The pool’s water was warm to my skin. I swam a quick lap and dove all the way down, breath held tight, my skin touching the pool tiles. Rising for air, I felt tiny droplets pelting my already wet face. It’s starting to drizzle again. We were at Puerto Galera’s El Cañonero Resort and what’s supposed to be a weekend of sunny beach action is marred by stong winds and unceasing rains.
Our story started at the Batangas Port. Taking the early morning bus to the pier, we were greeted by bystanders telling us that the trips heading to Puerto Galera’s White Beach were cancelled due to the coming storm. There’s an alternate route though, they continued. We can still go via the larger RORO ferries to Calapan and ride a van to Puerto Galera from there. Now would we want a van ride for an x amount of pesos, they offered.
We did get on board the RORO and traveled all the way from Calapan’s port to Puerto Galera but not by van. We did it the backpacker’s way; we hailed a jeep waiting for Korean tourists and haggled for the cheapest price.
But El Cañonero is not located on Puerto Galera’s popular White Beach. It’s located at the less crowded Talipanan Beach; we still have to ride a tricycle and hike for ten minutes through a dirt road with nothing but trees on both sides. It’s a bit creepy walking along the path after sundown with nothing but our cell phones for light.
Walking along the beach, strong waves lapping at our feet, we saw a resort nestled at a foot of a hill. It looked otherworldly, wrapped in almost total darkness. It’s the resort right after El Cañonero, we backtracked a bit and after twelve hours of travel time, we finally entered El Cañonero’s well-lit patio.
Giorgio, El Cañonero’s Italian owner, welcomed us like family. Asking how we were able to stretch the travel time from Manila to Puerto Galera’s Talipanan beach from three hours to a full day. It’s a very long story, we said, and related to him the day that was.
We continued our tale as he herded us to our room. The guy’s so kind, instead of giving us the usual two-person room at the ground floor, he went all out and provided a room that can comfortably hold five persons with a clean en suite toilet and bath. It includes a private veranda overlooking the whole resort too at no extra cost. It’s no Misibis Bay, but it’s not bad either.
That night, we dined on canned goods we brought along to save on expenses. I like resorts that allow guests to bring their own food and snacks without having to pay excessive corkage fees.
I’m liking El Cañonero more each passing minute.
On succeeding meals, we decided to try out their dishes. Along with a few bottles of beer, we ordered a plate of fried chicken wings (Php180.00) and a pan of pizza (Php365.00). We asked if they can halve the pizza into two flavors, Rustica and Four Cheese. They graciously obliged.
We heard that their pizza is to die for and it didn’t disappoint, but their chicken fared better with the beer, well at least for me.
I love how we can eat and hang outdoors even with the rain pattering non-stop. When we’re not guzzling bottles of Red Horse at our room’s veranda, we can be found sitting at the wooden chairs under the nipa huts surrounding El Cañonero’s swimming pool.
A bottle of Red Horse Stallion beer cost Php75.00. Quite steep compared to the metro price of Php40.00. But considering the resort’s isolated location and the difficulty of transporting it there, I guess it’s justified. And yeah, it’s all to a better end, I think, since we might’ve never gotten off our asses if it’s priced too cheaply.
In our three-day stay at El Cañonero Beach Resort, we were able to swim at the beach only once, a miraculous hour of no rain. Gone was our plan to snorkel, do an introductory dive or even simply watch and photograph the sunset. But still, we didn’t feel our weekend wasted. It’s simply a vacation turned staycation.
El Cañonero Diving Beach Resort
Address: Talipanan Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Contact Number: (0915) 845-4399
Website: Click Here
GPS Coordinates: +13° 29' 57.48", +120° 53' 9.12"
View Location on Google Maps