Puerto Galera beaches aren’t picture-perfect if you are to compare it with those beaches found in Palawan and Boracay. But spending a day or two at this Oriental Mindoro province is a holiday. It has sparkling blue waters that blend seamlessly with the lustrous sand. And its underwater is just too friendly to accommodate kids – even of tender age- to say hi to the many Nemos and Dorys.
Yes, my seven- and nine- year old boys joined their mama and papa in exploring Puerto Galera’s under the sea. We were able to look for a family-friendly accommodation in Puerto Galera at a great price.
Before finding Nemo, my boys learned snorkeling
I first learned how to snorkel at Palawan. And I used what I learned there to teach my boys the basic technique of snorkeling. Thank God as well they were undeniably bright to understand the short lesson we had.
With no available mask yet, I asked the boys to breathe steadily in and out through their mouth. And once we had the gear, I instructed them to bite harshly the rubber teeth clamp. I instructed them as well to keep their lips over the mouth guard. Again, they must breathe through their mouth. Another important pointer was not to douse their head toward the water to prevent the snorkel from going under.
Finding Nemo and a lot more
After a few long minutes – certain that the boys were prepared – we boarded a banca and Manong brought us to the snorkeling site. We waved hi’s and hello’s to fellow snorkeling enthusiasts boarded on other bancas. Finally, Manong asked us to descend from the banca, gave us bread to feed the fish, and dragged us all over the water through his motorized boat.
I may say that Puerto Galera has a rich marine life. Under, we saw various exotic and enchanting marine life species. An assortment of fish in different shapes, colors and sizes awed us. Lionfish, Goby and Clown fish were aplenty playing hide and seek at the soft and stony corals. A group of starfish – from the blue colored to green ones—are in abundance. My seven-year-old son pointed to me a blue hippo tang or simply Dory of Finding Nemo weaving in and out the corals. He also directed me to some barnacles I only heard from Spongebob. There was no stopping my second son from talking even with a mouth guard on. He kept on saying, “Wow! Sea urchin. So beautiful!”
My Finding Nemo experience with my boys
Snorkeling is best in Puerto Galera– that I can say. More than being considered as the most premier diving location in the Philippines and probably the whole of Asia, Puerto Galera is an excellent destination for any underwater experience. And such worth remembering is when I had a glimpse of its underwater with brave boys in tow.
Collectively, I call any fish a fish. Or if I am not certain, I call any sea creature as sea creature. It was the boys who taught me the names of those sea creatures we’ve seen. More so, they never mentioned they fear the water, on the other hand, they kept on saying “we truly love the water. We want more snorkeling!”
Again, it was the best snorkeling experience I had. Simply because with us were our clever and well-read boys who can identify each sea creature with ease and great enthusiasm. Likewise, they never fear the water. They have conquered a mountain a month ago, now they have befriended the sea.
Our family went to Puerto Galera about four years ago (May 2012), but the sights of fishes and corals are still very fresh from my sons’ memory.