Sabang Beach may not be as pretty as the many white sand beaches scattered all over the Philippines, yet it still attracts a horde of foreign tourists every year. When compared to some of the other famous beaches in the country, it does not offer as picturesque a beach or as relaxing a swim. Its beach is in fact rocky and packed with many docked boats. Despite that, it has the most number of visiting foreign tourists of all the beaches in Puerto Galera.
So what makes Sabang Beach so special?
Located at the east side of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, this beach is often the starting point to all other destinations in the area. There are almost 10 prettier beaches, including the majestic White Beach, two mountains that are popular to mountaineers and trekkers, three to four waterfalls, a bunch of historical ruins, and a lively town with lovely locals. But almost everyone who comes to visit Puerto Galera for many different reasons has to pass by Sabang.
From Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, vacationers take a 2-3-hour bus ride to Batangas Pier. From this popular pier, which is the seafarer’s gateway to the Visayas, are ferry boats going to Puerto Galera. There are three entry points to Puerto Galera, and the most popular is Sabang. Aside from it being the necessary drop-off point by default, tourists flock to this beach for three reasons: diving, partying and more partying.
Sabang is extremely popular to both local and international divers. It is the jumping board to about 30 spectacular dive spots, which include La Laguna Point (west of Sabang), Sabang Point (east), Monkey Beach (east), Ernie’s Cave (beyond Monkey Beach), St. Christopher Wreck (west), and Sabang Wreck (north). The deepest is St. Christopher Wreck, which drops as deep as 80 feet. The St. Christopher sank in 1995. Diving along this wreckage offers a swim alongside moray eels and twin spotted snappers. Another popular dive, Sabang Wreck, is an artificial reef made from a Chinese fishing junk that was intentionally placed in 1993. Along the Sabang beachside are rows of dive shops that sell or rent out all kinds of diving gear, as well as offer professional divers to train or guide tourists who want to learn how to dive.
After an exhilarating dive, guests may dine at the popular floating bar. Divers enjoy tropical dishes as they bob up and down on the water while enjoying a scenic view of Sabang Beach from afar. This is one of the best ways to relax while in Puerto Galera.
Aside from diving, Sabang attracts so many tourists for its rows of cheap accommodations alongside bars, discos, billiard halls and entertainment centers. There are many shops that will keep tourists excited throughout the day. There are no huge one-stop malls, true, but just tons of quaint shops that are sure to provide what visitors need without the rushing, people-packed sensation often accompanying mall visits. Sabang’s shoreline is alive with dining, drinking and shopping during the day.
After dark, it becomes more alive. Sabang lights up with girly bars, restaurants, beer gardens, go-go bars and discos that remain open and wide awake until the wee hours of the morning. If you want to party with the friendly locals and adventurous foreigners while in Puerto Galera, go to Sabang Beach and nowhere else.