Day Tour of Puerto Galera (Mindoro Oriental)

The next day, we were again off, to another excursion, this time to Puerto Galera itself.  We again took a jeepney from the town proper and, once outside the city, the others, including me, again went up the jeepney’s luggage rack.  However, we had to always be on the lookout for approaching trees, ducking to avoid being thrown off the roof.  About 15 kms. out, we again passed the previously visited Tamaraw Falls.  The road to Puerto Galera zigzags most of the way and the scenery – thick forests, mountains planted with rows of calamansi trees, deep ravines – made for a thrilling and scenic ride. 

We first dropped off at Muelle Pier where RO-RO (Roll On Roll Off) ships and motorized outrigger boats from Batangas City dock.

White Beach

At the town, we had the choice of at least 13 superb connected beaches that have been developed for tourism within 7 kms. or so of the town. About 6 kms. from the poblacion, we dropped off at the broad 1-km. long White Beach which is immensely popular with tourists.  The water, however, gets very deep a few meters from the shore.

Trick photography along Tamaraw Beach

From White Beach, we hiked to the less developed Tamaraw Beach where many go for seclusion or peace and quiet.  Again, we had this beach to ourselves.  From Tamaraw Beach, we retraced our way back to White Beach where we boarded a jeepney back to Calapan.  Back at home, Rainy, Lulu, Liezl and Erwin boarded the 6:30 PM boat back to Batangas City.  Jandy, Ronnie and I stayed behind for another night, leaving the next day on the 10 AM boat.  We arrived in Batangas City by 12:45, and boarded a Manila-bound bus.  We arrived in Manila by 4:30 PM.

Pulong Laki (Calapan, Mindoro Oriental)

The next day, All Saints Day, Jing again packed us some lunch (including beer) for our excursion to Pulong Laki (Big Island), one of the 3 Baco Islets, the others being Pulong Munti (Little Island) and Pulong Gitna (Middle Island).  All have white sand beaches.  We espied these beautiful islands during the ferry crossing from Batangas City to Calapan.  Ronnie also brought along his fishing rod.

On our way

Jing also chartered a boat very early in the morning for our use as, if there are no charters, their owners usually leave early in the morning to catch fish for a living.  From Ronnie’s home, we walked towards the nearby beach where our motorized outrigger boat and the boatmen where waiting for us.  Once on board, we were soon on our way.  The trip was smooth, usual for the morning and, after about an hour, we made landfall on the island.

The island’s coarse sand beach

The island had a broad, coarse sand beach, with vegetation and shade some distance away.  This didn’t matter much to us as we savored our first dip in a Mindoro Oriental beach.  From the beach, we also had a panoramic view of a couple of islands.  We were the only excursionists on the island that day.  I guess that most Calapenos were visiting their dead while most local and foreign tourists were in Puerto Galera.  We had this beach to ourselves.  

Doing some trick photography

Ronnie went fishing  and sunbathing while the rest went swimming or shell hunting.  Ronnie caught a couple of small fish that day which he cooked.  By mid afternoon, we all left the island, upon the boatman’s suggestion,  to avoid the high, late afternoon waves.  Back on the mainland, we again had supper at the house of Ronnie and Jing’s aunt.