Next up after Manila is Puerto Galera, a beautiful coastal town in the province of Oriental Mindoro. PG, as it is locally known, is a 2 1/2 hour bus ride south of Manila to the town of Batangas, where you catch a ferry for another 1 1/2 trip. Renowned as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, it is a world-class dive and snorkel location with mountains close by in the interior.
The underwater scene is why I am here. I stayed at a dive center/lodge called Badladz (maybe they were bad once, but the staff is pretty serene these days) which is right on Muelle Pier where the Batangas ferry lands. The dives were very professionally run and populated by my first dose of “serious divers’ – people who get in 25 dives a week, who carry a large Mares travel-all dedicated solely to dive gear, who pack tens of thousands of dollars worth of underwater camera gear. Lots to observe and learn from! The diving sites were the best yet; so much macro life down below, lots of wrecks to explore, great visibility. I went out on six dives and am up to 25 lifetimes dives already!
The view from my room.
Looking towards the interior.
One of the ferry boats that run from Batangas.
The preferred mode of public transportation – the “tricycle”.
The Muelle Pier strip.
Locals’ pool hall.
On the dive boat with some of the “serious” divers.