Daily Archives: April 12, 2012

White Beach, Puerto Galera

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If you’re not staying at White Beach, like we did, you may have to ride a tricycle from Muelle Pier. The ride costs P25 for each person. It’s a good 15 to 20-minute ride and while riding towards the beach, you can notice that some are on their way back already. I say this as if it’s an important thing to remember, because I just saw some hunks riding motorbikes in their trunks only. My sightseeing started in the road, I thought.

DSC_0581We’ve been informed

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We dropped by around after lunch, and the skies were clear and the waves were tame. This isn’t exactly the best beach in Puerto Galera for me, since we’ve also seen Sabang and Big Lalaguna, but there are more stuff to do at White Beach.

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So what can keep you busy at White Beach? Take a stroll at the beach, build a sand castle, hire a motor boat, island hop, ride a banana boat, go parasailing, get yourself inked, have a massage in the middle of the beach, drink to your liver’s content, eat to your hearts’ satisfaction or shop for beach wear and other souvenirs. If all else fail you can always go people-watch sightseeing if you know what I mean *wink*

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This is not the finest sand in the country, though I’m glad it’s a bit cleaner than other beaches. There are some sharp stones in the sea bed, so watch out for your hands and feet.

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DSC_0602I love the clouds

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There are no entrance fees to White Beach, so even if you’re staying at other resorts, you are always free to go and join the party here.

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TESDA-accredited (yepp, I asked!) masseuses, clad in green uniform with their mats and oils, roam around and offer massage services at the beach side. According to my research, most resorts don’t allow massage services in private rooms, so it’s done in the beach side instead. I was too shy to have a full body massage in public, so I asked only for hard back massage. If you’re like me whose body is more familiar with men’s hands (stop what you are thinking, lolz) don’t bother asking for masseurs, because there are none around the island. Even for the reputation Puerto Galera has earned. WIT!

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I love sunsets! So after the massage, we stopped a while to wait for the sunset. It was lovely seeing it with my friends, and maybe next time, with a boyfriend, haha! This meant two things though: swimming is over, and the party is on!

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We had dinner at Basilico Bar and Lodge. Usual grilled meat (kebabs, barbeque chicken, and liempo) costs P120 a stick, and grilled seafood costs P250. I had to credit this blog ’cause we’ve been warned of somewhat unreasonably priced food and restaurants and were able to avoid disappointment.

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We have no complains for what we ordered, aside from the kebab meat which was a bit tough. We love the liempo too much though to consider it for breakfast. Rice was generous, and we were such happy eaters.

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DSC_0639Trying to get a decent photo of the floating bar, but this is all I’ve got

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One of the highlights of a night spent in White Beach is to watch the fire dancers. You’ll know it’s a Puerto Galera special when you hear the collective gasps from the anticipating audience. The usual set up is a record player and speaker, a torch of fire, and the blazing poi. The fire dancer swooshes and swings the flaming poi with such energy and grace and one could just wonder how the dancer stays burn-free, what with the daring and fast dance steps with the poi on fire. It is a spectacular show, and entertainment runs throughout the night at White Beach courtesy of these very talented performers!

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When at Puerto Galera, you have to try their signature cocktail, the Mindoro Sling. It is made of several fruit juices, rum and gin; and the usual price for a pitcher is P300 and above. We were really determined to make the most out of what measly budget we have (we limited ourselves to spend P1500 only for that visit to White Beach) so we roamed around in search of the cheapest Sling in town.

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Fortunately, we were lucky to bump into Andy, who owns Pina Colada Bar. We were trying accomplish this little mission of ours and he just spotted us, he was wearing this shirt with their bar menu printed on it, and suddenly asked us to try his newly opened bar.

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He kept on telling us about their low-priced drinks, but we were really starstruck, instead of budget-concerned, so we didn’t care anymore and went to Pina Colada Bar. We came to know then that they just opened last Holy Week and Andy was doing the advertising for the bar, roaming around White Beach to spread the word about his venture.

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What surprises people when they get to the bar is how their drinks are incredibly affordable in comparison to other bars!!! I won’t get too skeptical and underestimate their sly concoctions, if you were you; because you will need to nurse a hangover the next day if you would!

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DSC_0663Vendors selling penoy, chicharon, peanuts, fish crackers and other pulutan roams the bars too

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So we stayed, seized a table and ordered a pitcher of Mindoro Sling Next Gen (P180) which is Sling with tequila. After five generous shots, this is the redness that you could make out of me! Hahaha! I swear I could turn into a tomato while this drink leaves one wobbly for hours!

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And here is Andy and look how good-looking he is! That will explain the dreamy eyes on our faces in this photo, though he’s not just that, you know. He’s really smart and fun to talk to. After doing his usual rounds, he sat with us and we began talking about his travels, Galera experiences, Europe, and his job as a computer programmer. It was a long night, but the night was just like a breeze while talking with him. Make sure you drop by Pina Colada Bar and say hi to him when you meet him at White Beach!

