Sinigang is my comfort food especially during the rainy/colder season. It is a sour soup made of vegetables and meat of your choice (you can use shrimp, pork, beef, fish, chicken). Unripe tamarind is the commonly used ingredient to make the sinigang sour. Other people use calamansi instead of tamarind. Nowadays, people usually use the instant tamarind soup mix because it’s cheaper and easy to use.
I won’t be detailing how to make one because you can find several youtube videos and/or blogs to learn how to make one. My goal here to look at the sinigang and the commonly used vegetables from different versions of it.
Below are the commonly used vegetables in sinigang. They are in Tagalog-English-Scientific name order.
The photo above was my take on my own sinigang (because in the country I am right now, the veggies mentioned are rare to find). I used asparagus and mustard instead of string beans and kangkong. Enjoy your hot sinigang in this bed weather situation. I would love to hear how they are called in your place and other vegetables you add in your sinigang in the comment section.
Puerto Galera is situated in the island of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is one of the closest and easiest to access beach/dive resort from Manila. I honestly didn’t travel from Manila to Puerto Galera as we are from Laguna. If you’re coming from Manila, you only have to find a way to go to Batangas Pier. They say that there are bus routes in Cubao that will take you to Puerto Galera.
How to go to Puerto Galera from Laguna?
Our point of origin was in Bay, Laguna. Here are the step-by-step guide on how we were able to go to Puerto Galera (it was a last minute so some random tips and tricks so you won’t do the same mistakes that we did. LOL):
STEP 1: Ride e a jeepney going to Crossing, Calamba terminal. Hop off at the terminal and find a jeepney going to Turbina (one is a jeepney route going to Tanauan, Batangas) or ride a tricycle for P100 as special ride to Turbina (if you’re on a budget and a backpacker, I suggest you to ride the jeepney which will only cost P15).
STEP 2: When you reached Turbina, ride a bus going to Batangas Pier – this will cost you P145. The bus will stop close to the terminal where you will get your ferry ticket. TiP no.1: don’t give in to people harassing you to buy stuff or book you at a higher cost. Planning is the key.
STEP 3: Get your ferry ticket (~P600/pax) going to Puerto Galera and pay P30 terminal fee – prepare your ID when getting the ticket. REMEMBER: Last trip would be at 2pm so be sure to be there before that time. Since we were not able to catch the last trip, we took a trip to Calapan (make sure to be there before the last trip of public jeepneys and vans) because we were not able to catch this trip as well (don’t follow this so you won’t spend more), we rode the tricycle going to Galera for P2000.
From the terminal, you go to the resort that offers scuba diving (most of the resort offers one). In our case, we booked days before online El Galleon resort (I highly recommend this – for me it has a relaxing ambience, although food is a bit pricey, but you can opt to go to town to look for cheaper alternatives).
It was my first scuba diving experience. I’d been wanting to do this for the longest time but find it expensive especially when you have a base salary. After saving for this activity, I took the chance. It cost me around P7500 all-in, the initial training, gears, oxygen tank and boat ride to the dive site.
You will have to practice basics in the pool like what are the common sign language, how to equalize properly, what to do when you accidentally removed the regulator or when water filled your goggles under the water.
After that, you can go directly to the ocean. If you’re a beginner like me, an instructor will make your life easier and he will just carry you throughout the dive. But, if you are a certified diver, you just have to be close to your pact under the water.
I didn’t have a camera fit for diving so you have to see for yourself the wonders that living organisms deep down the sea offer you. Different fish colors, starfish, sea snake, and corals in different shades, hues and colors. Words and pictures won’t be enough to describe it. Experience it yourself. It was worth a try.
Remember that you have to allocate at least 24 hrs before flying again after the dive. You can also enjoy a white beach close by the dive resorts after your dive.