Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What To Do in Puerto Galera for the Weekend

Tree pose in Puerto Galera
Inspired and coached by Ate Amy.

We were again treated for a weekend/ over-night adventure now in the South of the Philippines. This was our second adventure with her this month of May, our first that I have on a queue for blogging was our adventure Mt.Pinatubo trip last May 1st.

Our Puerto Galera tour started with a night-stay in Tivoli Gardens in Mandaluyong where Ate Amy resides. We left Olongapo, Friday afternoon and reached Tivoli Gardens past 9pm. We took Victory Liner bus bound to Pasay,  the traffic was okay in NLEX but when we reached Manila the usual slow traffic was felt. When we reached SM Makati taxi line going to Mandaluyong and other route area was long. We waited for an hour for a taxi ride, once we got a ride it took us 30 minutes to reach Tivoli Gardens with Php100 taxi fare.

Our host Ate Amy prepared pancit, spaghetti, fried chicken, beef stew, pizza and beer. 
A couple of hours after dinner we prepared our bag and took a snooze for the next day trip which was scheduled at 4am. Our group consists of 11 people with "us" two and Ate Amy's friends.
We left Mandaluyong around 6:30 am a little late from our scheduled departure, took a tricycle ride, two jeepney ride and DLTB bus headed to Batangas Port Area in Batangas City.

The port area was crowded with people in line for tickets and a lot of annoying fixers who sells and offer different resort accommodations and water activities in Puerto Galera, even porters were there too. Those people will follow you from the time to take off the bus up to the inside of the port ticketing area. A man followed our group up to the comfort room area which makes it even more annoying. The security outside the port allows this kind of people, even them mentioning to us to be careful. 

In the image above we were waiting for our Ate's who was on the far left buying tickets for the group. This is only the portion of the people who were inside bustling for tickets before they can go inside 
Comfort rooms outside beside the ticketing office will make you not to go. Too small cubicle, no tissue paper, not enough light, it's stinky and the floor was slippery. But, if you can handle to wait to go inside I suggest you must hold on to that nature call and go inside.I  didn't have time to roam around the inside of the waiting station after we passed by the baggage x-ray machine after tickets were checked. 

We were inside the waiting area around 9:45 am and we were bound to
board Minolo shipping at 11:45am. We took the last trip for that day which was kind of stagnant to wait for two hours there. But, a personnel approached us and all of a sudden we were chance passengers already, boat fare was Php500 two-way. We boarded at 10 am to Puerto Galera.

Inside the Golden Eagle V, this can hold 65 passengers in one trip but the inside was too compact and too hot.
Bangkeros mostly kids asked for coins and food from the passengers while we were boarding.
A mother and a child who was given a plastic full of bread, starting to feed her son with it.

The sun was up and bright, the water was cool and calm.

From the port of Batangas to Puerto Galera the boat ride took us 65 minutes, we were then dropped off and paid Php50 each for the environmental fee. A private vehicle that was included in the ship fare picked us up brought us to White Sand Beach.

Around 12 noon, we met "Pastor" who will be the one assisting us to find a place to stay. He recommended a place but Ate and the rest decided not to get that place because it was too small for a group of 11 people with only one bathroom. We then walked back to where we came in and to go to the next place to stay. Passed by Dream Wave Resort, which was finally decided to booked the group for the rest of our stay.

We went hungry from the travel, the group decided to get lunch few steps away from Dream Wave. I need to check the photo on the other iPad to include here also the name of the eatery. I and Tay were kind of disappointed with the food they serve. It is pricey and the food taste sucks! While we were eating in this crowded place it started to rain, rain started to come inside the eatery, made our things wet because the floor sipped rainwater from the outside. 

We head back to Dream Wave the minute was done eating leaving a bad experience of the food served.
It again started to drizzle when we went outside to swim. We were on the beach with the crowd of people, that I was amazed how many people go here in summer. 
We have so many beach resorts here in Subic that goes up to Zambales area, which I made a comparison with White Beach. 

