Contact & Info

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Contact Us

Resort Address:

Big Apple Dive Resort, Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
Oriental Mindoro 5203 Philippines

Phone/Fax Reception:

+63 43 287 3134

Makati Booking Office:

2nd floor, Elenar Bldg.,
8471 Kalayaan AVenue corner Fermina St.,
Poblacion, Makati City  Tel/Fax +63 2 899 8124
Tel. +63 2 899 5793

Email:

bigapplepuertogalera@gmail.com

Holland Booking Office:

Heistraat 56, 5121 JM Gilze-Rijen

Holland Booking Phone:

0621283263

Holland Booking Office Email:

post518@zonnet.nl

 

Getting Here

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Direct transport to & from Manila

Private transport is the quickest and most convenient way to reach us and can be arranged for any flights landing in Manila between 3.00am and 1.00pm. We are restricted by local coastguard from sending ferry boats across the channel after 5.00pm.

Our private transport service consists of a 2 hour air-conditioned van journey from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Berberabe Beach in Batangas on the South coast of Luzon for a 1hour 15minute boat ride directly to us in Sabang and Big Apple Dive Resort. Total journey time usually takes around 3 hours.

      Transfer from hotel or private residence in Manila:

  • We can arrange private transport from any destination in Manila or Angeles to us in Sabang, Puerto Galera.
  • Just let us know when and where you wish to be picked up from.
  • If you wish to be collected from a hotel in Manila we need the Hotel name, phone number & your room number
  • From a private residence we need the full address and if possible directions to assist the driver as well as a contact phone number.

      Transfer from the International Airport NAIA Terminal 1, Manila:

  • Most international flights arrive at Terminal 1
  • We need your flight number and arrival time as well as the number of people in the group
  • After you pass through customs and exit the arrivals area walk down the left hand ramp and at the bottom, turn right and head for the large duty free shop found there with the yellow sign.
  • Walk across the pelican crossing and head towards the security gate with some guards with a small table adjacent to the gate exit.
  • Upon your approach, look for a Filipino man with a wooden placard with our logo painted on it and your name written in chalk underneath.
  • Identify yourself and be prepared that at this stage you may have to leave the luggage trolley behind for a short walk to the car.
  • Please note that NAIA direct transfers can only be arranged between 3am and 1pm, 7 days a week. Your flight must land between these times to ensure passage across the channel to us before dark.
  • If you are having any problems with your pick up at all, please call us at the resort on 043 287 3134 (Landline) or 0919 449 8298 (Cell phone) and we will do our best to help you resolve them quickly.

VAN & BOAT

Boat only- One Way (1-15 people)  Berberabe to Sabang or vice versa PHP 3,500.00
Boat only- Return Trip (1-15 people)  Berberabe to Sabang or vice versa PHP 7,000.00
Van only- One Way (1-6 people) Manila via Berberabe Beach or vice versa PHP 3,500.00
Van only- Return Trip (1-6 people) Manila via Berberabe Beach or vice versa PHP 7,000.00
Van only- One Way (1-6 people) Manila via Public Ferry Terminal at Batangas or vice versa PHP 3,500.00  
Van only- Return Trip (1-6 people) Manila via Public Ferry Terminal at Batangas or vice versa PHP 7,000.00

Seaplane – Travel in style

  • With Subic Seaplane, the cost is approximately US$400 one way for up to three people (depending on your size and the amount of luggage). The plane, from Subic Bay, cannot land at the international airport but can be met close by at the Blue Horizon Restaurant.
  • Flights can only be made well with in daylight hours. Contact us for more information / bookings or Subic Seaplane direct at Subic Seaplane

Helicopter

  • The flying time is around thirty minutes, lands on the beach, daylight hours only.
  • Commuter Air Philippines: PHP 25,000 per hour (we estimate 1.5 hours). Approximately PHP 37, 500. Max four passengers (or 350 kilo’s total weight). Total around US$ 960
  • Ayala Aviation: PHP 28,000 per hour (estimate 1.5 hours). Approximately PHP 42,000 + landing and take off fee (total P1, 000) + 3% carrier tax (i.e. about P1, 250). Max five passengers. Total around US$1,150

* All return transport is arranged while you are here through the receptionist at the resort

 

Big Apple Dive Resort Contact Numbers:
+63 43 2873134 or +63 919 4498298 (Resort)
+63 2 8922660 (Makati office)

FAQ

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Have a quick look through our F.A.Q. and if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us

Travel Seasons

  • On the whole there is excellent weather all year round with minimal risk of typhoons during the summer months.
  • The hottest time of year is May to August, the ‘coolest’ time December to February. “High season” is traditionally late December to early May, although the area is busy at weekends throughout the year and during any Asian Holiday.
  • For accommodation at Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter, book well in advance.
  • Click here for an up to date weather report.

