The Funny Lion reflects the rustic charms of one of the world’s best islands. With its eco-friendly, safari-themed interiors, it is here that the experience of Coron’s fresh air, colorful sunsets and beautiful bays becomes indelible.
What’s beautiful about Coron is that despite the influx of tourists, this fishing village in Northern Palawan is steadfast on preserving its heritage and natural attractions, even at the expense of profit.
In fact, much of Coron’s charms are part of the ancestral domains of the Tagbanauas, believed to be one of the first inhabitants of the Philippines. This keeps most of the island’s charms away from tourist sight. But even with just a glimpse of its guarded sanctuaries, Coron attracts more and more tourists each year.
The Funny Lion can attest to the growing admirers of Coron. Embodying the local ideology, it purposefully remained small at only 31 rooms instead of crafting a high-rise, mega-hotel. This principle of being extra attentive on individual experience instead of accommodating a handful of guests per weekend classified it as the newest “boutique resort” in town. It has opened its doors only in 2014.
The Funny Lion is a 30-minute traffic-free drive from the Busuanga Airport. The hotel-provided airport transfer allows guests to enjoy sights of long roads piercing through pastures of free-range cattle, with Philippine tourism pop tunes as the background music. Transfer from seaport is also possible, with a pick up from the hotel’s safari-style jeep. These were exciting preludes to the grand adventure Coron holds.
#Tagbanua coffee drinking is a local tradition shared with the family — children included. #Coffee beans picked from the forest are roasted and mixed with brown sugar, then spread on banana leaves. When you go to #TheFunnyLion, be sure to taste this brew. #Coron #Palawan #Philippines #travelstoke #igersphilippines #itsmorefuninthephilippines #getoutside #travelphotography #roargoestfl #choosephilippines #travelblogger #travelblog #passionpassport #travelgram #travelph #travelawesome #beautifuldestinations #huffpostgram #optoutside #luxurytravel #bestvacations #welltravelled #travelingram
Top Destinations to See in Coron
A trip to Coron would be incomplete without seeing its world-famous attractions composed of limestone cliffs contrasted against its pristine waters. A daytrip itinerary would typically take you around these destinations:
- Kayangan Lake. Dubbed as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan Lake tops the must-see attractions. Even with is depth, guests can clearly see through the bottom of the lake and the rock formations of its walls.
- Siete Pecados. Despite its dreadful name translated as “Seven Sins”, Siete Pecados is a celebrated snorkeling site in Coron. In just a few meters depth, an abundance of coral reefs and marine life are within arms’ length!
- Hidden/Twin Lagoon. During low tide, guests can enter the Twin Lagoon through a limestone arc encrusted with mother of pearls. The Twin Lagoon’s deep blue waters with an unseen bottom and the changing surface temperature just make it more mysterious.
To add convenience to outdoor adventures, The Funny Lion partnered with local tourism to bring guests to Coron attractions. The hotel offers travel packages for a 3 days, 2 nights stay in the island starting at PHP 12,000 inclusive of accommodation.
Looking for top destinations in Coron? Check out the Broke Backpacker’s travel guide!
Soul-expanding view. Review of #TheFunnyLion now up, link on bio! #Coron #Palawan #Philippines #travelstoke #igersphilippines #itsmorefuninthephilippines #getoutside #travelphotography #roargoestfl #choosephilippines #travelblogger #travelblog #passionpassport #travelgram #travelph #travelawesome #beautifuldestinations #huffpostgram #optoutside #luxurytravel #bestvacations #welltravelled #travelingram
Into the Lion’s Lair: The Funny Lion Rooms
The Funny Lion looks distinctively chic. The interiors are very minimalist by design, but with powerful details hinting safari life. Wooden sculptures of wild animals seemingly roam the hall ways, and the hotel staff are clad in park ranger outfits. A profusion of greens is also visible from the patio, where an infinity pool is curtained by mangroves from the kayak-friendly river below. What’s best, the hotel reuses water for gardening and also utilizes solar powers for electricity.
