The Philippines’ top attractions have had their fair share of quarantine “milestones”. Boracay’s white sand is looking pristine after many years. Metro Manila finally has a clear skyline. Then, there’s Coron, whose Kayangan Lake is looking squeaky clean during quarantine.
On 7 Aug 2020, Palawan-based tour guide Japhet Daco shared a photo of the famed spot. Already known for its exceptionally clear waters even before the pandemic, Kayangan Lake is shown in perhaps its most serene state ever. And the reason is pretty simple — tourists, except those based in Coron, have been prohibited from visiting the area for nearly five months, giving the lake some time to recover.
The tour guide had just returned to Coron from Metro Manila after the local government unit reopened the island’s tourism. Upon arriving at Kayangan Lake on 28 Jul 2020, he and another guide refrained from touching the water for about 30 minutes. This was after they instantly saw how pure it looked. The lush vegetation surrounding the body of water made the panorama even more breathtaking.
“We took a boat ride (small boat), we reached Kayangan and nobody was there. Even the guard ay nasa boat lang from a distance sa entrance ng lake kasi nagbabantay din siya sa ibang destinations,” Daco told TripZilla.
But while he admired the scenery, Daco admitted that it also made him emotional as he looked back on his pre-pandemic visits to the attraction. “Almost five months na po kaming hindi nakakapunta ng lake. I am a freelance tour guide, so almost every day po kami mag-tour with the guests sa Kayangan Lake,” he shared. “Malungkot po ako sa nangyaring pandemya, pero noon pong nagpaplano pa lang kami pumunta ay hindi ko na maipaliwanag ang kasiyahan ko.”
At the time of publication, Coron remains under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Local tours, along with tourism establishments, are allowed to operate following safety protocols.
All images courtesy of Japhet Daco.