Island Hopping and Snorkeling in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
From Cubao, ride an ALPS bus going to Batangas (Batangas Port). Their bus terminal is located near the Ali Mall and fare is 175 pesos per pax. It took us 2 1/2 hours to reach Batangas Port. Alight at Batangas Port, you'll be mobbed by people who worked on different ferry companies that will persuade you to get their service and to take you to Puerto Galera. My tip is ti entertain them. Compare their prices and bargain with them.
In the end, we get the Father and Son line to get us to Puerto Galera. Why? Because they give us a 7 + 1 promo. Since we're 8 in the group. 7 of us will pay 500 pesos and the other one is free. That 500 pesos is a two-way ride (Batangas Port - White Beach, Puerto Galera and vise-versa). Regular ferry ride is 270 pesos per pax (one way).You'll know they're boat agents because they have these laminated boards on their hands that is printed with photos of islands near White Beach and activities like snorkeling and caving.
I've talked to some of these agents and they have standard price for each and every activities on their list. Well, of course there are also some sneaky boat agents which offer a bit higher price than the others so be very careful. As for island hopping, it only cost 1,500 pesos and good up to 8 pax (approximately 188 pesos/head). I tried to haggle the price and somewhat make it to 1,300 pesos but no one bite my bait. They're really strict to their standards. Oh well, atleast we tried.
|Early morning ride!|
These small bangka will take you to the under water cave (additional 200 pesos/pax), giant clam shell snorkeling area (additional 200 pesos/pax) and to the corals snorkeling area (additional 200 pesos/pax). We were hesitant at first because it was too pricey. Imagine, additional 600 pesos for 3 more activities? But who cares... we're there and who knows when can we ever go back again here. So again again, i tried to haggle the price and thank God because we got the 3 activities for 500 pesos/pax.
|I'm just enjoying the view|
Located on one of the small island in Oriental Mindoro lies an underwater cave which became very known to tourists who visit the province. The cave is too small that it can be explored by a few minutes. Though the entrance and exit of this cave are small, underneath it is a bit bigger that can be fit up to no more than 20 persons. Get ready to get wet as you tried this activity. The water inside the cave can get shoulder deep/high.
|The island is jam packed with other tourists|
|What to expect inside...|
|Me at the exit point|
Giant Clam Shells and the Corals - Snorkeling Area
Our next stops are the 2 snorkeling areas of this trip. We first visited the area where giant clam shells are being cultivated and protected. It was so nice to see that these things are being protected in the area. I didn't know that Mindoro Oriental's water is a treasure as its water is so rich.
|Off to the snorkeling sites|
Just when I thought I already saw how beautiful the water of Oriental Mindoro by diving into the giant clam shells area, well, I was wrong. As we reach the 2nd snorkeling area and started diving into it... I was stunned on what I saw. Different kinds of fishes (which are colorful), corals, sea urchins, water plants... all!
I also saw sword fishes, Nemo (clown fishes), and humongous-sized fishes! I was speechless of the life I saw underneath it. If only I have go pro, I could have documented it... Arrrrrggghhh! Tip: Before going here, bring/buy a slice of bread. Then as you dive, bring that bread with you. Lots of fish will surely go to your side.
|Donna, Claire and Dingdong Dantes their boatman|
If there is one activity that I couldn't forget on this trip is the time wherein we were in the 2nd snorkeling area and the boatman told us to hold on the rope placed on the side of the boat. The boat will run slowly and all we have to do is to hold tight on the rope and place our heads on the water and watch what's underneath it as the boat roams around the area. Weeeee! The experience was really priceless!
By the way, life vests and snorkeling masks are included in the package.
|That's me exploring the 2nd site :)|
|Snorkeling while I am being dragged by our boat|
|The water is so clear that you can clearly see the fishes underneath it|
This Other Beach...
Lol me. Yup, I didn't get the name of this island/beach. The water is also pristine and clear but I was disappointed when I saw a ketchup bottle floating on the water. Aw. I hope people become more responsible on their waste. Let's trained ourselves to protect the earth. Aw.
Anyway, please feel free to leave a comment if it happens you knew the name of this beach. TIA!
|I wish this area will preserve its beauty|
We missed to visit other beaches and islands because of lack of time but we surely had fun with this tour. The place and activities are very recommendable. I must say it is a must try but please... please be responsible enough of your waste. Lets have fun and protect our surroundings at the same time. Thank you.