I managed to witness the first light of dawn in Coron on the day of my departure.
Dragging my luggage down the steps after waking up too early, I arrived at the jetty in complete darkness. It was hard to make out my surroundings save for the gentle waves beneath the planks.
As I settled down on a wooden chair and table, I felt about for the hot water bottle left overnight to make myself a poor excuse for a tea. And wait.
There was not more than 10 people within 500 square meters around us (there's a small fishing village in the island across). I've never experienced such complete silence with the break of dawn, and eeriness. No fish leaping around, nor birds chirping, nor distant boat zooming by. The dark violet sky lightened with each passing minute and I knew my time here was coming to an end.
By the time we hauled our luggage onto the boat with the help of the boatmen and zoomed out and away from the island, the sky has turned a bright pale bronze. The rays shot warming sensation on my face despite the ocean breeze. I'd told myself I'd come back here, next year, same month. But rarely do we remember our own words, and rarely do we return. It would be a great many years before I see the waters here again, if I were lucky.
It's a comforting thought, nonetheless, to convince myself I won't be away for too long so leaving won't be as difficult. For a dreamer, wistful thinking was the preferable choice over heavy goodbyes.
From Coron, Palawan, I will always have fond memories of diving into sunken World War 2 ships, descending through a thermocline in a volcanic lake, swam in the most beautiful fresh water lake, and watched a rainbow color sunset over South China Sea.