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The Funny Lion: My Iconic Stay in Coron

The Funny Lion

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.

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!

 

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.The Funny Lion

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.

Room 1

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.The Funny Lion

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.

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
Email: inquiries@thefunnylion.com
Contact No.: +632 553 9549 (Manila office) +63905 395 5445 (Coron)

 

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50 Comments

  • Reply
    Martine de Luna
    September 12, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    It’s great to know that TFL is an option for us when we travel to Coron this holiday season. I’ve been wanting to for some time. That buffet price is unbeatable, I hope they also have children’s options!

  • Reply
    Dominic
    September 10, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    How cool is that? A small boutique hotel with a wild safari theme. I loved how you described your journey as you entered the halls of the place and the rooms. It felt like you were really touring us inside the jungle. The buffet for a price of Php450 is very affordable and I’m curious what food they prepared for the guests and how good are they. Lastly, the story of the Tagbanua coffee is very interesting. Makes me want to check it out also.

    http://thetopknotters.com

  • Reply
    Milton Coyne
    August 30, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    wow, what a lovely and super relaxing place to stay.. that infinity pool is really amazing! Again, i have never been to Palawan but after seeing so many posts about it, i would to consider going here next year and I am crossing my fingers to that!

  • Reply
    Mia Foo
    August 17, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    i’ve read/seen pictures of the hidden/twin lagoon and i so want to visit this place, just for that attraction! the funny lion looks like the place i will choose to stay in too, who doesn’t like a safari themed accommodation?

  • Reply
    Fenrile
    August 4, 2016 at 4:22 AM

    Well, this is a place I’d love to visit and that’s the kind of place I always dreamt to visit according to the pictures. It looks so relaxing. You can see how the place fits perfectly in the environment. I love that they really kept it all natural and it doesnt feel wrong. Lagoon ? I always dreamt of swimming into one as well as it’s mostly paradise feels. It’s the perfect kind of place for a honeymoon

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      August 4, 2016 at 11:16 PM

      Yes, for honeymoon, it’s perfect 🙂

  • Reply
    Bettina Bacani
    August 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    I love the deck!!! Gandaaa! And I like that it’s away from it all. When I went to Coron years back, we stayed in the town so medyo magulo, but yeah, I’d love to go back and visit The Funny Lion!

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      August 1, 2016 at 8:16 PM

      One of the best parts there actually. What year did you visit?

  • Reply
    micamicsdeleon
    July 27, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    I like the cozy look of the place Sam, plus the giraffe and the pool area. Lol. Still haven’t been to Coron and still waiting for that faithful event that I’d get to see it’s beauty… Hope they’ll be able to maintain the hotel so when my luck and time comes I can stay there… Thanks for sharing!

    MicaThere’s More to Mica

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      July 28, 2016 at 10:03 PM

      Keep waiting Mica. Because I really didn’t plan on going to Coron because it’s expensive. Waiting had its perks. 🙂

  • Reply
    SofarsoSabine
    July 15, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    Never been here, but this sounds great! I love the safari interior details and overal feeling. It’s cool to have a theme and to see this coming back everywhere in the resort. Cool place to visit!!

  • Reply
    NM
    July 15, 2016 at 4:15 AM

    Amazing pictures! The pictures of the sky is incredible! I’m very far away from The Funny Lion, I felt I was right there with you while reading this!

    http://www.shewillneverlose.com

  • Reply
    Charlotte Anne
    July 8, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Hi Sam! I really admire your photos! Even on IG! I envy you, I can’t take good photos. Anypoo…I can’t believe The Funny Lion offer travel packages, 3 days and 2 nights stay plus hotel accommodation for only PhP 12,000! Is that good for one person only?

