Despite being tagged as an overrated beach by many blogs and write ups online, I actually still want to feel and experience Puerto Galera. And this interest to visit this beach is heightened by the presence of Mt. Malasimbo, the highest and prominent peak in the area. Para sa mga ngayon lang nagawi sa blog ko, there's an intimacy going on between me and the Philippine mountains, so don't be surprised if I would express my fondness to mountains all of a sudden.
For some reason, it was only January of last year (2014) that I finally decided to see the beach for myself in the hope of climbing Mt. Malasimbo as well. A mountain-beach combo trip has always sounded a very good plan to me.
Saturday - January 11, 2014
It was 3am when Dawn and I took a bus bound for Batanggas Pier. I failed to get a very good rest last night that's why I fell asleep on my partner's shoulder so easily... or maybe I was just practicing my ninja moves but then I was too tired that I fell asleep without noticing. Anyway, both of us fell asleep the entire 2 hours (more or less) trip to Batangas Pier from Manila, and woke up by the loud voice of the bus conductor saying that we're already at Batangas Pier.
Having no clue which way to go (it was our first time in Batangas Pier), we just followed the mass of people. Our instinct, which is right most of the times, brought us to the ticket booth where we of course bought our tickets to Puerto Galera. Also there, were barkers na makukulit na hindi magsasawang mag-alok. They would leave only if you ignore them and act as if you're an expert Puerto Galera tripper.
|after buying our tickets that cost P550 each for a round trip, we entered the pre-departure area and stayed there until our scheduled trip.|
|Inside the pink boat of Minolo Shipping Lines|
Arriving at Muelle port in Puerto Galera at 8AM, we used Minolo's free shuttle service to our resort of choice. Hassle-free talaga! We conveniently reached Bamboo House Lodge in Talipanan beach through this added service.
|Busy Mulle Port.|
When we reached Bamboo House Lodge, we were received and given a room right away (it really pays to have an advanced reservation). By the way, Bamboo House Lodge is located at Talipanan Beach, the more quiet side of Puerto Galera. The nightly parties and noise are all in White Beach area.
|Bamboo House Lodge Resort at Talipanan beach, Puerto Galera|
By 9 in the morning, after settling down, we went out to front desk to ask about the how-tos in the place and our plan to hike Mt. Malasimbo. We were told that the hike's gonna take long and availability of the guides wasn't sure. I was still so willing to hike Mt. Malasimbo that morning until I went outside and saw the mountain covered by thick blankets of clouds. And then I told my partner, "why don't we just spend the whole weekend lazying at the beach?"
Yeah yeah, sinong bang hindi tatamarin umakyat kung nasa beach ka na, tapos yung bundok na balak mong akyatin ay hindi mo na makita dahil nabalot na ng ulap. Haaay. Oh well, a whole weekend spent in a beach is still not bad at all.
Despite the gloomy weather in Puerto Galera, we're still eager enough to roam around and see how Talipanan Beach looks like.
|The stretch of Talipanan Beach, with White Beach in a distance|
Talipanan Beach isn't really long. It can be walked from end to end for only about 30 minutes or so. The sand isn't powdery fine and not so white. There were pebbles and crushed shells and corals. But to be fair with Talipanan Beach, there weren't too many people around which is a very good thing. There were also a number of resorts and restaurants along the beach so tourists wouldn't go hungry.
By lunchtime, we entered an Italian Restaurant called Luca's Cucina Italiana, located just beside Bamboo House Lodge. To feel the Italian vibe of the place, we ordered pasta for lunch. One serving was big enough for the two of us.
|Seafood pasta in marinara sauce and my lovely girlfriend|
White Beach is about 10 mins trike from Talipanan. Its beach is longer and has more restaurants and establishments than Talipanan Beach. And it was so alive during the night. Parties and lights were everywhere. If Talipanan Beach is serenity, White Beach is party.
We had grilled tilapia and grilled squid for dinner that night. I forgot the name of the restaurant but it's the one that stood out from the rest because its tables were actually speed boats. And while we're having dinner, lights went off. There was a black out, hence a candle-light dinner for us.
|Grilled seafood for our candle light dinner. Nag-brown out kasi kaya naka-kandila kami.|
Saturday - January 12, 2014
Being the nature lovers that we are, we were not contented with just the beach. Our itchy feet needed a dose of nature's trail. I heard that there's a waterfalls (Talipanan falls) nearby so I asked again the front desk about it. They said it's just 30 mins walk from the resort and they get guides for us. Awesome. The staff in Bamboo House are really friendly and helpful.
As soon as we finished breakfast, we went trekking. We were accompanied by two local kids. From the beach, we followed an easy straight forward path leading to a very interesting Mangyan Village. Mangyans are the native inhabitants of Mindoro Island.
|One interesting thing that I noticed from the village are these unusual 2-story bahay kubo. Pambihira talaga na makakita ng bahay kubo na merong 2nd floor. Astig!|
Anyway, continuing our trek, we further walked in a woodland following the source of the stream of water. For a seasoned hiker like us, the trek is actually fairly easy.
|para may reference kung gaano kababa lang yung falls, here's me|
With an improve weather, we decided to hang out by the beach and enjoyed basking under the sun. While walking around, Dawn grew ecstatic when she saw a kayak. No one's using it so she dragged the thing and started paddling. I was too lazy to join here so I just laid down and had a great time watching her. Nakakatamad talaga kumilos.
|there she goes.|
|there are many shops in White Beach area if you are after souvenirs and pasalubong|
Our lazy weekend in Puerto Galera, with each other's company, is still very enjoyable. Pumalpak man yung plano namin makaakyat sa Mt. Malasimbo, we still had a perfect hayahay weekend at the beach.