DISCOVERING PUERTO GALERA
Updated: Feb 26, 2019
A long stretch of white sand situated near a series of diving areas and party places, this island in Oriental Mindoro is absolutely a must-see.
The Sunny Beach Resort in Talipanan. This quiet and relaxing resort is quite far from the bustling part of the island which suited our tiny family just fine.
We actually discovered this resort from a couple of posts in the Facebook group: "DIY Travel Philippines". We checked the feedback and we were delightfully impressed upon arrival.
The travel was absolutely grueling. We left Baguio City at around 1 in the morning via Victory Liner. The bus arrived in Manila at 7 am and we alighted at the Cubao Bus Station. We took a quick breakfast before walking to the nearby Alps Station and then boarded the bus which took us to the Batangas Port. The buses leave every hour. Unfortunately, we got stuck in the morning rush hour thus taking us three hours of travel before arriving at Batangas International Port. We boarded the next available ferry to Puerto Galera where poor Sofia uncovered how nasty seasickness is.
The beach front we chose is not really part of the famous strip of white sand. However, it provided us with much privacy and serenity. We did know that the main island is much more alive at night since it is now home to numerous expats who chose to bask in the beauty, Puerto Galera has to offer. And so, we were perfectly happy staying at the other side.
Upon reaching the resort, Sofia forgot being dizzy and lightened up immediately with the sand and beach in sight. She hurriedly ran off and felt the sand within her tiny toes. She charged up in an instant!
The front desk officers were welcoming enough and informed us that they will be upgrading our room to a bigger one. We checked in and changed for a laid back afternoon and a little bit of dip in the ocean.
The following day, we were in for a packed morning. The reception arranged a kid-friendly tour for us which includes a snorkeling experience. We were driven by the resort van to the snorkeling area. The driver gave us pieces of bread which we were supposed to feed the fishes with. We had a whole boat for ourselves and two boatmen who also served as our tour guides. Before boarding the boat, we had to wear vests and aqua/rubber sandals. I was actually quite impressed since they also provided a kiddie sized vest for Sofia.
We toured the whole island and also visited some nearby places, unfortunately, the waves were getting a little too precarious so we did not risk visiting some spots. Sofia still had a lot of fun dipping her tiny toes in the water and feeding the fishes. Rainer and I had to take turns in snorkeling. It was a first for me so I was pretty anxious in the beginning. There was even a time wherein I can no longer see the ocean floor so I freaked out. Good thing I was tethered to the boat so there was a feeling of security.
The tour was all in all an amazing experience for all of us. Sofi even refused to leave the water. We had to bribe her into riding the van back to the resort. After a quick shower and clean-up, we went to the nearby famous Italian Pizzeria.
A food tour will always be my husband's favorite.
Sunny Beach's Sinigang-Adobo combo was so sumptuous my husband ordered it two days in a row. But the gastronomic experience we would definitely not forget is the comfy-cozy pizzeria in a picturesque location. Luca's Cucina Italiana and Lodge was highly recommended by our driver. He promised that Luca will definitely deliver. Luca, the Italian chef and owner manages the business with his Filipina wife. Most of their patrons would need to take a 15-minute boat ride from White Beach. Lucky for us, it was just a mere 3-minute walk from our hotel. We tried one of their highly praised pizza and we were not disappointed. It was certainly not overrated. The price is a little steep though, at least for local tourists.
At the last day of our trip, we decided to relax for a bit before going back to Manila. We had a couple of hours just laying down under the sun before packing up and regretfully leaving the little piece of heaven we've called home for three days. Was the 9-hour trip worth it? Well, seeing my little one laughing around and enjoying her heart out, it absolutely was. Every single minute of it.