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Notes from a Gay-lera virgin

Jonathan Orbuda visits Puerto Gay-lera for the first time, and discovers the (in)famous gay landmarks of the place – “Jurassic Park” and “Rockwell”. Here, he shares what to expect when there.

Curiosity is one motivation why people tend to do risky things. As for me, curiosity is one of the reasons why I travel. I always look forward to what exciting things might happen to me. Not too different from a one-year-old baby who is only starting to learn what the world can offer him.

During my first Puerto Galera visit, curiosity is also the reason why I visited the “landmarks”. After all, every time that I check blogs about the place, there are always two places associated with it – “Jurassic Park” and “Rockwell”. So I was very curious about these, definitely.

What about “Jurassic Park”?

“Jurassic Park” is a spot situated in White Beach in Puerto Galera.  It is, wihtout playing with words, where cruising happens. It is located at the extreme end of the beach, at your right side when you are facing the sea. The place is a remote area wherein silence exists.

“Jurassic Park” is actually a sea cliff that has three layers – the gays label it as the Ground floor, Second Level and the Third Level.

Ground Floor is the area at the beach.  In this area, majority of the gays stay since this is the safest part of the area. This is also the right place to find a prospective partner for the night and to maybe bring to the Second Level or Third Level.

Adjacent to the beach area is the Second Level, where only few trees survived.  These trees are the only cover that hide the “extraordinary happenings” in this area.  This is the favorite place of those who prefer quickies because there is a privacy as long as no one will attempt to climb to watch.

The top part of the cliff is where the Third Level is situated.  This is the place for those who really want extreme cruising because it is totally private. You need to be a somewhat good climber, hauling yourself up using the vines and rocks, just to watch what happens above.

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Obviously, the name “Jurassic Park” is associated with the movie because you have to climb, crawl, et cetera just to reach and experience the safest part of the place, somewhat akin to a scene in the movie.

A photo taken from "Rockwell", showing Puerto Galera's "Jurassic Park" - two of the landmarks that are often visited by gay men particularly during Holy Week .

A photo taken from “Rockwell”, showing Puerto Galera’s “Jurassic Park” – two of the landmarks that are often visited by gay men particularly during Holy Week .

A veteran cruiser and a friend of mine said: “Sa ibaba, kaya madaming tao diyan, dahil iyan ang lugar kung saan , diyan naghahanap (At the Ground Floor, there are lots of people there because that’s where they try to find prospective partners).”

Due to scandals occurring way back in 2011, it became a widely-discussed place, resulting to the closing of the said spot. The local government assigned barangay police to secure the area so that cruising will not happen anymore.

Grabe nga, minsan dati, may mga nag-flashlight na mga tanod at nanghuhuli diyan dati (It was bad in the past, when barangay officials arrested people there),” my friend added.

Not that this stopped cruising from happening.  Gays still found ways to do have adventures.

This place was eventually re-opened.

Interestingly, the place is not just for gays, but self-described straight men too.  Actually, straight men visit this place not just to watch, but sometimes to join.  And so, you will not be able to distinguish who is gay, straight or bi.

What about “Rockwell”?

“Rockwell” is located at the extreme left side of the White Beach when you are facing the sea. It is another spot for cruising.

“Rockwell” is actually based from the word “batuhan” (rocky place). The spot has huge rock formations that provide the cruisers more private places. Its like owning a cubicle once you find a perfect area. But the place is full of danger because it is too dark and the rocks are slippery due to algae. So I won’t advise you to go there if you are drunk, or even just a bit tipsy.

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Incidentally, the “batuhan” area is the entry point going to Tamaraw Beach Resort, where some of the socialites (and social climbing) gays stay.

Kaunti lang ang tao sa batuhan pero quality ang mga nandoon kaysa sa (There aren’t that many men in Rockwell, but at times they are better than those you find at) ‘Jurassic Park’,” my friend said.

What he recommends doing is hopping from one place to the other.

Palakad-lakad lang ako sa magkabilang dulo.  Sa sobrang layo ng nilalakad ko, tanggal ang kalasingan ko (I just walk from one end of the beach to the other. Due to the distance, I become sober from walking too long),” he jokingly said.

And yes, police patrolling the area also have a hard time to catch the cruisers due to the large and slippery rocks, so gays can hide here better.

Having shared my firsthand, and first-time exposure to the two famous landmarks of Puerto Gay-lera, please remember to be safe always when there. Be responsible enough. There are NGOs that distribute condoms for free at the beach during peak seasons (aside from giving free HIV antibody test).

So enjoy… with caution.

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Written By

Jonathan D. Orbuda, an Economics graduate, was a writer in college, when he served as a section editor (from 2007 to 2008) of The Pillar. Not surprisingly, after completing his degree, he ended up blogging, detailing his travels (sans much of the frills). He also established “Cute Pinoy”, an online social networking site for Filipino gay and bi men, eyeing to inspire closet gays to come out and learn to embrace themselves. Since finishing his schooling, he already worked for a bank and the BPO industry, among others. But his passion remains writing, and so he now travels as much as he can to discover what this world (and life) has to offer. As he keeps stressing: “I honestly don’t want to be rich; I just want to fly and be free.”


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