Friday, January 6, 2012

Family tripping at Puerto Galera + Tribal Hills Mountain Resort Review

What a better way to start our 2012 right? To TRAVEL!
One of my family's resolution this year is to travel and to have lots of bonding moments together despite our busy schedules. But don't get me wrong! We are a very close and intact family =) we are like barkadas! Some even refer us like siblings having fun altogether! 

We wanted to explore more of the Philippines. We know that our country has the best thing it has to offer! We want to walk and run and see more of Pinas! And to start off, our first destination this year: PUERTO GALERA.

(Pardon some of my photos. Since my digicam isn't working well with us during our trip, I have to rely mostly on my cellphone camera.) --- ;P
This would be our first island trip. We really don't have any clue on what we are about to see or experience. I just let Google direct ourselves (read: researched about Galera). Days before our travel to Puerto Galera, we booked for a resort for us to stay with. With the help of Metrodeal's offer:
Perfect for us! Perfect for three persons! Ohyeah lezzdudizz!
We chose Tribal Hills Mountain Resort as our sanctuary. At first, I was hesitant because it's a Metrodeal offer. With all our past experiences with them about failed advertisements, we still go for it. Metrodeal boasted that: Embark on a unique getaway with today's MetroDeal, which entitles 3 persons to the relaxing place of Puerto Galera, where you will stay 3-days/2-nights at Tribal Hills Resort for P3,999 instead of P8000. Included also are breakfasts, transfers and a breathtaking Aninuan Falls trekking tour. Nestled on a hilltop in Puerto Galera 60 meters above sea level, you will get a unique chance to experience a different world full of white sand beaches located near the hotel, panoramic views and lush green sloping valleys. --- OK. I'm getting scared now.

Whatsoever, we wanted to enjoy the sand, sun and water of the island! So if our sanctuary is not that good, who cares? Just as long as we reach the white beach, we will be so happy!

January 2, 2012 (FIRST DAY) 
Waking up early in the morning is the worst task our family will be doing. We are too lazy to wake up at 3 in the morning. So instead of getting up and packing our stuff, we slept for about a couple of minutes (read: 1 hour). Up we go and totally fixed ourselves around 5am, we went to Buendia Bus Terminal and boarded. It's a good thing that there's Jollibee in front of the terminal, we forgot having breakfast.
You could choose your own bus lines from the terminal. For us, we chose JAM transit going to Batangas Pier. Ticket costs Php 166.50 ($3.81). So that's almost Php500 for three pax ($11.43). It took the travel almost an hour and a half going to Batangas Pier. That long travel time can have you go for extra sleep or make you appreciate the scenery while aboard the bus.

Upon arrival at Batangas Pier, everything is clean and organized. People boarding and arriving from different terminals are organized. I must say, it is well-maintained.

Tribal Hills Resort informed us to choose either Minolo or Gallerian Lines for our RORO boat going to White Beach. From the terminal, several lineup of RORO liners are there to choose from. Terminal staffs told us that KEM Shipping Lines (M/B Green Voyager) is about to depart that time so we chose them. Our RORO boat costs Php 450/pax for a roundtrip tour ($10.28) so that's Php 1350 for 3pax ($30.85).

However, we weren't expecting that we would be paying additional fees such as the Terminal Fee and Environmental Fee. Price range are as follows:
TERMINAL FEE. Terminally-ill rated fee. LOL, just kidding.
ENVIRONMENTAL-USER'S FEE. Not environmentally and passenger friendly fee. Again, LOL
I mean, are these additional fees necessary? Enlighten me on these fees, please. I feel like we were held-up or something. You paid for your boat, why these fees?

Moving on, we were too excited boarding our RORO boat because it's our first time riding one! We each took photos of one another going down the boat (and even manongs were posing for a snap! LOL)
Mom, me and bro with manong behind us! Told us to SMILE after the count of three. HAHA!
This is mom doing the pose of the moment!
And me, well, doing the pose of the moment!
RORO boat ride isn't that bumpy as what everyone has been telling me. As far as I could remember, it's a smooth-sailing trip, or it's just me getting too giddy with the ride. Whatever, I love our boat ride with M/B Green Voyager! Big thanks to them!

