Mar 23, 2008

Holy Week and Puerto Gaylera

Photo of White Beach looking towards the eastern end.

White Beach photo from Wikipedia.

"if puerto galera sinks during holy week, ubos ang kalahati ng gay population in the philippines..."liner

"kalahati lang kaya?"ebe

Those two comments above on Migs' Puerto Galera post made me laugh out loud. Of course it's an exaggeration, but the fact that a significant portion of the PLU population in Metro Manila and the Southern Tagalog region converge to Puerto Galera, specifically White Beach, during Holy Week is one of those things you expect year in, year out. Like Christmas, your birthday, and President Arroyo's scandals. It's so expected, even straight people know it (so they go to Boracay instead). It's as if Malate was transported magically to the island of Mindoro. And no, I didn't go to Galera. I've been there a few times but I have never went during the Holy Week; my religious convictions get the better of me. Hehehe.

Why Holy Week? I have no idea and I don't know when this gay Visita Iglesia started. I guess it's because Holy Week is the only guaranteed long weekend during summer. Also, due to the quirky nature of setting the date of Easter Sunday, there's always a full moon during Holy Week and I guess it's appealing to cruise around at night when it's dark, but not too dark that you can't see whether the guy you're kissing is cute or not. Hehehe.

Anyway, I know it's a bit late but shown below is a map depicting the usual gay places in hot pink push pins for your reference. (Hey, the weekend after Holy Week is also a popular go-to-the-beach week, since some people like to avoid the mass of people during Holy Week that could rival the population density of Bangladesh. Plus there's the upcoming Araw ng Kagitingan long weekend so it's not as if the map is entirely useless.) I've pointed on the map the three places you should know about: Jurassic Park, Rockwell, and Zanzi Bar. Click on the push pins to know where they are.

View Larger Map

Jurassic Park is really just a bit of forest very near the eastern end of the beach. It's the bit of dense foliage a few tens of meters from the big boulder and the cave, and its where miraculous things happen, especially at night. At least a few years ago. I hear that the local barangay have put up a barbed-wire fence to close of the area, but I don't think it prevented gay guys from entering the forest.

On the opposite end of the beach is Rockwell. This is just a rocky area leading to Aninuan Beach. I hear that the cruisiest time is during late afternoon. (I guess it's too dangerous to navigate the area at night?) Take note that many people also go here to do some artsy photo sessions via sexy poses. :-)

Finally, on a more wholesome level, there's Zanzi Bar, I think the only bar that proudly flies the rainbow flag. Zanzi Bar is actually just a kiosk and this is the perennial party place of Government (that gay dance club in Makati) during the Holy Week. See Henry Lim's (he's one of the owners of Government) announcement for 2008.

Tips: While gays are tolerated very much in Puerto Galera, any "public indecency" is not welcome, not even at night when everything is mostly dark. Local barangay officials are known to patrol the bar areas at night to prevent "scandals" and motorboats with powerful spotlights often glide past the beaches scanning for "unwholesome activities." You'd better best stick to kissing and necking (which you can easily cover up) if you do find some nice guys on the eastern half of White Beach at night and do the more carnal pleasures in a private room. (Sadly, there's no motel in the area, as far as I know.)

Here are some nice gay blog posts from years past about Puerto Galera: " Puerto Galera’s White Beach - Gay Capital of the Philippines?!" and " A Puerto Galera Adventure". Have you been to Puerto Galera this past week? Got any stories of your own to tell? :-)

Update (2010): Reader taurus top has posted some updated tips regarding White Beach, Puerto Galera. You would definitely find them useful.


Baklang AJ wrote on March 24, 2008 at 1:17 AM:

I've been to Galera once (not on a Holy Week but the week after) and I didn't like it. Probably because I got sick when got there and probably because of the accommodations that we had.

Ika nga nila, Galera daw is one of two things: Poor Man's Boracay or Gay Man's Haven. Kumusta kaya ang Easter Egg Hunt sa Galera?

Haven talaga? Lol. Great tips by the way! And I love the pink push pins!

Vince wrote on March 24, 2008 at 10:42 PM:

AJ, glad you liked the post. Too bad you didn't enjoy your stay in Galera. You should try it again sometime. And yeah, I'd say that Galera is the poor man's Boracay. Haven't experienced the gay haven part yet. Hehehe.

closet case wrote on March 27, 2008 at 9:36 PM:

hi vince! its been a loooong time since ive been there. and i didnt even sample the cuisine then. hahaha. guess its time for a return, ala douglas macarthur. wanna join me for some investigative journalism? =)

Vince wrote on March 27, 2008 at 11:19 PM:

CC, sure! It's summer and the men are ripe for the picking. Hehehe. :-)

Boyd wrote on March 30, 2008 at 2:22 AM:

hey, just some ideas for future material for this blog:
1) d.tour blue lounge along shaw blvd in mandaluyong (they have a multiply site)

2)queeriosity (

anyway, love your blog :)

Urkyules wrote on March 31, 2008 at 1:18 PM:

hey vince, nice blog;)

I tend to agree with a previous comment, though, gaylera is poor man's boracay--after checking out bora,bohol or palawan, and given all the cheap airfare rates nowadays, you'll only find two reason to go to puerto -- the party scene (if you want to get wasted with friends by the beach) and the cruising scene. The latter is usually the case with most gay guys, which a lot would tend to deny. hehe.

btw, hope you don't mind me adding you in my blog roll;)cheers!:)

Mugen wrote on March 31, 2008 at 5:12 PM:

Never been to gale yet. :)

Vince wrote on April 11, 2008 at 12:19 AM:

Boyd, thanks! I definitely plan on doing some "investigative journalism" (as CC puts it) on these places among others. :)

Urkyules, even if airplane tickets are cheap nowadays, a 600-peso round-trip fare between Manila and Puerto Galera still beats airline surcharges any day! So being a "poor man" is still a pretty good reason. Hehehe.

Mugen, want to join me and CC there? :)

alfaque69 wrote on September 27, 2008 at 3:49 PM:

WAHAHAH garbe ka dude! grabe talaga ang mga sexcapades nyo dyan sa Manila unlike here in ILOILO. very out mga tao dyan at ok lng ba sa inyo na lalake sa lalake ang nagdedate?

Andrew wrote on October 21, 2010 at 7:06 AM:

I use to go to puerto whenever Im sad. I go there alone. I just love beach. Aside sa malapit, cheaper and relaxing naman ang area. And for gay-related activities, never had any chance to witness or even experience, siguro dahil pag pumunta ako don, hindi yun ang agenda ko. :)

ym: gitaristangdrummer

neal wrote on June 2, 2011 at 6:08 PM:

Hi Vince, I wanna be totally OUT for where there will be no descrimination.. sawa na ako sa katatago gusto kong lumantad for awhile sa isang islang walang pakiaalam ang kahit sino.. help me naman