Philippines Surfing if you want to miss the crowds.Written by Brett Jankowiak
Philippines surfing is not quite a destination that would conjure up images of brilliant surfing breaks. Truth be told surfing in Philippines can be fickle, but if you are after an adventure, are willing to go off beaten track and are not afraid to try something different, then surfing in Philippines will not disappoint you.
With 7,107 islands, roaring Pacific Ocean bordering eastern coastline and South China Sea on western coastline and attracting more typhoons than most neighboring countries, Philippines surfing is alive and well. In fact Philippines are not a new surfing destination, with surfers enjoying waves here since at least sixties, maybe even earlier. Letís face it who wouldnít want a perfect left or right hander all to yourself!
Philippines surfing can be both temperamental and seasonal, it is important to know when best time to come is or you may be disappointed, nothing worse that a surfer without surf.
You can either surf east coast or west coast. The east coast probably gets better surf.
The east coast - which is Pacific Ocean side gets itís swell from monsoons, low depression tropical storms and typhoons. The first monsoon to hit east coast is south west monsoon which arrives in May and lasts through to about October. Philippines surfing is not that reliable even during monsoon. The better and more consistent surf is during north east monsoon or amihan, during November to April. On top of monsoons throw in a typhoon or many and you can imagine that surfing in Philippines can really pump. The typhoons usually come in from east of Mindanao and head in a north westerly direction hitting southern Luzon and islands between Luzon and Pacific.
Puerto Galera, Philippines Ė Beauty Beyond Imagining!Written by Brett Jankowiak
It was not until I had been given my first San Miguel that I realised that this place was hot, humid and sticky. My first San Mig didnít even touch sides. I was back in Manila sitting at bar in hotel, after dropping off my bag and putting all my important documents in safety deposit box. I took some time to reflect on my first visit to this incredibly diverse country.
When you discuss holiday destinations with people, better trodden paths are ones most frequented, not many people I know have traveled to Philippines. Let me tell you, if you enjoy tropical islands with white powdery sand merging into jungle on one side and then disappearing into turquoise blue water on other, then this is place for you! After all there are 7,107 islands in Philippines, take your pick!
The Philippines is third largest English speaking country in world, which makes getting around so much easier. Tourism has not really taken off like in neighboring Asian countries, like Thailand and Malaysia and infrastructure is not quite there, which in a way makes it all more exciting because your holiday will become an adventure, it can drag you down at times but once you arrive at your final destination trip getting there will be long forgotten.
My journey took me to resort town of Puerto Galera on island of Mindoro. Puerto Galera is port where Spanish Galleons use to take refuge from might of typhoons. Letting your imagination wonder a little as you glance around port, you can almost see Spanish Galleons swinging on their anchors. Puerto Galera has recently won 2005 Most Beautiful Bay in World Award. It is easy to see why.
Getting to Puerto Galera
From Manila you need to take a bus to Batangas which takes approximately three hours, depending on time of day and which day it is, longest it has taken me was seven hours. From Batangas which is south of Philippine capital of Manila you can catch a ferry across to Puerto Galera which is about an hour to an hour and half. The trip to Batangas is pretty uneventful, real beauty starts when you get on ferry. The water is a deep cobalt blue, if you are lucky you may even see dolphins, turtles and flying fish.