As we were approaching the island, I cannot contain my excitement! I feel like  I'm a kid again! I can't wait to feel the sand on my feet! I AM SOOOOO GIDDY!!!! I AM BEYOND EXCITEMENT!!!
ME!!! With arms spreading for Puerto!!!
"Feel the sand, feet!!! FEELITTTTTT!!!"
See the beauty of White Beach, Puerto Galera! IT IS PARADISE! A VERY BEAUTIFUL PARADISE!

OK ok ok ok. I knoooow. We just arrived yet I am so excited enough! HAHAHAHA! Can't blame me though, this is my first island trip!!! Hahahaha! (Pardon if I'm messing around with the HAHAs)

We called our resort, Tribal Hills, upon our arrival at White Beach. They told us that our check-in time will be at 2pm. We arrived the beach around 10am so that gives us a lot of time to explore around. Oh, did I say we're famished with the long ride going here? YES, WE ARE SO HUNGRY :| Not to worry, there's a lot of restaurants around White Beach offering sumptuous island food! 

For our first eat-out at the island, we opted to eat at Badboys restaurant. From the interiors of the restaurant, you'll be enticed to eat here --- especially for me since there is a lineup of BOOKS there! Yummy treats for tummy and brain!

I saw a Swedish copy of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' here. The owner gave me an English copy of it to read with. I told him I have a copy at home and never finished it since it got me puzzled with those economics thingy stuff. WHATEVER! BOOKWORM talking now!!!
After lunch, we were advised by our resort to go to our pick-up point and wait for our shuttle ride. This cool jeep (or truck) came for us!
Your heavy-duty truck can go up, up and awaaaay! Riding here makes your trip more FUN especially when you're seated at the back!
It's an uphill (or downhill) ride going to the resort! Mind you, you have to grip onto something stable or you might fall! Hahaha!
Remember I told you that I was a bit scared because it's a Metrodeal Offer? Fret no more because, Tribal Hills Mountain Resort is... PARADISE! An oasis in the mountains! An alluring and charming treat for the eyes! Perfect for relaxation and vacation! Two thumbs up!

Indeed, it's a double treat for us! One, because we were at the most beautiful island of Puerto Galera and secondly, our sanctuary lives up to our expectation. It's worth our pay. I would really recommend Tribal Hills Resort to my family and friends whenever they would visit Puerto Galera.
Standard Room. I think the biggest standard room I've ever seen. (Pardon, the sheets were messy because of us. LOL) What I don't like are the pillows. It's too flat, not enough for a good night sleep. Well, so meh. I'm meticulous with my pillows.
Cable TV. Cute interiors.
Checking-in at Room no. 5 
Spacious shower and toilet area.
The resort is Wi-Fi ready. Unfortunately, from our room we have weak signal so we have to search for areas with strong ones.
The staff were very friendly and accommodating. Although there is no service phone in the rooms, we have to look outside for someone to help us with our needs but they're just around the resort. We're not big fans of ordering food from where we are staying at but the free breakfast we have is a hearty one (photo later), enough to make you satisfied. Although one thing kept us annoyed. We asked for a hot water and we were charged Php10 ($0.23) per cup. I mean, that's just hot water. Why being charged for it? I've been to a lot of resorts and hotels and they never charge us for one. I think they should rethink about charging guests for hot water. But in overall, I'm giving them my 4.5 stars out 5.

After unloading our stuff in our room, we went back to White Beach via Tribal Hills' shuttle service. They have a schedule on when will be the free shuttle be. If you are to ask them to tour you around places beyond the said schedule, there will an additional charge of Php200 ($4.55).

January 3, 2012 (SECOND DAY)
Free breakfast at the Treetops Restaurant!
Tocilog and longsilog with a cup of coffee
Treetops Restaurant inside the resort. Great location with a perfect view of Mt. Malasimbo
After having breakfast, we were scheduled to have our trekking tour going to Aninuan Falls. TREKKING is one thing I love whenever I go places so this has got my nerves perked up. Consider this activity as your morning exercise!