Swimming + sand play photos 
This was the portion of the trip where I can't include photos because the underwater camera we were using to take photos and videos got lost and all our photos from the afternoon swim were gone too... memories na lang! 

Here are some photos sunset photos from the iPad after we stroll around the beach.

Selfie with a full face on! lol
Behind me was Dream Wave Resort.

That orange sky!
Rainbow after the rain

I and Tay went for a walk to check on things and other happenings going on on the other side. It was all food stalls, food with almost the same being offered from group meals amounting to Php 900 up, and food ala carte ranges from Php150-299, body massages Php300, henna tattoos (cover up tattoos Php 1500) and hair braid services for Php 200.00. Souvenir shops are there too, you can get shirts, blouses, rash guard, boardshorts, cap, swimming goggles and snorkeling materials too. Make sure you have enough budget for this because it can rip off your budget, really! 

Entertainers such as fire dancers, singers, and videoke machines are the popular things to watch and to do during the night. 
We head back to the hotel and met up with the group for dinner. This time dinner was ordered in Dreamwave. Some had their preferred food while we got fried calamari, grilled squid, and rice for dinner. Same thing... food was bad and pricey. 

We went to our room which was a double bed that can occupy four guests which were around 9pm.
We decided to sleep as we were tired from the previous days before this trip. We need energy for the next day activities.

The hotel accommodation comes with a free breakfast. We got up around 6:30 am and took a photo of the morning in Puerto Galera.

The beach was already busy and people starting to pile up in the corner where shops and food stalls are located. 

The breakfast scene inside the Dream wave restaurant became chaotic when the kitchen and food staff wasn't able to organize the advance breakfast order. I was amazed how they can't organize a breakfast when they offer it. It seems that they did not plan the next day breakfast service to their guests when they gave breakfast tickets an as headcount. 

It took them more than an hour for a pancake to be served, informing guests that they don't have brewed coffee when they got your order on the first hand. The food was sloppy, cold and no good!

We finished breakfast and left the hotel for the schedule water activities. 
Rode a tricycle with a market away from the beach resort, paid Php10 each person for that ride. There we rode another boat that covered Php 2,700 for the ride for 11 passengers. We were followed by three small motorized banka. From where we stopped after 45-minute boat ride we were offered water activities that cost Php100 per activity per person. 
Snorkeling in the coral garden, fish feeding, and underwater cave exploration. We paid extra Php300 each for the total of three additional water activities. Island hopping was included in the initial payment. 

We were then taken to this island to spend the noon for lunch, there were a few stalls of nipa hut that offers set lunches. The group availed the Php 1,900 peso meal that serves for 11-12 people.
Grilled bangus, sinigang na bangus, grilled tilapia, pork chops, grilled chicken, side dishes of eggplant plentiful amount of rice and salted eggs + two 1.5 liters of Coke and one order of leche flan for dessert. 
Some of us ordered additional drinks and delicacies like fresh coconut Php 100.00 and a live sea urchin Php 100 each. It was prepared taking of the spikes, opened the shell and dropped with kalamansi juice. 
I tasted a piece of the sea urchin and I am not a fan of it. It tasted too fishy leaving a strong aftertaste.
But, I am glad I did try it... curiosity checked! 

After that hearty lunch, we left the island and went to this another island a few minutes away. We were then brought to this island to dip in the clear waters, we were the only ones there that time and we owned the beach for a few minutes. We took photos and videos that soon to be uploaded here. 

We went to the resort before 3pm and showered, got our bags and head to the farthest far of the resort we got our boat ride going back to Batangas. 
If you are from Manila the travel will take you 4 hours only. Since we're from Olongapo it took us 7-8 hours of land travel. 
Thanks to Ate Amy for bringing us to Puerto Galera and experience the fun weekend.


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