Well, even at low low tide, the Sabang La Laguna area doesnt have much of a beach, but at HIGH HIGH tide, trying to wade your way home could present more than a passing impediment to your safe passage back to your hotel....
So if you are heading downtown for a couple pints on the incoming tide, best to pack a mask/fins/snorkel kit with you just in case... (and while your at it a dive light and night dive beacon might not be a bad idea either.....)
The one (and about only thing) I dislike about diving is all the #$%$# equipment you have to lug around to do it.... (dive equip, wet suits, cameras, strobes, etc....)
Puerto Galera is the sorta place that one should be properly visit with only a small back pack maybe. But when on a diving excursion, you invariably need to lug a bag almost equal to your body weight around.... (and the lack of roads here meant pulling it along the sand to the dive shop....)
Someday (soon maybe) I will jetison my camera and start trying to get used to renting equipment to lighten up the load a bit....
Sabang Beach is not a beach at all. The buildings are built very close to the waters that during high tide, there is no beach and this is quite dangerous to walk at night.
In the daytime, the sea is very crowded in front of Sabang with loads of boats, jet skis, yachts and divers. If you decide to walk on the beach, pay attention to where you're going as you may bump into boats moving in and out on the beach and if you're diving here, look around carefully before you surface.
If you look like a local Filipino girl like me (most Caucasian thinks all Asian girls look alike, just like we cannot differentiate the Europeans), you might get picked up when you're sitting alone at a bar or a table.
Even though my friend was playing pool and I was watching nearby, I was still "approached". It's only when I spoke (bet I did not sound like a Filipino at all!), did these men left me alone.
The majority of the bars and discos here especially in Sabang can be quite sleazy with skimpily clad girls dancing on bar tops and pole dancing.
If you want a reputable bar, stick to the ones in the hotels.
So ladies, please be careful and watch what you eat and drink.
Best to check all your o-ring, ports, seals on your camera housing before plunging into the deep blue sea.... Here is one u/w olympus that unfortunately went to its watery grave due to a liberated TTL port cover..... (fortunately not mine..... ;o))
Just few day ago I and my family boarded the apparently new shipping line M/B Willem to return to Batangas. The maximum capacity of 95 passenger was already reached, probably over. Just before departure time, a jeepney with an other 20 passenger arrived at the pier. To the disbelief of all passenger, the crew tried to pursue this group to join. All protests from fellow passenger were simply ignored. Once the first people started boarding, they fortunately recognized the risk they would add, if the packed on that boat. The crew kept pushing them to join, but they fortunately refused. However, the crew still added a number of individuals to that boat.
The banka eventually departed overloaded. The people were anxious during the ride. What made matters worse (specially for those who still found the comfort of a nap), the captain kept using the alarm horn to call the attention of his sleeping crew. We eventually arrived safe in Batangas, but this was a very scary ride.
It is obvious that this shipping line values a few additional pesos more than the safety of passenger. Fortunately there are other companies running. I will avoid M/B Willem in the future.
I don't know if you can consider this a warning but I was apalled when ladies go around the huts and ask tourist-men, even if they're not travelling solo, if they want a massage. Grrr!
At least on the beach of Boracay, you can see tourists getting a decent massage in broad daylight and along the shore (fronting the souvenir shops).
i'm really not into snorkling but if ever you will, it's better you have your slippers/sandals on while snorkling. the corals underwater could really wound you. i had a co-woker who can't even stand straight because of the wounds he had on his soles. i had my share but my wounds are tolerable. it hurts!
The place is too commercialized and touristy. Every local (those who get in touch with the tourists) thinks that everyone who get their asses in Puerto Galera is a rich man. These people hound you the moment you step on the boat/roro from Batangas port.
Hinay-hinay naman kayo. Some of us are just ordinary excursionista.
Although we had a great holiday in a great location we found that there are a distinct lank of banking facilities. We stayed at Sabang Beach and there is no ATM or Bank there. Even if you go to PG town then apparently there is a bank but its ATM is inside so you cant access it on the weekends.
Hotels can help give you cash and add it to your room bill but beware they will charge you extra 10% for the service.
There was a tour shop in Sabang willing to take a credit card and return you cash but they charge you a handling fee up to 7.5 % and then charge your card in USD then give you a very poor exchange rate back to Pesos.
So unless you take plenty of cash then BEWARE! BEWARE!