MEET YOUR PRO --- ME! Hahahaha!
The trip going to Aninuan Falls took us almost an hour of trekking, with no stopovers. For beginners, I think they would somehow have a hard time keeping up because of steep slope of rocks and would be muddy and slippery when it rained. If my memory serves me right, you'll have to cross by eight rivers. It's a very tiring and exhausting walk, but the destination is worth your panting and exasperation. The falls is magnificent. Breath-taking scenery. 
Be ready with your Php20 ($0.46) as entrance fee to Aninuan Falls.

This coconut drink is NOT your welcome drink. Each costs Php50  ($1.14)
And here's my mom with lola, a native who sells the coconut =)
YES. You have to go back to the resort with the same walk-path as before. But nevertheless, it's worth your walk. Walk the walk. Shed off some pounds!

Of course, Puerto Galera will not be complete without the nightlife! So after resting at the resort, we went down at White Beach to see what Puerto nightlife is all about (Oh, and also pig-out!)
Souvenirs for your loved-ones!
The night is young and the party is just starting.
Fresh seafood goodies!

THIS GUY MADE MY NIGHT! I love fire zipping ♥    

January 3, 2012 (LAST DAY)
BOO-HOO! Last day at the island :(
My family will surely miss it here. Our last activity for the day: more swimming!

Magnificent view of Mt. Malasimbo from Tribal Hills Resort
Puerto Galera is one beautiful and wonderful destination in the Philippines. It's one among the many wonders you could visit here. Puerto Galera is located on the northern part of the island of Mindoro in the province Oriental Mindoro. It is about 130 kilometers south of Manila and 14 nautical miles from Batangas City. In total it has 12 coastal villages or Barangays and one mountain district. 

Tribal Hills Mountain Resort.
For more information:
Visit their website here:
Or thru Facebook: HERE.

I Support!



  1. I so love how you have written out your trip. As if I were with you, very descriptive and pictures really supported the words, i suddenly missed it, good thing you were able to get vouchers for that, I've been to Puerto but the island where we stayed at is not that beautiful.

  2. @Ms. Joy: Thank you very much! :) I feel like I want to travel blog more in the future so I'm starting with our Puerto Galera trip :) try Galera again with Tribal Hills as your resort. It's worth your pay :)

  3. Metrodeal is definately my favorite and the best group buying website in the Philippines. I already purchased their Tony Roma's and Gold's Gym voucher and will be going to Palawan next month for their Metrodeal Palawan deal :) It's not a scam or fake and I am happy to read that you also had a great experience using their deals. Keep it up with your great blog, this is a very good review about Metrodeal! :)

  4. I will go there tomorrow. I am really hoping with my fingers crossed to have the same experience as yours. This blog made me feel at ease on what to expect. Thanks!

  5. @Kars: You're very much welcome :) have a safe and exciting trip tomorrow!

  6. hi! nice post it really help us!! your boat cost 450/pax roundtrip, is it batangas pier-puerto and puerto-batangas pier? were planning to have a vacation in puerto so im arranging the budget. thanks. hope you could help :)

  7. @loka mocha: Hi Loka Mocha! Thanks for reading the post! Yes, the roundtrip fare will be from Batangas Pier-Puerto Galera and vice versa. Puerto Galera is such a beautiful place, I'm sure you will appreciate the wonders of it! Comment back on your experience with Puerto! Enjoy and Have a safe trip! =)

    1. Thanks for this blog.. we actually got 2 vouchers to spend... Now I have an idea of the entire trip! Thank you so much this is very interesting and helpful!

  8. Thank you sooooo much!!! Ask ko lang. anong beach ang pinakamalapit sa tribal hills? Thank you!

  9. @DeepFry_Jagger What I only knew is the famous White beach eh. I don't know any other beaches around. May mga guide or mga locals to help you around :)

  10. @Jo ah ok, isa pang question. bout the night life. nung pababa kayo uli from resort to white beach? paano transpo? ung 4x4 hinatid ba kayo? fees???

