More than two decades on from writing a cover story for the Philippine Airlines magazine Mabuhay it’s clear Coron’s the posterchild for Indigenous Rights in the Philippines.
Gone is the tuboculosis prevalent in the late 1990s. Mushrooming are schools, which mean children need no longer be absent from family and their island home.
Progress has been underwritten by an influx of tourists to Coron and the income that’s flowed to Tagbanua households.
In May 2023, the Tribal Adventures team toured one of the two villages on Coron, Banuang Daan. Eye-opening were the changes of recent years: new homes, solar panels, cable TV, an emerging high school.
And, it was such an honour meeting community leaders and tribal Elders of the village.
We were there to seek permission for two Nat Geo Traveller journalists to visit and feature Coron and its custodians, the Tagbanua. We got it and they offered to put on a feast of their prized root crops, including one that can kill if not prepared with care.
The journos did live to tell the story.