Puerto Galera budget Guide

Cheap Summer Getaway in Puerto Galera, Philippines

I have started to explore Philippines’ abundant lands and seas since Summer 2011 when I got tagged by my church friends to Anawangin, Zambales. Summer 2012 was even more adventurous when I hitched the Degollacion Family to their Visayas escapade traveling the provinces of Negros Oriental and the cities of Cebu. Sad that I missed the chance of writing about those trips. This Summer 2013 I didn’t miss the chance to travel again, but this time, I organized almost everything and tagged my family, Mac my love, and his family! 🙂 In this article, I aim to detail the pre-, during and post-travel experiences that could be of encouragement or use to you readers. 🙂
3D/2N Tribal Hills for 4pax Offer at Metrodeal
3D/2N Tribal Hills for 4pax Offer at Metrodeal

Being always in a tight budget for travels, the 1st thing that came to mind was to find a good hotel accommodation promo from online group buying sites such as Metrodeal, Ensogo, Cashcashpinoy and Dealstent instead of direct or online booking which is more costly. I was fortunate to get this Puerto Galera deal @ Metrodeal last Mar 06 2013 (deal is still available as of this writing). Check out my review for Tribal Hills Mountain Resort where we stayed in Puerto Galera. I booked two rooms for 3 nights for 8 pax for April 7-9.

After securing our accommodation, next thing to do was to plan our detailed itinerary so as to not surprise my wallet since I would be shouldering the expenses of my family. My planning was based on Puerto Galera blogs and reviews I read which really helpful. Since it’s a 3-day 2-nights trip, it’s better to be prepared and know what you’d do rather than be spontaneous on the spot (Being spontaneous could be so expensive). Below is the itinerary I prepared for our trip. There are surprises along the way but my estimates were close to the actual expenses.
By the time April 7 came, we were already prepared to enjoy the trip. I tagged mama, my brother Openg and my cousin Warren with me. Mac brought his mama, his cousin Dove and her husband Mike. Since Papa would be driving all of us to Batangas Port, Mac and I agreed that they’d just meet us in Paranaque. We left Pque as scheduled at 6:30AM and  traveled to Batangas port. We encountered an incident while on passing through SLEX. The van hit a small stone that crashed through the radiator leaving a small hole where the water leaked. Good thing the van reached through Shell where we had to stop and make a temporary fix, or else we wouldn’t be able to reach our destination 🙁 We we’re stuck there for an hour and our packed drinking water (1 container) was consumed by the van since its water was leaking.
The men trying and watching the van get fixed.
The men trying and watching the van get fixed.

We were still able to stick to the schedule and arrive at the port by 9:15am. Upon arriving at Batangas Port, a couple of guys from Minolo Shipping Lines approached us and assisted in getting our tickets. And there we encountered our 1st surPRICE: round-trip tickets raised from P450 to P500. Environmental and Terminal fee are still P30 and P50 respectively so that makes P580 per head.

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Water in Port costs 150-180 each. Water in PG costs upto 100 each. Better if you have water before leaving your home!
Water in Port costs 150-180 each. Water in PG costs upto 100 each. Better if you have water before leaving your home!

Remembering that our drinking water got consumed by the van, we opted to buy water before boarding, and there was our 2nd surPRICE: The typical Absolute drinking water which regularly costs P50 is priced P180 at the port!!! Manang tindera was saying that water price in Puerto Galera is even more expensive so we were left with no choice but to buy what she was selling. We haggled down to P150 since we need to buy 3. I really regretted that we have spent P450 for water. I greatly advise that if you’re going to PG, bring your own water!  Later as we got to PG, we found out that there was a cheaper option for water.

2-way ticket costs 500Php
2-way ticket costs 500Php

We were scheduled to board the Golden Hawk ship by 9:45 but actual boarding started at 10:45 (we waited for 1 hour for the ship to arrive). Waiting at the Batangas Port terminal was comfortable though. At around 11am, we started sailing and it was smooth yet exciting. I have read previously from blogs that boat trips to PG are usually rough because of the wild waves. I wasn’t bothered though with those warnings because I love rough adventures 😛

As we touched the sands of White Beach at around 12:45pm, we were already starving. Our arrival was beyond my expected time and lunch time has already passed so we chose to eat at the nearest restaurant/carinderia we could get to. We ended up eating in this resto near VM Beach Resort which we didn’t enjoy. 1st, staff were impolite. 2nd, they don’t serve water with the food. 3rd, washroom is not free even for their customers. 4th, they serve food very slowly! I ordered BBQ which they claim to be “fast serving” but it was the last to be served. Had we not been hurrying because our check-in was @ 2pm, we would have looked for another place for lunch. There are other cheaper options that serves good food that we discovered as we walked around the streets perpendicular to White Beach. You could get good food at half the price of what is offered in White Beach front.

