Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Galera Galore


My summer finally took off last weekend...with my friends and I hitting the beach and hieing off to the next best thing to Boracay...Puerto Galera.

I was super thrilled of course...since i've been craving to hit the beach for over a month now...and finally...FINALLY...it has come true. Weeeeeeee! Haha! Anyway, this blog would be a tip-giving-slash-reminder-to-myself sort of thing. So to those of you planning to go on vaca to Galera...read on.

First and foremeost, try to leave Manila as early as possible. If you can leave the house @ 5AM and be en route to Batangas Port by 6AM, then great. The earlier the better given that it's summertime and everyone's heading off to some beach during the weekend so expect heavy traffic especially if you get past the 7AM mark.

Getting there early will not just make your trip much more worthit but it will also ensure you a spot at the Batangas Port's Parking Area, for those who will be bringing their cars to the Port. Since my friends and I arrived late (around 11AM), the parking lot was already full so we had no choice but to park in one of the numerous parking lots surrounding the port. Of course your mind will be more at ease if you park at the Port's official parking area, but the parking lot where we left our car was not bad at all, considering that nothing bitchy happened to the car. The lot we parked on charged us P300 bucks for an overnight stay (from 11AM until around 4PM the next day), while the port's rates was P200 for the first 24 hours and P10 bucks every hour thereafter (according to one port personnel we asked).

The port was, of course, chaotic when we got there (as I expected), but once you get pass buying your ticket (which costs P170 bucks one-way going to White Beach) and paying the Terminal Fee (P10 bucks), it would be a bit smooth-sailing from then on.

The boat we rode going to White Beach was M/B Brian, and they have trips leaving Batangas Port as early as 5AM (latest is 4:30PM). Trips are hourly so there's no need to worry about getting stuck at the port for a long period of time. Here's a tip: if you're going to Galera on a weekend, buy your return trip ticket as early as possible (once you hit the sands of Galera if you can) since they tend to get filled-up fast on weekends.

So...we finally reached Galera @1PM...the boat trip was around an hour and a half considering that it was already late in the morning when we left the port (i believe if you catch an earlier trip, it would take you less time to reach Galera coz there's lesser waves). If you easily get seasick, take Bonamine 30 minutes before the boat leaves to make sure you won't make a mess inside the jam-packed boat. We got there and checked-in at Mindorinne Oriental (contact # 0917 857 8425) where I made our reservations 2 weeks earlier. They charged us P4,500 for a room that fits 5 pax, and gave us 2 extra beds (1 double and 1 single, aside from the 1 double bed already included with the room), extra pillows and blankets. The place is great and amongst the resorts lining up White Beach, it's one of the nicest. It's right in front of the beach so you get a view of the sand and blue waters from their hallway-slash-veranda, where you can just sit and relax, like what I did when I woke up super early Sunday morning.

If you're planning a trip to Galera, try as much as possible to reserve for accommodations beforehand since a lot of hawkers there will try to persuade you to take the place that they're recommending, which, most of the time, will be an apartment-type place located a bit further from the beachfront. Also, rates there tend to increase for "chance passengers" (you know what i mean) since they're playing on the fact that you actually don't have a place to stay and are willing to pay a higher price for a not-so-OK accommodation rather than sleep on the beach.

The food available at Galera is mostly inihaw...inihaw na liempo, bar-b-q, pusit, fish...everything inihaw you'll find there. The prices are affordable. During our stay there, I averaged around P100 per meal...not bad huh? But you have to take note though that i'm not much of a heavy-eater...nonetheless, the food prices are affordable. And I suggest that you try and get ahead of the crowd and eat earlier or a bit later since the restos there tend to be packed with bakasyonistas and you'll either have to wait forever in order to get seated OR wait forever for your food to get cooked and served OR both! So try not to join in with the crowd when it comes to lunch and dinner time.

Galera's night life is obviously alive and kicking especially on weekends. The weekend we were there, Bamboo had a concert, though we didn't bother to watch knowing that it'd be full of people. The restos there turn to bars at night where you can order alcholic drinks to one's delight. Since you're already at Galera, try the Mindoro Sling, which is a pink concoction of some sorts. It's P300 bucks a pitcher...great to share with friends while partying the night away.

Of course Galera won't be complete without its numerous tiangges on the side where you can buy pasalubong stuff for your loved ones. Henna tattoo, real tattoo, glitter tattoo, and body piercing kiosks are abundant as well just in case you're bored and want to try something new (mental note to self: belly button piercing is P1,000 bucks). Locals also offer to massage your aching body right on the beach...and some offer to braid your hair for a price.

Just in case you want to change sceneries and go snorkeling, bangka rides are available to another part of the island where you can go snorkeling and be delighted with fishes of different colors and sizes. Just remember to bring along some bread for the fishes to enjoy this experience much more.

Hmmm...so what else did I forget? I'm pretty sure I still have some things to say but this is getting a bit too long already so i'll stop now before I end up writing an entire novel of "100 Things To Do At Puerto Galera." Just another mental note though: don't ride M/B Gorogonilla on your way back to Batangas Pier...since they will be making another stop to a part of the island and get more passengers there (parang ginawang bus or jeep yung bangka...hehehe!).
So...I guess that's all...'til next month's blog...ta-ta!


Originally posted on 25 April 2006 @ http://cdsaint.blogs.friendster.com/cnd/

21 comments:

cutie said...

They charged us P4,500 for a room that fits 5 pax, and gave us 2 extra beds (1 double and 1 single, aside from the 1 double bed already included with the room), extra pillows and blankets.

Hello I just want to know more about your trip to Puerto. You said they charged you P4,500 for a room for 5 pax is that per night or per person? I plan on going to Puerto with my friends and wanted to know more how much we have to pay for a room. Thanks.

