So finally we get to write about our 2017 adventures already! Yay. And we are so psyched to share our first adventure of the year: a trip to the “Poor Man’s Boracay”, Puerto Galera!!!!
(Huhu. We are not living up to our promise to post more accurately haha huhu.)
Honestly, we weren’t planning on anything for the holidays because we were saving up and trying to cut off some unnecessary expenses. But then new year came and we were itching to go some place near Manila that would give us some dose of Vitamin Sea to start the year right!
Besides, in what better way can we welcome 2017 than with a new adventure to a place we’ve never been to? Together, at least.
We had a lot of places in mind already, and choosing the right destination was hard. Nonetheless, we opted to go to Puerto due to our good friend’s advice to try to visit the place for some chillin’, drinkin’, and swimmin’.
Joey’s last visit to the island was when he was around 4 years old. SC visited when she was in high school. Those were very distant memories and we want to see it again, together.
We were actually hesistant to go due to a number of reasons. For one, SC’s mom is quite fixed on the fact that Puerto is “not so nice.” Well, based on SC’s memory, somewhat 10 years ago it does look very dirty and unappealing. At present, thankfully, the government has become stricter (banning tourists to pitch tents, for example), making it cleaner than it was a few years back.
Another reason for our hesitance was the fact that we were suddenly invited by one of our friends, Gabine, to join them on a quick trip to La Union. We were actually contemplating on joining them instead, but for some reason we still pushed through with Puerto on our own. We invited some friends, but as people grow older, it gets harder to have the same schedules (especially if it’s implusive like this!).
It was also important to note that a strong typhoon hit Mindoro last December (a few days before our trip!), which left the province in a state of calamity. While preparing for the trip, we realized the situation and thought if it was still a good idea. Nonetheless, we decided to brave it and go.
We are very happy we decided to push for this getaway because it ended up being our best beach trip… so far. It was even better than our Boracay experience! It was the most chill and most relaxing beach trip ever! We made the right choice in choosing the island for our new year’s trip.
Because it was impulsive, we did not have much time to plan the trip. Well, most people who go to Puerto are spontaneous, without much planning and so on. This is the reason why it was so common for people to hop on a bus to the Batangas Port and ride the ferry to white beach without a hotel booking, or a bucket list of things to do.
Since we were on a tight budget, we wanted to figure out how much we should spend for a hotel (yup, money was the biggest factor that’s why we really needed to quickly browse through possible expenses online). We checked prices in different websites, and low and behold, we found VM Beach Resort in a website new to us, travelbook.ph. There was a promo of php1,000 for an overnight stay for a maximum of 4 people. We found it to be a very good deal so we booked through travelbook right away. It was a good idea because we found out that going there without a reservation would cost us around 1,500 to 2,000. Not to mention we met a gay couple who paid 1,500 for a night’s stay at a hotel far off the front of the beach. Our hotel was located beach front, making it very accessible. We were so lucky to have seen that promo. We’ve also come to check out travelbook.ph more often for promos that other booking websites don’t have. And the best part, no credit card payment needed! We just paid at the hotel on the day of our arrival at Puerto.
We left Manila at 3am abode a Jam liner bus. There wasn’t much traffic given the wee hours of the night, so travel time was only around 3 hours. A little past 6am we reached the Batangas Port, only to be greated by numerous porters.
People online would recommend not to mind the porters, which we originally did. But we made a wrong turn, which caught the eye of porters. Haha. Lesson learned, don’t fake it if it’s really your first time. Besides, they don’t demand for a tip nor any specific amount, so giving them spare change would do. On our next visit, however, we’d know where to go and all, so we won’t be needing any porter anymore. Yay!
We drank meds before riding the boat. SC didn’t think she needed it but drank anyway ’cause she didn’t wanna be nauseous when we get to Puerto. Joey had a harder time at the boat though. He felt sick even after a high dose of medicine. The scheduled departure of the boat wasn’t followed. We we around an hour or so late. Nonetheless, we reached White Beach by 10am.
Upon getting there, we just needed to walk a couple of steps to reach our hotel. It was rather early, but we were very happy with their veeeeery accommodating service (or maybe because it wasn’t peak season and not much people were visiting due to the typhoon incident). They let us in right away, even if the check in time was still at 2pm.
After changing and freshening up, we had a massage by the beach. It was really cheap, for only around P200 per hour. We had a very fun time getting a massage by the beach, every touch was relaxing and the sound of the waves were soothing. After our massage, we just bummed around on the mat we brought. Bumming around at the beach was definitely the best way to start the year!
However, we were irritated by the fact that there were vendors everywhere. And they nag you wherever you go to buy or avail of their product or service. We understand that it’s their source of income, but we were there for some peace and quiet, so it can be a pain in the ass when they suddenly come up to you and tirelessly sell you stuff.
Nonetheless, other than the kulit vendors, this beach getaway was really a very good one! (We know we’ve been repeating how good a vacation this was, but it really was HAHA.)
By afternoon we decided to walk around and drink some shake to refresh ourselves. In fact, we spent most of our time bumming around, going around, swimming, eating, and of course, drinking our hearts out. (And taking lots of pictures, of course!)
Here are some more pictures:
THIS TRIP WAS REALLY ONE FOR THE BOOKS. And to those that say that Puerto Galera is filthy and dirty, well, for us it’s even better than Boracay, so we don’t refer to it as the poor man’s Boracay (hello, at least the water’s clear and blue unlike the lumot-filled green shores of Boracay). So for sure we’re coming back again really really soon.