  11. @DeepFry_Jagger Yes. May schedule ang Tribal Hills kung kelan kayo pwede ihatid from resort to White Beach and vice versa. Kung magpapahatid or tour around kayo beyond the said sked, may additional fee na Php200.

  12. love your blog! will go there also this summer and because of your blog, i felt the excitement. :)

  13. i have one question, how much per pax did you spend? thank you :)

  14. @pipayforshort Thank you so much :) Honestly, I have no idea how much was spent per person eh. We're only 3 in the group and more or less we spent a total of 10-13k. That is for the travel, food and accommodation. I'm glad that I was able to make you excited for your Galera trip! Have a great one!

  15. hi how did you purchased your metrodeal? I,m about to buy mine by deposit? i hope it's safe^^. I,m really glad that you shared your experienced. My husband is having 2nd thoughts about it but now I can show him your blog. Thanks again!

  16. @Anonymous Thanks for dropping by! My mom did all the purchasing transactions via bank payment. I think thru BDO if I'm not mistaken. It's safe naman to deposit your money. You can trust Metrodeal with that. Enjoy your Galera trip! It'll be worth your visit :)

  17. i just made the deal.. excited but it's not until may. peak season daw kasi, full halos and only upgraded rooms available with additional 1,500. Anyway, thank you very much for sharing your trip I hope mine will be great too.

  18. @Anonymous Prolonging the excitement until May! Hoping for a very good weather so that you'll enjoy Galera at its finest :) Goodluck!

  19. Hello!

    I'm about to purchase the same metro deal voucher today. good thing I came across your blog :) thank you very much!

  20. @Lianne You're welcome Lianne! Enjoy your Puerto trip!

  21. nice blog, im planning to buy a metro deal promo to tribal hills resort...its makes me excited...treat ko sa pinsan ko na ga graduate ds march 29, sympre sama ako..hahaha, tnx again...

  22. Has any of you gone to Tribal Hills after this blog? Did you have the same experience?

  23. Hi! Nice detailed blog. I just wanna know...did you take a swim at White Beach? Is it included in the package? The beach is our priority if we choose to avail Metrodeal's package. How's swimming in the beach? How much? Hope to hear from you real soon! thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks! Yes, we did. You have to ask Tribal Hills to have them transport you to White Beach using their service truck (with additional fee of course, Php200 if I'm not mistaken) or you have a choice of riding a tricycle after going down the resort(they're located on a mountain though) going to White Beach. Btw, been seeing your name from Pinoy Bloggers page :) Lol

    2. nice blog, very detailed! kaso wala kc kayong pics na nagsuswimming sa beach. nagswimming ba kayo dun sa white beach? magkano yung entrance fee sa beach at ok ba sya? hindi naman puno ng reef? yung shuttle pwede kayong dalin sa kahit anung beach na malapit? thanks in advance! :)

    3. Sorry if I haven't included photos of us taking a dip on the white beach. I have updated my album on my Facebook page (LINK: you'll see that we did go to White Beach on our first day at Galera. As far as I know, the White Beach fee is included already in the Environmental Fee which you had paid first-hand at the terminal. Then the shuttle, Yep they could with additional fee of course. Hope this helps :)

  24. malayo po b ung resort s beach area? kung s schedule nla ng time papunta ng beach its free..then if you want lng ul pay 200 per head un?or thats the fee for the whole ride?

    1. Medyo malayo yung resort sa White Beach that is why they have free service only on a said sked. However, beyond the said sked, kailangan niyo magbayad ng additional Php200. I can't remember kung every ride magbabayad though.

  25. hi jo ... am so blessed that I have found your blog... i'm so excited to go to Tribal Hills this May ... you have great skills in writing ... keep doing what you really enjoy doing ... hope to read more of your trips .... enjoy your day ... LIVE, EAT, PRAY and LOVE ^_^

    1. Hi Simplybeth! Thank you very much for your wonderful comment. I'm having a not-so great day but after reading your comment, you made me smile :) enjoy your Galera trip to the fullest!

