Friday, May 29, 2009

Puerto Galera 2009: last summer outing

This post is the second of 2 posts about my 2009 summer at Puerto Galera, White Beach in Mindoro. Read the first post here.

The end of summer

2009 Summer is over for the Philippines when it's supposed to be just beginning. (It's only May!!!) Our trip to Puerto Galera (although in retrospect was quite headstrong) would probably be our last summer outing to the beach, or rather, anywhere which requires you to ride a boat to reach the beach.

For now, I'll be happy that we got to go to at least one beach this year. :D I love the beach. When I'm filthy rich, which is soon, hehe, I'll buy the whole Boracay Island. Haha!

Anyway, on with the story...

Relaxing Day

On our second day in Puerto Galera (Sunday), our friends Paolo, Princess & Jenny left early in the morning for Manila because some of them needed to work the next day.

Liz, Bing and I agreed to spend the whole day relaxing. As opposed to the first day, we did not make any plans on the second day, we just swam around, slept and walked around the beach. The sun was still strong, and even though the sky was still a bit hazy, you wouldn't think that just a couple of days ago there was a storm here.

There was a host of things to do in Puerto Galera: aside from the normal snorkeling and island hopping, diving and swimming, you can also para-sail, kayak, ride a banana boat, hike up the mountains, visit the waterfalls, get a tattoo or a henna tattoo, get piercings, or get a massage on the beach. At night, they have a lot of bars and pubs along the beach coast, most of them play dance music, some with live bands.
In the afternoon, while the ladies were taking a nap, I went by myself and walked the length of White Beach. I took my camera and snapped away at the sand, the water, and the people. There was not a lot of people left that day so I got a good relaxing walk.

More shopping and more swimming after that, and a massage on the beach at sundown was the perfect way to end the day.

Sunset at Puerto Galera is one to watch out for. It begins like a candle light and then spreads quickly like wildfire across the sky. To me, watching the sun set is a rarity. Often, I come out of the office when it's already dark.

A good thing to note to non-Filipino readers is that sunset in the Philippines is very quick. It begins at around 6PM varying depending on the month, and it can be over in as short as 10 minutes.

Dancing the night away

More grilled food for dinner (yummy), and more drinks too! We tried the new Carlsberg drink, and danced around our table until we got sleepy. I find dancing is a great way to loosen up and relax and forget about the troubles at work. Too bad there's not enough good, clean, dancing places around (or maybe I just don't know about them haha!)

In the bar where we stayed, there was this gay waiter/waitress who did stunts (lol), he/she jumps and then lands on a split, or climbs this pole and hangs upside down. He/She looks like a bat! woot! Check it out ----


Back to Reality

On Monday, we slept in, packed our bags slowly, and made our way to the beach to catch the 12noon boat to Manila. Tudoy (my really kind and good looking friend! hehe!) agreed to pick us up from the Batangas Pier. The trip back took longer than we expected, but we arrived safely nonetheless.

I leave you then with a couple more photos of Puerto Galera. You can click on any of the photos to see them in their original size.

And, if you're going to the beach, take me with you! :D

Charice enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #44

Filipina singer Charice's first single, "Note to God" which she debuted on the Oprah show on May 18, enters the Billboard Hot 100 chart today at #44. The #1 spot is still held by the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" who also has a Filipino member, rapper Apl de Ap.

Here's Charice's Oprah performance video in case you haven't seen it:

Charice will also be appearing in 20th Century Fox’s "Alvin and The Chipmunks 2," slated for December 2009...

Charice's singing is of the "birit" diva style reminiscent of other divas like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and the younger Mariah Carey. She has a huge voice despite her small frame and can reach up to the heavens with her vocal calisthenics.

She became famous on YouTube where her video (and her story) was picked up by Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey. Charice's career was put into high gear when multi Grammy winning songwriter David Foster took her under his wing.

CONGRATULATIONS Charice! We are proud of you! :D Go Pinoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I won the lottery!!! ...i mean, IF

Over lunch today, the topic was the Lottery, or here in the Philippines, "Lotto." Or more specifically, what will you do if you win the lottery?

Most of the people in that table said they were going to resign, with much drama, packing their stuff in a box and lashing out at difficult bosses and officemates, slapping people with bundles of money to pay for loans (hehe), buying everything they want in the world...

So, I took a quick look at the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office Website (because I was curious how much we are really talking about here) and found that the grand prize for today's draw for SuperLotto is a staggering Php 182,000,000.00 (or about $3.7 Million).

Holy ef! I never knew it was that much! Haha. (Seriously, this is the first time I checked...) Let's put things in perspective here... that much money can buy you either:

  • 10 of the 2009 Ferrari 599 cars (and still have enough gas money for a lifetime), or

  • One of these islands, or
  • Around 9,000 Google shares at $400 per share :D

Which brings me back to my first question:


Seriously, here's what I will do (aside from get married and have twins!)

