Monday, February 16, 2015

Puerto Galera: Valentine's Day Getaway

Date: FEB 14-16, 2015

Valentines’s Day is near, and since I don’t have any dates, I decided to organize a Valentine’s Day trip with my officemates. It was also Van’s birthday and he decided to go out-of-town to celebrate. While I was thinking about where we could spend the weekend, the idea of going to Puerto Galera suddenly came into my mind. Because of its proximity and budget friendly activites, my officemates agreed to go there next.

Group photo while waiting for the boat to leave


Everyone’s excited about today’s trip going to Puerto Galera, and we rushed to Cubao right after our Friday shift ended. We rode an airconditioned bus going to Batangas City, and we reached the port after 2 hours. I immediately searched for Father and Son Lines because our host from Puerto Galera, Ate Espie, gave us one “free ride”, which I will use. J

Gloomy sky (hope it'll not rain!)
After purchasing the tickets from the ticketbooth, we proceeded to Gate 3, and waited for the boarding time. We took some group photos for the mean time, and at 10:15 AM, the crew allowed the passengers to board the boat. The boat left at 10:45 AM, and suddenly, the sky went dark. It ran too slow, and the voyage took us an hour and a half. Good thing that it didn’t rain while we’re on the sea, and the waves were not that high. It was already 12:10 PM when we arrived.

One of my officemates, John, who went earlier to Puerto Galera welcomed us as we disembark the boat. We paid for P50 environmental fee and went straight to Ate Espie’s hotel: Peter’s Inn. The room was ok, but we don’t think that it can accommodate us all so we paid for another room, which we got for P1000/night. That was pretty cheap for a room good for 4-5 people!

Touch down White Beach! (from left to right: Lorie, Brian, TL Sarah, Annika, Rome, Mamu, Mitch, John, ME, Van, Apple and Joey)
We left our bags inside the hotel room and went outside to eat lunch. We decided to eat at Chicken Inasal which is near our hotel and ordered two Seafood Boodle which cost P995 per order. Divide that by 12 and we would only have to pay P200 each (softdrinks included). We were all stuffed after eating that sumptuous lunch because the food was very good! Included in the menu was a scallop soup, grilled milkfish, liempo, squid, salted eggs, grilled tilapia and so much more. Some of these turned into leftovers as we were already bloated and can no longer eat. We went back to the hotel after lunch to get some sleep.

Seafood Boodle for P995/order
It was already dark when I woke up, and the first thing we did was to go outside and looked for a place to dine. My officemates chose to eat at Foodtrip sa Galera. To save money, I brought with me some sachets of “Ulalam” and that’s what I ate that evening. I just ordered a cup of rice and only spent P15 for my dinner. Worth it!

And because it was a Saturday, the next thing we did was to party all night! However, it suddenly rained so hard and the live performances from the bars came to a halt. There was some power interruption as well and one of my officemates – Mitch – tripped her foot and was badly injured. Apple gave her first aid and she needed to watch over her so they stayed inside the hotel room for the mean time.

Having fun on a Saturday night
The rain weakened, but it didn’t stop. We were standing near the Cafe de Paris stage while watching the fire dancers, while John was on the ground, waiting patiently for our seats. The rain stopped, and we managed to get some seats infront. We initially ordered two pitchers of Mindoro Sling for P700/pitcher (and ordered two additional pitchers), and began to watch other performances that night – from break dancing to stand up comedy performances.

Another power outage occured in the middle of a comedy skit, and after the lights went off, the bar decided to send out their fire dancer. They performed near the beach front, and we approached them to take photos. Power was restored after a few moments because of the generator but the performances were limited because its capacity is not enough to light up everything. We stayed outside until 3 AM, and went back to the hotel afterwards. We had to sleep that night because we’ll be on an island hopping trip tomorrow.


There's a rainbow always after the rain
My phone alarmed at 7:30 in the morning. I immediately stood up and woke everyone up. We will be doing island hopping today, and we decided to contact Ate Espie’s brother, Kuya Robert, who offers a tour package. It was a P2000/12 person deal, and if we would be way above the person limit, we would need to get another boat. There were 13 of us, but since Mitch was still injured, she just opted to stay inside the hotel. Some of my officemates went to Foodtrip sa Galera to eat breakfast, but because of the volume of customers that day, their orders were delayed and it took them an hour to wait for their food.

While waiting for the others, Joey and I went to the beach and we took some snapshots. So many minutes have passed and my officemates were not yet done eating, so I went back to the hotel and ate my baon – fiber enriched crackers and corned tuna in a can (talking about FREE breakfast J ).

Taking some photos while waiting for the others
Mamu suddenly came back to the hotel to deliver Mitch’s breakfast, and he told me that the others were still eating. I called TL Sarah and told her to just go back to the hotel once they’re done. They returned after a few minutes, and Kuya Robert guided us to the tricycle station that would take us to Minolo Port. When we arrived, we registered our name, age and address and paid the terminal fee.

Kuya Robert’s boat came in after a while, and we boarded the boat one by one. We will be visiting three beaches based on our tour itinerary, and the first destination on the list was Haligi Beach, which can be found on Paniquian Island.

Haligi Beach is kinda small, but the water was cool and crystal clear. The sand’s color was cream, and it was not as fine as that of White Beach. It was a mix of coral remains and pebbles, that’s why our feet easily sank beneath it. There were also lots of stones under the sea which we could step on, but the water was so deep. I wore my life vest instead because I don’t know how to swim.