  26. great blog from a great writer. keep it up!! :)

  27. Hello,

    To answer your question: are the terminal fee and environmental fee necessary? Here is my two-cents.

    Have you tried flying in an airplane? If yes, every passenger pays a terminal fee when they are at the terminal. Here at the NAIA airport that is around P200 but in smaller airports, the rate can be lower. Same as when you travel by sea. Since it's also a port, a seaport that is, hence you also pay a terminal fee.

    As for the environmental fee, all I can say is that the fee is intended for the preservation of the sea. It is not much and it goes to the LGU (or so I believe you may have to verify this) but when I go diving I also pay for the environmental fee to help maintain our treasured waters.

    I hope that my answers can help you and your readers understand what the fees are for. Next time you're in PG, you might want to visit the falls. I heard they are lovely.

    1. Thanks Ia! I'm sure this will be a lot of help for all the readers :)

  28. Hi!

    it's me again. i just wanna ask how did you do your reservation? i called the number posted on their website, but they said that i should contact first the agency. I dont have any idea what they're talking about. Hope you can help me with this dilemma. Many thanks! :)

    1. Hello! Do you remember the ad posted by Metrodeal before you purchased the vouchers? The site has the agency's number. If you can't find it, I've searched it for you, please do check it here:

      Glad to be of help! Comment back for further inquiries :)
      (feeling promoter ng Tribal Hills haha)

    2. wow! thanks for the great help! I got the agency's number! Tribal hills should hire as their blogger. Thanks so much! XD

    3. You're welcome! :) *crosses finger for free accommodation* haha

  29. I came across your blog when I heard that Cleverbuy closed due to an on-going NBI investigation. Although I didn't buy anything from them, I bought two travel packages from Metrodeal. One of them is this one (Tribal Hills).

    I had a good experience with the first Metrodeal Voucher I bought for my Palawan trip but wanted to do a little research for Tribal Hills.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Very informative and the pictures made it more awesome! Made me more excited.

    1. Hi Albert Silver!
      Yes, I heard about what happened to Cleverbuy. A not-so-good thing for loyal consumers :( Glad that I was able to make you excited for your Galera trip! It would be more exciting when you arrive there. Goodluck and have a safe trip!

  30. Hello! :) Your blog is a BIG help! Helped us what to expect and what to see. Bit scared also since i bought the voucher in Metrodeal and will stay at Tribal Hills, but because of your blog, I'm worry free! A bit! lol We're booked and looking for a great weekend this week at Puerto Galera and Tribal Hills! :) Thank you! :)

    1. Yay! I know you'll have a great experience like we had! Get rid of the nega stuff and let your trip excite you :) have a safe trip!

  31. Nice Blog! I purchase also a voucher, but with CCP. Your Blog gives me the idea what to expect with Tribal Hills. A really big help! Thanks!:)

    Next time, i suggest you visit Aninuan Beach or Talipanan Beach located also in PG. God Bless!

  32. hi Jo! tnx for the info! however i noticed that food is not allowed..was this true in your case? are they that strict?

  33. good for you that you enjoyed your stay. we had a terrible time, we we're treated like criminals and maraming side comments. check this link for what happened to us. The comment is under yvette127

  34. here is another link na nakapost na

  35. We have the most memorable weekend getaway (Aug. 25-27).

    We have booked in advanced. I called up Tribal Hills to make sure that we are getting a legit deal. After making sure, we bought the coupon and reserved our dates.

    The coupon:
    3-days/2-nights in Puerto Galera at the heavenly Tribal Hills Resort
    Enjoy the famous white beach and relaxing music and entertainment
    Situated on a hilltop 60m above sea level with breathtaking panoramic views on Mt. Malasimbo and the surrounding peaks
    Spacious air-conditioned rooms with big, comfortable beds
    Free WiFi internet within the resort
    Daily luxury breakfast
    Inclusive of 10% discount on food, local beers and spirits at Treetops Restaurant
    Use of swimming pool included
    Includes guided trek to Aninuan Falls
    Roundtrip transfers from the pier

    Upon arrival at Puerto Galera muelle, we expect a Tribal Hills resort shuttle service to be there to fetch us. However, we were told that they will get us from White Beach.