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We really wanna stay and enjoy the party at White Beach some more, but we found ourselves back at the hotel before ten, because the tricycles usually ask for a steep price if it’s already late. For the ride back to our hotel, we paid around P90 per person, and that’s after haggling already. At the hotel, we planned for a night swim at the pool but after the Mindoro Sling, all we can think of was warm shower,  the boys of Puerto Galera (lol!) and the amazing day we had at White Beach!

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Blue Crystal Beach Resort and Palangan Beach

DSC_0531I need this hammock in my life

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So we continue with my Puerto Galera trip last Holy Week. This isn’t the hotel that was in our itinerary, but I think this is better than the one we officially planned. I won’t mention the place anymore, but we were totally mistaken. We even have an inside joke, Gullible’s Travels, because the one who booked that other hotel didn’t even ask for amenities, and nearby establishments. And we were so quick to believe that we didn’t even cross-check. It was an almost flop, but thanks to the powers of internet, things were reversed in no time, in an expense of an unnecessary boat ride, and we were really so glad we chose this place.

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We stayed only for a night at Blue Crystal Beach Resort at Palangan Beach, one of the smaller, and lesser known beaches in Puerto Galera. We only planned to stay there, and go around the island, but the place really proves to be magnetic… if it weren’t for our determination to see the popular beaches, we couldn’t have moved our asses and just stayed here. You will have it linger in you, this place.

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So, Blue Crystal is at the uphill side of Puerto Galera. You have to drop off at Muelle Pier and ride a tricycle to Palangan. Once you see the Grecian-inspired architecture, you may hail the driver to stop. Pay no more than P100, as we were advised. I’ve been told that some drivers really abuse the tourists, which is really bad. You have to do your research to avoid this.

DSC_0525THIS WE HAVEN’T TRIED. But they have an excellent cook, really, so it must be a treat!

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We were too excited to look around, and look what we’ve found, a very serene beach side… We actually have it to ourselves.

DSC_0511Neighbors! Humiling ka na sa langit na sana may afam dyan, lolz

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There are around 16 rooms in this resort, and a night’s worth of stay includes an air-conditioned room, breakfast, hot and cold shower, unlimited use of internet, unlimited use of pool, that amazing beach side, and a happy crew at your service. They also offer inland and island tours for around P2,400 for three people, you do the math, or just ask at the concierge to avail of this. Other activities like diving and snorkeling are also offered, but I can’t remember how much :P

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DSC_0533Bring your vball and you can play here, just watch it for the beach

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The dining hall is at the third floor and this greets you in the morning literally. What a good view to wake up for! The place is so windy also, I can just have the perfect time with a cup of joe in one hand and a book in another! Or the perfect view/atmosphere/food to nurse a Mindoro Sling hangover!

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Kiddie pancake set. This must have been the whole box of  pancake mix, it’s so big.

Filipino breakfast set

Complains regarding hotels are usually about the free breakfast. Either there were little servings, or the food’s bad at all. We were lucky enough because we didn’t even have to worry about it. Breakfast was scrumptious and generous. You can choose from American, Filipino, Continental, or Kiddie breakfast sets and have your choice of coffee, chilled fruit juice or fresh fruit.

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DSC_0520I’m not usually iffy with bathrooms, so yeah, this works. All I need is hot shower and I’m a happy camper

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I haven’t even started with the room! It’s spacious enough and because we were three in the group, they had to add an additional bed for me. There’s no additional charge with that. I haven’t mentioned also, that a room costs — are you ready?! — PhP 900/guest/night and that includes all the amenities that I’ve discussed earlier. It’s just P300 above the backpacker’s inn I was trying to locate at Sabang! I don’t know about you, but this… is a treat already!

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The place has an impeccable environment, we did an impromptu mini-photo shoot around the area, and I just love the sun, the backdrop that is the mountains and the oceans, and my models! I’m a happy photographer :)

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DSC_0536I dare not show my upper body, this is only a trial, hahahaha, errrr

DSC_0537ANSAVE NG POSE?!

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DSC_0542This one’s my favorite. Model: The Jen Aquino

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DSC_0549Friendship forever!

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DSC_0570We were trying to get Sheng to do a flip-hair photo. But this what we’ve got! Haha!

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DSC_0577Trying out a Mangyan headband. I love the colors!

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Swimming in the beach is fun, but the waves were kinda strong those days that we stayed. It was a bit rocky, and you have to kinda walk to the other side for the sandy part of the beach. Nevertheless, I love how clean the waters at this side of Galera is. White Beach has already been abused, and this one is really your little secret hideaway from all the party and noise of the popular beaches.

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DSC_0516Special thanks to Ms. Roselyn who really took care of us!

When we were there, we were so determined to see the other beaches, so we rented tricycles to get us to them. Standard pricing is P300, but we haggled up until P250. I should note also that although I’ve been telling that stories of rip offs are rampant, there will always be honest people in this side of the planet. We didn’t notice that we paid P50 more unintentionally, and the driver was too glad to return it to us. Say hi to Albrex for us who brought and fetched us throughout the island, if you’re staying there!

Blue Crystal Beach Resort
Palangan Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
www.bluecrystalbeachresort.com

bluecrystal@cc9.ne.jp
+63 43 287 3144
+63 915 223 6067