Paying

  • Cash Pesos or US Dollars are the preferred way to pay, but we will consider other common currencies in cash also.
  • US Dollar traveler’s cheques are probably the safest way to carry money – they can be cashed at the tourist center found in the highstreet in Sabang.
  • We also accept VISA & MasterCard.

Communication

  • English is widely spoken in the Philippines. Just remember to speak slowly and clearly, smiling goes a long way in this country too!
  • Puerto Galera has come a long way over the years and now has several cellphone networks as well as landlines. Internet cafes are all over the town and here in the resort we offer free wireless internet for those that bring their own laptop computers and want to stay in touch.

Health and Medicine

  • There is no malaria in the area, but innoculations for Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus and Dengue Fever are recommended, always check with your doctor before you travel to any Asian country.
  • Bring high factor (SPF30) sun creams and insect repellent (both are also available locally).
  • Taking Vitamin B complex during your stay is a good way to prevent mosquito bites. The best protection from mosquito-born illnesses is not to get bitten!
  • It’s rare that you will need to put on more than shorts and a t-shirt so repellents and sun protection are advisable.

How to get to Puerto Galera?

  • Puerto Galera is only 3 to 3.5 hour journey from Manila International Airport. Once at the airport we can arrange a private pickup for you or we can assist you in your public transfer. Detailed information is available on our Getting Here page.

Do I need a visa?

  • Visitors from most Western Countries including Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand are granted a 21-day stay on arrival. Other nationals are required to produce a tourist visa and should contact your local Philippine consulate for more details. Check the Philippine_Immigration website for up-to-date information. If you intend staying more than 21 days sometimes it is better to get a 59-day visa before you depart from your home country. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to arrange visa extensions in Batangas Bureau of Immigration however. We will be able to advise you upon your arrival.

Where can I stay?

  • Big Apple Dive Resort with 28 well equipped cottages, rooms and apartments. See our Rooms & Rate page for more detailed information

What languages are spoken?

  • English is widely spoken so conversing with the locals of Sabang and Puerto Galera is easy most of the time. Just remember to speak slowly and clearly and smile 🙂

What about food?

  • Big Apple Dive Resort has their own restaurant and bar. We prepare international cuisine for our nightly buffets..

Methods of Payment?

  • Cash Pesos or US Dollars are the preferred way to pay, but we will consider other common currencies in cash also. US Dollar traveler´s cheques are probably the safest way to carry money – they can be cashed at the tourist center found in the highstreet in Sabang. We also accept VISA & MasterCard.

Tipping Porters in and around Sabang?

  • You can pay what ever you like, P20 per bag is usually ok – if you do not wish to use them just say so.

Sea Temperature and Visibility?

  • The water temperature here in Puerto Galera allows diving all year round, seven days a week, with temperatures between 22-30°C (72-86°F), with the cooler months being December to February. Visibility is usually at least 12m and can reach up to 40m on a good day. A 3mm full suit is advised with a hooded vest worn underneah in the cooler months.

Dive Schedules?

  • With over 30 sites all within 15 minutes of the resort suitable for all experience levels, it couldn’t be more convenient.
    Check out our Dive Sites Page for a detailed description of the more popular sites.

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What is PADI?

PADI is a worlds standard system of education in diving. PADI – the Professional Association of Diving Instructors – is the largest dive training organization in the world with affiliated dive centers and members in over 110 countries.

How do I book from this website?

Go to our secure booking page to reserve and pay for your room now, or send us an email to make a general booking inquiry.

Mindoro History

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History of Mindoro

The history of Mindoro dates back before the Spanish time. Records have it that Chinese traders were known to be trading with Mindoro merchants. Trade relations with China where Mindoro was known as “Mai’ started when certain traders from “Mai” brought valuable merchandise to Canton in 892 A.D. The geographic proximity of the island to China Sea had made possible the establishment of such relations with Chinese merchantmen long before the first Europeans came to the Philippines.

junkHistorians claimed that China-Mindoro relations must have been earlier than 892 A.D.., the year when the first ship from Mindoro was recorded to have sailed for China. It is believed that the first inhabitants of Mindoro were the Indonesians who came to the island 8,000 to 3,000 years ago. After the Indonesians, the Malays came from Southeast Asia around 200 B. C. The Malays were believed to have extensive cultural contract with India, China and Arabia long before they settled in Philippine Archipilago

Mindoro, formerly called Mait, was known to Chinese traders even before the coming of the Spanish. In 1570, the Spanish began to explore the island and named it “Mina de Oro” (mine of gold) after finding some of the precious metal, though no major gold discoveries were ever made. Missionaries became active around Ilin Island off the southern tip, Lubang Island off the northern tip, and Mamburao. Moro raids later forced them to abandon these places. In 1754, the Muslims established strongholds in Mamburao and Balete (near Sablayan). From there, they launched raids against nearby settlements. An expedition sent by Governor Simon de Anda put an end to these raids.

