Living slow in Ocam-Ocam Beach, Coron, Palawan

What do you think: Moana or Pocahontas? No, I actually prefer Matabagka, a beloved character from a Filipino epic that originates in Mindanao. Markus took this candid photo in 2018 at Ocam-Ocam Beach, Coron, Palawan.

You are probably familiar with the magical lakes of Coron but off-radar Ocam-Ocam Beach made this trip for me. On this side of the island, there is no phone signal, no internet, no restaurants, no transport, not even a functioning toilet.

Yet, it was the loveliest part of our trip.

It was infinitely refreshing to be in this simple, quiet town, digital detoxing, far away from the mess that is the main town of Coron. It was just us, the locals, the birds, and the glowing planktons in the sea.

We lived in a tiny nipa hut with a small balcony, a bamboo bed, and a toilet without a shower or flush. I know many people would complain, but we were okay. Our house was clean, the beach was spacious, and our food was fresh and honest.

The difference between Ocam-Ocam Beach and Coron mainland made me pause to consider the harrowing effects of mass tourism on islands that just suddenly exploded into the world tourist map.

Sure, it is good for the money, but if the people and the place are not prepared correctly, there will be chaos and ruin – and I am not being dramatic here, I mean it literally.

Fortunately, there are places like Ocam-Ocam Beach that remain pure and raw. How long it will remain this way is a big question, but I am just glad we were able to experience it authentic and unspoiled.

This travel challenge prompt is from Ariela, the coolest kid on the internet I know.

63 thoughts on “Living slow in Ocam-Ocam Beach, Coron, Palawan

  1. Awesome!!!I have only been there once but it was totally an adventure of a lifetime! One of the best places in the Philippines.

    I am obsessing over Kalanggaman these days (you were the one who told me what it’s called having only described it in writing). Knowing its name made it so easy to search for travel videos in Youtube

    By the way, that’s a beautiful shot taken by Markus… move over Pocahantas!

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    1. Thank you. Did you like Coron? Yes, Kalanggaman is pretty. Long trip but worth it. I wonder what it is like now, since people have discovered it? Before, there are only daytrips and no power on the island. It is so pretty though. There is a smaller sandbar on the other end, which is nice, for most people flock to the other, longer side.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I liked it ♥️ but there are different kinds of travelers and we’re the ones who loved the night life as well… I appreciate its beauty and the peace it gave me… I dont know if Coron has nightlife now.

        A lot of people discovered Kalanggaman basing on the videos. You know, browsing your old blog… I was so jealous because uv gone to Malapascua. Iv only seen it on F! Were u able to see that show when we’re younger? Because I’m guessing ur way younger than me.

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        1. I have a feeling Coron, in the maintown, has a vibrant nightlife, at least pre-pandemic. Markus and I are like an old couple – we prefer the quiet and are sensitive to sound. I wish you get to enjoy Kalanggaman soon, and that it is still the paradise that it is. Everytime you mention my old blog, I wonder if I should share the link here. Haha. It is a different life and a different person! I don’t know what F! is. Is this a lifestyle show?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You should share it! It’s a real deal! And there’s so many things in there.

            F is a Lifestyle show in early 2k, hosted by Daphne Osena, Angel Aquino and Cher Calvin who was later replaced by Amanda Griffin

            It’s purely lifestyle and fashion in English language. It’s like Philippine Tatler on tv. One of the best shows ABS CBN has made. It’s not on youtube, I wonder why.

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            1. Yes, it is mainly travel, food, and training, isn’t it? Actually not too far from this blog, just with a different energy. Oh okay, I suppose that is what the Lifestyle Network from ABS airs now.

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  2. Beautiful photos – I love that first photo – it is so Disney princess-y!

    Just 2 days back, these travel bloggers I follow posted about doing a clean up on Kuta beach in Bali. Their photos and videos shocked me. There was so much of plastic trash along the beach! I hate when people don’t travel responsibly. Most popular beaches in India are so dirty. 😦 I wish people would care more about the place than just be interested in taking IG photos.

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    1. Thank you. It was a good trip, even if there were occasional rains. We wanted to go to the nearby Black Island but the rains stopped us. And yes, there is a shocking amount of trash in Bali, especially in the tourist areas. It is very sad. Often, it is foreigners who initiate clean-ups, too. I wonder why that is? It is a common problem in many places. Quite heartbreaking. In this sense, the pandemic sort of helped, for the touristy places to breathe a little.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a beautiful image Markus captured. That sounds like a fun and relaxing time. I could handle most of it, but I have been a scaredy-cat most of my life, so not having internet access, a phone signal and transport would probably keep me up at night. I’m terrible, I know! I’m glad you all were able to enjoy it before, if ever, it becomes oversaturated with tourism.

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    1. Oh, I understand. Digital detox is a leap for many, and understandably so, when we depend a lot on technology. However, this is the same reason why I would recommend it – to discover our capabilities outside of it and see if there are any bad things that can really happen. The biggest reveal for me the first time is how lovely people are and how willing they are to help others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! The photos are beautiful and the way you’ve written about Ocam-Ocam makes me want to visit as soon as it is possible for me. I’m hoping that mass tourism won’t ruin the natural surroundings around that area in Palawan. Thank you for sharing this and I hope that you keep travelling to beautiful places like these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and welcome to our blog! Ocam-Ocam beach is beautiful, totally off-the-beaten path. It takes a bit of effort to get there but it is worth it for the experience. This place is the definition of traveling and not touring. Thank you for you well wishes! We miss traveling a lot. What was your last trip?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m trying not to rush myself and cause more injury! I feel really focused on my lack of independence instead of taking the lessons its offering (lose weight, keep a clean/organized home, realize things can always get worse…).

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, this is good. I feel you. It was so hard when I injured my knee and could not walk for six months. Your attitude is better. There are indeed many lessons if we try to focus on them. I wish you a speedy recovery.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels like the sky opened up and suddenly the space is infinite. There is simply no rush, no stress. You quickly realize how little you need in life. Thank you, Markus has a knack for these candid photos. It was really nice, when he showed me this and another two.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is not easy to get to, quote far from the main town and a bit of an adventure to reach, but it is worth it. Markus and I first took a van that drove us to the nearest town to Ocam-Ocam, then we hired a tuktuk to take us to the drop-off point, then we started walking the dirt road path that is supposed to take us to the beach, around 30-40 minutes walk. It started to rain, and fortunately, a private car passed by and they picked us up and drove us to our destination.

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    1. It is a lovely place, especially in comparison to the main town. Coron is beautiful – enchanting lakes, stunning beaches – but the main town is a hodgepodge can of sardines. There is certainly a lot that can be improved there.

      Liked by 2 people

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