  • Reply
    Ann Balisbis
    July 7, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    I’ll be in Palawan next year and hopefully I can visit this place. I’m not a kind of girl who’s into beaches, sea, but the way you decribed the place is a no-escape reason to get excited to visit the place. 🙂

  • Reply
    Saswati Bhoi
    July 6, 2016 at 2:49 AM

    Sounds quite expensive, but definitely a great place to stay!! Love your photographs!! 🙂

    Cheers!
    Saswati from http://www.exploreitmyway.com

  • Reply
    Karen
    July 6, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    Just by the name, The Funny Lion, and the animal statues around I believe my daughter would like to stay there too. Do you think it’s good to visit Coron on October? I’d like to book in time for my bday.

  • Reply
    Anne V
    July 4, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Wow, definitely a great place to stay in Coron,I am all about the food and accommodations when going on vacation! Bookmarked!

  • Reply
    Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)
    July 4, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    The name of the place itself is quite interesting. I like the play off the name and the decor that goes along with it. Coron is also on my list!

  • Reply
    Justine Galang
    July 4, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Ahhh! Just looking at the photos made me feel relax. The buffet looks delicious too, plus the fact that it’s affordable. Wish I could check in here too.

  • Reply
    Arrianne Guzman
    July 3, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    This is WOW! I’ve been to Coron so many years ago and we stayed in a budget place. Medyo bititn ung stay namen noon and I’m looking forward to be back in Coron one day. Will definitely consider Funny Lion. Na-amuse din ako sa name nya, hehe.

  • Reply
    Ericson Felipe
    July 3, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Will going to check out this place too when i have the chance to travel, in Palawan! Seems like accomodation is good. Yay! 🙂

  • Reply
    rowenarose
    July 3, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Such a great place. I’m planning to go to Palawan and might consider going here

  • Reply
    Princess Mikee
    July 3, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    It is quite expensive but looking at your photos, it is worth it. Bet you had a great time. I’ll take note of this place. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Reply
    Jen Yang
    July 3, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Honeymoon trip idea! ❤️ This is absolutely perf. I’ve always heard if Coron to be one of the best island go-to’s in Palawan. Hope we’ll have our romantic escape here soon.

  • Reply
    Aika
    July 3, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    I want you to know that i am a fan of your blog. Your travelogues are very helpful. Anyway, i have an eye for minimalist themed place. I like this! Superb. The pool area is inviting. I am planning to have a vacay next year at Palawan. Hopefully i get to booked low fare! Hehehe

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      July 4, 2016 at 3:49 PM

      Thank you Aika! Super appreciate it 🙂 Where in Palawan? Hope you’ll enjoy! I’m yet to see PPS and El Nido 🙂

  • Reply
    Mimi
    July 3, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Ahhh, that’s quite a unique spot to stay in! I love watching their pool and imagining how relaxing it must feel to sit in there amidst quiet and peace. And I think 12k is already a good deal for 3 days and 2 nights with accommodation! Must-visit!!!

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      July 4, 2016 at 3:50 PM

      At first I thought it was expensive too. But that’s a minimum 4K a day for 2 people inclusive of a tour, food and stay. Not bad at all for Coron, Palawan 🙂

  • Reply
    jean dalida
    July 3, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    Wow! We’re planning to visit Coron next year, good to know that there’s a IG worthy place like this to stay! wohoo! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    ASKSonnie
    July 3, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    I thought this review is about a theme park bec. of the name of the hotel. But I liked the name– it promises a message of a fun environment or satisfactory experience.

  • Reply
    John Pena
    July 2, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Wow, looks so luxurious haha definitely a nice place for couples or families. But for budget travelers like me I don’t think I can stay at this place. But if I win the lotto I might be able to :))

  • Reply
    Rafter manguiat
    July 2, 2016 at 5:24 PM

    Awesome! I like how detailed this read is. This might just seem to be a guide of the places to go to when I visit the place!

  • Reply
    Johna
    July 2, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    I love Coron!! When I go back I’ll definitely check this place out. Your photos are amazing too!! 😀

  • Reply
    jayresa03
    July 2, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    I promise to visit Coron one as much as I want to stay in this place, it’s a little expensive tho.

