Awakening to Pinamalayan

Mindoro Oriental is a promdi paradise, and it’s not just because of Puerto Galera!

Recently got a chance to visit a little town called Pinamalayan in Mindoro Oriental and let me tell you—it’s beautiful. I found the name quite apt as it gave me awareness (“malay”) of how uniquely wonderulf little unknown towns are.

Pinamalayan is a seafront town that reminds me of Puerto Princesa. It takes a while to get there, but it’s worth it if you want to enjoy laid-back country life, hospitality, and good food.

Five thoughts that I had during my trip:

  1. Wow. Their roads are so wide, it beats some of the streets we have in the city.
  2.  And very clean, too. I wonder if the government is really good at managing their trash collection system or if the people are just very disciplined and clean.
  3. Food? Where’s the food? They must have fresh seafood here. (I found out where the good food are, see below. Oh, and yes—the seafood is divinely fresh!
  4. The kids here still fly kites. Oh my heart! 
  5. The beach! I have to return to enjoy this beach.

How to get there:

Just get yourself to Batangas Port. Get a ferry ride to Calatagan, and then from there ride a van going to Pinamalayan. Approximate fare overall is about Php400.

Where to stay:

My group and I stayed at the Reyes compound. I was told the simple wood-and-cement hotel was specifically created to house volunteers from Habitat. I think it’s not commercial, so it won’t accept walk-in visitors.

A nice little place is called Jumilla’s in the town center. It’s very near one of the main roads, and it can be accessed via tricycles. There’s a restaurant and bar in the first floor, so you won’t have to worry about food. If you’re like a lot of Filipinos, you can also enjoy karaoke time. I hear their rates are very affordable, too. There’s another hotel in the area but I forgot to note down what it is—I think you can just ask directions from the very friendly locals.

The food:

Ok, my first concern when I got to Pinamalayan was their food. In all fairness, it was already high noon and I haven’t had a proper meal five hours before.

I recommend two local restaurants where we found really good food: Renoir’s and Log & Loft. Bulalo, pancit, and grilled squid are great at Renoir’s. You should try the bucket of baby back ribs with corn and parmesan cheese at Log & Loft. And if you’re in a huge company—their humongous halo-halo is a great way to cool off. They have classic halo-halo and a fruity version.




Go visit Pinamalayan soon. It’s a beautiful summer escapade. 

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