Travel Guide to Puerto Galera

September 7, 2017 Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

I know, I know, I'm probably the last person to go to Puerto Galera. In my defense, I didn't want to go because I thought Puerto Galera is overrated. Same thoughts on Boracay, that's why I've never been as well! Hahaha. Though I will visit Boracay soon! For the meantime, here's a quick guide to Puerto Galera.

O N   T H E   M A P 

Puerto Galera is a town located in north-western part of Oriental Mindoro province. Just 4 hours away south of Manila, by land and by sea transport. Known for scuba diving spots and pocket beaches. The most famous beaches in Puerto Galera are the White Beach and Sabang Beach which is the liveliest part of the town during the night as these beaches are brimming with bars and restaurants.

H O W   T O   G E T   T H E R E

  • From Manila- Ride a bus in Pasay or Cubao bound for Batangas Pier. 
  • Upon arrival in Batangas Pier, there will be people who will assist you for the boat ride. They are a bit too much, just know that you can say no to them. But it's okay, too, since everything will be taken care of. From the boat rides, back and forth, the van transfers to your hotels, and the terminal fees.
  • Ride a ferry boat to Sabang Beach or Muelle Port in Puerto Galera, depends on which beach you will be staying at.
  • If you asked for assistance back in the pier, van transfer will probably be included on your ticket so when you arrive at the port, ask for the van that will take you to your hotels.

S L E E P ,  E A T ,  P L A Y 

SLEEP - We stayed at Casa Mia Resort in Aninuan. It isn’t beach front like the ones in White Beach, but it’s like a 5 minute walk from the beach and the way to the beach is through a forest, you’ll be amazed. [Or not, I’m amazed by the littlest of things, so] Aninuan Beach is just past White Beach, and unlike the White Beach, it's more peaceful to stay there. It has a lesser crowd, in our case, we got the whole beach to ourselves.

Anyways, we spent most of our time outside so I didn't mind the room so much. Two thumbs up for the staff though, they were so friendly.


  • Indoor Swimming Pool
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Jacuzzi
  • Massage
  • Free Parking
  • Port shuttle
  • Friendly staff

  • Wi-Fi (Available in the lobby only)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Television
  • Restaurant is open until 10PM
  • Family Rooms
  • Pet friendly
  • Cleaning services

EAT - As you can see on the expenses part below, we spent a little bit too much on food. That’s because Casa Mia’s restaurant serves Italian food, and they got all the best type of food in Italy, don’t you think? If you’re a pizza lover, then we might have the same opinion on this haha. I really enjoyed the food, and I can say that it was the best part about our trip. 
PLAY - Our goal for this trip was to just relax and enjoy the beach so we did not do any activities. I deserved to unwind, I've have had a very busy week. But according to my research, here's a list of things to do in Puerto Galera.

T O T A L   D A M A G E

  • Ferry fare includes van  transfers
  • Exit fee is paid before boarding the ferry on the way back to Batangas
  • Tip was given to the person who assisted us on out boat rides
  • Bus fare back to Manila is only approx. I forgot the exact price, sorry!

Forever traveling with my Osah bag :)

That's it! I hope this travel guide was of help. You can ask questions on  the comment box below. Have you been to Puerto Galera? Tell me your experience- connect with me on social media. :)
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Zambales: Third Time's A Charm

August 22, 2017 Zambales, Philippines

It was yet another weekend getaway for me. An escape, like every other trips I have had so far. I felt extra stressed with life and work - I needed another break from the very busy life in the Metro. I needed to get back in touch with my element. I just wanted to go to the beach. To hear the serene sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. To feel the cold ocean water on my feet. Feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.

It's already the third time I'm going to Zambales. First time was when we went to Nagsasa Cove and the next was when I get to attend a blogger event in the Inflatable Island. Still, I can never get enough of this province. It's the perfect go-to destination for every kind of adventurer. Not only because it's surrounded by and is accessible to high mountains and beaches, it is also only 4-hours away from Manila.

You all know how much I love being on the road. Come to think of it, even my everyday commute sometimes makes me smile. On the way to San Felipe, Zambales, I made sure that I was awake for a moment to admire the beautiful view of the mountains. I loved looking at them due to the fact that it's not everyday that I get to see a mountain and also I feel connected back to Mother Nature.  Honestly, I've become comfortable with traveling to Zambales - for no reason at all.