  • Reply
    Kat
    July 2, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    The Funny Lion seems like a good option for a luxurious stay in Coron. I love the pool! 🙂 Just in time because I’d just booked tickets to Coron for this year. Haha.

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Nerona
    July 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    I’ve been reading travel blogs and I can say Palawan has a lot to offer. Your photos are awesome, specially the sun set.

    Bro Alchemist

  • Reply
    Mirriam (Mirriam Dictionary)
    July 2, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    What a fantastic hotel! The pool looks amazing too. I’ll keep the Funny Lion on my list. ❤️

    Book your next trip through my site https://mirriamdictionary.wordpress.com/

  • Reply
    mariaisquixotic
    July 2, 2016 at 1:25 AM

    Wow. It looks amazing! For me, I think I could go on with life without the internet and gadgets as long as you live in a heaven like this. 🙂

  • Reply
    Carola Knubben
    July 2, 2016 at 12:44 AM

    This looks very nice. An individual experience sounds good. You can see that a lot of things go from mass production back to more personal attention and focus on the experience itself. I think that’s a good development. The top destinations sound wonderful. I’d love to see the hidden lagoon.

  • Reply
    ayawillgoplaces
    July 2, 2016 at 12:20 AM

    Wow! Would definitely consider this when we go to coron on my birthday. The pools looks very calming and the food looks really delicious! Thanks for sharing this. The interiors are so cool!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    July 1, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    I like that the hotel has it’s own personality, with quirky details and quality furniture. The pool i beautiful also, I would love to just relax there with a cocktail in my hand and listen to the birds singing.

  • Reply
    chrmgmb
    July 1, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    The infinity pool really got me. I don’t mind paying 12,000 pesos for this amazing experience. Very lovely and nature inspired, I hope you had pictures of the hotel staff, I was curious 🙂

  • Reply
    Teresa Dumadag
    July 1, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    This place looks promising! I love the pool area! I haven’t been to Palawan. We were considering it before for our honeymoon. Sadly, it was peak season so we weren’t able to book a room at El Nido. Would still love to visit Palawan in the futre with our kids.

  • Reply
    Cai Dominguez-Travelosyo
    July 1, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    To date, my top destination here in the Philippines if Ill base it on beauty. Coron, Palawan. I would never get tired visiting this island. And the funny lion’s name is catchy. Im expecting that there is a literal story of your encounter with a funny lion. Ahhaha well, this place looks so
    Rustic and cozy. I love how the view from the pool area. I can feel how relaxing the ambiance is. Would love to check this someday 🙂

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      July 4, 2016 at 3:53 PM

      Wow Cai, didn’t expect Coron from you because you’ve been to so many places! The story behind the name is a bit humorous too. Basically the owners went to a safari in Palawan and they saw there weren’t any lions. So they laughed to themselves and said, “Ang funny, walang lion”.

      Really!!

  • Reply
    Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy
    June 30, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    The name itself is interesting already! I’ve never been to Coron though I’ve been to Palawan. I will keep this place in mind should we ever make that trip in the future. I think I’ll manage to remember the name as it’s too funny to forget. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Ayun
    June 30, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    The name itself is interesting as it gives a new image for the lion as the brave king of the jungle. Haha. Now, people can actually relax in a ‘funny’ lion accommodation as contemporary design blends with the wholw place. 🙂

  • Reply
    Janine Ella
    June 29, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    The place looks nice! Super ganda ng sunset photo mo Sam 🙂 Will take note of this place kung magpplan na ako pumunta sa Coron. Haha

  • Reply
    ROBERT LEE
    June 29, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Oh wow. Now there is a classier hotel sa Coron (Busuanga). Back when I was visiting, wala naman ganyang choices. Of course I personally like a more native look, basta me aircon and CLEAN CR. Hope you had a blast while there!

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      July 4, 2016 at 3:54 PM

      On a regular day, me too! I’m super low maint. So it’s nice to get free luxe stays 🙂

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