Today is Sun, March 24, 2019

Puerto Galera Bay: One of the World’s Best

The Philippines is blessed with thousands of kilometers of coastline. It is but natural to say that we possess some of the most beautiful seaside areas in the world – and as recently as last year we proved it.

Puerto Galera, located on the northern part of the island of Mindoro, was named 2005’s Most Beautiful Bay by the Paris-based Les Plus Belles Baies Du Monde (The most Beautiful Bays in the World) club. A popular vacation spot, known for its beautiful beaches and proximity to the nation’s capital, joins 29 other bays from different countries in the prestigious list.

Puerto Galera, which means "Port of the Galleon" is a series of landlocked coves. The bay’s formation makes it an ideal and safe docking area for seafaring vessels. Its past is riddled with stories about Chinese and Spanish ships that traded with the native Mangyans and sheltered in the bay. A gold and marble mining industry provided income throughout the centuries. It’s great diversity of marine life perfect for scuba diving, its protected mangroves and rainforest mountains are testament to the island’s unique ecosystem.

The club, a UNESCO-supported, non-government organization, bestowed the title to Puerto Galera last April 2, 2005 during its general assembly in Na Thrang, Vietnam. The chosen bays worldwide are known for their natural beauty, diverse marine life, rich cultural heritage and important contribution to the local economic activity. These factors are in line with the club’s aim to promote, protect, and enhance the world’s most beautiful bays and to enhance the area’s sustainable economic development through preservation of its natural resources. The protection and conservation of these identified assets are for the benefit of future generations

Businessman and French expat Hubert d’Aboville was the main driving force behind the movement to get Puerto Galera on the international map. With the assistance of Councilor Daniel Enriquez, they were able to make a presentation to the club for the inclusion of Puerto Galera in the list. The main objective of the move was to harness the inevitable power of development and focus it on one goal: Puerto Galera, and the nation as a whole, should benefit from this natural tourist destination.

d’Aboville and Enriquez mapped out their plan and presented it to the town’s leading families and businesses. The plan was well received by everyone together with the local government where it was approved upon first reading.

In a course of six months’ work, with the support of the municipality and private enterprises, d’Aboville set off for Morocco to present Puerto Galera to the clubs’ selection committee.

All of that hard work paid off. A resounding "yes" was heard from the selection committee, making Puerto Galera one of the world’s finest bays.

"It’s just like opening a jewelry box," says d’Aboville, portraying his 25-year romance with Puerto Galera. Calling this municipality by the sea his home since 1995, d’Aboville was given the title of Adopted Son of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, last June 8, 2005.

On October 5, 2006, a photo exhibit representing all 30 most beautiful bays in the world will be organized at UNESCO in Paris. Its President Jerome Bignon, a French congressman, together with Bruno Bodard, secretary general of the world association, are finalizing all details.

Thanks to Ambassador H. E. Jose Zaide, the Philippine embassy in France, for his efforts to make this project a reality.