Eyes of SWILD

  Backpacking & Scuba Diving, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

Beautiful beaches

The Philippines are made up of over 7000 islands - many extremely beautiful with white sand beaches and crystal clear water. Puerto Galera in the Oriental Mindoro is about five hours or so south of Manila.

Crystal clear water

A small village is nestled against the muddy coconut and palm interior of the island. Access to the beach is best by outrigger from the ferry drop-off. It is possible to rent a dirt bike motorcycle for the more adventurous.

Dramatic sunrises

There are some beautiful vistas from the guesthouses. This is the view from my verandah at the 'Swiss Hotel' - centrally located on the beach about 3 minutes walk from the village.

Outriggers on the beach

The aquamarine colors of the water is just stunning. Outriggers are casually parked on the beaches below the coconut trees with abandon.


Riding the jeepneys around the island can be pretty SWILD. Due to the rains, the roads turned to mud. This makes hanging off the back bumper and rail very interesting.

Scuba diving

The scuba diving was just off the beach. Paul earned his Advanced PADI scuba rating over the week. A nice relaxing place to study for the exams.

Village path

The village roads are simple dirt paths with the odd Coca Cola sign. Life is laid back. The jeepneys are kept on the interior side of the village with the beach the best way to traverse.

Mud. mud, mud

The mud can really get interesting. This is where it's good - so they'll stop and pick people up. When it gets deep, the last thing you want to do is slow down!


Paul visited a number of interior villages where cockfights to the death were prevalent. It was quite a spectacle watching the crowd bet and shout. The poor cocks unfortunately didn't make out too well.

Village home

Village huts are pretty basic. Nothing to write home about. Yet they do reflect the simple way of life. As long as you and your family are dry, safe, and fed - life is great.