Conquering Mt. Tapyas: Coron, Palawan

SUNRISE AT MT. TAPYAS. Good morning Coron! What a way to welcome the day, (Sheryl Ascano)
SUNRISE AT MT. TAPYAS. Good morning Coron! What a way to welcome the day, (Sheryl Ascano)

I can be accused of a lot of things but being fit is not one of them. So when I checked out our itinerary for our third day in Coron and saw that we were going to climb 700 steps up Mt. Tapyas, I almost hyperventilated. Gladly though, with the support of my friends, I was able to survive the challenge, and live to tell the tale.

Our day started at the crack of dawn. We were up by 4 am and out the door 30 minutes later. Our pension house was only a couple of blocks away from Tapyas Road so it served as a brief warm up for me. The good thing about Mt. Tapyas was that it was very hiker friendly and there were stairs all the way to the top. There were also resting spots every couple levels so inexperienced climbers could take a breather every now and then.

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MISSION POSSIBLE. From the bottom, the amount of stairs seem daunting. (Sheryl Ascano)

It was still a bit dark so we were not able to document much of our ascent. But there are green paints indicating each hundred steps so climbers can keep track of their progress. Be sure to bring a water bottle and a towel to hydrate.

There was also a facility midway through that may have served as a canteen before. Unfortunately, it was already poorly maintained and badly vandalized by the time we got there. Still, we trudged on the second half of the climb, where by the end, I was struggling to catch my breath. For an amateur, I was able to clock in at roughly 30 minutes so it wasn’t too shabby. We reached the top just in time for the sunrise and boy was it a sight to behold.

SUNRISE AT MT. TAPYAS. After completing 700 steps to the top, the view was pure magnificence. (Mae Obispo)
SUNRISE AT MT. TAPYAS. After completing 700 steps to the top, the view was pure magnificence. (Mae Obispo)

At the top of Mt. Tapyas is a giant cross. From afar, it looks like a small dot on top of a mountain but in actuality, it was kind of big. There was also a wide viewing deck on top where climbers can take in the overlooking view of the entire island.

SYMBOL OF SUCCESS. When climbers see this cross up close, its an indication that they successfully managed to climb 700 steps to the top. (Mae Obispo)
SYMBOL OF SUCCESS. When climbers see this cross up close, its an indication that they successfully managed to climb 700 steps to the top. (Mae Obispo)

Compared to other provinces, Coron was very different because of the amount of green covering the area. It was noticeable that roughly 70 percent of the island was covered in foliage with only a small portion dedicated to homes. As a result, birds of different species  are able to fly and land freely wherever they please to the delight of onlookers, ourselves included. Behind the cross also lies a short trail and a gazebo overlooking the other side of the island. While the view was beautiful, the inside of the gazebo was also badly vandalized by visitors.

THE VIEW FROM BEHIND. A mini trail at the back of the cross gives visitors a different perspective of the mountain. (Mae Obispo)
THE VIEW FROM BEHIND. A mini trail at the back of the cross gives visitors a different perspective of the mountain. (Mae Obispo)
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THE VIEW FROM BEHIND. A mini trail at the back of the cross gives visitors a different perspective of the mountain. (Sheryl Ascano)
SCENE OUT OF A POSTCARD. The view from the trail presents something straight out of a postcard. (Sheryl Ascano)
SCENE OUT OF A POSTCARD. The view from the trail presents something straight out of a postcard. (Sheryl Ascano)

The descent was fairly easy because gravity has always been my friend. But if given the opportunity, I could totally see myself climbing to the top again to watch the sun set. A little more practice and a repeat visit to the island and I’m sure to accomplish that goal. See you again, Palawan. Over and out.

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