time for our mini-getaway to Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera Travel Blog

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At the Kamias bus station

We have a big day ahead of us.  My Aunt Tess' family work up early because her husband is taking us to the bus station in Kamias to catch the 3 hour bus to Batangas Ferry Station.  I managed to snagged my cousing, Alyssa, to join me for this mini-getaway to Puerto Galera because my classmaste Joanne, couldn't make it to Boracay or Malapasqua Island.  I told her to have money for food and I'll cover the transportation and hotel.  Plus, she would be missing three days of college classes so she better get her homework from her classmates.

Our tickets to Batangas ferry

Her father found the bus for us and reminded to 'mind our belongings' due to snatchers.  The traffic was just crazy and this was just even before 12 noon.  Most vehichles were about one foot away from each other.  There was no such thing as courtesy, it was all defensive/aggressive driving.  During the traffic stops, local sellers would board our bus and sell anything for apples, candies, sweets, boiled eggs, cold drinks or roasted peanuts.  I almost forgot about this cool 'day in a life' of traveller and bus sellers - I haven't experience it for 10 years.

At around 1 PM, we reached the port of Batangas.  We were talked into taking the 'Father & Sons Ferry Service' and buying round trip tickets due to more discounts.  There was also an island preservation fee which is about 50 PHP.

The local transportations
  By the time they called us to Gate C, Alyssa and I were feeling the excitement of a REAL vacation (meaning without tons of family/relatives with you).  We walked to our ferry boat and were greeted with a clear sky and balmy winds.  Aaaaahhhh...  The boat was filled with 80% locals and 20% vacationers.  I was trying to even tease my cousin with the super handsome french dude across from us.

We almost reached our destination when the boat captain said we should transfer to a shuttle jeep to take us to White or Sabang beach.  If we stayed in the ferry boat, the ride would take another 40 mins compared to 15 mins.  We piled into the jeep along with the other tourist and hotel recruiters.

At the ferry boat in Batangas
   We didn't leave right away due to a big commotion, two Pinay ladies who were dating some Arab dudes were making a big fuss about their luggages.  Ten minutes into our ride, our jeep broke down, we were dead before arrival.  The two french guys got out (really escaped, the hotel recruiters wanted them to wait) and took a tricycle instead to Sabang beach.  Dang, our 'eye candy' for the day was gone.  The replacement jeep came and brought us to our destination.  We choose to stay at White Beach Hotel (http://www.whitebeachhotel.com/) for 800 PHP, which included 2 double beds, AC, cable tv and bathroom with shower + toilet seat, YES!).  The White Beach Hotel was pretty basic, like staying in a Youth Hostel but with more privacy.
Alyssa excited to head to Puerto Galera
  We were suppose to stay at 'Rem's Virgin Island Hotel' but the rate was 2,300 PHP per night.  I wanted to use the money for the snorkling tours and buying souveniers.

Around 5 PM, we got settled in our room and raced out to the shore.  We enjoyed the waves lapping on our legs and just giggled that we are finally HERE.  The sunset gave a spectacular orange and red colors which illuminated the sky.  We couldn't help but take photos.  We noticed that a lone Chinese tourist was going crazy taking pictures of himself on various poses on the beach.  He was hilarious, kinda geeky, 40 something years old-ish but he was just having a ball capturing the beach environment. The evening was cap-off with a big dinner for two at Buena Lynn's restaurant.  I think that I even ordered beer with my food!

The next day, I was up early and headed to the beach for an early morning dip.

The other boats by the dock
  Alyssa finally woke up and joined me.  A boat owner, Mr. Vic, was trying to sell us a snorkeling tour for 1,500 PHP each.  We ate breakfast first which consist of rice, longanisa (sweet sausage), eggs and I ordered a side of arroz caldo (chicken congee, I like 'soupy' hearty food with my meal).  After we ate, we found a fellow gay tourist (he's from Chicago) and his white BF, they got the snorkeling tour for 800 PHP for both.  I told Mr. Vic that if he wanted our business, we want the same price.  We got a deal!  We were off to the ocean for our encounter with NEMO and Ariel (Little Mermaid).  Mr. Vic provided us with snorkeling gears + a life vest and we dove.  We saw alot of fishes.  We even fed them bread which we brought early that morning.
We are going!
  They were just swimming next to us.  A fisherman on a smaller raft offered to take us to the deep end to see more corals for 150 PHP each.  We told him that we can swim on our own and declined.  The tide was getting rough and we were able to bargain him for 150 PHP for both of us.  We were able to cover a wider area with the fisherman, he pulled us along with his raft.  We saw many colorful corals!

Mr. Vic took us to two other island beaches; Coco and Haligi beach.  Coco beach in Boquete Island, has an exclusive and expensive resort, (http://www.puertogalera.ph/sandbar/).  Hmnnn, next time if I wanted to get away from it all, I'll book for a holiday.  We noticed that some guest were Filipina women and their old husband/boyfriend (they looked like white wrinkled grandpas to me, YUK!).

The cute french dude
  Haligi beach was far more secluded and un-touched.  It reminded me of the Brooke Shield movie, 'Blue Lagoon.'  I took great shots of the rocky coast at Haligi.  Alyssa and I roamed the coast in search of  a perfect sea shells and corals to take home.  After 3 1/2 hours tour, Mr. Vic brought us back to White Beach.  I might say snorkling was the highlight of the trip!

NOTE:  The masseuse ladies on the beach only cost 400 PHP for one hour.  They were great!  I can't ask for anything else, a body massage while watching the sunset.  Always ask if they have their  ID license with them.  The annoying part were the other sellers (the pearl necklace guys).  They can be really pushy.  The T-Shirts in Puerto Galera was way MORE cheaper than in Manila/Quezon City 90 to 100 PHP.  So, load up on it.

arlene0725 says:
I'm a BIG fan of the Amazing Race! I think the shirt is cool. Dang, I wish that I got the purple color too. Spoofs had none at the Mall of Asia branch.
Posted on: Jan 21, 2009
planisphere says:
i like your pink shirt. :) i have the same shirt, purple lang. :)
Posted on: Jan 20, 2009
arlene0725 says:
The vendors were very tempting. The next thing you know I'm buying more junk food (peanuts, sweets, etcs). But a cold bottle of juice or soda always hit the spot on a humid day.
Posted on: Jan 09, 2009
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At the Kamias bus station
At the Kamias bus station
Our tickets to Batangas ferry
Our tickets to Batangas ferry
The local transportations
The local transportations
At the ferry boat in Batangas
At the ferry boat in Batangas
Alyssa excited to head to Puerto G…
Alyssa excited to head to Puerto …
The other boats by the dock
The other boats by the dock
We are going!
We are going!
The cute french dude
The cute french dude
Our transfer jeep broke down on th…
Our transfer jeep broke down on t…
During sunset
During sunset
My cousin, Alyssa, copying my suns…
My cousin, Alyssa, copying my sun…
The beach shot
The beach shot
Awesome sky!
Awesome sky!
The menu at Buena Lynnes restaura…
The menu at Buena Lynne's restaur…
Buying beer at the local store (ti…
Buying beer at the local store (t…
Our ferry boat, Father & Sons
Our ferry boat, Father & Son's
The local business
The local business
Having lunch
Having lunch
The hotel (really like a hostel) w…
The hotel (really like a hostel) …
With the local cops
With the local cops
Bill the wonder dog
Bill the wonder dog
Lola from her T-shirt shop
Lola from her T-shirt shop
Puerto Galera
photo by: huck