Tales of Manila – #6 Paradise

I had a date with paradise…

Once I stood in Huntington Beach, California and admired the depth of the Pacific Ocean. Nothing lays beyond you and infinity when you just admire the distant beauty of the open waters.  At that time, my inspiration to move to a country,where paradise is just a breath away, grew indefinitely.  Thus, a group of fellow German expats decided to head on a trip down to Puerto Galera to go on a date with wonderland.

We left at 5:00 am from Manila. Luckily, I had only slept two hours because Friday night kicked in – classic dinner & only one glass of vino which turned into 1 1/2 bottles.  I was picked with my eyes half open and only the sunrise ahead of me. Our group drove through the southern part of the Philippine main island between jungles and little villages until we reached Batangas. We boarded the ferry, a mid-sized Banca, full of Filipinos and occasionally another foreigner. We headed for the unknown.

For 1 1/2 hours I dozed along the sound of the waves hitting the boat left and right. When we finally arrived, I saw what I came to see. Palm trees, turquoise waters, colorful boats and white beaches. We left the ferry right on the beach, I stepped into the 29 degree water and felt the sand between my toes. Remember when you were 10 years old, it was Christmas and you were waiting for that one special gift? All the joy and happiness that poured out of you once you finally had it in your hands? The feeling is quite similar when you finally reached a place that you have been wanting to see for so long. Not that Ireland doesn’t have any beaches, it’s just not the same.

Once of the boat, we were offered a dizillion choices: paragliding, jet skiing, motor boating, etc. One local Filipino after another approached us with his best promises. As tempting as it was, we were resisting and decided to rent some motorcycles instead. Getting there seemed more shadier then ever, we went through dark alleys and around strange corners. I am sure not everyone got out of them alive. We did though… One thing I love about Asia, it is so easy to rent a motorcycle. You don’t have to show your license, and as I don’t have a motorcycle permit it does make things a lot easier. Thus, off we drove to finally meet paradise somewhere along the street.

After a couple of turns and gorgeous views we reached the end of the road and a large guarded silver gate appeared in front of us. With no reservation we asked to enter the accommodation and were permitted to do so. Since it is off-season, we easily scored ourselves a beachfront villa, opened our eyes and finally reached paradise at 11:00 am.

Beautiful would be the perfect word to describe the scenery. The infinity pool seemed to merge with the ocean, the wind stroke through the palm trees and the white beach was ours alone.

We quickly settled in, merged with the bar, ate some lunch and did what everyone would do, jumped right into the warm Pacific. Life continued that way until the next day and we had to return to Manila.

Essentially, this trip was a great decision, the last minute turn onto the false exit ramp on the way back into Metro Manila not. Don’t go into the express lane through a toll booth if you don’t have a valid permit. A police officer and his shotgun security deputy were awaiting us with a juicy ticket and the confiscation of our drivers’ license. Shit out of luck, one would say.

Still, 24 hours in paradise seemed worth and so …

….it turns out we like each other.

Pictures: Instagram @Sir.Wk



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