Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
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|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
|Region||MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)|
|District||1st District of Oriental Mindoro|
|• Mayor||Hubbert Dolor (1st Term)|
|• Total||247.85 km2 (95.70 sq mi)|
|• Density||130/km2 (340/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|Income class||1st Class; Partially Urban|
Puerto Galera is the northwesternmost municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is located at the southwestern end of the Isla Verde Passage, about 130 kilometers (81 mi) south of Manila.
Puerto Galera is politically subdivided into 13 barangays:
- San Antonio
- San Isidro ( or white beach)
- Santo Niño
In the summer of 1998 there was extensive coral bleaching around Medio Island and a large section of a shallow coral reef system (referred to as the "Coral Gardens") died. Since then the coral has regrown with a larger diversity of coral species replacing the prolific table corals. Corals in Puerto Galera were largely unaffected by the 2010 El Niño event.
In 2006 two super typhoons damaged the shallow reefs around Escarceo Point. Many of the faster growing coral species were destroyed to a depth of 6 metres (20 ft). This represented about 5% of the coral reef in the area. Extensive signs of new coral recruitment were noted in mid-2008. Acropora species (staghorn and table coral) rapidly recolonized the area so that most of the damaged coral has been replaced with new growth.
The Batangas/Puerto Galera area forms the center of the golden triangle - The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia - renowned for their coral and fish species. A study by the University of the Philippines in the 1980s found that this area has one of the highest diversity of marine species in the world.
|Population census of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
The National Statistical Coordination Board of the Philippines characterizes the municipality of Puerto Galera as first Class based on household income. The population was 32,521 at the time of the 2010 Census of Population conducted by the National Statistics Office.
This coastal town is well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and Scuba diving spots. The area was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia. The marine environment has benefited in recent years from the influx of tourist dollars. This has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they gain higher revenue from tourists.
Among the famous beaches in Puerto Galera are Sabang Beach and White Beach, which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Both beaches also have an array of first-class and economy-class accommodations.
Sabang beach is the main destination for foreign tourists, while White Beach remains popular with local travelers. Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach are considered part of Sabang with resorts lining the beaches. Big La Laguna Beach is popular for local swimmers and snorkelers. Since 2001 White beach has seen uncontrolled development. New restaurants and places to stay are rapidly encroaching on the beach itself and little remains of the once charming beach. Puerto Galera town is a pleasant but sleepy Philippine town with few attractions. It has a large central catholic church and a Pier area, with a selection of bistros and cafes.
Behind the beaches are the huge and generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. A particular local attraction is the nine hole golf course perched on the hillside above White Beach which commands spectacular views over Puerto Galera's natural harbor and the Verde Island Passage. Mangyan tribes are scattered over the mountain sides - some of the more remote tribes have virtually no contact with the outside world. Of the eight tribes on Mindoro, the Iraya are the largest. They are based in the Puerto Galera area.
Puerto Galera is among the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from Sabang Beach. The diving generally focuses around the areas either side of Escarceo Point, which is famous for its current rips. Strong currents are a feature of the diving in Puerto Galera and it is good advice to employ the services of an experienced local guide or dive centre. There are more than thirty dive sites all within a 5-10 minute banca ride from Sabang Beach. Marine life is highly diverse. 180+ species of nudibranchs are found in the area and many species of fish can be seen. A variety of wrecks have been sunk over the years in addition to the one wreck of an engine of a WWII Japanese patrol boat.
Puerto Galera is also one of the main technical diving destinations in Asia. Technical Diving International - [TDI] has many dive centers in the area, offering the full range of TDI courses from Basic nitrox to advanced trimix.
The town has a number of business and commercial establishments in the province, and is either the major market or resort&hotel, agricultural and commercial products. Candava Supermarket, New Virgo Grocery, Parkway Supermarket, Castillo Store are the popular supermarket in Puerto Galera. Major banks include Allied Bank, Rural Bank of Puerto Galera, Maxbank,and other microfinance bank.
In addition, Mindoro is quickly becoming key location in the development of renewable energy in the Philippines. With several large wind farms, hydroelectric, and geothermal projects under construction, the island hopes to be a net exporter of electricity by 2016. 
Telecommunication services are provided by Digital Telecommunications (Digitel), Smart Communications, and Globe. Cable and satellite television operators provide access to local and international broadcasts. Broadband Internet services are likewise available through the numerous internet cafes located in all barangay.
- "Province: ORIENTAL MINDORO". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Municipality/City: PUERTO GALERA, National Statistics Coordination Board of the Philippines.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Membership in the France-based Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World (Club des Plus Belles Baies du Monde) is obtained by application. The club is chartered to list only one bay per sea in a given country . The club lists the Bay of Puerto Galera (Baie de Puerto Galera) as being located at 13°3' NR, 120°75' in the E China Sea (southern) ("E Mer de Chine (sud)" in French).
- Evora, Robert. "Mindoro wind farm dwarfs Ilocos plant". Manila Standard.
- "Mindoro Wind Farm Cleared". Manila Standard.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puerto Galera.|
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code listing for Puerto Galera - National Statistical Coordination Board
- 2007 Philippine Census Information
- Local Governance Performance Management System
- Puerto Galera on the Open Directory Project
- Puerto Galera Wiki Map
- Puerto Galera travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Sabang travel guide from Wikivoyage
- 505th Squadron Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary - 505th PCGA, Puerto Galera
Isla Verde Passage
Isla Verde Passage
|Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro||San Teodoro|
|Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro||Santa Cruz, Occidental Mindoro|