Sand, Sun, and Nomz at Luca’s Lodge, Puerto Galera

Summer is obviously over, what with the torrent of rains that have been plaguing the country for the past couple of weeks. However, I still have a backlog of sunny posts that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet. Like this one. Here’s to hoping that a bit of reminiscing about the sun and sand and nomz (of course) can help to brighten up this otherwise grey day.

Look, blue skies!

Puerto Galera in Mindoro has been called the poor man’s Boracay. But like Jason Statham is the poor man’s Bruce Willis, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing (Hey, Statham wasn’t so bad in Expendables 2). Puerto Galera has nearly all that the Philippines most popular beach has to offer and you don’t have to travel by plane to get there. It’s win-win for those who want some sun and sand closer to home. It doesn’t hurt that the trip would be cheaper too.

How does one get to Puerto Galera from Manila? First of all, you’d have to get to the Batangas port which is merely an hour and a half’s car/bus ride away. From there, you can choose to ride the RORO if you have a vehicle with you or the SuperCat, which will get you there quicker. Then when you get to the island, it’s but a few minutes of travel to get to the shore depending on which resort you’ll be staying at.

Luca's Lodge (Somebody went a little crazy trying out the panoramic tool on my phone camera.)

Luca’s Lodge is where we stayed at the last time we went to Galera. It’s a tiny little island cove (?) at the very near end of the Galera beaches owned by an Italian, who incidentally will most likely be there also if in case you decide to visit. Besides affordable rooms, they also feature an authentic Italian restaurant called Cucina Italiana. The restaurant/bar/cafe serves a mix of Italian and Filipino dishes including pizza, pasta, crepes, sinigang, inihaw na liempo, among many (mouth-watering) others.

The half-folded Luca's Pizza

This is one of the specialties, the Luca’s Pizza. Although it doesn’t look it, it’s actually a whole meaty pie but folded in to make it easier to eat. The pizzas are honestly really good. They weren’t much different from pizzas that were actually made in Italy, otherwise known as country of origin. Luca’s pizzas are truly authentic, or at least I think so. As is everything else we ordered from the menu. Besides excellent pizza and pasta, Cucina Italiana also serves a very good cappuccino (my personal gauge to classify a restaurant/coffeeshop as good).

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks.

Here’s a tip, if you’re checked in at Luca’s Lodge, you can request the restaurant staff to cook dishes not on the menu. They’ll just charge you a reasonable amount per head for a set of dishes.

Cucina Italiana also has a bar, with a good selection of alcoholic drinks to help you destroy your liver enjoy the night at the beach. Luca’s Lodge has all you need in their little strip of the beach- sand, sun, and nomz. To book your stay, you can visit the official website of Luca’s Resort.