A few weeks ago I finally summoned the willpower to go to Puerto Galera. This was quite the big deal since I’ve been to Batanes, Banaue, Palawan, Camiguin, Guimaras and other remote places but not to this verdant tourist spot in Oriental Mindoro.
So that Saturday, I hauled off the kids and off we traversed the southern highway till we reached the Port of Batangas. In the pier, I parked the car, purchased tickets for the five of us and off we rode the boat that would take us in an hour or so to Puerto Galera.
I was quite nervous about this boat ride since we haven’t ridden it before. But the boat was big, there were life jackets near us and it was overall smooth sailing that day. I was soon able to feel at ease and enjoy the journey through the water.
Before we knew it, we arrived in Sabang port. I chose to be in Sabang not knowing that this was primarily a diving spot and quite far from all the action at White Beach.Still, I liked what we saw.
We were billeted in Seashore Beach Resort. I remember surfing online and being enticed to book the place because it only cost P2,000 overnight for a 43 sq m apartment with its own kitchen, balcony and spacious bathroom. The wifi in the hotel wasn’t working for the most part and their skimpy servings at breakfast sucked. However, my youngest Lucia loved the hotel pool and they had this nice al fresco barbecue in the evening too.
In the evening, we walked the town proper and soon realized that Sabang is where the sleazy night clubs of the island are too. I had to divert the kids’ attention as we walked past the go-go-bars with the shadow of skimpily-clad ladies. Ouch.
We had dinner at the charmingly-designed Bella Napoli Ristorante. The pasta and pizza were really good.
Observation: lodgings in the island were affordable but the food had tourist prices. So choose wisely where to eat if you’re on a budget.
The next day, I opted to do a mini-ocular of Puerto Galera given the short time frame.
Riding a motorbike, I dropped by White Beach which was filled with people savoring the last days of summer. I noticed that this strip was cheaper than Sabang since the latter had mostly foreign clientele.
Tattoo parlors and girls braiding hair were pretty common. Of course, lotsa bars and souvenir shops too.
One way back, I had to laugh at this business sign.
The Muelle pier part of Puerto Galera was where the yachts of the affluent docked. A few resorts could also be found here like Badladz and El Canonero in the beachfront.
Our trip to Puerto Galera was too short but it’s certainly recommended during these summer months when Manilans like us want a change of scenery and a short break away from the city. Otherwise, the boat ride is not really ideal during the typhoon and rainy season.
They also don’t call Puerto Galera as poor man’s Boracay for nothing. Our family trip cost less than P10,000 for everything (hotel, food etc.) and that’s certainly value for money.
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