Puerto Galera cashes in on booming tourism sector


TAMARAW Falls. Photo By Amadís Ma. Guerrero, Contributor

“There is more to Puerto Galera than White Beach,” claims Mayor Hubbert A. Dolor in a recent briefing with Manila media in his office.

“We are now promoting Puerto Galera as the heart of Asia, center of the center,” he adds.

The fabled coastal town—with its resorts, beach coves, waterfalls, abundant marine life, limestone cliffs, rock formations, coral gardens, dive sites and mountains—is at the northern tip of Oriental Mindoro.

It lays claim to having one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

As the international map puts it in French: “Les plus belle baies du monde.”

OPEN-AIR chapel at Elizabeth’s Hideaway. Photo By Amadís Ma. Guerrero, Contributor

Dolor, who is also a physician and holder of a Master’s degree in Public Administration, says “the Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle and we are at the center of the center of marine biodiversity.”

Talking about biodiversity, shouldn’t Palawan lay claim to that? The mayor doesn’t think so.

“It (Palawan) is not in the center of the center,” he says.

Puerto Galera attracts two million tourists every year and its income is boosted by the Environment Usage Fee (EUF) of P50 per visitor.

By 2020, the town (now a first-class municipality) hopes to become a city, with its own airport.

The construction phase is starting, with an assist from the Department of Transportation and Communication.

Puerto Galera will likely have to wait a while to attain the status of a city, and in the meantime, it is bent on boosting its coffers through tourism.

MAYOR Hubbert A. Dolor. Photo By Amadís Ma. Guerrero, Contributor

“We have no other income except tourism,” the mayor says. “We have agricultural lands but our cooperative farmers have become tourist guides and boatmen.”

What about the dark side of tourism, as in sex tours and pedophilia?

“Gone are the days of human trafficking,” Dolor claims, “We have bars in Sabang but bars are part of tourism. There are regular checkups, and regular visits by doctors. So the bars are regulated and controlled.”

Gold also still exists in Puerto Galera and other parts of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro (the big island was known to the Spaniards as “mina de oro”).

Small-scale panning is tolerated but mining is a no-no.

“There is only one industry in Puerto Galera and that’s tourism,” the mayor declares.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Kidlat Kalawakan

    Lousy journalism. Resort owners here in Puerto Galera hate this Mayor because he single handedly cause the biggest decline in tourist arrivals. From a peak of 500,000 in 2005, now we barely get 150,000 tourists. He has no knowledge of how tourism works and would not listen to us, the stakeholders. He is super mayabang and even proclaimed that “he is the most powerful man in Puerto Galera” and thus we should all obey him without question. He has cases now being investigated by the Ombudsman for graft and corruption and unethical conduct.

  • Sewer Bang

    This story is full of factual errors:
    1.)  The Mayor’s claim to a  MPA and dissertation wasn’t verfied (hint: it’s BS)
    2.)  Puerto Galera does not attract 2 Million Tourists a year — it’s far less than 200,000.
    3.)  There is no airport “in the construction phase”, not even a feasibility study has been done. 
    4.)  The foto or caption  of Tamaraw Falls is wrong
    Very lousy journalistic performance A.M.Guerrero. Please follow up with erratum !  

  • Michael Maquilan

    God bless the Philippines

  • MahalinAngInangBayan

    Kapuri-puri ka, Mayor Hubbert Dolor. Natatangi ang iyong adhikain, Sana ay patnubayan ka ng Panginoong Diyos at iyong matupad ang iyong mga pangarap para sa Puerto Galera. Sana din ay tularan ka ng lahat ng mga mayors at iba pang mga pinunong- bayan sa iyong pagmamahal, pagpapahalaga, pagmamalasakit at proteksyon sa environment at angking likas na yaman ng Pilipinas. Ipagdadasal kong matupad mo ang iyong napakagandang layunin. Isa kang dakilang Pilipino. Dumami sana ang salin-lahi mo para magkaroon ang ating bansa ng mga kapur-puri at dapat tularan na nilikha tulad mo. 

  • Pauline

    does that mean Puerto Galera has no airport yet? Come on, build one now! Common sense!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos