Say hello to Puerto Galera :)
05.10.2014 35 °C
Puerto Galera may not be as popular as Boracay, but it is definitely one of the most accessible getaways for those who are settled in or near Metro Manila. This beauty is located at the northwestern tip of Oriental Mindoro, only 130 kilometers away from Metro Manila. Aerial travel to Puerto Galera is impossible, since there are no airports that provide flights to the place. But because the location is not far from Metro Manila, a bus plus a ferry ride to the place only takes about three to four hours, so there is really no need for an airplane ride.
Another reason why Puerto Galera is visited by many people is because of its budget-friendly travel fee. A round trip to the place only costs about 900-1000 pesos. 400 pesos is spent on a round trip air-conditioned bus ride from Manila to the Batangas port and vice versa. While 500-600 pesos is spent on the ferry ride to the actual place. Upon arriving at the port, there will be four piers that you can choose to travel on, namely the Sabang pier, White Beach pier, Muelle pier, and Balatero pier.
Though Puerto Galera has a modern and hip culture, it also has a rich historical background to speak of. The name "Puerto Galera", which literally means "port of galleons", has a story to tell. It was named as it is because its port was used as a refuge for Spanish galleons coming from Mexico and Spain during stormy weather. One historical landmark of this place is the Cross at Muelle, it was built to honor the crew who was on the Canonera Mariveles, a Spanish warship that guarded Puerto Galera's coastline, that sunk during a powerful storm in 1879.
If you're looking for labeled clothing and the like, Puerto Galera is not the place to shop. The shopping scene in the area stays true to the Filipino heritage. Items sold in the shop are local brands and some of them are handmade by the location's natives. Everything you need for a perfect vacation is sold in the shops. For instance, shops by the beach sell swimwear, sunblock, towels and everything you will need for going in the water. In addition, there are also shops that sell souvenir items such as shirts, key chains, and accessories made out of shells and beads, perfect to buy as a remembrance or something to bring home for friends and relatives. The price of the items sold in the shops ranges from 10-500 pesos, making it possible for anyone to bring something home. Most shops along the beach strip don’t really have names, but one called the Tree of Life is one of the most original shops around. They sell special items, such as nut art, painting, oils, seashell art and jewelry.
Puerto Galera isn’t dubbed as "poor man’s Boracay" for nothing. And one of the reasons why it is called this way is because of the affordable dining. Along the beach, there are stalls selling roasted varieties of food. For instance, the Food Trip sa Galera, a place where they offer unlimited rice for their customers. Furthermore, a meal costs less than one hundred pesos. There are also restaurants that are a bit farther from the beach that offer foreign cuisines, like Luca’s Restaurant. It offers Italian food such as pasta and pizza to Puerto Galera’s visitors at a reasonable price.
According to a study done by Scandidiver, the warmest season of Puerto Galera occurs during April and May; whereas the coldest months of the year occur during December and January. Based on these facts, we can conclude that the most favorable time to visit Puerto Galera’s White Beach would be during the months of April and May.
Another reason why Puerto Galera is known as “poor man’s Boracay” is because of the availability of cheap accommodations. For instance, the 4 Rest Hotel that is located in San Isidro, White Beach, Puerto Galera. The hotel offers a room for two for as low as 500 pesos a night. On the contrary, there are also high-end hotels that cater to people with higher budgets. Like the Infinity Resort, its room rates range from 9000 pesos to 40,000 pesos, depending on the season.
There are various places to see in the place, such as the Tamaraw Falls, the Giant Clam, and the Underwater Cave. They serve as a nice background for photo shoots! In addition, there are also activities that you can try out, such as jet-skiing, para-sailing, snorkeling and fishing.