T H E   C I R C L E   H O S T E L
The Circle Hostel has been all around the internet, especially on Facebook. Saw it last year and I've been dying to go ever since. The Circle has cheap rates and a haven for backpackers. Being a hostel and all, there are only shared rooms available. You can either rent a bunk or a hammock which makes the Circle cool and unique.

the circle hostel
Note: There are no air conditioned rooms so brace yourselves for the summer heat. Although it's still pretty chill in the common area. I suggest ya'll buy fresh fruit shakes at Mommy Phoebe's shack for refreshments.

Zambales Sunset

First Time Surfer

I would like to elaborate why it was one hell of a trip for me:

  • Jeng, Mich and I only planned to chill and do nothing - and nothing we did. Hahaha! Okay I'm kidding about doing nothing at all but yeah, we played cards all day. Honestly, it was quite amazing how I didn't get bored doing only that for most of the day. But then we got sick of it, so we went looking for food and then back to playing cards! There was really nothing much to do in there - do note that cellphone service is not available in the hostel so better bring a good book or anything for entertainment. Cellphone service is available only at the beach.
  • It's my first time surfing and I was quite good! Lol, I'm kidding. But I'm a fast learner and I did learn quick so I'd like to think that I did great for a starter. It was all just baby waves, but whatever. 
  • Our surf instructors we're super cool and friendly. In fact: we've hung out with them as well later that evening. (Refer to the next bullet) So I get to tick: ☑ Bond with the locals on my To-Do List
  • The night came and people started to come out of their caves, lol. The common area was now filled with the travelers checked in at the hostel. The three of us bought beers and went back to playing cards since, again, there was not much to do in there. We asked some of travelers if they wanted to join us, and another, and another, until a group of choir singers joined in and we all occupied the ground floor common area.
  • We played different (card) games: 
    • In Between - when you're all about gambling, this is the right game for you, man
    • 1-2-3 Pass - Sometimes builds friendships stronger, sometimes it destroys. Best played with lipstick or baby powder.
    • Mao - Hosted by Therese, from the Jubilate Deo Choir, I never heard of the game before but it's quite fun! It's like playing UNO Cards only with the regular deck of cards ( a whole lot of deck) and talking is not allowed, I repeat, no talking!
    • Awkward Questions - ask anyone an awkward question and their answer should be a question as well. The exciting part about this game was you have to call random names from the circle - and just met each other! So memorizing the names were part of the game. We played this all night and got drunk! 
  • Lastly, I've met some new amazing people and actually got to know them through Awkward Questions game. Hooray for new friends!!
Traveling is all about the people you meet on the road. These people made our trip extra special. It would not have been this awesome if we've never met them. Thanks to the Circle Hostel for bringing us all together and making me fall in love with Zambales even more!

Circle Hostel Zambales

Circle Hostel Zambales

On another note, my girls and I have been planning this trip for months but our busy schedule doesn't always allow us to get on with it. Until finally, our schedules have finally met so we went on and headed North for the trip that we badly needed ourselves. I have to say, even though we barely talk to each other and despite the fact that we only get to see each other for about twice a year (thrice if we're lucky), we're able to maintain the closeness we have. Cheers to low maintenance friendships!

circle surfers
The Circle Hostel
To Jeng & Mich - cheers to 12 years of friendship! Love you to bits!

"See the world. Meet new people. Find yourself. Have a story worth telling."

Photos are taken with Sony A6000 and are edited with Lightroom, presets by yours truly. Let me know how you like the edits! And also, have you been to any Circle Hostel in the Philippines? Share your experience with me on the comment box below. Connect:

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Manila Preset

July 25, 2017

I've been trying my best to rebuild my Instagram account but to no avail. I've been playing around with my Adobe Lightroom, trying to make presets for my feed but it is waaaay harder than I thought it would be. I wanted to make my feed have a little more "film" effect to it but I just can't do it - either I don't know how to or I can't because I'm too torn between having a sharp vibrant feed or the film thing. Ugh, this is making me crazy!

Help me out here, yeah? How do you like this preset? :) 

Photos taken with Sony A6000.

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Experience Sri Lanka with Olanka Travels

July 22, 2017

Sri Lanka is a small island in the Indian Ocean, an island nation of India. They call it "India Lite" because it's like India, but it's the hassle-free, easy version of India (at least, that's what The Telegraph says so). It is famed for it's diverse landscapes ranging from tropical forests, high mountains, and beautiful beaches. Sri Lanka has also been blessed with the abundance of wild animals - this country is a sanctuary for wild animals such as elephants, leopards, and even animals in the deep blue sea, like blue whales and dolphins.

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