Monday, January 14, 2013

Guide to Talipanan, Puerto Galera

I'am not very familiar with Puerto Galera but I've been told that Talipanan is a more peaceful place to relax and enjoy the beach than White beach.  I also heard that Talipanan have a more upscale feel to it. So, off to Talipanan we went to enjoy the sun and the sea.



I had to book two rooms in two resorts because when I booked in Agoda, it was not possible to book two rooms in the same resort. Our family stayed in both the El Canonero and Luca's Miramare at the end of Talipanan. This arrangement was not so inconvenient because the two resorts are very close to each other.

The beach was nice. It's not Boracay nice but it was nice. Since the beach is public, it's not so well maintained. You know, plastic stuff , old slippers, and PET bottles scattered on the beach. I was not so disturbed by this but it would have been better if someone cleaned it.

We stayed in Luca's Miramare with my Mann leaving what I thought was a better room to my mom and daughter at El Canonero.  The room at Luca's was very basic. The important thing was it was clean. For 1500 pesos, it was a good deal.  El Canonero was more expensive (about 2500 pesos) but the rooms were very small. My mom was complaining that the room smelled like a toilet. The toilets were just separated by a thin sliding door from the room and it was only half a step from the bed. At the end, Luca's was the better choice and we will probably go back next year. ( Tip: Ask for room no. 1 and and the room above the restaurant if it's available). I will never consider to go back to El Canonero.

The restaurant at Luca's was a revelation.  The pizza ( we mostly took margarita) really tastes like Italian pizza. I believe that it is the best Italian pizza in the Philippines that I've tasted. The portions at Luca's were huge. If you're staying at their lodge, they can keep it for you and reheat it for your next meal if you can't finish it. We also tried Mengie's a few meters away because my mom was craving for pancit. That was good too.



There are few other resorts in Talipanan beach.  I was not able to take a peak at their accommodations so I am unable to tell you if they are good or not.  From the outside, Bamboo House and Mountain Beach Resort seem to be offering basic native cottages.

My Mann and I are divers. We wanted to improve our diving so we subscribed for the Advanced Diving Course from PADI at El Canonero. We started the course but unfortunately there was a typhoon passing nearby which caused the sea to be a bit rough. It's a very bad feeling to be seasick while diving ( I didn't understand why we stayed at 1.5 meters where the sea was very rough. If we moved deeper, it would already be better. Also, we started at 5pm just when the tides are changing because the instructor was busy). I got very nauseated. The water was still rough the next day so I got seasick again while diving.  I decided to stop the course because the weather did not promise to improve. I understand the fact that we had to pay something because we started the course and then stopped. What pissed me off was that they made us pay for 1 full course as a punishment for our lack of motivation. The full course consists of 5 modules. We barely finished 1 module.  Diving is a lot about planning.  It's not about forcing divers to dive in bad conditions just to earn money. At the end, the instructor proposed to continue the course in  a more peaceful bay ( with extra charge of course) but at that point I would rather pay than continue diving with an instructor who can't plan.

Talipanan beach in Puerto Galera is okay.  If I live in Manila, I will be happy to go there for the weekend every weekend.  If I arrive in Talipanan directly from Europe for a holiday I think I will be slightly disappointed.

Hightlights:

1. Massage on the beach.  There were massage ladies stationed between Luca's and El canonero.  Victoria was my favorite. 300 pesos for 1 hour .
2. Pizzas at Luca's.

Getting there:

1. I was told that it's better to take Minolo Shipping Lines because they have a free shuttle to Talipanan. They will also pick you up when you are ready to leave.
2. We did not take Minolo so we had to take a tricycle.  Tricycle to Talipanan from Muelle costs 160 for a special trip or 40 pesos per person if you are 4.

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