    We saw the road up the resort and it was very steep. Steeper than the grotto in Baguio. Some of us were riding at the back of the pick up and there was nothing to hold on at the back of the pick up if not for the spaces between the back of the seat.

    At the front desk, the house rules were explained rather hurriedly and impatiently by the receptionist. She repeated at least 3x that we should have our lunch at their restaurant. Php 240 for an order of adobo. Less 10%? I would rather eat out.

    Now, the check in time is 2pm. We got there earlier and they did not prepare the room ahead of time. One guest was irritated already and the receptionist was answering her back, also raising her voice at the guest. Seriously?!

    Remember how the check in time was 2pm? Shuttle service to the beach was 1:50 and we can only avail it after we checked in. I don't see the logic. However, there's a consolation. They will bring you downhill for free and the rest is up to you. Php20/pax for a tricycle going to the beach. You really have to ride. And it is indicated in their website that:
    It sits on a hilltop 60m above sea level but still only a few minutes walk to the beach.

    I would say that the rooms are okay. The bathroom has only one drain - in the shower area. Then we were told not to wet the other area since there's no drain. However, it is impossible because the partition is small and there is no shower curtain. One guest complained about it and she was told by one of the owners that perhaps she doesn't know how to use the shower. Neat, eh?

    Luxury breakfast - I doubt I'd describe it as such. It's a simple breakfast.

    Free wifi if it reaches your room.

    Everything was great during the second night because of the performers at Hiyas Bar. It covered up our irritation from the previous day.

    The day before we're about to check out. we asked the owner for clarification if we are still going to get a free ride to the muelle (free bec we've already paid) and he said yes. On the day that we are about to leave, we are in for another surprise. There's no free ride bec according to the driver, they don't bring guests to the muelle. Then when we arrived at the muelle, we saw other guests from the same resort getting a free ride.

    To summarize, we appreciate the rooms, the pool, the jacuzzi use, and the free breakfast. However, the service we got was very lousy. Their website can also be misleading.

    No more repeat for us at Tribal Hills.

  36. Hi! ask ko lang kung bawal bang magdala ng food dun sa tribal hills? tnx

  37. Hi, nice blog very helpful and informative. Only one thing though, from the pictures, you did not ride a RORO (which means Roll On Roll Off) Vessel, you rode on an outrigger boat which is smaller compared to the RORO which can take on Buses, trucks cars etc. Just want to set that straight so as not to confuse your readers. Peace !

  38. hi i just saw ths ad at metrodeal, tribal hills resort at 3999, voucher good for two to three. i am actually interested. ask ko lang, is the 3999 all that you have to pay for the accommodation for all 3 persons? no hidden charges? thanks! ill appreciate ur reply. :)

    1. Based from our experience, there are no hidden charges. P3999 as it is. Of course, there wou be additional charges but you have the option to have it or not. Thanks Ellen Marie! :)

  39. Hi, I'm so happy upon finding your blog. I bought the same deal(actually last year pa) Ngayon lang ako nagkaroon ng time gamitin. Sa reservation pa lang nahihirapan na kong kausapin sila, but still I hope na maging ok ang trip like you did. Anyway, I just want to ask, saan exactly sa White beach yung pick up point nila? Thanks a lot! :)

    1. I can't exactly remember the name of the hotel where we advised to be there muna for a few minutes and wait for our service. I'm pretty sure they will advise you where to go naman when you get to white beach na.:)

  40. Hi! By saying about your past experiences with metrodeal, failed advertisements and all, you mean we shouldn't trust all metrodeal offers? You mean some of them are "scam"?

    1. So sorry for this delayed reply. Not scam, it's just about failed adverts that they would have this appetizing offers and photos to show together with the promo but once you're there, you'll be seeing a waaaay different thing. A way worst thing, by the way. Some lang naman :)

  41. Thanks for the reviews, i bought Puerto Galera Escape at Tribal Hills Resort thru Metrodeal and after reading your post i became so excited so excited

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I appreciate all your comments!