To cap off the month and celebrate the ending of the so called “busy season” (CPAs will surely understand this HAHA) over the long weekend, we chose to explore Puerto Galera, known as the heart of Asia.
Puerto Galera is a town on the Philippine island of Mindoro. It’s known for its dive sites and beaches. It is only 4 hours away from Metro Manila, perfect if you want to go far… but not too far without the need of flying.
Here is our sample 3D2N Puerto Galera escapade. Hope it helps you planning out your own PG adventure.
6:00 – 11:00 AM Travel to Puerto Galera
From the Buedia/Taft bus terminal, we rode a DLTB bus to Batangas Pier. Damage: P167. Then from the port, we rode a ferry or bangka (whatever you call that). Damage: 260 (inclusive of the P30 environmental fee) Ours was the Minolo Shipping Line. Other lines were available though. This is very important: There will be people who will try to help you get a ticket to Puerto. That’s very kind of them but be mindful cause’ SOME OF THEM WILL PERSUADE YOU OF BUYING MINERAL WATER FROM THE STORES IN THE PORT costing P 180 for a 6L gallon.They will tell you it’s double the price in PG kasi syempre inaangkat ang tubig papunta dun kaya mapapabili kayo. But that is sooo untrue! So yeah, we were fooled. Grrrr ka kuya. Damage: P 72 (Computation: P180 x 2(Imagine we bought 2 gallons!) /5)
11:00 – 12:30 PM Check In and Rest
From the port, kuya Leo fetched us. He’s the trike driver recommended by the hostel owners where we stayed, Happy Buddha Inn. If you want, this is his contact number 0906 097 6038. He’s kind and trustworthy. Damage: P 10
Happy Buddha Inn is a family run hostel by ate Ana and his Australian husband, Steve. They were very friendly and kind! We arrived earlier than our supposed-to-be check-in time but they still accomodated us. For pictures of their place, check here. We booked through Agoda btw. We got a family room costing only P4,185 for 2 nights so that’s only P 837/pax since we were a group of 5.
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch and Roam Around Muelle
We roam around the area looking for a place to eat. We settled at Hang Out bar in front of the Muelle Port. The food was fresh and tasty and the serving was good for 3-4 persons. Damage: 120. Just an observation: the rice in PG is consistently savory, tastes bagong ani (newly harvested) regardless of where or what resto you will dine.
2:00 – 5:00 PM Tamaraw Falls
We were accompanied by Kuya Leo to Tamaraw Falls. Fare is P 800 back and forth. At first we were complaining it’s too EXPENSIVE! Experience it and you’ll understand. It was WORTH the price after all. Parang bitukang manok ang trail and super layo. The ride on its own is already an experience HAHA! The view was very good, kailangan lang todo kapit at baka ikaw ay tumilapon lalo na kung sa likod ka ng driver nakaupo. Entrance fee costs P 30/pax and another P 30 for the table. So for tamaraw falls, total damage was P 196/pax since we were a group of 5. (Computation: ((800 + 30)/5 + 30)
5:00 – 10:30 PM White Beach + Night Life
Kuya leo promised to escort us to White Beach after Tamaraw Falls. No entrance fee for White Beach. Lots activities. Packed of people. Full of fun! Especially at night. We decided to have dinner in the food court. Damage depends on what you will eat but mine was Damage: P 90.
10:00 – 10:30 To Happy Buddha Inn
We texted kuya Leo to fetch us. Rates at night are double their daytime rates. Damage was P 60/pax (Computation: 300/5)
6:00 – 9:00 AM Wake Up + Bathe + Breakfast
We had our breakfast in Muelle. Ofcourse, another trike ride to the port. Damage: P 10/pax. Kuya MacMAc, our kind guide for the island hopping, led us to a carinderia where food was cheap but delicious and worth it. We had a typical Filipino breakfast. Damage was P 30 for me, hotdog plus rice. Not bad!
9:00 – 1:00 PM Island hopping + Snorkelling + Lunch
Good thing with the Puerto Galera local government is the standardization of rates for the available activities. So whoever you contracted with, you’ll just pay the same. PLUS the locals are very KIND! Island Hopping tour damage was P 300/pax since again, we were a group of 5. P 1,500 kasi per boat. So the more you are in a group, the cheaper it will be per person. See below photo for details. P1,500 includes 3-4 hours of island hopping and you can choose which islands to explore.
