Visit to Dolphine Villa, Puerto Galera, Silangang Mindoro, Philippines
Puorto Galera is a small town on beach in Mindoro, Philippines, which boasts of many pretty beaches & lagoons for snorkeling for fish & coral. We wanted to visit the same, since it was just a few hours drive from Manila city. So we booked the accommodation from AirBnB, based on ratings given & plunged into the trip on Friday afternoon.
We arrived by car at Batangas City, where large oil & gas industry, plastic industries are situated. It is a 3 hour journey, depending on traffic on expressway. (Some times, it can be more.). From this place, one can take fast ferry boats or one can book in advance (in tandem with hotel management) a special launch for the group. We had booked a launch for ourselves, which took us to Peurto Galera, which is about an hour away by sea. On the way, we had wonderful view of a Lighthouse & shining illumination of plastic factory & oil & gas industry premises. If you are lucky you can see dolphins at some distance.
After arrival at Puerto Galera, the hotel management had kept tuk tuk taxis for our luggage & the members of group. Our group consisted of 3 couples & a child. The journey so far was pleasant. The hotel property could be seen on a hilly area.
Tuk tuk brought us to the hotel property, which looked wonderful, well painted & kept impeccable by the housekeeper. The housekeeper's family stays on the backside & front side was for the guests.
It consisted of 2 bed rooms on 1st floor with a sharing toilet, one very big living room with attached toilet, one up to date kitchen with fridge, microwave oven, gas range & dining table for 6.
The lower floor, consisted of exquisite swimming pool, poolside sitting arrangement, a small gym, jakuzzi, play area, & one bedroom with toilet.
A large balcony looked on the pool both from living room & 1st floor. The arrangement was very good. We had hired the entire villa as is the custom.
The food & grocery is all arranged by housekeeper, who charges money for buying it from the town. Alternatively, one can bring their own grocery or ready food & use the facility for cooking. The cooking, if done, is charged extra. The drinks can either be bought on own or beer etc can be locally bought from housekeeper. The town can be accessed by tuk tuk taxi, where excellent restaurants are available for variety of cuisine.
For going on the cruise for snorkeling etc, the housekeeper arranges similar fast launches with all the requisite gear. The boat crew & housekeeper doubles up for service to tourists for snacks, lunch etc.
We had wonderful outing on the sea, where snorkeling brought us face to face with variety of fish, turtles, corals etc. We had lovely day throughout & retired to chilled beer back at villa. Poolside provided wonderful space for chitchatting & singing etc. Enthusiastic people can spend some time in gym.
The villa has variety of books, but none of them in English, but in some Nordic language, since owner is from that area.
Next morning, we had a wonderful view of the lagoon from our balcony & to our surprise, the housekeeper provided us with a telescope, from which we enjoyed the distant view. In fact on inquiry she showed us another sky gazing telescope too.
But morning brought us to a reality of how housekeeping was unimaginative. There was no water for us to use toilets & bath rooms! We just finished mouth wash & went for another trip down the beach. The boat took us for a long ride along the beach, where we could see so many beach hotels, resorts, where people frolicked on speed boats, kayaking, ballon rides, banana boat rides etc.
We had an excellent lunch at Italian beach hotel Luca Cuciana, which also provides accommodation.
On return by noon, we could manage some sort of bath & cleaning up. We wound up the luggage & went back the same way to Manila, reminiscing about a wonderful weekend.
Whatever way the property looks good, one must bear in mind that housekeeper possibly fails in her duty to fill up water tanks, fixing leaking taps etc. So you up against all sorts of toilet/bathroom related problems.
Housekeeper had declared that TV was not working. However when we suddenly returned, we found her children enjoying TV. All such experiences were a bit disturbing.
It is better one takes simple grocery or ready food & use kitchen there, instead of relying on housekeeper's food. Drinks or beer, perhaps one must rely on her. One cannot carry everything.
In spite of the above, the arrangement for to & fro boat journey & lagoon rides for snorkeling, were unquestionably excellent, leaving no room to complain about.
Overall it was wonderful experience.
Couples - Jun 8, 2017