Sunday, September 29, 2013

Puerto Galera: Lovelier the Second Time Around

Date: SEP 28-29, 2013

Because of Puerto Galera’s proximity to Metro Manila, my officemates and I decided to give it a visit and stay there to relax. This trip was full of amusement and discovery, and we also tried out some water activities. But as a matter of fact, a two-day trip is not enough to enjoy Puerto Galera – but still, we had a great time during our short visit.

Puerto Galera welcomes everyone!

Queen of Isle Lodge
There should be four of us visiting Puerto Galera this weekend; however, JM’s schedule suddenly changed, and he was left behind. Saturday came, and after a tiring shift back at the office, Van, Joey and I headed straight to Cubao and rode an airconditioned bus bound for Batangas City.

Two hours later and we reached the port of Batangas. I purchased three tickets from the ticket booth and selected the boat that will be leaving shortly. The waves were not high that time, and our journey at sea lasted only for an hour.

The boat docked at White Beach, and since we haven’t eaten yet, we decided to look for a place to eat and chose Foodtrip sa Galera. While we were eating, someone approached us and offered their hotel for only P1000/night. We agreed to his offer, and he took us to the hotel right after, named Queen of Isle Lodge. There were few tourists on the beach because it was low season, and looking for a cheap place to stay is not a problem during these times.

Sailing while it was raining
The man who took us to the hotel also offered some activities that we could try. I checked his list, and we opted to do island hopping and snorkeling. We took a quick rest first, and then at 1:00 PM, we went to Balatero Port where his boat was. I never had enough sleep that day, and I felt so exhausted. While sailing the seas of Mindoro, it suddenly rained so hard. Fortunately, even if the rain was intense, the sea remained calm. When we reached the place where we will be snorkeling, I put on my life vest and goggles and jumped out into the open sea. Then, what I saw next was breathtaking – schools of fish in different colors swimming next to us.

Schools of fish swimming in front of us
After swimming for some time, the man offered us another activity – we will be pulled by a small boat as we snorkel so that we could see everything for P200 per head. I thought it was fun, so I agreed.

The small boat took us around the snorkeling site and what I saw underneath were different creatures in different hues – corals, fish, clams, sea urchins and so much more! While enjoying the view, it rained once again, and because of that, we decided to go back to the boat and be taken back to the port. We still have a few places to visit, and we wouldn’t want to miss it. A tricycle was waiting for us when we reached the port, and that tricycle took the three of us to Tamaraw Falls. The falls can be found along the highway, and it looked splendid. You could also swim on the artificial pools near the falls for only P20. Since we were tired, we opted not to swim and just stood there and took some photos.

The cascading waters of Tamaraw Falls
Kids playing near Virgin Beach
Not far from the falls was Puerto Galera’s welcome sign, which says “Puerto Galera- Heart of Asia.” We also took a photo here, and after 30 minutes of staying at the falls, we left and drove through the road that was full of landslides. The tricycle stopped at a steep part of the highway, and the driver told us that the Virgin Beach could be found all the way down. We walked through a small trail and reached the rocky Virgin Beach. There was a grotto at the end of the boulders, and we saw kids playing near the beach. We only stayed there for a few moments and then left. The driver ran as fast as he could, and we managed to reach the hotel before dusk, and when we arrived, we ate our dinner and slept.


Van, Joey and I enjoying Puerto Galera's beach
It was still dark when I woke up, and we went out wondering where we could have our breakfast. Initially, we planned to eat at Foodtrip sa Galera, but we decided to check out the stores near the highway instead. We managed to get to a bakery and bought some bread. I also bought a liter of water from a nearby grocery store after we ran out of water.

We went back to the hotel shortly and changed into our swimming attire. We finished the remaining hours we have at the beach swimming until we were all tired. After that, we returned to the hotel and packed our bags.

Once we were done packing, we went to Minolo Shipping Lines booth and rode their free shuttle bound for Muelle Port. At the port, we had to wait for another hour before the boat left. The sea was calm during our voyage, and we managed to reach Batangas in less than an hour.

Another weekend has ended, and I was so happy because I managed to go back to Puerto Galera. There were lots of things to do in this town, and I can’t help but think of what other activities I will be doing the next time I get here. I wonder, when will it happen?

Sitting at the boulder in Virgin Beach

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