I know it should be the worst time to blog just about anything pertaining to summer while we are awaiting more and more typhoons to hit our country. this could either make you recapture your best summer escapades a few months ago, or this could piss you big time for making it clear that too much rain is such a bummer – special thanks to habagat for the 3 day rain marathon. im stuck at home due to so much flooding (thus the time to blog.)
summer of 2011 was such a loser for me that i failed to fancy myself w/ a beach trip w/ all the basking in the beach and stuff (excluded was the summer company outing and Cebu’s Summer sunscream event held on the same day as my birthday – sobrang pa konswelo ito for a summer 2011 that has gone into waste). i promised myself that by 2012 i could at least spare a weekend and a 1-day VL exclusively intended for a beach binge. good thing my equally ‘tigang sa beach’ friends readiluy said yes to this plan and we eventually came up w/ Puerto Galera as our destination of choice.
Why Puerto Galera?
its near the metro. and as they say, its the ‘nearer’ and cheaper version of Boracay. for the Cebuano in me who grew up in the most beautiful white sand beaches of the Visayas (counting in Bohol, Siquijor, Cebu and of course Boracay), i did not set my expectations that high, i would say better stick to our beaches there in the Visayas. no need to spend on airfare just to be in Galera.
getting there by public transpo…
from anywhere in Manila, just drop by Buendia Station and look for Buses that says “Batangas Pier’. this route is quite common and a bit hectic so no worries on the no. of trips and the time these buses leave (15-30 mins interval). bus fare is around 150P and travel time is 2 hours average. tip #1: leave manila as early as 4am so you can reach Galera at around 8-9 AM.
no need to fret where Batangas pier is since the bus will take you right smack the pier (alam mo naman siguro itsura ng isang pier). there are a lot of ticketing offices their for boats plying the Galera route so again no need to worry. boat fare is around 300P. tip #2: you may ask the tticketing agent for the schedule of boats that dock directly at white beach since a few trips often side trip at other areas of Galera w/c takes time rather than the usual 1 hour boat ride.
where we stayed (rather where we left our things):
we stayed at Mendelluke Suites in white beach Puerto Galera. not as fancy as other hotels bearing the surname ‘suites’ but the basics are there. it has free wifi (very good thing), 2 queen sized beds, a big CR , TV and aircon of course all for 3,500P. tip #4: wifi password is still the same as the hotel name but all letter ‘e’ are changed into ‘3’ (amazing password lol)…
what we did:
Party party in Galera!! for a summer beach trip into Galera, it was sad though that my group got quite isolated from the happenings in there since we had our own time w/ Don Jose Cuervosss in the farther, more quiet side of the beach. it was a bit intimate for us that we kinda excluded the Galera flavor in it…meaning no Mindoro sling samplers (w/c i totally forgot), no drag queens and stand up comedy acts along the beach fronts, no fire dances, and no B2B eye witness accounts (oops…rated SPG).
reggaethon. Galera is also home to reggae music enthusiasts that their nos. in this beach are quite more compared to otther beaches. be ready to be transported to Jamaica (or the Carribeans) once you opt to enjoy reggae rather than the dance music saturated bars in the white beach.
classic banana boat rides abound Galera. there arent much water sports there except for the usual jetski, snorkeling and island hopping (i cant quite recall if there was a parasailing there). we did the banana boat ride and got really exhausted after all the falling apart but it was fun though.
majestic sunset. we settled down on the beach front after to await for the sunset. yes galera also has a view of the amazing sunset. tip #5: beach fronts during sunsets tend to be TOO crowded. so if your not so much into crowds, you dont have much of a choice.
swimming by the beach isnt as fun as Boracay since the water tend to get deep a few meters from the beach front (basta biglang lalim sya). so if your not a swimmer, better be careful… its also crowded in the shallow waters. quite hard to swim freely.
for the shopaholics, a lot of souvenir shops are found in Galera, for 100P one can buy a ‘Puerto Galera’ white sando or thsirt. the usual keychains and coin purse and a whole lot of stuff can be found in these shops. bought myself a pair of board shorts for 100P (kinda looked the original if at a distance lol).
Galera during summer time is scorching hot! i myself had to rant about it (unlikely of me). fruit shakes and milk shakes were aplenty in Galera (and very delicious too). i devoured quite a number and i specifically liked the melon shake. afternoons were spent chilling w/ milk shakes and burgers, siomais, squid,fish,crab and all other kinds of rolls… for short street foods are teeming around Galera’s beach front (one edge of galera vs. Boracay). i was specifically very happy when i saw a barbequed banana (totally different from a sweet bananaque, basta yung bnibenta sa labas ng skul na may margarine)…. i had too much of it i had to hit the comfort room 2x. lol.
henna. i wanted some so i decided to have my henna tattoo (w/ mami let, salamat sa impluwensya lol for 200P. bad thing it smudged 2 hours after due to a very bad experience on our way home.
what we ate:
a lot of mid priced food strips are lined in the beach front of Puerto Galera. i was hoping i’d find a lot of sea foods in the menu but unfortunately most of their offerings consist of chicken, pork bellies and tilapias. it was a bit of a struggle for us to finally find a resto w/ calamares and some salt fish tinola. but heck, when one is hungry, one eats everything…yum2x! tip#6: try to haggle for the price as some restos tend to offer cheaper compared to the others. try also the set menus as they tend to be more cheaper compared to ala carte.
tip #7: must read – leave Puerto Galera w/ the 3PM boat trip so you can still catch the 6PM buses bound for Manila… 7PM onwards will be quite a struggle already as buses going back to Manila become fewer.
tip#8: there are a lot there who offer package tours for otther activities in Galera such as hiking, biking etc. so if you want more than beach escapades, no problem in finding alternative things to do there.