previously in books.
|The view of the town from Agila near the sunset hour|
Sailing nearer to the island of Culion, one notices either one or all of these: the image of the Christ atop a hill perhaps inspired by the Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro; an eagle emblem drawn with stones on the slope of the same hill; the red-roofed church to the east; and the signage of Hotel Maya just beside the church.
Arriving at mid-afternoon, there was little traveling we can do after settling in at the hotel. But not wanting to waste the precious little hours of our short side trip to Culion, we headed to the hill for a better vantage point of the whole town. It's 330 steps up, an ascent understandably reserved by devotees and penitents for their Holy Week panatas (pledges) to complete the stations of the Cross (seems to me that ascending steep hills is a recurring theme in these parts; case in point: the 700-step ascent to Mt. Tapyas in Coron town in Busuanga).
The image of the Christ the Redeemer seems to be watching over the place as the fading light turned the town into amber. The church, the La Immaculada Concepcion better known as the Culion Cathedral, with its back to the sea and the Coron island, is hard to miss. Closer to the pier, there seems to be a stilt village which seemed strange at first considering the availability of housing space inland. Later, we will find out that this was due to the preference of some pescadores (fishermen) to live closer to their fishing boats.
|Christ the Redeemer image watching over the town night and day|
|Hotel Maya from the roadside|
|The parola appears to be a nighttime "moon-dial" against a starry backdrop|
|The frontage of Hotel Maya looks out to the sea and the island of Coron|
|Lone A/C room at Hotel Maya|