The day after Jason’s arrival in the Philippines we immediately went traveling. We had a week to travel together before I had to return to Manila to catch a flight, as Sheila and I had another trip planned for Bohol and Cebu.
After scrambling for ideas, figuring out what route Jason and I should take, we agreed to travel to the island of Mindoro and Coron. It seemed feasible to be able to see both of these islands before returning to Manila.
Sounded like a plan.
It was going to be interesting traveling without Sheila. It had been awhile since I traveled without her.
At the ungodly hours of the morning, Sheila kindly drove Jason and I to the bus station where we took a bus to the city of Batangas. Once we arrived at Batangas we boarded a ferry to Puerto Galera, located on Mindoro Island.
We stayed at White Beach.
Whenever a beach is called “white”, I always seem to envision the beach being… well, white. But it never seems to live up to its name. The beach is always an off-white, like a grayish or yellowish color. And it’s always a letdown, because I always hold on to the belief that I’m going to see a truly white, white beach.
Just call it like it is, dammit, and enough with the false advertising.
But I digress.
However, I have to admit, white beach or no white beach, it was… a nice beach.
Once we found a relatively affordable hotel room, and after we were offered a few prostitutes by one of the hotel employees – “Would you like a few girls,” he asked us – we set off to find some food as we were both starving.
First I should note that, contrary to what you may have heard, accommodation in the Philippines is NOT cheap. Despite a few hostels in some of the major cities like Manila or Cebu, rooms are typically at least 500 pesos ($11.60 USD). For backpackers like myself, this is quite expensive, especially for anyone traveling solo who can’t split the price.
And despite that you’re paying more, the quality of the rooms here are much lower than its neighboring countries. For instance, here, in the Philippines, 500 pesos won’t get you a room with a flushing toilet (it’s a 50/50 chance), air-conditioning, hot water, or a shower head (expect bucket showers). However, with 500 pesos in, say, Thailand, Laos, or Vietnam for example, I would be living in luxury.
While Jason and I were searching for some food, an old English bloke recommended that we eat at a restaurant called Paul's Restaurant. Or was it Paul's Place? In any case, it was delicious. The chicken adobo that I ordered may have been the best adobo dish that I've had during my travels in the Philippines. Yes, it was that good.
Since the title of this blog is "Ladyboys Galore in Puerto Galera" I guess this would be a suitable time to begin talking about that.
So, as the title of this blog implies, there were a lot of ladyboys present at White Beach. Seriously, I'm not lying when I say they were e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. And the ones who weren't frolicking along the beach were working at the restaurants - EVERY restaurant - and pestering us for our business.
"Not that there's anything wrong with that."
I have nothing against gay people or ladyboys; however, these ladyboys were so freakin' annoying and always in our faces, touching us and making sexual innuendo jokes. They didn't give us any room to breathe. Not joking.
It also didn't help that Jason and I arrived during the middle of the week, so there weren't many other tourists present. It's safe to assume we were fresh meat.
After one night at White Beach, Jason and I were ready to leave. I think we would've had a much better experience if we would've visited White Beach in a group and on the weekend.
So it was fitting that a rainbow appeared over the sea that evening. A rainbow flag, if you recall, is the international sign that represents gay pride.
Oh, the irony.
Next Stop: Pandan Island (or so we thought)...