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Quick Stop. If you need some time out from the hustle bustle the Metro brings nowadays and would like to enjoy the scorching summer heat at the same time, there’s only one thing to do – hit the beach. Instead of hearing the horns and moans from the EDSA traffic, take time out and appreciate the hush rush of beach waters. Forget about the tall buildings in Makati. Enjoy the greens of the trees. What’s summer without the beach, right?
Well, I was fortunate enough to spend a day at the beach with my some of my block mates. We did not get the chance to plan a trip to the best beaches in the Philippines so we simply settled for something more attainable for us. This is what we call the “Makapagbeach man lang” trip. Well, I also call it my “Di-ako-prepared”trip because it was only a day before that I found out the plan will push through so I had to panic about the things to bring. Hahaha! If you simply want to get away for a while and enjoy the waters, I guess Puerto Galera should be one of your choices. It may not be as great as Boracay, but it is still good for a quick escape from all the Manila stress.
To get there from Manila, first, you’ll need to ride a bus from Metro Manila to Batangas Port. Upon arrival, choose the shipping lines you would like to bring you to your destination. (We chose the Minolo Shipping Lines on our way to White Beach, Puerto Galera.) Take Note: Some people in the port will be selling you 6 Liters of Mineral Water, costing 180 pesos, saying that you should buy beforehand so that you will not be spending more because the ones sold in White Beach are foreigner price, about 380 pesos. Don’t buy that sales talk. When we got to our destination, we found out that it only costs 110! Tsk. And we thought that guy who sold us the water was kind enough to help us cut our expenses. Wrong! Lesson learned. Let’s move on.
So, our boat trip was fine and it took us almost 2 hours. Since we rode early, there were not much big waves on the way which made us comfortable all throughout the trip.
When we arrived at White Beach, we were greeted by the fine sand, soothing sound of beach waves, relaxing sight of clear waters, and shining summer heat! I tell you, I have never enjoyed the sun until this moment! And since we went on a Thursday, there were not much people around which made our stay more comfortable.
We stayed at White Beach Resort and Hotel. It was good enough to sleep for the night for our one day stay. Our group of six stayed in one room shelling out 500 pesos each. Not bad. I guess it’s a good deal.
For the things to do - aside from sunbathing and swimming while you are around, you can go shopping in their local stores, have a henna tattoo done, get your braids, enjoy a massage by the sand, snorkel, paraglide, island hop, ride a banana boat, watch the sunset, etc. But if you plan to do all that, maybe plan a 2-3 day trip. One of the highlights for this trip was my first time to get to ride a banana boat – especially the drop part! Love it! Some of my friends got their henna tattoos (the tattoo services are all over the place!). And the sunset was just lovely!
You’ll not have a hard time picking a place to eat because you are surrounded by many choices! (And if you want to play it safe, go for Shakey’s!) At night, not only will you get to enjoy the stars, you will also be entertained by Fire Dancers! That was something I was looking forward to actually! It was also my first time to watch such performance.
And they say, do not end the night (or the trip) without trying their Mindoro Sling. I think it is the “alcohol specialty” served there. I got a sip of it but I really do not know what makes it special, I am no alcohol expert you know. But I think it won’t hurt if you get to try it when you get the chance to visit the place.
If you are on a tight budget but wants a summer escape – Puerto Galera is a good choice. You will survive with 2,500 pesos in hand (fares, accommodation, meals, and activities included). Not bad, right?