It's been three years since I got addicted to traveling. And since this will be my very first travel blog entry, might as well blog about where it all stared - Puerto Galera.
Along with Phoebe, Kelly, Fae & Ryan, we packed our bags and readied ourselves for an exciting 2-day vacation. Since we we're all first-timers (except for Kelly), we took a tour package that costs around Php 3000 per person. Little that we know that we could actually save a lot if we've done a DIY trip. Puerto Galera has always been a good and less expensive alternative to Boracay. If you're in Metro Manila, it only takes 1.5 hours to reach Batangas Port by bus. From Batangas Port, you need to take a boat in order to reach White Beach. The 2-way ticket costs around Php 450 + Environmental fee of Php 50 + Terminal fee of Php 10.
There are so many things that you could do at this place. You can ride a banana boat, do island hopping, snorkeling, food-tripping, swimming, get a henna tattoo or simply go beach bumming. If you're on a tight budget, I'd recommend the last one since you could do this all day without even spending a single centavo. A single banana boat ride costs around Php 400, while island hopping and snorkeling is packaged at Php 1500 or more for a group of 5 persons. We were all newbies on these kinds of activities so we all gave it a try. The banana boat ride was a real fun experience. We were like kids shouting on the top of our lungs and trying our best to hang on to the boat since we we're all afraid of getting drowned. But there's no need to worry though as long as you're wearing a life vest. Trust me, you'll need to wear one. I was like scared to death when the boat flipped over and we were like under it. I even felt Fae's foot on my face while we were all struggling to gasp for air. Then I realized I was already floating thanks to the life vest that I was wearing. Since it was actually my first time to wear one, I never realized that there's no need to worry on getting drowned. Later on, we decided to take our lunch at a nearby restaurant. If you're really not that choosy, you could spend around Php 150 for a decent meal. After lunch, we went back to our room and took a rest for a while because it's already too hot and we're already burned to a crisp. Later in the afternoon, we just sat on the sand and watched the sunset. Afternoon is actually the best time to pullout those cameras and start shooting. Unfortunately DSLR's were not yet a common gadget for everyone during those times so we had to settle for 2 megapixel cameras. Here's a picture that we submitted as an entry to ClickTheCity's Sun, Sand and Snapshots 2007 photo contest:
|Sunburn at Galera (April 30, 2007) Unfortunately we didn't bag the prize :(|
This is also the time were we got the idea to create a music video of the trip. Good thing I had my video camera with me so I was able to document our trip from start to finish. Here's the epic video that got me started in creating music videos:
At night, the fun never stops at Galera especially during summer. If you're looking for nightlife at the beach then you're at the right place. Ironically we didn't drink any beer or alcohol and being the newbies that we are, we just decided to lie on the sand and go stargazing. It was a peaceful experience just lying there on the sand and just letting time pass you by. There goes our day 1.
Day 2 started with breakfast at a nearby carinderia that costs around Php 100 with coffee or Milo included. A few minutes later we went on island hopping and snorkeling. It's sad though because commercialization has greatly affected the ecosystem of Galera. There are some areas where corals used to flourish but are now dead. We were still able to see some corals though but traces of human activity has greatly affected its development. The good news is that these are just isolated areas and there are still plenty of beautiful sceneries both underwater and inland. We were even taken to a remote island that still looks unscathed. It was such a wonderful experience being on an island far away from any resort and just sitting there.
My trip to Puerto Galera was and will always be one of my most memorable trips. This is where I started to discover the fun in traveling. This is also the first and last time that we had spent a trip with our dearest friend Fae. We already have plans on going back to this place and doing another music video when she goes back from the US. Sadly, Fae died from an asthma attack on March 6, 2010. She was a good friend that we all badly miss. Nevertheless, I know Fae would want us to carry on and still continue with the plans to go back to this place one more time. Who knows, maybe one day we could do another Sunburn getaway.