Tour guides often make or break our trip. Their commitment to the service they deliver is actually very vital if we want a trip that is highly enjoyable and memorable. A knowledgeable tour guide is always a plus, but the tour guide who goes the extra mile just to take care of his/her guests is remembered even when the trip is over.
The bustling town of Coron, in Northern Palawan, is teeming with tour shops that offer packaged trips in and around Coron Island so it takes a discerning taste to know which of these shops truly deliver. Meet Jun Yong, one of the most popular tour guides in the area, and for good reasons.
Kuya Jun, as he likes to be called, is a native of Coron and he has been working as a tour guide for 14 years now, only leaving his town for a scuba diving stint in Korea for some time in 1997. Aside from working on guided tours around Coron since he was 25, Kuya Jun is also a certified dive instructor. He claims he is the most recommended tour guide in online travel sites that talk about Coron, and I believe him. He is honest and tells the guests if the places which are offered in some Coron packaged tours are worth visiting or not and makes sure everyone on board is well taken care of during the entire trip.
Kuya Jun has a crew of four people who are well-trained to assist every guest. His crew simply understands their work and you can feel the genuine hospitality that goes with their service. We had kids with us during our last trip to Palawan, one of whom got scared to try snorkeling, but Kuya Rommel, one of Kuya Jun’s crew members, patiently looked after Z and taught her how to swim.
Another crew member, Kuya Noy, prepared really good chop suey while Kuya Jun personally grilled the big fish we had for lunch. Even the captain of the boat that Kuya Jun rented for our trip showed impeccable costumer service: Kuya Toting volunteered to take us to areas where we had an amazing view of Palawan and he even patiently brought my camera inside one of the Twin Lagoons by donning two vests and holding the gear aloft to keep it from getting wet.
Suffice it to say that our group was pampered and highly-satisfied with Kuya Jun and his crew’s commitment to their task, it made our island-hopping tour around Coron truly unforgettable. Aside from tours around Coron, Kuya jun and his group also embarks on island expeditions to and from El Nido for a very reasonable price, you may want to experience this instead of the usual island hopping tours. You can keep track of Kuya Jun’s tour services here.
Guest should not leave Coron: Without going on any island-hopping tour in and around Coron.
When in Coron: Eat at Kawayanan Grill Station, Bistro, Sea Dive Restaurant, and La Serenita. For budget meals that are really filling, try the old-time local favorite Lolo Nonoy’s.
Say: Matamang salamat (Thank you)!
One thing that they should know about Coron: One of the country’s earliest inhabitants, the Tagbanuas, live in Coron and they work hard to preserve the natural beauty of the place. Law provides them with the right over most of Coron Island and visitors must respect them when visiting our town.
The best thing about my job: You never run out stories to listen to and share. Meeting different people everyday allows me to get to know them better, so it is an entirely different journey everyday even when we go on the same tour because of the many stories that our guests share with us. It makes work easy and interesting.
- All photographs taken on March 2012 with a Canon 550d.