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Friday, June 24, 2011

Spending Holy Week in PUERTO GALERA

This trip was a last minute attempt to salvage the long vacation during Holy week. I was marred by indecision. I haven't really prepared for any out of town trip during that time as my wife and i were already exhausted physically and financially in the early months of the year. So we thought of just staying in Binangonan and rest. But as the days of the holy week slowly approaches, I felt panicky.

I don't get enough time to be excuse from work. I have no sick leave coz I work on freelance basis. We thought of going back to our hometown Anda Pangasinan and spend the holiday there just like the old days. I also thought it could also be possible to just ride the jeep to Paete Laguna and watch how fanatically they celebrate there. Another was to board the bus to Bicolandia and marvel at the beauty of Mayon Volcano which Teresa didn't agree to since 12 hours bus ride would be too stressful for a place she has already been too a few years ago.

You see, there was reason to panick. To go or not to go, and where?

Puerto Galera babes
Puerto Galera on Holy Week


This is the time when I love online discussion groups like Pinoy Exhange (PEX). I immediately scoured for discussions about Puerto Galera. I have always wanted to see this place. I've passed through Mindora back in 2008 on ur way to Bora, but never in Puerto Galera. And what is this fuzz all about? Why is it very famous among people from Manila especially during Black Saturday? We were to find out soon.

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I met Kiko in PEX  and that's when I learned that they are still looking for companions for shared accommodation. It's peak season so sharing a room with others is the best option. I later on met Rupert  and started chatting with him about the trip. Kiko's group were ready to go as early as Maundy Thursday my Me, Teresa and Rupert together with two more companions were not available until Good Friday.

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We were left with the dilemma of travelling on Good Friday. We heard from Kiko and his group that there are rumors that there will be no ferry trips to the island on Friday. I immediately checked with the online community. Good thing there are, but only in the morning, so we made sure we were in Batangas port before lunchtime. It was 8am when Teresa and I got there. Rupert and the two others joined us at 10am. The line was thin as many tourists already left for Galera on Thursday so we didnt have any difficulty securing our ride. Took us 45minutes to PG on a clear summer day and calm seas.

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Rm, Rupert and Jhoker- our travel buddies in Puerto Galera

The boat took us straight to white beach. The first thing I noticed was how crowded the place was. The stretch of the beach is not that long but the density of people and hotels/inns is definitely high. It's crowded but it feels different. It feels like going to Disneyland on a holiday.

It was difficult to find a place to stay. Kiko and company who were already there when we came tried to secure an accommodation for since since we wouldn't fit in their room anymore. The owner of their inn said its 4,500 pesos for a room. There were only 5 of us so we declined and tried to find another place.That's when we were taken to areas far from the beach in mazes of pathways. The deeper you go, the cheaper the inns, but the messier the surrounding too. Before you get to another building, you need to go around fenced properties. Very annoying. We were offered cheaper accommodations but our main concern would be night time. What if we get drunk? There would be no assurance that we would make it through those mazes alive. hahaha

puerto galera on holy week
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We ended in the same place where Kiko and his group are staying. This time, the owner agreed with our offer of 3,500 pesos. We thought we were lucky. Only when we have already paid that we found out the the drain in the restroom was clogged. Too late to transfer. We just made the most of our stay without bothering so much about it. We unpacked our things and went out to have lunch.

FOOD

There are many restaurants in Puerto Galera. You can find budget meals to expensive ones. I noticed that if you want to save on food, you go deep into restos or food stalls away from the beach. Again,the deeper you go, the cheaper the prices. Jhoker and Rm, one of our colleagues know all the corners PG so they always picked the place to eat. All Teresa and I did were to follow them. Sarap ng buhay.lol
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ACTIVITIES

There are many things that you can do in PG. From island hopping to banana boat ride, to scuba diving, jet ski, volleyball et al. Since our 3 companions have been here many times, they were not into those kind of stuff. And since Teresa and I made up our mind that we would just go somewhere and simply relax, we decided not to go on with the usual travel with itinerary where we have a list of  things-to-do. So aside from trying the banana boat, all we did was to eat, window shop, people watch or sleep inside the room during daytime and drink during the night.
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puerto galera sunset
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WHEN NIGHT FALLS

