Monday, April 30, 2012

Climbing Mt. Tapyas in Coron, Palawan

Arriving at Coron town in the afternoon, island hopping tour is not an option anymore for the first day. I took a late lunch at Lolo Nonoy's restaurants, before walking around the small town center to kill time. At around 4:30 pm, Nina the Russian lady I met at the plane, joined me on a short hike to Mt. Tapyas.

Mt. Tapyas at 210 meters above sea level is the second highest mountain at Coron town. Its just 14 meters higher than Mt. Manalmon in Bulacan. The white cross on its summit is lighted at night, so the mountain is easy to recognize like a beacon, whenever and wherever you are in Coron town or at nearby islands.

Being a small town center, it is fairly easy to find our way to Mt. Tapyas as there are signages leading to it. We walked on the ascending San Agustin street, that leads to a basketball court and a small hotel, which serves as Mt. Tapyas' jump off point. 

There are about 718 steps to test our endurance, so my drinking water and towel were very handy, as we took breaks on its shaded rest stops. We finally reached its summit after about 40 minutes of climbing the stairs.

We were rewarded with top view of the Coron town and its port. On the left (south) side is the Coron island itself, where the Kayangan Lake, Twin peaks & lagoon, and Siete Pecados are located. On the right (north) side is the Calamianes group of islands. 

At the back of the viewdeck, I saw the highest mountain of Coron town, but I don't know its name. There are 2 octagonal huts on the 2 sides, which offer quiet views of the steep mountain slope. Perhaps this feature is where Mt. Tapyas got its name, as "tapyas" means cut or slice from a top portion to the side of an object.

The northern hut offer a different angle of the mountain and the sea. Sunset view here is simply dramatic with the hills and few islands jutting out of the sea.

As night drew near, the sky radiated purple sunlight on the whole town.

Not yet contented with the sunset view from Mt. Tapyas, I climbed it again on my third day in Coron, while doing an early morning jog at the town. This time, I reached the summit in less than 30 minutes of jog-walk on the steep stairs.

Unfortunately the east horizon is covered by clouds, so the sunrise view is not as magnificent as expected, yet still refreshing and invigorating after the strenuous jogging activity.

I just enjoyed my rest and solitude at the northern hut, while the morning breeze cooled me off.

After about 20 minutes, I decided to jog down to search the town for a breakfast venue.

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