Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, March 09, 2015

La Laguna Beach is a short shoreline in the tourism-friendly island of Puerto Galera in the Philippines. Local tourists in mainland Luzon and in the other regions of the country may find the island to be a popular summer getaway for the white sands of White Beach, but foreign tourists seem to be acquainted more all year-round with the nocturnal beachfront village of Sabang which is just a stroll away from it.

Where's La Laguna Beach?

La Laguna Beach is just a 15-minute stroll from the Sabang Pier terminal. Interestingly, it's still divided into two enclaves -- the old, tranquil cove known as Big La Laguna and the one strip of old Mindoro beach that’s next to Sabang. Aptly called Small or Little La Laguna Beach, the latter was where I got lost more than a decade ago. Instead of boarding a boat for White Beach, I accidentally rode a Sabang-bound boat that led me to discover that side of Oriental Mindoro for the first time.

My booked poolside Spa Suite with jacuzzi

Revisiting Sabang

For my revisit of Sabang, I was booked at Small La Laguna Beach’s Out-of-The-Blue Resort. Its narrow entrance literally speaks of its name at the beachfront, appearing out-of-the-blue from a palatial space which is a short boat ride away from Coco Beach Island Resort, another foreigner-favorite destination (mostly by Europeans).

Since I’ve experienced Coco Beach in 2013 with family and relatives and after reaching Sabang by mistake for the first time, I was sure that La Laguna Beach’s charms can only be of three adventures -- of snorkeling, scuba diving, and a tropical night life. A secluded sunbathing memory by the beach is impossible to be had here since its shoreline is mostly rocky and surrounded by passenger boats. With the excesses of the nearby province of Batangas making it hardly possible to be clean all throughout the year, female locals would clean the beachfront with their little ones early in the morning on a daily basis.

Getting There

After a three-hour Batangas Pier-bound JAM Bus ride from Kamias, Quezon City and an hour of Sabang-bound passenger boat ride, I arrived at the island’s terminal a bit dazed from the dizzying ride. Just when I thought was prejudiced to keep perceiving the place as a decadent destination for the foolish foreigner, I realised differently, thanks to a simple, refreshing welcome drink. Maybe the accessibility of such pleasure keeps foreigners coming back in this side of the country.

The Palatial Resort and Spa Suite

To begin with, Out-of-The-Blue did not look anywhere near decadent to a fault. Sure, it is mightily stacked up in tiers or levels of elaborate villas that embrace the shape of the island’s high regions and my spacious 45-square meter poolside Spa Suite had a rockin’ jacuzzi, but it was clear to me that the pleasant kicks served as amenities. If anything, they came with the tropical experience of having a memorable getaway.

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The resort has two soak-worthy swimming pools with the other one unassumingly facing the sea from a high deck. Both, though, served my weekday dips quite well. The pool from my suite's doorstep was clearly designed with the idea of poolside guests diving in from the comforts of their booked rooms. The other pool looked more romantic as it can leave a guest breathless with the island's sunset appearing in stunning colors, something that I experienced for a morning ritual on my second day in Puerto Galera.

Complimentary Breakfast

Priceless was the breakfast view from the resort's F&B facility called The Veranda which was 3 storeys up my Spa Suite. I made sure to have chunky corned beef that morning as I figured no one would care what I looked like topless at the poolside anyway. Being single and all, I was there at the moment for those carefree moments.

Jacuzzi Soaks

During my stay, I lingered indoors more because of the jacuzzi. It sure was sublime, getting an indoor soak like that in the heat of the afternoon. I had it again after dinner. I repeated it after breakfast the next day and I'm not ashamed to admit that every single time, I felt like a day passed by. 

Staying Sober 

I made sure to be sober the whole time I was there to vividly recall the authenticity of experiencing the place. I'm proof that one can survive an overnight in Sabang without succumbing to booze and the wee-hour bar-hopping.

After my overnight stay at Out-of-The-Blue, I just might return and have it as base for the intrepid side of the island’s night life -- the spa, the sizzling bars, and more! No one really knows if I would be good at being drunk and single at the same time except for me anyway.

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Out of The Blue Resort - Puerto Galera

Address: Little La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Phone: (043) 287-3357 or 0920-948-9400

Check out my other Puerto Galera-related blog post:

More Photos Below:

At night, guests either soak themselves in jacuzzi time or linger at the poolside where the night sizzles
Had a fascinating sunrise view of Puerto Galera from the resort's poolside deck

Beachfront time at the old Big La Laguna Beach, a 10-minute stroll away from Out of The Blue Resort

The resort's F&B facility called The Veranda
The bar at The Veranda


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