Topmost The Funny Lion is probably the best spot to chill. The Pride Rock Deck is a roof deck boasting of two Jacuzzi pools on adjacent edges, overlooking Coron Passage and the lush landscapes of Lajala Island. You can enjoy conversation over trance music and surprisingly good cocktails, as you poetically gaze at your first sunset in the island.
For honeymooners, small families and intimate friends, The Funny Lion is the perfect accommodation in Coron. All the rooms are spacious enough for either 3 adults or two adults and two kids below 6 years old. As much as you want to bring extended family or big groups, however, this might not be the best place to do so.
There are three rooms to choose from: The Pride Room complete with its own veranda, the King Room without the veranda, and the Cub Room with two separate beds. Each room will make you feel like one territorial feline! Immediately it will feel like entering the lion’s den, with the warmth of the dim yellow lights, king-sized bed with thick white sheets, and a wide floor space to prowl about.
The shower room features a pump bottle of lemongrass shampoo and soap, which is more environment-friendly than disposable tubes. Grooming accessories include blow dryer, dental kits and stylish black flip-flops. The room’s desk is also a great place to work in, complete with coffee- and tea-making facilities. Because of its island location, however, expect weak cellular signal in certain areas. Internet access and electricity can also waver but only very briefly.
The Hunt’s Pinangat Roulade and Tagbanua Coffee
The Funny Lion isn’t the place to starve. Their in-house restaurant called Hunt serves Asian and Western cuisines, vegetarian and vegan dishes, plated lunch meals, and breakfast and dinner buffets. The buffet is open to the public. Priced at PHP 450, it is particularly popular even among locals, as families take their special Sunday suppers here. Their plated meals range from PHP 250-500. Guests can choose to dine in air-conditioned space or al fresco, poolside.
A recommended dish to try at the Hunt is the Pinangat Roulade which is rolled meat wrapped in taro leaves and simmered in coconut milk. For familiarity, its ingredients include pumpkin and string beans, like pinakbet. Executive chef Rafael Ongchiong, who hailed from Bicol and found love in the islands of Coron, brought this recipe with him.
Aside from meals, the Hunt serves various beverages, notable of which is the thick and piping hot tsokolate-e for breakfast. At nighttime, you can also try their cocktails such as Calauit Coolers, White Rhino and the people’s choice, Three Monkeys.
Want to taste the secret brew? Order the off-the-menu Tagbanua Coffee. TFL General Manager Mike heard the legend of the local brew, mustered all his power to find the tribal chief, and negotiated to make the hotel exclusively distribute their coffee. The local way of making coffee is picking beans from the forest, roasting them, adding brown sugar, and then spreading them on banana leaves. It’s best enjoyed on its own, that is, black without milk. Drinking coffee is a Tagbanua tradition shared with the family, children included.
Hope you had an awesome Sunday. 🙂 #TheFunnyLion #Coron #Palawan #Philippines #travelstoke #igersphilippines #itsmorefuninthephilippines #getoutside #earth #travelphotography #roargoesTFL #choosephilippines #travelblogger #travelblog #passionpassport #travelgram #travelph #travelawesome #beautifuldestinations #huffpostgram #optoutside #luxurytravel #bestvacations #welltravelled #travelingram
Despite being heavily guarded by the Tagbanuas in the name of preservation, the natural and gastronomic wonders of Coron are secrets no more. Should you find yourself here, pair the experience of its age-old island wonders with the modern comfort from the newest cub in town, The Funny Lion.
Who was I with? Read more about our Coron trip at my previous blog, Weekend with Writers
This article was later published at Manila Bulletin‘s Lifestyle Section on July 17.
The Funny Lion
The Funny Lion Inn Sitio Jolo, Barangay Poblacion 5, Coron, Palawan
Contact No.: +632 553 9549 (Manila office) +63905 395 5445 (Coron)
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