In the early years, Mindoro was administered as part of Bonbon, now Batangas. Early in the 17th century, the island was separated from Bonbon and organized into a corregimiento. In 1902 the island of Lubang, which was formerly a part of Cavite, was annexed to Mindoro. In the same year Mindoro and Lubang were annexed to Marinduque when the latter became a regular province. Mindoro became a regular province in 1921. On June 13, 1950, under Republic Act No. 505, Mindoro was divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.

The plains of Occidental Mindoro are inhabited by the Tagalogs and the remote forested interior by the Mangyans. Extensive tribal settlements of Mangyans in the province belong to such sub-groups as the Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Buhid, Hanunuo, and Bangon. The Mangyans are simple people. They were once coastal dwellers driven into the mountains to avoid religious conversion by the Spaniards, raids by Moro pirates, and the influx of recent migrants. They now lead a semi-nomadic existence. Mangyans live in loose clusters of up to 20 bamboo huts with thatched roofs and raised floors. They sometimes are away from their families for many weeks in search of food. Men wear a loincloth of pounded bark while the women have a coil of woven nito, a sturdy black vine, and rattan around their hips. Mangyans practice animism and are superstitious.

 

History of Puerto Galera

Much like the province of Oriental Mindoro to which it belongs, Puerto Galera is very rich in history. Literally meaning “Port of Galleons,” it became popular among seafarers during the prosperous years of the galleon trade starting with Chinese traders from the 10th century. Owing to its excellent natural harbor – which until now is considered one of the most beautiful and safest in the world – Puerto Galera became a regular stopover for merchant vessels sailing along the important trade routes of the Near East, Indian coast, Indo-Chinese coast, China, Philippines, Sumatra, and Java.

1460612869-1431-galleonThe local community was founded by the Spanish with the consecration of the Church in 1572. The Muelle Bay area, in particular, was used extensively for dock repairs and as a safe anchorage for all types of sailing vessels. Here, too, a lot of merchant ships docked to trade with the natives. Puerto Galera was such important port that some historians even believe the name “Mindoro” was derived from Minolo, one of Puerto Galera’s old settlements.

There are claims also that 16th century references to Mindoro often only meant the harbor of Minolo. Also spelled Minoro, Minolo was a small coastal settlement northwest of the Poblacion of present-day Puerto Galera. Then the center of trading, Chinese merchants bartered with natives of Minolo, exchanging glazed porcelains for gold, jade, corals, shells, birds, rattan, and other forest products that were abundant in the island. An excavation of an ancient grave site near Minolo lends proof to this – the antiques unearthed from the grave sites were traced back to the 10th and 15th centuries, mostly from China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

By the 17th century, under its Spanish colonizers, the island of Mindoro was organized into a coregimiento, with Puerto Galera as the capital. The seat of government remained here throughout the Spanish and American rules, up until 1903.

After more than two centuries, the capital of the province was transferred to Calapan (now a city and the present capital of Oriental Mindoro), which was geographically blessed with wide agricultural lands. Puerto Galera was then annexed to Calapan as a barrio. Finally, on December 7, 1927, the Philippine Congress passed Act 3415 creating the independent municipality of Puerto Galera.

Epigraphs referring to two historical landmarks have now become major tourist attractions in Puerto Galera – the commemoration Cross for Cañonero Mariveles and the Black Rice display-board, both in Muelle Pier.
conquistador When Puerto Galera was made capital of Mindoro, it was originally located in Barrio Lagundian. But the frequency of the Moro attacks forced the Spaniards not only to transfer the seat government to its present site, but also to build watchtowers and station battleship that guarded the waters of Puerto Galera was the Cañonero Mariveles, which sunk due to a violent storm in 1879. To remember the battleships, a wooden cross was built at Muelle Pier with the following inscription: “Ultima tierra que pesarou los tripolantes del cañoneros Marivelles el 18 de Noviembre de 1879.” One of the greatest relics of the past century, this Cross was renovated in 1938 by a Spaniard named Luis Gomez y Sotto.

Aside form introducing tools to increase farm productivity, the Spaniards also built a rice granary in Puerto Galera to stash grains ready for shipment. This storage is believed to have caught fire in the late of 18th century, and a huge volume of palay (rice grains) were burned and tossed into the sea. It would decompose and eventually vanish. But for some magical reason, the burned rice grains were preserved by seawater. To this day, handfuls of whole charcoal-black rice grains continue to appear on the banks of Muelle Bay, mysteriously carried by the waves with the changing of tides. A huge glass case collecting them now stands along the tricycle terminal on Muelle Pier.