Nearly two years ago, in January 2013, I had probably the best month of my life. Since I was granted a month of study leave by my employer so that I could contemplate on what I really wanted to do with my career, I was able to enjoy my time with my family and my friends. I went to Baguio with family and few days later, had a vacation in Puerto Galera since one of my best friends, Cez, arrived from Canada after two years! This blog will recount some of the memories that I can recall from our stay in Puerto Galera from January 25 to 27, 2013. (Pardon me, this blog should’ve been written immediately after the trip, but since I was too busy, I wasn’t able to come up with a decent article. Thus, I will just be enumerating the highlights of our trip.)
- We were all sleepy going to Puerto Galera because we fetched Cez from the airport, went straight to their home (where Tita Susan, Cez’s mom had prepared sumptuous feast for arrival of The Queen), and waited for 3 hours before traveling to the Port of Batangas. When we embarked the ferry that would transport us from Batangas to Calapan, we were not advised to wear the life vests. Instead, the vests were piled up at the center of the vessel and were surrounded by the passengers (most were Koreans). Since it would be a 2-hour trip, we decided to share Cez’s sosy pasalubong, brandy-filled chocolates (tamang panglasing sa mga taong puyat!) Almost half-way to our destination, an unexpected twist happened – our ferry suddenly stopped! After a while, we could smell the odor of burnt rubber. Apparently a wire was burned that caused the motor to stop from functioning! I told my buddies to keep calm (while I was already wrapping my things and putting them in plastic bags, just to be ready!). Indeed, it was not a good time to panic since we were not wearing our life vests and if one started to pull a vest from the heap, a stampede might ensue. Worse, our vessel could sink (I remember the story of my former officemate who experienced sinking of their ferry on the way to Puerto Galera)! Good thing, another ferry came to rescue us (I was praying the whole time!)
Fab 5+1 group shot before boarding!
|The boat that came to our rescue. Thank you, Lord!|
- We stayed in Hollywood Beach Resort Hotel, a pretty awesome hotel that’s some 10-minute walk from White Beach. It boasts of above-average amenities such as swimming pool with shower, a billiards and videoke place, and a restaurant, among others. In other words, it’s a place worth posting on Facebook if you just wanted to brag about what you could afford (just kidding!)
|...has a pool..|
|...and very relaxing rooms!|
- · After sleeping for a couple of hours, we had our Top Model pictorial in the afternoon. Cez, Karen, and Rhose were hot babes oozing with sex appeal; meanwhile I was not proud of how I looked back then. My multiple chins always stole the scene, pasaway! Aside from the pictorial, we also played beach volleyball (we rented the ball for an hour) and ate green mango. Cez missed that fruit, for sure.
|The girls were exhausted after our volleyball game|
- · On our first night, we dressed up and got ready to party! We ordered for the famous Mindoro Sling which we tried to drink without using our hands. Yes, we used our mouth to pour the liquid into our throats! Harold was the best, no doubt. We watched fire dancers doing their tricks, walked along the shoreline hunting for possible lovers doing their things, and of course, attempted to party. Why attempted? Well, they had this barangay ordinance mandating each establishment to stop playing loud, party music by midnight. What a great way to end the night!
|Karen, Cez, and Bert|
|Rhose, myself, and Harold|
|A fire dancer showcasing his stunts|
- · In the morning of our second day, we went island hopping, caving, and snorkeling! This probably was the best part of the trip for me as it was my first time to snorkel and see the beauty under the sea! We fed the fish with bread, enjoyed the colors of the corals and fishes, and of course had our photos taken by our guide!
|Fab 5+1 was in Puerto Galera! Woohoo!|
- · We bought our souvenir shirt after having our lunch. Karen needed to go home because she had a previous commitment with her boyfriend’s mother. When we asked about the boat leaving for Batangas, we were told that it had left already. Attacked by her usual “maldita tantrums”, Karen childishly asked: “Paano ako? Ate, paano ako?” Thank God, Harold was from Mindoro. He called up his parents to meet with Karen and accompany her to the Port of Calapan where she would be boarding SuperCat, alone.
|Lunch prior to Karen's tantrums|
|Whos' the prettiest, huh?!|
- · On our second night, Cez wore her evening gown, as if she would be attending the Oscars! Hahaha. (Mind you, it could sweep all the sand off the shore!) We drank, danced until midnight, and went to our hotel after. Before we slept, we had heart-to-heart talks. That was the part that made me love my friends more.
|Second night party, minus Karen|
|Wacky poses and heart-to-heart talks in bed|
- · In the morning of our third day, Harold’s parents and two siblings (they are 9) went to our hotel and brought food! We devoured all the grilled liempo that they brought!
|Grilled liempo courtesy of Harold's family! Sarap!|
- · We wore the shirts that we bought on our way home. And we carried with us all the stories of friendship that we would cherish forever.
|Masaya ang barkada sa Puerto Galera!|
Cez would be coming home again in 2015. We would go to either Boracay or Palawan. I am very excited to spend time with my best friends, again. Truly, happiness it’s not about the place, but the people you are with.