  1. Try my best to keep it a secret from everyone other than my immediate family and loved ones (no, I won't blog about it, haha) because I want to be alive to enjoy all that money!
  2. Buy a corner lot on a busy street and put up a Kentucky Fried Chicken or Jollibee franchise
  3. Buy a beachfront property in Boracay and put up a resort/hotel (because I want to have a place to stay when I go there!)
  4. Take a month's leave (or two) from work and travel around Europe to visit friends (yep, I won't quit my job until my businesses are stable!)
  5. Take my Masters Degree in Business Administration
  6. Set up businesses (instead of give money) for all my family (so that they all have sustainable incomes!)
  7. Buy a condo unit in Alabang
  8. Get a bodyguard. (just in case!)
  9. Set-up a charity that helps children by keeping them off the streets and teaching them music.
  10. Build a new spa or wellness center. :D

These are just some of the thing I will do. Haha. How about you? What will you do? Reply in the comments section below or blog about this and link to this post!

Monday, May 25, 2009

12 dead in capsized boat en route to Puerto Galera

On my last post, I spoke about the weather being not so good before we left for Puerto Galera earlier this month. Then just last week, this happened. The boat we took was not overloaded, far from it, but still... it could've been us. I remember our boatman saying that our boat cannot sink because it's made of wood. True enough, but then again, the boat below did not sink either. In fact, it's still floating now.

Let's pray for the souls of the departed.

M/B Commando 6, a 12-ton, 21-meter outrigger boat capsized on May 23, Saturday off the coast of Batangas while on its way to Puerto Galera Beach. Coast guard officials estimate the boat's capacity at 42 passengers and 5 crew, however various reports of the actual number of passengers say the boat was overloaded by over 20 passengers.

The accounts of survivors explain that the weather was okay, but the waves were quite big, and so the tarpauline covers were pulled down to prevent the passengers from getting wet from the waves. When the right outrigger broke it caused the boat to tip over. Most of those who perished were trapped inside the upturned boat because of the tarpaulines.

As of this time, 12 people have been confirmed dead including 3 children (two 2-year olds and one 3-year old) and a Japanese national.

Survivors also talk of 2 vessels that passed by but did not stop to help, and had instead taken photos and videos of the tragedy.

Photo from Inquirer
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finally Off to the Beach!!! Puerto Galera Summer 2009.

The storm before the calm

This has got to be the most stressful vacation preparation I ever went through.

On the day before our scheduled trip to Puerto Galera, I was closely monitoring the PAGASA website for updates on the weather. They lifted the storm signal warnings just in time for me to convince my friends that it's safe to take the boat through the shark infested waters on the way to White Beach, Puerto Galera in Mindoro. :D

On May 2, onboard Paolo's dad's pick-up, we drove to and parked at the Batangas Pier and made our way to the boats. It was a quick enough trip, only about and hour and a half, but that didn't stop Liz and Jenny from taking a nap, and Princess for finishing her "baon" Romance Novel (yep, she was crying like a little girl over it too!)

The Beach

We arrived on the cream colored beach too early for the 2pm check-in time... but the good people at White Beach Guest House allowed us to check in at no extra charge. It was not a beachfront resort though, the place was okay if a bit far from the beach. It's clean and quiet at night. There's a kitchen, and even a place to grill. The path from the beach to the house was a bit difficult to traverse, especially if you're a bit drunk (haha, yes this was based on experience!) and there was this spray of water coming from who-knows-where!

"...the water was a deep turquoise and the islands a lush green..."

We had an early lunch then went straight to island hopping and snorkeling. The water was a deep turquoise and the islands a lush green, but the sky was a bit grey, remnant clouds from the storm that just passed. Nevertheless, the view, the waves and the wind was relaxing, and we were grateful the sun was not too glaring and burning.

We went first to the Coral Gardens, awesome place. Fishies all around. Unfortunately, a few minutes off the boat and I hit my foot on a coral; one small bit of coral punctured the side of my left foot. Ouch. Anyway, we still swam around, fed some fishies some toasted bread (no, really) until they were full. (Basta, Mama! Molto pieno! - sosyal ng Italian fish :p )

After that we went to The Sandbar, this strip of sand with water on either side. After some camwhoring picture-taking, we stayed a bit and had some halo-halo there too to cool down and relax.

Tricky Boatman

When our boatman asked if we could skip Bantayan beach, we thought we were going straight to the next snorkeling spot, but he took us back to White Beach and we ended up just paying him less than what we were supposed to. Bummer, because we still wanted to find Nemo.

We just settled on swimming around at white beach, which was not bad at all, my friends got their massages and Liz and Bing and I went to get our Henna tattoos. Mine was a huge paw on my left shoulder.

"...we were all set for a night of booze and partying..."

Grilled food dinner is always great on the beach! With our stomachs full, we were all set for a night of booze and partying. :p There was actually a beach party going on, something Rubber duckie productions with the featured band being Urbandub.

But we didn't like the music all that much so we opted to go to this bar playing more dance-able music. Turned out it was an all-gay-waiters/waitresses place, and when Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls played, they all went to the front of the bar to dance. Haha! Whoa!

We ended the night drunk and happy, (some of us just drunk, ehem..) and slept like babies, looking forward to a second and more relaxed day...

Read part 2 here - Puerto Galera: The last summer outing

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was goin' to write a post,
my brain brimming with a host
of possibilities, a most
exciting Thursday worth a toast!

But I'm sitting here instead
my home internet is dead!
No one paid the monthly bill...
No one had the urge nor will...

So my friends, 'tis my short note
In a hurry, this I wrote
I don't want my boss to see
My screen on 'Born a Syzygy'!


A Theme Thursday post