Candy said...

Hi Cutie! The P4,500 rate is per night. But that was last year. I'm not sure if their rates changed for this year.

Thanks for visiting my site! Hope you find other helpful things here.Ü Happy weekend!

supladito69 said...

very informative post

hmmmmmmmm............

Candy said...

Thanks supladito69! Glad you found my article on Galera informative.Ü

chelsea said...

hi candy..do u have any contact # at that hotel??and if we get there at puerto are we suppose to commute or is it near in the port area? and my friend ask me if accessible siya sa mga food like restau or like grocery's and sa mga shopping items or chuvaness ehehe....hope for ur reply...

Anonymous said...

I agree with supladito69, very informative post!! Thanks! We'll go to Galera instead of Boracay.
Norman from Pennsylvania, USA

Candy said...

Hi Chelsea and Norman! Thanks for visiting my site.Ü

To Chelsea: I believe I posted the contact number for Mindorinne Oriental in my article above. Just look for Brian, he's the person I talked to last year when I made my reservation. There's no need to commute to get to Mindorinne, you just simply have to walk along the length of the beach once you've disembarked from the boat. Just make sure you land at WHITE BEACH and not at Sabang or any other Galera point of entry. And yes dearie, it's near the restos and tiangge so all you really have to do is walk.Ü

To Norman: Galera is a nice place to go to if you want an easy getaway from the city life, but Boracay is definitely something else (from what I've heard from friends and read in magazines).Ü I haven't been to Boracay yet but hopefully i'll get to visit it this or next year. I hope you do too.Ü

Mommy J said...

this is Mommy J and I would just like to inquire about your galera contact bri. he informed me that I will have to pay half of the rate thru his BPI account. how can I be sure that my money will not go to waste? what was your assurance at that time?

Thank you in advance for your advise.

Candy said...

Hi Mommy J!

We did that too when I reserved for our accomodations the last time. You'll just have to take his word for it. And seeing as you're the one who contacted him (and not the other way around), then this should at least ease your mind a bit. Just be sure to bring the deposit slip (or whatever document it is that proves you actually deposited to the given account) when you go to Galera so that you can show this when you check-in.Ü

Hope you have a happy and worry-free vacation!Ü

giankharlo said...

HI! I just want to inquirte about the hotel accomodation, you said its 4.5 k. do you know the rate for a single hotel room?

and is that 4.5 k rate is per night or 3 days and 2 nights?

thanks!

Candy said...

Hi giankharlo!

The P4,500 rate is just for an overnight stay at the place. But that was last year's price. I'm not sure if they increased.

Also, it would be best if you try to text or call the number i've written in the blog to inquire on single room rates.Ü

Ramon said...

Hi Candy,

Ginagawang jeep-style pala ni Gorogonilla ung return trip! Yun pa naman ung sinakyan namin pabalik haha... Buti nalang medyo puno na ung tao sa barko kaya di na sila nakapagstop-over :)

- Ramon/Jun

Candy said...

Ei Ramon! You should've read my blog first before you went to Galera...I pointed out pa naman na wag yun ang sakyan...hehe! Good thing hindi na sila nag-stopover pa at ginawang parang jeep/bus yung bangka. Hehe!

rochelle said...

you have said that you arrived at the port at 11am. what time did you leave manila? specifically where so i can know how to manage my time. tnx.

Candy said...

Hi Rochelle!

I can't remember the exact time since that's over 2 years ago already but I think we met up at around 8 or 9am at SLEX Sucat exit.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I and my team went to Galera just last weekend and were lucky enough not to be hit by the typhoon.
We had lots of fun out there! Yes, if you leave Manila later than 5am, you'll surely get a longer trip going to the batangas pier. It took us 3 hours to get there plus the 1 hour ride by boat going to the island. The bus fare is P180 then another P150 for the boat. We took Father and Sons lines but if you want a safer trip you can ride SuperCat (P200) instead. Im just not quite sure if they always have trips going to White Beach, our destination. White Beach has the cheapest rates for rooms and activities. Of course, rates varies depending if its peak/off-peak season. We were 10 and we stayed at Nautilus Inn. Not at the beachfront. We paid P2500 for the place which has 2 beds inclusive of the rented 2 extra matresses. It has a bathroom and you can even rent their small-outside-the- veranda-kitchen for free. For our activities, we paid Kuya Louie - 09295423129 - P3000 pesos for our Island hopping, snorkeling and best of all - the Banana boat experience! Originally, it was 2K if banana boat was not included because you have to pay 200 per head for that. But, luckily, he let us begged him off to include it in the package. And for the food, mostly are inihaws but its all good. 1 whole fish or pusit can be at P100 which would include 1 cup of rice. Yup, mindoro sling is P300 but if you're not too much much of a drinker, it will give you a "kick" easily. So if you guys are going there in a group and are on a tight budget, you can chip in and just buy meat, rice etc. in nearby stores. By the way, T-shirt souvenirs are at P80-P110 and "branklets" are P10 for 3 pieces. Visit the place, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun like we did! :)

Candy said...

WOW! The last entry was like a blog on its own! Thanks to *anonymous* for sharing all those information.Ü

bleue said...

Galera! Galera! One of the best dive sites in the country! Divers! Let's volt in! Hahaha!

mark nicko said...

hi just want to ask about the "bankas"...when you ride there, is there a life jacket or what so ever for your safety while on the banka...?

Candy said...

Hi mark nicko!

When we went there last time (several years back), there were life jackets in the boat. Although they didn't require that you wear it. I'm hoping this time around they're more stringent with their rules.

Have a happy Galera vacation!

mgrozman said...

Batangas has so many wonderfull view. you should try rosario or
lobo in batangas.