28 March 2011
Finding a place to stay in Puerto Galera is not easy for a first-timer (technically, a second-timer, on her first time to choose accommodations). Most spots are downright cheesy-- that Twilight Zone spot between purely rustic, "native" accommodations, and some more modern and "forward" places.
Such "horror hotels" serve chop suey, look like Goldilocks icing, afford TVs but not toilet bowls seats, and poor ventilation. That's what happens when Filipinos do a scuttle towards what they perceive to be "classy" accommodations, sacrificing the simple essentials. Many a breakfast have I spent staring at my "continental breakfast"-- often a relatively sweet mayo sandwich on white bread, with 3-in-1 coffee on the side. Hey! Give me fruit, give me local pot-simmered coffee, give me calamansi juice, give my boyfriend (the meat eater) smoked fish or something. Costs the same (or less), tastes better.
I don't know what they serve at Bangera Inn, but this unassuming, surprising spot away from the White Beach chaos is the perfect place to have some peace while enjoying the inner island walks that Puerto Galera offers.
The staircase, with low steps and ample natural night.
There are colonial elements all over the inn, with a lot of old wood, wrought iron, and sampaguita glass. Machuca tiles, cement fashioned to look like old plaster-- all the cozy elements that make you remember your lola and hot cacao.
The lobby, with simple wooden furniture.
The rooms are spacious, clean, and inexpensive-- I believe we spent 1500 pesos a night between 6 people (including an extra double mattress and breakfast). There are some cheesy elements, such as the bedsheets (your standard China cotton prints), but the proportions of the room were just right. Bad stuff is negligible.
Spacious rooms with cheesy bedsheets.
The bedroom floors are Vigan clay tiles, a nice touch.
The bathrooms, though using SM-type faux-clay tiles and similarly-styled bath curtains, are very clean, with hot water. The toilets are of good quality and new (that is worth mentioning, as we skipped several places due to deplorable toilet situations). I can rock bad bathrooms, but not when they're overpriced.
Clean bathrooms are an instant win on islands.
A big plus to Bangera is its roof deck, a charming windy area from which you can view the whole island. It's nice to climb up at dawn and see the people beginning to stir and move around. (There is also an empty lot across which could easily house a small edible garden). The staff is also fantastic. They will look after you even if you are the type to stumble in after a blur of a night:
White Beach (Behind Dreamwaves Resort)
Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Mobile (+63926) 706 4051
Manila Number (+632) 822 1192
Kinunot-style shark. It tastes like crab, apparently. As previously mentioned, mangroves serve as a mediator between two envir...
Did you know that ampaw is actually made by frying sun-dried bahaw (leftover rice)? This Filipino version of rice crispies is extremely add...
Palm leaves make for labor-intensive but free, beautiful, and 100% biodegradable packaging. The woman said it was pakaskas , a snack made in...
Mmmm. I was never a fan of puto Biñan , those spongy, sweet pieces of bready rice cake (or cakey rice bread) cooked in a bilao and cut in...
Table cover made with politico propaganda tarpaulin. The rubber stamp maker is a fixture in Manila streets. They are the unsung heroes o...