Attracting all kinds of tourists in Coron Palawan, the big metal cross sitting on top of the Mt. Tapyas is a popular landmark for the surrounding area of the island. Mt. Tapyas, which literally translates to “Mt. Slice” in Filipino, is the second-highest peak in the whole province of Palawan. Its summit measures up to 656 feet while the cross structure stands over 2,000 feet above the sea level. It is located about 10 minutes away on foot from the town proper or about 5 minutes from the pier, and the modernized trail starts just beside a public basketball court in Busuanga Island, part of the Coron municipality.
Mt. Tapyas is not your typical mountain with difficult trails up its rocky terrains. In fact, it’s unlikely that hardened mountaineers will ever have it on their list of must-climb mountains in Palawan. Besides comfortable shoes and bottled water for refreshment, there’s not much you need to climb on top of this mountain. Part of the land surface of the mountain was structured into a flight of steps cemented and paved such that even small kids and frail adults can climb it.
The 700-plus steps up the peak of the mountain will take no more than an hour, even less if you are physically fit. There are also many shaded areas where you can rest or catch your breath. In addition, there are guardrails installed from the base up to the last step of the concrete stairs. At the top, some area have been flattened and surrounded with metal handrails. On the other side, there are gazebos and benches for climbers to rest and savor the moment of reaching and being at the top. It’s the perfect time to take pictures and exult at having scaled the mountain. Most have declared the (minor) hardship of going up the stairs all worth it for the view at the top.
At the top of the mountain, a panoramic vista of the town and the surrounding islands offers a breathtaking sight to your eyes. In the evening, the light bulbs on the cross also provide a magical experience as you survey the land below. Light posts also dot the stairs and the rails around the viewing deck. But it’s not only when night time approaches that visitors can enjoy the peak of the mountain. The local tourism department advertises the mountain as an ideal viewing place for the sunrise and sunset. And indeed, lovers of sunrise and sunset will appreciate and marvel at the sight from the top.
So, if you’re one of those who want to experience being on the top of a mountain but do not have the skill or the inclination to climb up a dangerous trail, Mt. Tapyas might just be the mountain for you. And if you want to watch the rising and setting of the sun from the highest peak of the land, catch the sunrise and the sunset atop this mountain. It might just be your easy slice of heaven on an otherwise rugged terrain.