First stop was the Coral Garden. We transfered to a smaller boat so we paid an additional amount. We snorkeled and looked at the corals. Damage was P200/pax but mind you the experience was priceless! For me, it was the highlight of my PG experience.
Second stop was the island in Batangas channel. It was indeed just a stop because there was really nothing in there. Just an island with lots of trash. Prolly left by the campers.
For our third stop, we requested kuya MacMac to bring us to Sabang, famous for being the red light district of PG. We roamed around, drank buko juice along the way and settled for Diver’s Hub where we had our early lunch. Damage was P50. I only ate lomi because I was still full. We had our breakfast around 8:00 AM and lunching out at 10:30? Come on, ain’t hungry yet. But I was thankful we ate there because the lomi was to die for. Tho I didn’t finish it. But it was to die for, swear.
1:00 – 1:30 PM To Happy Buddha Inn
Kuya Leo to the rescue ofcourse! Damage: P 10.
1:30 – 4:30 PM Bathe + Rest
We slept to compensate for waking up early and to ready ourselves for another night life experience later in White Beach!
4:30 – 5:00 PM To White Beach
Calling kuya Leo! Haha. Damage: P 30. (Computation: P 150/5)
5:00 – 11:30 PM Sunset + Dinner + Another Nigh Life
So again, we spent our second night in White Beach. We previously planned to try it out in Sabang but changed our mind during lunch time. It’s obviously more fun and alive in White Beach at night.
We had our dinner at Dreamwave Bar. We found a really good spot so there we settled for all of the night watching the fire dancers, listening to the band playing and just enjoying our last night in PG. We spent quite an amount for the dinner + some drinks and food. We were billed P 1,364 so total damage is P 272.80/pax.
I gave a tip of P 110 to the fire dancers. So that’s an additional damage. Hehe. I know, they deserve more. Sorry #poorita here.
11:30 – 12:00 AM To Happy Buddha Inn
Kuya Leo to the rescue again! Damage: P 60/pax. Computation: P 300/5.
5:00 – 6:30 AM Wake Up Wake Up
We woke up very early because we haven’t got any ticket yets going back to Batangas Port. And also, to catch the 6:30 AM mass. Damage to Church: P 10.
6:30 – 8:00 AM Mass
Won’t include my tithe as a damage!
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast
We looked for another resto to try out for breakfast. We tried going back to the carinderia where we we ate yesterday but it was closed on a Sunday. Huhu. We ended up eating in an eatery we thought was not too pricey but we were wrong. Good thing I can’t remember the name of that thing or else.. Hmmm. We spent some time waiting for the food to be served and ate the food in just 2 minutes! The serving was that small! It was PRICEY and hindi mo feel na kumain ka. In short, not worth it. Oh welll, charge to experience. We were billed P 500 so damage: P 100/pax.
9:00 – 9:30 AM To Happy Buddha Inn
Kuya Leo’s not answering our call so we hired another trike. Damage: P10.
9:30 – 12:00 PM Check Out + Lunch
Damage to Muelle Port: P10.
We bought pasalubong in Muelle Port. Won’t include them as a damage. Baka ijudge nyo ko e. Haha. Joke!
We were not supposed to have lunch in PG anymore but since we weren’t satisfied by the breakfast we had ealier, we ate before boarding the ferry. We just settled for Hang Out Bar again where we were fully satisfied. Total damage: P 114/pax. Busog.
12:00 – 5:00 PM Journey back to Makati
Ferry costs P 240. Bus to Manila: P 177. Total damage: P 417. We were told the DLTB bus was damaged so we rode the Ceres bus instead. Fare was P 10 more expensive but it was fine. It was so cold inside the bus and we had so many bus stops! Yung totoo?! Akala ko gagabihin kami bago makaabot ng Makati e. Haha.
Here is a breakdown of my expenses:
- Transportation – P 1,214
- Food – 777
- Activities – 536
- Accomodation – 837
- Others – 182
TOTAL DAMAGE: P 3,546
Note that food is a variable expense so you can look for other places where food is cheaper or more expensive.
So that’s it. It was a memorable long weekend. Thanks to the ASEAN summit, the reason why we have no work last Friday!