April 7, 2014

Accidental Trip to Puerto Galera, Mindoro

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It was April Fools Day when Cristina, a dear friend of mine, sent me a message on FB, “Let’s go to the beach”. I replied to her without a second thought “Leggo!”, knowing the fact that everyone’s after epic pranks and jokes on April fools. Call me gullible or impulsive but I can’t help it. Beach is something I just can’t resist.

Good thing, she wasn't really joking after all. So, with the remaining penny in my ATM, I packed all the needed stuff. Of course I did a little research about Puerto Galera beforehand, then I meet her.

We also invited a couple of friends to join us. But asking them on April Fools Day was a BAD idea. In short we were fooled, that’s okay though. At least we learned one thing: Never trust your friends on April Fools! Lol. But seriously I was still grateful they accompanied us to Buendia on our bus ride to Batangas Port.

And from there, our series of (mis)adventures begun.

From Buendia to Batangas Port

After 2 butt-numbing hours, we reached Batangas Port at 5pm (just in time for the last trip). We were so happy and excited as we were rushing to the cashier. Too bad, the boat already left. What.a.disaster! But nah, we aint goin back! Going back was a no no, so we looked around for other possible options. If you’re in a hurry, you can choose from any of these:
  1. Ride a special boat trip for 700 pesos each one way.
  2. Wait inside the port until 7 am (earliest boat trip)
  3. Boat ride to Calapan and from there ride a van to White Beach.
Of these 3, second was my choice and the most exciting coz I never had a chance to sleep inside a port yet. But in our case, we decided to find the nearest yet cheapest lodge in Batangas.

DSC00226  Macro Lodge in Batangas

Macro Lodge, one of the cheapest nearby lodge according to the tricycle driver. We paid a total of 650 pesos/2pax for 12 hours- that includes an ac room, single bed with a not so properly cleaned linen (made me itchy the entire night), wifi (with no signal that time), a malfunctioning shower and a yet another memorable experience. 

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After dinner, we decided to sleep early to catch the 7am trip. We were already ready to enter dreamland when we heard someone trying to open the door! It was disturbing knowing that we’re both ladies and far from home. Then, we decided to call our friends and informed them where we stayed, double locked the door with a knot and sleep on shifting. Thank God nothing happened. We woke up safe, took a bath and hurried to the Port.
 
Oh how paranoid we were! But then mama once told me, it’s not bad to be a little more cautious while traveling.

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The port is just 15 minutes away from the lodge so we arrived prior to our 7AM trip. There are food stalls and booths inside the port. Some people will try to offer hotels and tour packages. Just be nice to them. Ask if you must but be sure to do your research so you can compare prices.
DSC00233 Batangas Port

From Batangas Port to White Beach

White beach in Puerto Galera can be travelled more or less 2 hours from Batangas Port.  Roundtrip ticket is 500 pesos while one way is 270 pesos. We bought the 2 way ticket since it’s cheaper and can be used anytime we want.

DSC00238 Minolo Shipping Lines, one of the ferry operators going Mindoro

DSC00242 A 50 peso environmental free upon arrival at the white beach

DSC00245 Eatery for a budget meal

DSC00248Our room for 2 nights and 2 days

Upon arrival to White Beach, first thing we did was to look for a place to stay. For those in a tight budget, I suggest you book 1-2 months prior to your visit because peak season/last minute booking is a bit pricey.  In our case, we made it all on the spot but thanked God we found Myra & Medeleines Place. It’s nice and clean, but not that expensive. The price of that room in the picture is 1500 pesos/ night but we haggled to 2500 pesos for 2 nights. I know it’s still a bit higher compared to some blog posts I’ve read, but it’s not that bad.

After settling, we had our lunch at Marginors and went back to the lodge to rest. 

At 3pm, we knew we had to go somewhere. Somewhere not so pricey. Good thing I found this DIY Itinerary (thanks to ambot-ah for this) that made it easy for us to enjoy without much needed money.

DSC00266 Tricycle fare to some inland tours

When at the tricycle station, don’t be afraid to haggle. But do it with conviction.

As you can see the fare to Tamaraw falls is 800 pesos. We tried to haggle to what fit our budget but they didn’t agreed. So from there we decided to just go down the town proper and ride a jeepney passing through Tamaraw falls.

At the town proper, the tryc driver offered 600 but no thanks we’re decided to make it our way. Finally, he agreed to 500 for a quick tour. Sweet deal!

DSC00274 Tamaraw Falls
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Kuya Danny (tricycle driver) also brought us to some places like Aplayang Munti where you can spot this carved Mama Mary.  

At 5pm, we’re back to the White beach.

At the beach there’s this boat called Liki Tiki. It’s a floating bar that intrigued me as I saw people jumping off from the second level. I thought it would be nice if I tried it for once since it’s my first stay in Puerto Galera. Besides I already tried jumping off once, so what’s to be afraid of.
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I jumped off twice since there are 2 jumping point from the boat. I tried the lower first because the other point kinda freaked me out though the difference is not that much. Also, just so you know, I never done this for the first time but the feeling of falling still freaks me out every now and then. Good thing Cristina did a great job cheering me up. So, I did it just before the sun disappeared. Then we headed back to the shore.

While walking, Cristina and I decided to go home the other day and get our refund for our remaining night since we were running out of budget. We already agreed to enjoy the night, grab a good dinner and get a massage instead of staying another night. And we did! Unfortunately, after all was done, they did not agreed to the refund. Bang!

We were like, what are we supposed to do now?

My bad I trusted so much and did not read the rules well. But it’s okay, we just had to let it passed and enjoy the rest of our stay.

And just what we asked for, our Day 2 in Puerto Galera was much more amazing than both of us imagined. (Click here for our Day 2)

By the way, here are some reference in case you need them.

Kuya Danny- 09359890324 (for Inland Tour)
Myra and Medeleine’s place-09157724818 (for lodging)

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