[PHOTO AT LEFT - Dolphinbay Beach]

MANILA, APRIL 12, 2009 (BULLETIN) By EDWIN SALLAN, JULIUS VICENTE - The beach has many facets: quiet, loud, serene, girlie, messy, windy, and many more. It is vast and everywhere you go, it has something different to offer. We have places to play music and to party here, too, so people don’t get bored.”

Stephen Lu is not exactly talking about the favored summer destination, Boracay. Instead, the frontman of the now defunct alternative band, Rizal Underground (yes, that was him singing the big hit, “Sabado Nights”) is actually waxing poetry about the charms of Puerto Galera. Fascinated by its splendor, he has taken refuge there in recent years, and he is in fact now managing a new beachfront and dive resort called Dolphinbay (owned by Austrian expat Manfred Tauber).

Many beach resorts in the area offer live entertainment especially at night. So does Dolphinbay, which during the inauguration night, guests were treated to spirited, old school rock and roll sets courtesy of guest performers – the Bembol Rockers as well as jamming numbers from Lu himself and legendary rock guitarist Jun Lopito, who has also taken up residence in Galera as of late.

The famous Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro still never ceases to enchant tourists around the globe because of the richness of its marine life and biodiversity. During our Catamaran sailing trip the following day, we were treated to a glimpse of the majestic coves, reefs, and pocket beaches that are living proof why Puerto Galera is also listed among the elite “Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.”

Under the tropical sun, the gleaming blue-green ocean over the clear blue skies that blends well with the rugged and green towering mountain ranges look more picturesque than ever. The cruise to Bulabod beach is an affirmation that Puerto Galera has its own magic: untouched mountain ranges while potable water spring flows freely and adjoins to the seawater on the beach.

The beauty of the area enthralled Austrian couple Graf and Christa Eduard, who visited Puerto Galera for the first time. The sweltering heat of the sun did not stop them from snorkeling. “We both love the sun! If there’s any chance to have another vacation getaway, definitely we will go here again,” the couple said.

Whoever labeled Puerto Galera as a “poor man’s Boracay” because of its accessibility and comparatively affordable rates has certainly not seen the other side of the island that offers unique and exciting adventure destinations yet to be discovered.

“When you’re in Puerto Galera, you will have a chance to learn many water activities such as diving, sailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, and many others,” Lu shares.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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