Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Erosion in Puerto Galera

Topography is hardly something I try to notice in a beach. Who would study the physical features of the land when you can study the physical features of crowd especially the ladies….

A nice sunny day, fine sand, clear water, and an atmosphere that seemed derived from a Beach Boys song are all I the qualities I look for. And there are a lot of beaches that fit that description in this country of ours, Puerto Galera among them.

But recently in my recent trip to Galera just this past week, topography was something I noticed, because if I am right, one of the favorite summer spots in the country may have its days numbered.

Bigger Steps

I wish I had before pictures to better illustrate the point but the steps going into the resorts and the various restaurants in Galera were bothering me. It was maybe two years ago that I got the feeling that I was taking more effort going up. The steps seemed higher than what I remember. Ok, maybe it was my weight I thought but was I taking this big a step just to get to the top.

Then, I looked (now wishing I had a camera) the steps were crumbling, a whole lot of them, from the lack of sand it seems. Puerto Galera has an erosion problem. Later on I dismissed it on the back of my mind almost as if I have seen a ghost; nah, beaches will never run out of sand.


The guys with me on this recent trip to Puerto Galera, browsing over the albums of one Henna Tattoo stall. While this is not a part of the beach I frequently 'climb steps' in, these steps are obviously new . . . .


....and they stretch almost throughout the beach, with a walkway to match. It used to be just steps going into one establishment so I suppose the walkways mean something.

Sinking Feeling

Now, if I can dismiss the steps somewhat easily I cannot dismiss this. There is a gaping hole in the beach front. If Galera could have looked once as a long small letter ‘l’ is now a small ‘i’. This hole is located in between Coco Aroma and Summer Connection. The hole is big enough in fact to affect the lots of both establishments; Coco Aroma especially. There is water coming in from the ocean and there are remnants of water that seems to be coming from inland.

Wondering if this observation of Puerto Galera is just an isolated incident I googled it up. I got seven hundred thousand hits hits with the search parameters of ‘erosion + famous beaches’. It seems there is more than one summer hideaway under threat.

uneven sand

The gaping hole. I am standing over the Coco Aroma side taking a shot of my friend who is at the lowest point....

erosion creek

....angled shot showing Summer Connections Resort. It seems a miracle the resort is even standing.


The low point of the hole looking inward. This could be water coming out or. . . .


....coming in considering this, the ocean at the back of my friend.


Taken on the Summer Connection side facing the more popular side of Puerto Galera. Observe that the beach line is no longer perfect.

Off-topic:Pride or Self Preservation

Pride and self preservation are two things which are always in conflict whenever I take that boat ride from Batangas Pier to Puerto Galera. And, that is because of life jackets, or lack thereof.

The trip to Galera by boat is a 1 hour ride on average, on seas that are not always as calm as I wished it to be. It scares me a lot because I can’t swim. So what am I to do; and always I ask this to myself in the maybe 5-7 times I have been there, do I wear the life jacket, alone, or do I put up a brave front and keep my poise. So far pride (but maybe vanity is the more appropriate word) has always won the day, trip after trip.

I wonder why they don’t obligate life jackets in these very busy waters.


No life jackets and yet so relaxed... Don't tell me I am the only one who can't swim...