Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gala sa Galera: Our Family's Puerto Galera Adventure

Ramir and I would always have a mental note to visit Puerto Galera. It's around four hours away from Manila and we feel that our kids would love it there because of the beaches. But we haven't come around into going.

Good thing this year, it pushed through. Puerto Galera is a municipality in the northwesternmost part of Oriental Mindoro. It is also the only Philippine bay to be listed in the club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World.

There are several pocket beaches where you can choose to stay. For us, it was a toss between Sabang and White Beach. Since we have two balikabayans, we feel that an active nightlife would be a good mix to the daytime beach-bumming treat. So, we decided to be at the White Beach.

This area of Puerto Galera has a nice stretch of beach but with many establishments. There are several bars and food places around. On our Saturday, the place was beaming with people. It was a party day. We had a quieter and more laid back experience on Sunday. Although we didn't spend so much time here, it was still a nice place to be in, especially for first timers like us. I must warn parents though that during night time, there were many gay performances that children may be exposed to. In our case, we just let them stay to watch the fire dancing show.

How we went there?
1. We rode the LRT to Gil Puyat Station.
2. We then proceeded to the JAM Liner bus station. We rode the bus with the Batangas Pier CALABARZON  bus sign. It only has two stops. One at the Batangas Grand Terminal. The other is at the Batangas Port.
3. We went down at Batangas port. We bought tickets to White Beach at Minolo Shipping Lines.
4. We rode a boat to Muelle Pier.
5. We rode a Minolo shuttle going to Bangera Inn. This is free of charge.

Where we stayed?
We stayed at Bangera Inn. Just a minute walk from the beach. I must warn you that the area going to Bangera wasn't really pleasant. It was like going through a labyrinth of tiny and untidy passageways. But instead of looking at that bump, we chose to look at the bright side. We're happy that we got a good deal. We paid for P1,500 per room of six. We occupied two rooms. They put us at the first floor which was so considerate of them because we have four kids and 2 senior citizens in tow.  The rooms were very basic but they're clean. It has a TV set and a private comfort room with hot and cold water. Aside from the budget rates we got, we're very impressed with their staff. Kuya Nardo and Ate Deborah were very helpful and accommodating. Kuya Nardo fetched us when we arrived. Ate Deborah confirmed our return tickets to Minolo Shipping Lines. Its through her that we learned that buying a return ticket isn't enough to assure seats going back to Batangas port. Since Bangera has a working kitchen, you can cook your own food. Ate Deborah and Kuya Nardo were very kind to lend us their utensils and cooking pans. They were such rays of sunshine.

What activities we did?
1.  Laze or walk by the beach
This was the first thing that we did. The sand was fine but it gets pebbly as we go near the water. No complains. We love the beach.

2. Have your pictures taken with the fire dancers
When the clock stuck 8:30pm, fire dancers strut their stuff. They were good. And they allow guests to have their pictures taken with them. For a tip of course.

3. Try the Mindoro Sling
The food at White Beach is quite uneventful. There's really not much to rave about. But what would a visit be like without knowing what's Mindoro Sling (since we're in Mindoro). Well, I took a sip - it's a combination of Tanduay Rhum, Sprite, grenadine, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate and mango nectar. It tastes good actually. But this Mama don't really drink.

4. Do some water sports
We did the jetski and the flying fish. Both we're exhilarating but the flying fish was heart stomping. It was like riding a roller coaster on water, with the possibility of a real plunge. This is where "hold on tight" rings so true.

5. Ride a carabao cart going to Tukuran Falls
We went on a land tour the next day. We rode a carabao cart going to Tukuran Falls. It was a bumpy and rocky 30-minute ride to land and water. But we had a grand time. The ride was an adventure in itself.

6. Climb rocks, jump off a cliff and swim at Tukuran Falls
Beautiful. Breathtaking. Just be careful with slippery rocks.

The water is icy cold. But it was so clean and crystal clear. I can stay here all day.

7. Collect pebbles at the Virgin Island
This beach doesn't have much sand. But it's abundant with pebbles. There were also some sea glasses which my kids collected and brought home.

8. Cross a hanging bridge
It's always a thrill for kids to cross a bridge hanging over flowing waters. I guess the possibility of falling off has a lot to do with it.

