APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) week has just ended last Thursday. It is a yearly meeting for the 21 leaders in the Asia-Pacific Region. This year, it was hosted by the Philippines and it is done right here in Manila. So the PH Government declared a week of NO CLASSES due to infamous traffic problem here.
Unfortunately, it earned the ire of the public due to the HEAVY TRAFFIC caused by some road closures. Nevertheless, it is understandable that we are hosting World Leaders, and part of it comes their safety and comfortability. Anyhoots, due to the declaration of classes being suspended, I went jumping for joy. Although, it also meant 4 or 5 Mondays of make up classes >_< UGH! Also, we were handed tons of assignments to finish, which I did in a jiffy :-).
My dad was invited by our family friend to visit Puerto Galera this week! We decided to let the APEC meeting end, before embarking on the journey and went by Friday instead. To our amazement, the roads were smooth sailing and we reached the Batangas Port in almost an hour or so (I was soundly asleep heehee), cause we had to eat beefast (breakfast) in Batangas City first. We didn’t have any that morning.
In reaching the port, you have two options to go to Oriental Mindoro. First is the RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) or you take the ferry boat. The RORO is a huge ship where you can bring your vehicle with you. It would dock by the Calapan Port then you travel by land to Puerto Galera. Whereas if you choose the ferry, you have to park and pay (300php) for your car by the lot (KEEP YOUR PARKING TICKET TILL YOU GET HOME). The ferry has three options as well, you can go Muelle (Mu-well-yeh), White Beach or Sabang. All of those are in Puerto Galera. We went to Muelle instead, cause it’s the cheapest option and that is where our good friend lives.
There are tons of Ticketing Offices by the Port, we took the Angeline Line and paid 260php/person for the tickets + 180 for the environmental fee. Then enter the waiting area, where your luggages will be scanned and make sure to take a good hold of your tickets. Our travel time would be around 11:30am but, Filipino time. Haha. If your aren’t the travelling kind, be sure to take anti-vertigo/anti-emetic drug before the sail. It’s gonna be a “bumpey” ride o_O. It would be around 1 hour or more depending on the ferry line before reaching the Muelle Bay.
Puerto Galera. Also called as the Port of Galleons during the Spanish Regime. A perfect place to stay for a short-term vacation or more. ^_^ Puerto, located in Oriental Mindoro, has a lot to offer there are white beaches, parties, diving, snorkelling, hiking, zip lines and so on. It also remains a favourite anchorage for yacht owners. (Sources: Wikipedia, LonelyPlanet, PuertoGalera.Org)
Ferry prices from Muelle.
We reached the dock around 1:45pm and our good friend was patiently waiting there, we hopped on to his tri-bike and rented another one to go to their place. We paid 50php/person for another environmental fee and 50php for the trike ride. Their house is perfectly situated by the beach where the waves were gentle plus data connection was super fast! For day one, we just enjoyed the beach by their place. There are resort houses available too. One of which is BadLadz Resort, I know it sounds “jeje”. Heehee
Day two was a bit jam packed. Have I told you that it isn’t my first time in Puerto? Yes, I have been here before but it’s my first to blog about it. So the itinerary for day two started with Snorkelling and Fish-feeding. We went out to the Muelle Bay and rented a boat, where we paid 40php/person back and forth. You have to haggle to get a lower price, cause sometimes they charge you too much. But since we know they are also making a living, we just added a bit aside from the 40php/head. Now that depends on your discretion.
The boat would bring you on the other side of the shore and you will have to rent a smaller boat for 200php/head. We haggled again for the price of 100php/head. Heehee. Big boats aren’t allowed on that area as the Puerto officials are preserving the corals on the place. Small fishing boats are the only ones allowed. Four persons (including the boatman) are the maximum capacity for the small boat. They would bring you in the almost middle spot and let you swim and hold on the rope lines as the boat moves. We bought some bread and parted it into pieces and started fish feeding.
I’m not particularly fond of fish-feeding, but I wouldn’t mind watching it and go swimming for rounds with them. I was also pretty careful not to touch the corals as I am scared of what might come out of it. Haha! For almost an hour, we enjoyed the depths of the sea and its wonders. After which we went back home. I almost forgot, you also get to enjoy viewing the yachts anchored by the bay. ^_^
Around 3:30pm, we then visited the Mangrove Ecotourism and Conservation Area where we paid 30php/person. My cousin and I were very careful on the bridge, it was creaking and squeaking but we did enjoy taking lots of Snapchats (@nicagerona) and pictures. It was my first time to see a Mangrove Tree up close.
See those clouds touching the mountain tops? Breathtaking.
After the Mangrove exploration, we headed to Ponderosa Golf Course for the zipline ride. The ride closes around 5pm, but it was closed a bit early as it was soo windy. The winds are seriously cold and the view was such a marvellous sight. I love how the clouds touch the tip of the mountains. Ponderosa is a hidden beauty. The houses situated are mostly owned by foreigners and is developed while preserving its natural state. But like always, we make the most out of it, we took pictures and jumpshots (I’ll post that in my IG-@nicagerona) instead. ^_^ By nightfall, we headed back home.
Day three is a Sunday. That meant CHURCH time. Yep, my family and I went to church with thankful hearts for this weekend trip. After the morning service, we hurried in a jiffy for the 1:45pm trip to Batangas Port. Since we were an hour earlier, we bought souvenirs by the Muelle Bay. We tried the faster ferry line called Golden Dragon. Guess what, we reached there around 3:00pm with headaches and nausea involved. It was way bumpier than the first ride we had. My cousin and I agreed, we’d rather take the slower ones than suffer the nauseousness again.
Remember when I said to take a good hold of your tickets? That includes your parking ticket. Yep, we misplaced ours and had to pay for the penalty of 230php! Lesson learned. Then we had our dinner on our way back to Manila.
Overall, the trip was short but filled with memories and fun times. I have visited Puerto for about 4 to 5 times and I am still amazed by its hidden wonders. If you ever come by the Philippines, don’t miss out Puerto. It’s a cheaper destination filled with lots of fun!
Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!