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:
- Wow. Their roads are so wide, it beats some of the streets we have in the city.
- 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.
- 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!
- The kids here still fly kites. Oh my heart!
- 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.
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.