So I’ve been nursing a Puerto Galera hangover… It wasn’t easy though – I’ve been thinking about the beach all day. Gone are the days that I have all summer to plan getaways and stuff. Oh well, adulthood, haha!
But nonetheless, I am oh so ready to share to you all my vacation getaway! We’re starting with how to get there —
If you’re coming from Manila, like me, you’ll need to ride a bus to Batangas Pier. Bus lines going to Batangas are stationed at Cubao (just behind Ali Mall) and Buendia (very near Gil Puyat LRT 1 station) terminals. From NAIA, you can ride a cab to bring you to the nearest bus station, which is in Buendia. (Or fly directly to San Jose Airport at Mindoro.) The bus ride will take a good 2 – 3 hours, depending on traffic.
Ours (from Buendia) took only an hour, and the bus wasn’t going so fast. There was no traffic, and if the bus was on a hurry, we could’ve make it for a little above 45 minutes.
At the Batangas Pier, there will be several terminals for you to go to, but you’re gunning for Terminal III.
Cross the street from the bus depot, and follow the signs. Well, mostly, follow the people shouting Puerto Galera!
At the terminal, expect to pay three times – your boat ride ticket (you may opt for one way P250, or round trip P450,) environmental fee (P50) and terminal fee (P30) At this point, I got really frustrated because everyone was shouting and I don’t understand why are they doing that. Also, everyone’s assisting you, and I was happy to be assisted.
Don’t be surprised though if they
ask force you to tip. I gave P20 because that was my only spare change, and the man started murmuring. I wanted to tell him but never got to, Hey, I didn’t ask for assistance in the first place! This is a bad habit and I think this must be resolved. They should inform people before they assist especially if they’re gonna force to tip! Well, I can always opt not to give, if I were in a bad mood, or if I get irritated because everyone is really shouting which frankly nobody appreciates it.
Anyway, back to that boat ride. There’s a waiting area inside the terminal should you arrive early. But boats leave in an hourly basis for Puerto Galera, and you should find yourself in the boat in no time.
This time, the boat crew were not shouting and were kind. But when we asked for the boat inside the waiting area, everybody was shouting again. LIKE REALLY? I can hear them even from mountains away. Why is there a need to shout, by the way?
Anyway, enough of that. There were no more shouting thereafter. Inside the boat. If you’re sea sick, or motion sick, take your meds one hour before the trip. Otherwise, try to sleep. It will be a bit of a bumpy ride, but you’ll manage. Stay on the left side of the boat. I don’t know, but I noticed that the waves were stronger in the other side of the boat, and you could get wet.
Life jackets are available on the top shelf of the boat. They’re not required to be on you the whole trip, you just have to know where to get them. However on our trip back, they gave us our jackets. I guessed they must’ve overloaded the boat, and it scared the shit out of me.
After a good hour to an hour and a half, you’ll arrive in Puerto Galera. There are three docks they can drop you off. You can opt to be dropped off directly at White Beach, near the city proper at Muelle Pier, or if you’re a couple of groups headed to, at Talipanan Beach. If you’re headed for some other beaches, your best option is at Muelle Pier where a tricycle station is located.
We were dropped off at Muelle Pier because we’re headed for Palangan Beach. Muelle is also home to a lot of shops, restaurants and a bank. Withdraw your money here if necessary because it’s the only ATM near the beaches. You can also skip buying souvenirs in the beaches because it’s cheaper in Muelle *wink*
We had a quick lunch at Hangout Bar there and planned our day trip. Again, nothing fancy, but food is a bit pricey. If you’re not that hungry, you can skip this. One thing you should probably do when you eat here is to ask the owner for tips around the island. It’s a good counter for the pricey food, I think!
Jeepneys and tricycles are the main transportation around the island. If you’re the patient one, you can wait for a jeepney which will cost you P10 to get from one place to another, according to locals. Otherwise, tricycles will charge you P25 per person to get from, for example, Muelle to White Beach. We paid P100 for our tricycle to bring us at Blue Crystal Beach Resort at Palangan Beach. And oh, you can also ask boats to take you from beach to beach (and also diving spots), but it’ll cost more than a hundred per ride.
We saw some private vehicles around the area, maybe it belongs to those who went to the island via RORO, but I think a motorcycle rental service is also available. You just have to ask around.
On your way back to Manila, if you bought a round trip ticket earlier, you may just pay the terminal fee (P10) and wait for your boat ride. The last boat rides are scheduled at around 3:30pm – 4:00pm, sometimes 5pm, depending on the influx of passengers. On peak seasons, be sure to be at the boat station at least two to three hours before the last ride to assure availability. Avoid the last trip at all costs.
There are many boats parked at the pier that you can rent if you want a private ride to and from Puerto Galera. Ride will cost more, but if you miss the last ride, you’ll definitely have to opt for these… or stay a little longer in the island, whichever is more affordable, lolz.
Total fare without beach transfers: PhP 982.00
167 – Bus to Batangas
450 – Round trip boat ride
50 – Environmental fee
30 – Terminal fee (Batangas)
100 – Tricycle to Palangan
10 – Terminal fee (Muelle)
175 – Bus to Cubao
I’ll discuss our expenses for the beach transfers in the succeeding posts. Meanwhile, I wanna ask if you have been to Puerto Galera. Share here your experiences or tips! I wanna know where to get a cheap jeep ride in Puerto Galera!!!
UP NEXT: Blue Crystal Beach Resort in the quiet and secluded Palangan Beach!