Puerto Galera: DIY Itinerary and Expenses

A cancelled trip among friends to Southern Visayas made me consider going to Puerto Galera as an alternative. I initially wanted to push through with the cancelled trip even if it meant traveling solo, but the recent events in Marawi and Resorts World made me feel wary of going. The boyfriend offered to come with me but as it was a few days before our travel date, the airline prices were so expensive. So where to go without needing to get on a plane? My sister suggested Puerto Galera since she was there a few weeks ago. I was supposed to have 8 vacation days, but I shortened it to 4 days for Puerto Galera.

My Companion:

Good thing I have a kaladkarin boyfriend and is game for almost-last minute trips ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunset at Talipanan Beach

How to go to Puerto Galera from Metro Manila:

We headed to Jam Transit Terminal located in Cubao where we found buses headed to Batangas Port. It took us 3 hours to reach the port because we encountered Friday morning traffic in EDSA.

Upon reaching Batangas Port, there are a LOT of agents(?) who will forcefully pester you to avail their services. They don’t ask for money as it is their job to get customers for their respective shipping lines. They will guide you to their ticketing booth where you can buy tickets to Puerto Galera. We bought tickets to White Beach from Minolo Shipping Lines as they seemed to have the most favorable reviews online. We also had to pay a separate terminal fee.

Aboard the boat of Minolo Shipping Lines

While having the agents to guide you where to go once in Batangas Port is convenient, I advice you not to entrust your luggage to them. We made the mistake of not getting our bags fast enough and the agents who guided us wouldn’t give back our bags. After we bought the tickets, they went into the pasalubong center which I thought was on the way to the boarding area. But no. One of the agents asked us to buy overpriced and tasteless pasalubong from their stall. Only once we bought some that they gave our bags back. So persistent. And then we found out that the boarding area was in another building. Boyfriend and I wondered exactly what happened while we were waiting for our boarding call.

Muelle Bay

It is a 2-hour sea journey from the port for Puerto Galera. In our case, the boat stopped at Muelle Bay where free shuttles of Minolo were waiting to take us to White Beach. A stall was propped up near the docking area to collect environmental fees from the arriving passengers. The driver asked us where we would be staying and dropped each group to the nearest point in White Beach. Since we were staying in a different area, the driver texted our hotel to pick us up in White Beach. I didn’t have to text the hotel to inform them we’ve arrived.

Our Accommodation:

While searching for our accommodations, I considered these criteria: boyfriend wanted somewhere with a pool and I wanted somewhere not located in White Beach because I read that it can get noisy at night. I searched and searched until I found Tribal Hills Mountain Resort. Their promo page indicated that their off peak season rates are in effect (60% off). That made them within our budget range so I reserved a room immediately!

Tribal Hills Mountain Resort

I reserved through their email address. After a few pleasant email exchanges and paying the downpayment through Paypal, our room was already reserved ๐Ÿ™‚

The resort’s pool. A staff mans the poolside bar from 6 PM til midnight daily.

I loved the location of the resort. It is located on a hilltop offering a wonderful view of the surrounding hills from our terrace and of the beach from their Tree Tops restaurant. It was quiet and it felt like we were the only people there. Although I loved the location, I discovered that I hated going out of our room late at night. I encountered a few large frogs and grasshoppers on my way to the pool on the first night when I couldn’t sleep. They had me running back to our room immediately. LOL.

Standard double room

Terrace

The staff were also very attentive. Everytime we would leave our room, they would ask us if we needed anything or if we wanted to go to the beach. Since it was off peak season and they only have few guests, the drivers were always available to drop us off or to pick us up from the nearby beaches. The shuttle was free as long as the destination was White Beach, Aninuan Beach or Talipanan Beach.

Each room is also given a broadband device for the length of the stay. We could bring this even outside the resort. There is no signal inside the rooms though.

The food was delicious! They cook our orders from scratch so we had to wait longer than usual for our food to arrive but it is always worth the wait. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tree Tops Restaurant

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The 4D/3N Itinerary:

Day 1

We got to finally settle in our room at Tribal Hills at around 1 PM. We rested for about half an hour before we couldn’t ignore our growling stomachs anymore. We headed to Tree Tops Restaurant, ordered Bicol Epxress and requested the chef to make it super spicy. Eating late lunch with an awesome view of the beach and a tasty serving of Bicol Express was enough to recharge us.