When it gets dark, Galera explodes!!!This beach is well known all over the world as a place for hot beach parties, loud music and overflowing booze. People party like there's no tomorrow. They dance on the beach, on the tables, anywhere. Loud music is played in every pub along the coastline and people go crazy every time. Try the famous Mindoro SLING and you might enjoy the groove more. Teresa and I tried it and we loved the flavor. Not too strong on the mouth but gives you this instant kick. Perfect if you want to loosen up a bit. It was in Puerto Galera when Teresa, a non-drinker, fell in love with Tanduay Ice. She has been stocking bottles in our fridge ever since. hahaha

The party scene is kinda different though during Holy Week especially on Good Friday. No loud music aloud. That's strictly implemented by the barangay and municipality. They can't prohibit drinking though. When we went out Friday night, the beach was full of people. There might be no music but the noise of the chatter is still loud enough to energize your night--that is--unless you get drunk.

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Black Saturday in Puerto Galera


Such was the scene, and I thought it was already festive. For somebody like me who was accustomed to traditional celebration of Semana Santa, such has a little conflict inside my head. Part of me is saying, this is wrong. Time has changed. Or maybe this place has always been like this. 

Then came Saturday--Black Saturday. That's when things really got crazy. I will talk about the night life in PG in a separate post soon......

party @puerto galera
puerto galera night life

FEEL GOOD MOMENTS

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It was me and my wife's first time in Puerto Galera and the scene that we saw during Holy Week shocked us. I heard of them before but this trip validated those claims. That was actually my goal. To find out how it feels like being there during this time of the year. We both enjoyed it. hahaha

It was also our first time to travel, share accommodation and spend the time with complete strangers who we met online. The experience was all pleasant. there was a little animosity at first but it lasted only for a few minutes. We met wonderful people and had been friends with them since then. To Kiko, Rupert , Rm and Jhoker, it was nice knowing you all and it was fun being with you in Puerto Galera. Thanks for the good time and good memories. I hope we can travel again soon.

Take care guys!!!!

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15 comments:

  1. nice shots, great photo!
    sanay makapunta din ako jan, ganda tlaga.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ang galing ng mga kuha! ang gaganda! captured na captured ang essence ng galera.

    guess what, i was there and i actually saw you and your wife walking by the beach! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. ano names ng mga yan sa PEx? i wanna know.. hehe

    ReplyDelete
  4. I been here twice I think every holy week I'll be here for a good relaxing experience.

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  5. ganun pala kadami tao dun. punong puno. di pa ako nakakapunta diyan.

    baka sa susunod na summer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. wowowow. ganda. mukang another beach paradise lalo na sa mga party goer.

    Mukang sa mga lean and fab ang place. lols. kelangan na mag-shed ng body flabs and turn to abs pag magpupunta sa mga ganyang lugar. :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. astig so nakipag meet up ka rin pala tru PEX username mo don hehehe.
    sana next time magkasabay tau sa galera hehehe :D

    btw ang ganda ng mga chikas ha..
    di kaya nagselos si wifey whahah :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Never been to Galera too. Allergic ako sa matataong lugar. Pero like bora, keber din mga tao dyan no? Two piece kung two piece. Walang sinabi ang mga butanding. lol!

    Maganda yung napuntahan ni Chyng sa Galera e. Talipanan ata. Medyo konti lang yung tao compared sa napuntahan nyo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tuwing holy week, usually sa bahay lang kami... Pero gusto ko rin makapunta ng Galera, or maybe, in some other places! Nice photos! =)

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  10. what a Holy Week crowd! imagine kung lahat yan nalasing at sumuka, I can't imagine the stench hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hanggang ngayon, box-office pa rin pala ang Puerto Galera tuwing Holy Week.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Super like this POST! ito na ata ang pinaka magandang entry mo sa blog mo hahahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  13. di pa ko nakakapunta pero im sure maganda.. medyo andissapoint lang ako ng sinabi mong crowded. hahahaah. pero like ko pa ring pumunta!

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  14. At dahil nakita ko na ang entry na 'to, naiintindihan ko na yung statement ninyo about PG nung nasa Puerto Princesa tayo :)) still hoping to visit though. Siguro kung medyo ok na yung weather :D

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  15. hirap talaga mag travel punta galera lalo n pag holy week...pero sulit nman pag nandon kna...

    ReplyDelete

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