Hello Puerto Galera!

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. ~ André Gide
I made it a point every summer to travel and enjoy the beach. Although I don't know how to swim, I still find the sand and the sea very inviting. Perhaps, it is in the beach that I am able to pick-up pieces where I left off, like returning to the old me but getting better. I am one heck of a nature lover! I believe that summer is a perfect opportunity to bond with family and friends because it's not as busy as the other months.

One of the perks of my work is being able to reach places in CALABARZON (although I am not the type who's been awarded out of region seminars), I still believe that I am lucky because there's so much to see in the region and I am getting there free with allowances. Before summer ends, I want to set foot on another region I have never been. And it came true last May 1.

After almost a month of planning, rescheduling and almost cancelling it off, DC and I sailed to the Port of Galleons. Puerto Galera is located at Oriental Mindoro and is dubbed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is one of the more budget-friendly destinations and because its accessible to Manila, it is a perfect place for weekend getaways.

There are several beaches in Puerto Galera, White Beach is the most popular among them. Affordable resorts and bars are in this stretch. Aninuan/Tamaraw Beach is home to only two resorts: Tamaraw Beach Resort and the luxurious Sunset at Aninuan Resort. Talipanan Beach is home to Mountain Beach Resort, Mariner's Resort, Bamboo Beach House, El Cañonero, Luca's lodge and restaurant and the newly built Infinity Resort. White Beach, Aninuan and Talipanan beach are in the same stretch separated by hills and boulders. Sabang Beach in Sabang Port is a haven for divers.

a - Ticketing booth of Minolo Shipping Lines at Batangas Port;
b - While waiting to board the ferry;
c  & d - Boarding Golden Falcon,; e & f - Pictures at the ferry-boat;
g - The view from where we are during the trip;
and h - Puerto Galera Yacht Club at Sabang Pier

HNS Goes to Liliw Resort

The town of Liliw in Laguna is well known for its affordable and quality footwear. Little did I know that this place also boasts of its cold water resort set at the foot of Mt. Banahaw (thanks to Ate Digna for suggesting this place to us). Last Saturday, June 01, we went to Liliw for our annual team building, which I think is a good way to end summer and to welcome June, the beginning of the school year and of another busy year for Health and Nutrition personnel.

From Santa Rosa, we drove to Liliw, Laguna via Calauan. Our first stop is at Liliw Resort. The resort is located at the innermost part of the town and from the entrance/parking, a downhill path will take you to the heart of the resort. Do not be bothered if you have not researched the resort's location because there are signs posted along the road; besides, you could always ask the locals for directions.

The pathway leading to the resort.

Welcome to Liliw Resort!
Day tour entrance for adults costs 50 Php. For a group of 15 adults and 2 kids, we were charged 750 Php for the entrance (children were free of charge).  For those bringing their rides with them, you will be charged 20 Php parking fee for every vehicle.

Arabela: Camello's Bakehaus and Coffee Shop

Arabela Restaurant in Liliw, Laguna

We left Liliw Resort at past twelve in the afternoon. The original plan was to head straight to Arabela for lunch but since we knew that the restaurant is still full (it opens on 11:15 in the morning and reservations are not allowed during weekends) we went to stroll and shop for shoes.

Big violet wedge display in one of the stores

Footwear stores are located on a straight street so it's easy to roam around and shop. I spent more than 1,500 bucks for my shoe haul which includes a shoe for my dad, two shoes for my mom and myself. It is best that you visit the stores first to compare which one sells at a lower price and gives bigger discounts. One observation though, for most of the stores they have a uniform discount of 10Php for every shoe but you could still try to haggle for more, who knows they might give in.

One of the more famous brand of Liliw footwear
My shoe haul (Mom's, Dad's and mine).

Our shoe shopping was cut temporarily because it's time for lunch. At 1:30 in the afternoon, we walked our way to Arabela Restaurant. As expected, there were no available seats inside the restaurant, good thing there were tables available outside and Doc Alain was able to reserve it for us. The tables occupied half of the roadside but because we cannot afford to be that picky (we are 17 in the group) we settled and enjoyed our lunch there.

Arabela restaurant is located at 503 Rizal St., Liliw, Laguna. The restaurant facade is nothing fancy; it occupies the silong of an old, ancestral house (I guess that accounts for its very low ceiling, when I say low I really mean LOW). The space inside is small, around seven tables occupy the place. Walls are in green and violet hues.

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