9. Have a photo op with the Tamaraw Falls as your backdrop
No trip to Puerto Galera would be complete without a photo in one of its most iconic and scenic spot.

10. Go down the underwater cave
For us, it was adventurous to climb rock boulders, then go down some flight of makeshift wooden stairs to a pool of salt water. The splash and coming in of the waves in a small confined space became a cause of excitement (and fear to some of us).

10. Try the sea urchin
Crack the spiny shell open, which our boatman did for us, put some vinegar or calamansi. Then scoop out the meat. Tastes like oysters but oysters are way better.  The amount of meat you get in one urchin is so few that it leaves you wanting. It costs 100 pesos for 4 urchins.

11. Visit the giant clams
There were clams! And they're many. It was a first time for me. Our boatman even send a clam up so we can look closely.

12. Go snorkeling and feed the fishes
The best part of our island hopping trip - us, packs of Skyflakes and hundreds of fishes. Our boatman asked us to hold on to a rope, do the superman pose and dip our heads into the water. Then he sped his boat away. It way like flying and the fishes are our birds. And the corals are our clouds. Sea-heaven.

What was our itinerary?
Day 1 - Arrival in Puerto Galera at around 5:30pm, beach bum after check in
Day 2 - Went to Mass at 730am, Land Tour at 900am, ended at 430pm, beach bum after
Day 3 - Started island hopping at 730am finished by 1230pm, last minute water activities until 130, Minolo Shipping Lines shuttle picked us up at 245pm. Home in Malabon by 830pm.

How much we spent?
Bus Fare (Gil Puyat to Batangas Pier) - P167 one-way
Boat Fare (Minolo Shipping Lines) - P550 round trip
Accomodations: P1500 per room/per night
Land Tour via jeep- P2500 (unlimited time, good for 12 pax)
- Tukuran Falls - P50/adult, P200/table with grilling station, P450/carabao cart going to and from Tukuran Falls (1 cart for 6 pax)
- Tamaraw Falls - Free
- Virgin Island - P10/adult
- Hanging bridge - Free
- Mangyan village - Free (we didn't go here)
- Mangrove forest - Free (we didn't go here)
Island hopping tour - P2500 for the big boat
P400 per pax for the small boat which brought us to the underwater cave, giant clam and fish feeding area (Big boats can't go here because they might damage the corals. Only small boats are allowed. One boat can accommodate up to three individuals.)

Food is quite expensive in Puerto Galera. We would usually go to their market to buy something for grilling. We average P1000 - P1500 per meal.

Numbers to call for inquiries:
Minolo Shipping Lines: (043) 287-3614
Kuya Armand of Bangera Inn: (0975) 2782647
Kuya Mario for the Tours: (0926) 367 2625


  1. Happy bday po!Damer 92' hope u still remember me.��

  2. So informative. :) Were planning to visit PG this month. Would just like to know if nag pa reserve kayo sa Bangera Inn or just Walk -in? Thank you!

  3. Hi, si Kuya Mario ba yung nag arrange ng jeep nyo for the land tour? Thank you

  4. Regarding the Land Tour, pwede ba magsama ng ibang tourists kung halimbawa apat lang kami? Pwedeng makisabay sa iba? Thanks in advance.

    1. I think pwede po. Pero depende kung meron talagang makakasabay sa araw ng pasyal ninyo.

  5. Magkano po ang fee sa snorkeling giant clam at sa cave? Ty po

    1. Island hopping tour - P2500 for the big boat
      P400 per pax for the small boat which brought us to the underwater cave, giant clam and fish feeding area (Big boats can't go here because they might damage the corals. Only small boats are allowed. One boat can accommodate up to three individuals.)

  6. Hi danie,
    ask ko lng pag 12pax magkano kaya lahat?

  7. Hello po!
    How long is the travel period of
    >Gil Puyat - Batangas Port
    >Batangas Port - Puerto Galera
    >Puerto Galera - White Beach

    Thank you and God bless! :)

  8. Hi Ms. Danie :) I like the layout of your blog!

    Maganda din sa Aninuan Beach! Amihan Villa a place to stay at Puerto Galera. Here's a review

  9. What are the inclusions in your stay in bangera inn?

  10. hi! the mangrove forest has a P30.00 entrance fee for adults.
    Thank you for your blog! We had a blast! We contacted Kuya Mario for our land and island tours :) Cheers!


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