Impolite staff and very slow and poor service.
Impolite staff and very slow and poor service at VM Restaurant.
I've always wanted to be in a quiet and nature-inspired place like this.
I’ve always wanted to be in a quiet and nature-inspired place like this.

After a fast lunch, we headed straight to where we would be picked up by Tribal Hills’ vehicle. Travel was very exciting as we were sitting at the back of a pick-up truck. After the check-in, we spent a couple of hours to be settled in our rooms. The place was exhilarating as we were surrounded by the greens and the mountains! I have no regrets getting this Metrodeal offer ^_^

At  around 4:30pm, we went down to White beach again to start our beach bumming! First thing we did was to look for the Banana Boat station where we would pay the fee, leave our stuff and board the boat. Check this out for our detailed Banana Boat Experience in Puerto Galera. After this activity, we just went on beach bumming in White Beach. The beach was pretty crowded since it’s peak season and April 9 is a holiday. We still enjoyed it though because we were with our families. 🙂 I wanted to cross the rocky border between White Beach and Tamaraw beach but Mac asked me not to since it was dangerous and the sun was already fading. We stayed in White beach until 10pm, had dinner in Chicken Inasal and watched the fire-dancers do their thing. Gays were all over the place!

White Beach on a peak season. Nevertheless, the crowd did not drown our fun. We still enjoyed the waves and the sand.
White Beach on a peak season. Nevertheless, the crowd did not drown our fun. We still enjoyed the waves and the sand.

The water fun did not end when we left white beach. Upon reaching Tribal Hills, we soaked in a Jacuzzi  and enjoyed the peaceful night. 🙂

Our second day in PG was jam-packed. 1st activity was Trekking to Aninuan falls in the morning right after our free breakfast. This guided tour is still part of the voucher’s package. It was a looooong journey along the rocks and hills of Aninuan Mountain but the waters of Aninuan falls were worth it. I will detail our Trekking to Aninuan falls soon. 🙂

We reached our hotel at around 12:30pm. Our day was very filled that we skipped lunch. Thank God we still have our sandwiches we packed from the 1st day. Around 1:30, we went down to Tamaraw beach for the much-awaited Island-hopping and snorkeling activities. We took Tribal Hills’ offer of P250 per head for the Island hopping (A total of 2000 for our group of 8). There were options of P1500 per 8pax back in White Beach but due to some reasons detailed in my other post, we availed of Tribal Hills’ package. Check out our Island-hopping and Snorkeling experience here.

After the fun-filled Island-hopping, we were dropped off at Tamaraw beach at around 5:30pm and since we have to eat in our discovered cheap carinderia in white beach, we crossed the rocky border between Tamaraw and White beach–which I really wanted to do since Day 1! 😀IMG_0232

We had our best eating experience down in White Beach in one of the local carinderias we passed by as we were going home to Tribal Hills. I didn’t get the store’s name but they offer good food. Sizzlings were priced at P60 only yet serving was generous and the food was tasty, too! After dinner, we went home early to Tribal Hills to enjoy their amenities away from the crowds of White Beach. Our Day 2 (April 8) was tiring yet I insisted that Mac and I wait for his birthday (April 9) so we slept at around 12:30am… very tired!

Then our last day at PG came 🙁 We enjoyed our breakfast first thing in the morning and enjoyed the pool one last time. We checked out at 11am (1 hour earlier than the hotel check-out policy) since we wanted to have time to buy souvenir shirts before boarding our ship back to Batangas Port which was scheduled at 1pm. Prices of souvenir items in White Beach are standard so even if you comb every store, you’ll get the same price for an item. The trip back to batangas was stressful! mac and I both think that the ship was overloaded. And it took us about 2 hours to reach the port via a different ship Golden Condor. By 5:30 pm, we were already in Manila. 🙂

So to summarize our Puerto Galera expenses per head:

3D/2N Puerto Galera Expense per head
3D/2N Puerto Galera Expense per head.

We were pleased with our Puerto Galera trip and a big factor to our satisfaction is Tribal Hills’ accommodation. 🙂 Praises to God for providing us protection and financial provision for our enjoyment 🙂

13 Responses
  1. Lois

    thanks! this is really helpful. I just booked a hotel for April and got anxious when I read the bad reviews (overcrowded, dirty beaches). Is it really that bad in PG? or would it be worth the trip? would appreciate your comment. 🙂

  2. Pao

    One last question, If we’re a couple going there. How much would the island hopping and snorkeling cost? Will it still cost 1500 to rent a boat even if its just the two of us? Thanks!

  3. Nice blog, Im planning to go there this coming October, I was kinda reading some reviews about Tribal hills and Puerto Galera this is one of the most detailed post I’ve read, thank you for the helpful tips and info 🙂

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