Bicol Express

Our first and only destination of the day was Talipanan Beach. The shuttle took us to the nearest drop off point and we walked the rest of the way. The road was under construction and vehicles would have a hard time plying the uneven dirt road to Talipanan Beach.

A quiet afternoon in Talipanan Beach

An afternoon in Talipanan Beach is so serene. There were only a few people and the calm waters made it perfect for swimming. We just had to be careful not to go too far from the shore as there is a point where the water immediately becomes too deep. We both don’t know how to swim. LOL.

Luca Cucina Italiana

For dinner, we headed to Luca Cucina Italiana which was a well-known establishment in Talipanan Beach. The food is cooked by an Italian so the food is authentic and yummy ๐Ÿ™‚ We ate in the dark though since moths started coming in. We ordered the Lucas Pizza which was a bestseller according to the staff, and a plate of fries. The pizza was huge for just the 2 of us and we only finished half. We took the rest home to eat for breakfast the next day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Throwback: Baler Adventures (2013)

I remember having a conversation with my friends about trying something new and adventurous for the summer. Surfing the Pacific Ocean seemed to fit the bill and Baler was the place where to do it. I found several travel blogs about the place and they all lauded how a Baler trip was fun and full of adventures. So a few weeks before the summer started, we decided to explore Baler.

My Companions:

I traveled with my college friends to Baler. They were very fun to be with, especially since we seemed to agree on everything about this trip. Baler is full of memories of good conversations and awesome food!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Me, Stef, Rhan, Jema & Mon at the foot of the famous Balete Tree

Me, Stef, Rhan, Jema & Mon at the foot of the famous Balete Tree

The Roadtrip:

Genesis Bus is the only bus company to have a Manila-Baler route. Their terminal is located in Cubao area and that was where we decided to meet. We were able to get seats at the regular aircon bus that would be leaving at midnight. We paid the fare of Php 455 and tried to get as much sleep as possible. The travel time was 6-7 hours.

Our Accommodation: KL Javers Homestay and Pedervera Beach Resort

Finding accommodations in Baler a few weeks before the start of summer was difficult. Our first options for accommodation were fully booked when I made inquiries. But with more research, I finally found accommodations for the 5 of us.

KL Javers Homestay (Contact #: 0908.341.8527)

I stumbled upon a review of this homestay while surfing the internet and immediately contacted them. They had a room available for us and they didn’t need a deposit to confirm our reservation. KL Javers was located in the town though. I figured that we could spend one night here to give us a chance to explore the town.

We arrived very early – around 8 AM, but our room was already ready for us. It was a big house but the owners decided to rent out the rooms for guests. We had to share the bathroom with the other guests, but it was no problem at all since there were house rules and it included keeping the bathroom clean. We paid Php 1700 for a night’s stay for 5 pax.

our room at KL Javers

our room at KL Javers

The owner is a painter and we could see his works hanging around the house. It felt like we were walking around a gallery ๐Ÿ™‚

these are just some of the paintings in the house

these are just some of the paintings in the house

Pedervera Beach Resort (Contact #: 0915.7627.929)

All the accommodations I contacted in Sabang Beach were already full when I was planning our trip so I set my sights on the area near Sabang. I actually contacted a resort beside Pedervera, but they forgot about our reservation when I confirmed 2 days before our trip. In panic, I called up Pedervera Beach Resort to ask if they still have available rooms and by some miracle, they did! I didn’t know how to go to Barangay Buhangin where the resort was located but the staff told me that they would pick us up from our preferred location. It was a happy accident because we really enjoyed our stay in Pedervera. Our room was nice and the staff were very accommodating.

at Pedervera Beach Resort

at Pedervera Beach Resort

We had our little balcony in front of our rooms, which served as a convenient place to hang our clothes out to dry ๐Ÿ™‚

each room had a balcony in front

each room had a balcony in front

The rate was Php 2000 for 5 pax. The room came with free breakfast which was served in their dining area.

breakfast first before swimming some more

breakfast first before swimming some more

Pedervera only serves breakfast though and you would need to request for food to be cooked if you wanted to eat lunch or dinner there. The ingredients will have to be bought from the market first. But they have a van that took us to and from Sabang Beach where we pigged out.

I guess the best part about staying in Pedervera Beach was having the beach all by ourselves. Sabang Beach was VERY crowded and we enjoyed the solitude in Buhangin Beach.

Pedervera is a beachfront resort

Pedervera is a beachfront resort

beach bumming in peace - away from the large crowd

beach bumming in peace – away from the large crowd

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