Group photo at Haligi Beach
We went to the deep part of the beach and John brought out the bread he bought at the port earlier. He started to tear it up into smaller pieces and suddenly, lots of fish went to our direction and ate the bits of bread falling into the seafloor. Using the goggles I borrowed from Kuya Robert, I gazed at what was going on underwater. I saw different colored fish – black, blue, yellow, pink, green, white and gray. There were also corals and sea anemones everywhere I look. I even saw sea urchins that were hiding under a rock, and I warned my officemates about them because they might step on those.

All of us were having fun under the sun
The time we have is limited, so we decided to leave Haligi Beach after we enjoyed swimming in its crystal clear waters and proceeded to our next destination. After getting some pictures and video clips under the sea, I hurriedly went back to the boat.

Rocks at the end of the coast on our second beach
The next beach we went to is not that far from Haligi Beach. Kuya Robert said that we will be eating our lunch at a restaurant located here, and when I checked Google Maps, I found out that this beach is located on the mainland, and not on a different island. There were lots of coconut trees in the area, and there was an artificial coral reef sanctuary on the beach, where lots of sea urchins are dwelling. The sea was as picturesque as the previous one, and the sand is similar to that of White Beach.

I thought that the food here was expensive, because of how secluded this place was, but we were surprised to know that the food they offer here is cheap – cheaper than White Beach! Too bad I didn’t manage to get the name of this restaurant along this unnamed beach.

Boats were parked on this side of the beach
The crew handed out their menu, and I saw a group meal good for seven people that only cost P1200. Others opted not to eat lunch because they said that they were still full.  We ordered that group meal, and while waiting for our order, Van, Joey and I decided to take a walk down the beachfront.

The beach’s coastline was kinda lengthy. No one was swimming on the beach, and lots of parked boats dominated the sea, but the view was truly astounding. We took lots of photos using Joey’s phone, and by that time, the food was ready and our officemates called us to go back and eat. We hurried back to the restaurant and saw our mouth watering lunch orderly placed on the table. There was salted egg, sinigang na bangus (which was my favorite), liempo, grilled tilapia and fried hotdog. One cup of rice was not enough so I ordered another one.

Everyone was satisfied with what we ate, and we rested for a moment before we left this unnamed beach. According to Kuya Robert, the last destination on our list would be Bayanan Beach, which was adjacent to White Beach. We paid our bills and prepared to leave, but Apple had to go back to the restaurant because she forgot to get her halo-halo. Once she got it, we finally left.

Fine white sand, clear blue waters and lush mountains – that’s what greeted us when we arrived at Bayanan Beach. I jumped from the boat and walked straight to the boulder located on the far end of the beach, and took some photos and videos. The rocks in this part of the beach were covered in moss, and there were lots of trees everywhere. After wandering around, I decided to go back to where my officemates were, and just spent our time swimming and having fun.

Bayanan Beach panorama
I enjoyed Bayanan Beach only for a short time. We had to go back to White Beach before 1:30 PM, because some of us were scheduled to leave today. We managed to get back to Minolo Port shortly, and from there, we rode a tricycle back to White Beach. I decided to stroll around the beach front to dry up my rash guard, and while walking around the shops, I saw TL Sarah getting a henna tattoo. I checked their designs, and told them that I would go back to get my own tattoo.

My Polynesian inspired tattoo
I changed my clothes after returning to the hotel, and then went back to the tattoo shop. I asked them to put a Polynesian inspired tattoo on my right arm, and it took an hour before they finish it. While they were working on my tattoo, some of my officemates dropped by the tattoo shop just to say goodbye, because they were scheduled to leave at 3:30 PM. It was already 4:00 PM when they completed the tattoo job, and I paid P200 for it. I went back to the hotel afterwards, and because I didn’t have enough sleep yesterday, I went to bed early.

It was near midnight when I woke up, along with the few who chose to stay for another night. We went outside to eat dinner, and that was already 11:00 PM. I ordered tortang talong from Chicken Inasal, and after eating, we went to Foodtrip sa Galera and I ordered a glass of mango shake.


Early morning at Muelle Port
We had to get up early today because our boat is scheduled to leave at 8 AM. I packed my things and decided to go outside to buy some souvenir. Few stalls were open because it was too early. Good thing that there was a lone stall near the tattoo shop that sells souvenir clothes, so I bought 3 of them and returned back to the hotel. We checked out at 7:00 AM, and we never had the chance to bid farewell to Ate Espie because she was still sleeping.

From the hotel, we had to go to the booth of Father and Son Lines, and a free shuttle service took us from White Beach to Muelle Port. We managed to get there by 08:10 AM, and we waited for another hour before the boat left. There was also a stop-over at Sabang Port to pick up another set of passengers, and because of that, our travel time was lengthened from an hour to 2 hours. We reached Batangas Port by 11:00 AM, and waited for another 30 minutes for the airconditioned bus to leave. I reached Ortigas at 2:00 PM and managed to get home safe at 02:56 PM.

I can say that our team building at Puerto Galera was another successful one, and it felt great seeing everyone enjoying every moment of this trip. This was my third time visiting Puerto Galera, and I would never get tired of visiting this place again and again because it’ll never ran out of amazing discoveries and new gimmicks.

I would love to return for the fourth time! I LOVE YOU PUERTO GALERA!
If you wanted to stay at Peter's Inn, please feel free to contact Ate Espie:

And if you wanted to do island hopping, you might as well consider contacting Kuya Robert:

No comments:

Post a Comment