Not really a spur of a moment trip, but it was planned randomly. We wanted to go to either Baler or Marinduque with our whole barkada but some has messed up schedules that they couldn’t join. After so many times we postponed our target date, we finally decided to push through this weekend, just right to cap off summer 2016. Since there’s just the three of us, we opted to just go somewhere near. I’m not the one who thought of going here but my friend, Seska. But I think she was looking for somewhere south that he stumbled upon Coco Beach Island Resort in Behiya, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
You see, I am not new to this place. I have been here before, well, 23 years ago actually. I was almost 7 years old little girl, accompanied my mom with my Auntie Grace for ADB’s summer company outing.
But everything is vague. I only remembered parts of it from the pictures I have. I remember our room, the pool, and the boat ride to the island. Just that.
We rode the Coco Express going to Batangas Port. We met at Shell Magallanes, left at 7:05 AM. We arrived Berberabo Port in Batangas 2 hours after.
We left the port after 30 minutes and finally arrived the island after a 40 minute boat ride. The huge boat that we rode going to the island is also included in the resorts transportation service. Rates and schedule of trips are available here.
The staff were very helpful, from the boat all the way to the reception area to our room, they carried our bags. From the reception, they gave us shell necklaces to welcome us. Once checked in and was given stubs for the welcome drinks, they informed us of everything we need to know and informed us of the service family that was assigned to us.
A Service Family is a Filipino Family that lives close to our cottage and was assigned to us to take care of us during our stay. They were the ones who brought our bags, guided us going to our room, fixed our bed ready for the night by fixing the mosquito nets and tiding it up the next day. They were very courteous and helpful, BUT when we went back our room after we spent the morning at the beach, our door was left unlocked. Good thing nothing got lost and our key was left somewhere. Coco and I were able to go inside and take a bath immediately, since we are rushing to check out already.
Anyway, we rested for a while and dressed up before we headed to the Carabao Restaurant for lunch. The place was buzzing already since it was already lunch time. we got our table and ordered. It took more than an hour before they served our order. It was just chicken adobo, pinakbet and grilled tuna, but it took that long. I understand that we weren’t just the only ones in the restaurant, but it really took a long time before we got served. Food was okay, but not exceptional, prices was too expensive for the serving size that they have.
My excited Coco ran to the beach area excitedly. We got a hut where we were able to settle down for the afternoon. While the girls napped, we tried to swim, but the clear water shows how rocky it was, with sea grass at that, that’s why Coco didn’t want to swim in it.
So we just wandered around the place. Coco found a spot that wasn’t so rocky that’s why he finally got to play even if it’s just by the shore. I can feel that he really wanted to swim, but he really doesn’t like the state of the sea.
When it was a little shady, we went to the play ground and that’s where Coco spent the rest of his afternoon. He really enjoyed the see saw and slide – first time he was able to use legit ones, bigger ones. By 3 PM, I noticed the water was gone. Low tide, the rocks and sea grass was very visible already. Coco just continued to play for a bit, then it started to drizzle.
We stayed by the hut and ended up napping for a good two hours. It was almost sunset when it stopped raining, we finally were able to take beach pictures! Then we went to the bridge way, took pictures and watched the beautiful sunset.
We then went back to Carabao Restaurant for dinner (tuna sandwich, ham and cheese sandwich, carbonara and hotdog & toast). We went in early so that we wont have to wait long this time. We were back to our room at around quarter to 9, bathed and finally, at 10PM the little boy was already asleep. Although it took him a while to sleep, he was having a hard time because he it was kind of hot inside the mosquito net and our electric fan, even if it’s already in number 3, wasn’t strong enough to pass through the mosquito net. After fixing our things and finally giving up the with the limited (to none) internet connection (LTE), I tried sleeping, same as Coco and I tossed and turned a lot of times before I finally was able to sleep. But to no avail, I woke up at midnight because it was so hot and had to put a sweat pad at Coco’s back because he was sweating so bad. Then I tried sleeping again, until I decided to just remove our mosquito net. I really couldn’t take it anymore. If I couldn’t, papano pa kaya si Coco na mainitin talaga? I finally fell asleep after that.
I woke up an hour before my alarm would even be able to ring (supposedly at 8AM). But at around 8AM, there was no electricity in the island. I am not sure if there was even a generator, but we didn’t have any until we left our room at 8:30AM for breakfast. Back at the Carabao Restaurant for breakfast, finally there is something I could commend. The buffet breakfast was good, finally something I would enjoy eating. I loved the menudo, the salad, cereals (for coco), omelette (DIY) and unli drinks. AAaahhhh. Perfect!
Before we went back to our room the night before, we reserved for a slot for the free boat trip to another area around Puerto Galera. Boat left at 9:30AM for a 20 minutes ride. When we reached the destination, we were kind of disappointed.
It was a small shore in one side of an island, that was very rocky and full of parked boats. We couldn’t swim there, and you have to ride a smaller boat to another area to be able to do activities like snorkeling or swimming, and we have to pay for that. Imagine, the boat would come back to Coco Beach at 11:30AM pa and it was just a few minutes to 10AM and we don’t have anything to do and Coco was looking for sand! Good thing, we were told that we can pay Php250 if we want to come back earlier. So we asked the boat men to bring us back to Coco Beach.
We just stayed by the beach, swam, hanged out by the shore and Coco played at the playground until we had to go back to our room to prepare for check out.
We left Coco Beach at 12:30PM, the 40 minute boat ride and another 3 hours trip from Berberabe Port before we finally reached Manila. We weren’t informed that they were going to drop us off at their office in Pasay. We expected that we will be dropped off at Shell Magallanes, too. We wasted an hour going to their office, when that 1 hour could have brought us home already, if the driver dropped us at Shell.
Anyway, the trip was fun. We got the rest we wanted, kind of recharged for the new month, despite the tantrums that Coco had. The place was definitely beautiful, our room wes comfortable, nice and clean, it’s just that it was hot at night with the mosquito nets. Food was just okay, service at the restaurant was blah pero bumawi sa breakfast buffet. Service of the staff was exemplary, even carried Coco all the way down to the reception area kasi super taas ng room namin, and I couldn’t carry him. But would I go back soon? No, I don’t think I will come back anytime soon. Maybe, I’d rather stay at the white beach/sabang beach next time. Definitely not recommending if you hate rocky shores with sea grass (Coco says “yucky beach”). But it was good to be back after 23 years and in the end, what mattered is that Coco had fun, somehow.
Some pictures I recreated, me and my mini me
Here’s some snippets of our trip, enjoy!