Once devastation, now a destination

At 9 am on the 24th of September 1944 the US Navy strike force fighters and dive bombers attacked and sunk a dozen Japanese ships at the height of World War II. Considered one of the biggest naval victories of WWII for the Americans, the attack only took 40 minutes, and when it was over, a wide area of devastation was left behind in Coron Bay. Almost 80 years later, it is now home of some of the best shipwreck diving sites in the world.

Near Lusong island, a Japanese submarine hunter and gunship boat with a length of 30 meters is a popular snorkelling site. Presumed to be an auxiliary patrol boat, the Lusong Gunboat, lies close to the surface at a depth that ranges from just 5 to 15 meters. It is amazing how in such a short time the ocean has take over this man-made machine.

Islands of the Tagbanuas

A few hundred steps up and down take you to see the majestic Kanyangan lake. Though this is one of the most photographed views in Coron, this view is actually not the lake itself but the middle point viewing deck looking back to the open ocean into Coron bay. The lake itself sits behind the photographer and is composed of 70% fresh water and 30% salt water.

In the Calamian islands, the local native tribe, the Tagbanuas live. Tagbanuas people believe their ancestors still live on this island and thus entrance is limited up to 4pm everyday. Tagbanuas only let visitors into Kanyangan and Barracuda lakes, 11 others are Panyaan (sacred) and closed to public. Both lakes have been awarded the cleanest lakes in the Philippines; and Kanyangan lake was even awarded cleanest in the world recently.

Tagbanuas used to make a living by collecting swiftlet nests at the top of the island’s high limestone cliffs. This edible bird’s nest is used for making the bird’s nest soup. Now every visitor pays a fee which gives the tribe a much less hazardous means of income.