Puerto Galera Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
Puerto Galera in Batangas has been home to some of my craziest memories, not to mention the most recent one as well;-)
This was the first beach I ever got to go to as a young professional and I found the island still beautiful with way less congestion and commercialism than today.
I've been at this beach, whether I like it or not, surprisingly every year. This being one of the closest and most convenient getaways if you're living in Manila, 2 hrs by bus to the Batangas port and then an hour and a half ride by the motor boat that fits around 50 people I think.
It has unfortunately become so commercialized through the years, the vendors and masseusse having their own associations to regulate their prices.
The top craziest experience I ever had would probably be the time we got caught for a fake P100 bill. I was with my good friend Meg, her 2 sisters, her boyfriend and his male friend. We went snorkelling early morning and the vendors still rented their goggles and flippers separate from the boatsman at the time, whereas now it's a complete package. Anyways, when we paid off one of the vendors with one of the wet bills it became apparent that the bill was fake. She thought we were ripping her off and started a scene. We offered to just replace it with a real one despite the fact that we were the ones who were cheated by wherever we got it from (not the vendor's problem though) but before we knew it there were patrol boats left and right (were did they come from?) and we were asked to go with them to the police station at the town proper of Mindoro Oriental.
Let me tell you, the police station was about a half hour ride to the island we were snorkelling in, and another hour from the hotels we checked in. This was all happening at high noon with the boat not having any cover, we were toast! the salt from the swim literally started forming on our skin by the time the whole adventure ended.
The honorary mayor (who I think is now the governor of the area) tried to give us a scare by having us retell the story of how we got the fake bill over and over. Apparently fake bills were heavily circulating in the area at that time, not our fault! They had us give our information and Meg's sisters were crying (them being so excited initially as this was their first trip to Galera) when we were finally allowed to go home.
We then had to rush back to the hotel and shower and run to the boat back home to Manila in top speed.
There was also a time that I had to rush to the toilet at the port right after getting off the boat as the fried chicken I ate before hopping on board did not sit well in my tummy, that was definitely embarassing! The only thing that kept me from throwing up into the sea was a cute guy sharing the boat with us:-)
In 2006 I went there with my bossom friends and everything was going well till we all had a huge disagreement. There were 6 of us. A couple, a good gay friend, another guy and gal pal. Oh yeah iron sharpens iron with our different characteristics but this one was different.
We were all left dumbfounded, especially the one who was just sleeping the entire day. I was probably the most pissed since I was the one left to finish the half cooked sour stew (sinigang: one of the Filipino favorites, meat with vegetables cooked in tamarind soup) and make sure everyone else, who all ironically did not know how to cook, got to eat.
Me and my gay friend went home ahead which made the ordeal shorter but it was definitely an unpleasantly memorable trip.
Another time my gay and girl friend's phone and money were snatched at the beach while we were having a massage and we all had to pool our resources to help them survive. That was the time Galera was packed to brim with lodgers and we had to stay at a 2 bed room that smelled of a dead rat using a communal toilet. It was fun though 'coz as our tradition we played Monopoly through the hottest part of the afternoon.
So those are just a few, and amazingly, I never run out of adventures whenever I visit.