My friend Joan and I have been looking for the next cheap destination to cool down from the summer heat. So when we heard that our (work) batchmate Tins and another friend, Fats, are heading to Puerto Galera for the weekend, we instantly invited ourselves to their escape. Although I have been in Manila for almost 10 years and Jo is born in Manila herself, we haven't set foot in the famous beach of Puerto Galera.
Fats and Tins were already at Gale Friday while Jo and I left Manila on a Saturday. Since we are spending the weekend for this trip, we decided to catch an early bus heading to Batangas Pier to maximize the fun. There are many bus lines going to Batangas Pier but only a few have buses leaving as early as 4am. We headed to Jam Terminal in Buendia and paid Php 265 for a 3 hour trip. All we did was catch on sleep.
When we arrived at the port, there are a lot of people already amidst our early arrival. I guess, it is not only us who had the idea of escaping Manila just before the summer ends. Though there are no signages telling you where to go, it was easy for us to figure it out because people swarm in one direction. So all we did was follow.
Partners in Crime for the weekend
Going to White Beach in Gale, we rode a banca (outrigger boat), that occupies about 50-70 people. We paid Php 1000 for a round trip ticket including terminal fee and environemental fee. They provided each passenger a life jacket which I wore all throughout the 60-minute trip. Blame it on the scary disasters which happened going to Mindoro island, I'd rather be safe that sorry.
Banca ride to our weekend fun
After so many offered options of where to stay, Jo and I decided to take a room at Don Leo's all for the reason that it is beach front. But it comes with a price. We paid Php 2500 for a room that could accomodate 4 people. Since it was only the 2 of us, it was a bit pricey. I think it also comes with the season. Some of my friends say that Puerto Galera is a cheap vacation during the off peak months. Rooms could be as low as Php1000 for 4 pax.
We got 2 bed-for-2s
Because there was no ATM at the beach, the group (together with Tins and Fats) decided to get cash from the Bayan where the ATMs are. We took a tricycle (paid Php 150 to and fro) to reach Bayan. We also did a little grocery shopping since prices overhiked at the beach area.
The rest of the day was spent on lazying at the beach to catch the sun and swimming to cool ourselves from the heat. Jo and I enjoy having tan lines even if it meant looking burnt.
Loving the sun, the sand and the company.
What I love also about Puerto Galera is the tiangge because it is an opportunity to shop for beach wear. I usually buy from these because it is really cheap compared to the malls in Manila. Of course, just be sure you brought along your haggling skills.
Can't do away with shopping
Puerto Galera by night
The following morning, it was another round of sun bathing. We just can't get enough of the beach, the sand and our tan!
Checkout time at Don Leo is at 12NN so we headed back around 11AM for a quick bath and packed our things up. Though we have checked out, we left our bags at the counter of the lodge to relieve our shoulders from our heavy packs. We headed to the tiangge for another shopping while we wait for our boat to arrive.
Puerto Galera did not fail our goal of a sunny, relaxing and funfilled short vacation. Except for the peak season price hike, it was definitely an escape you would return to. =)