Baler is one of the best places in the Philippines to catch the waves. Now, I have a new found respect for surfers because of the tenacity required to be able to actually “attempt” to do the sport. We definitely had a blast surfing for the first time.
We left our hometown, Laguna, at around 2200 of April 24 so we could get to the bus terminal in Cubao at around 1200 of April 25. We didn’t fail to meet our itinerary’s call time. We arrived at Genesis Bus Terminal, Cubao, Quezon City minutes before 1200. We were so hyped because we made it at an unusual time of the day.
We went straightly to the ticket booth just to know that there’s only one bus with four unoccupied seats left. We were five. Out of desperation, we begged the sales officer if one from our group could seat in the aisle of the bus just for us to get the free slots. She refused and said that it’s not allowed.
Plan B was implemented right away. Instead of taking a direct trip to Baler, we had no choice but to take a detour. We took a bus from ES Transport going to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. One thing that was running in our tired minds was to keep moving forward. It’s better to take detours than to get there later than we expect.
I forgot our time of arrival at Cabanatuan. As we got there, we immediately boarded a bus going to Casiguran. According to other blogs, there are vans going to Baler in that area but I believe that those were not yet available during the time we arrived.
After a long, rough and bouncy ride, we finally arrived at Baler, Aurora at around 0900 - 1000.
(Side story: I started having a stomach problem a few minutes after we started our journey from Cabanatuan. I thought I was going to die back then! Thank God, the bus stopped in a gas station and I felt relieved! It was really an unforgettable moment for me. It taught me a lesson I should keep in mind while traveling - never travel with an empty stomach and ride at the back of an ordinary bus. The experience is really not amazing!)
As soon as we arrived at Baler, we looked for a tricycle that will give us a tour for two days. We are supposed to have our contact, Mang Claro, but our newly found tour guide/driver said that Mang Claro became inactive with tours since March. Maybe that’s the reason why I couldn’t contact him days before our getaway. Our newly found guide and driver was Mang Efren Mislang. After haggling for the rate of Mang Efren’s tour, we immediately headed to the bus terminal and tried to book a ride back to Cubao but unfortunately, again, the buses were fully booked! How great could it be? I’ve learned from there that you should not go where everyone goes during summer specially when you’re a hardcore commuter.
Next stop: Food Trip!
Since all of us haven’t eaten our breakfast, we searched for a place to eat. Our group was that kind of “local-loving travelers”. We’d rather eat in a carinderia around town than to eat in a fancy restaurant.
We asked Mang Efren to take us to the best carinderia for breakfast. He mentioned a known “Tapsi House” but it was closed that day. Instead, we just walked nearby and spotted a lane of carinderias.Yummm! There were lots of cuisine to choose from but most of the dishes were made out of seafood which is my favorite!
After our late breakfast, we started to cross activities out from our itinerary!
Let the pictures speak for themselves. *wink*
DAY 1 // PART I: THE TOWN OF BALER
An old hospital in front of the carinderia lane.
President Manuel L. Quezon, Father of the Filipino Language
Museo de Baler
The First Presidential Car
Ancient Guest House
Santo Entierro (There was a wedding being held during our visit so we didn’t come in to pay respect to the ceremony.)
The Hanging Bridge (This was not included in our itinerary. Mang Efren was the one who mentioned this one. What a great guide!)
The prominent landmark of the town: this huge BALER sign! :) Don’t miss this one. Photo from Arianne Marabella
Before we checked in to Pacific Waves Inn, we had our lunch at Gerry Shan’s Buffet! The best restaurant in town! Yummmm!
DAY 1 // PART 2: WONDERS OUTSIDE THE TOWN
The second part of our tour was more on the wonderful nature that surrounds Baler.
This was the view from a view deck in Ermita Hill. I took a panoramic shot of it.
Ermita Hill - the refuge of the citizens of Baler when tsunami occurs.
A trail inside Ermita Hill. Mang Efren said that this leads to the other side of the hill.
The commemorative sculptures of the survivors of tsunami that once occurred in Baler many years ago.
On our way to Aniao Islet, Diguisit Falls and Diguisit Rock Formations, Mang Efren stopped and told us to take a photo of this beautiful view. He’s one great local tour guide! I was fascinated.
Diguisit Falls - a 3-minute trek is all you need. :)
Diguisit Rock Formations
The Watch Tower
We were supposed to proceed to Dicasalarin Cove but our guide told us that it’s far from Baler and it was getting dark, so, we just decided to trek up to this watch tower near the Aniao Islets. The view was, nevertheless, amazing. We watched the sunset from there.
Note: You have to pay around P10 for the entrance of the trail going to The Watch Tower because it’s privately owned by a local family.
The scenery was really breathtaking! Perfect for panoramic shot like this. :)
On our way down
We were supposed to head to Yellow Fin Bar & Grill for dinner but the place was crowded during night time. I didn’t know. Lol. So, we looked for another place to eat. We ended up in a restaurant ran by a hotel along the beach. Bay-ler View Restaurant
Photo from Joemarie Solomon
After dinner, we went back to our room at Pacific Waves Inn and slept immediately! It’s gonna be a long second-day in Baler!
It is both mystical and haunting, when you go out of town with someone dear. The way that it gives you an indescribable lovely feeling can make you long for one more.
“Maybe next month. Or next year, honey, let’s pack our things and go where we can see more stars. To the countryside, away from this city, someplace where the only familiar faces are yours and mine. Where the only familiar sounds are the wailing of the sea, the hymn of the wind, the whisper of the mountains. Next month. Next year.”
And I’d choose you
in a hundred lifetimes
in a hundred worlds
in any version of reality
I’d find you and I’d choose you
of the billions (you) (at Diguisit Beach, Baler, Aurora)
a few weeks ago we decided to head up to Baler to soak up some sunshine and enjoy a mini vacation with my mother and her friends. I’m kinda feeling lazy today so just let these photos speak for me :)
We stayed at SMART Beach House which was so nice and affordable. The place was just a few steps away from the beach and had the nicest room view.
First stop was the Baler Nation Musuem
since my tour group was a bunch of lazy ass we just decided to stay in for the day and enjoy the calming waves of the sea
The next day we decided to visit the famous Ditumabo Mother Falls
going to the place was not a walk in the park. We had to trek for more than an hour
the serene environment and fresh air made the trek more bearable
Top from Forever 21, Short from Chicabooti, sunglasses from Guess
and after more than an hour of trekking, we finally reached the Mother Falls! and all I can say was that the trek was definitely worth it
for dinner we decided to try Baler Surfer Grill
the place was know for its delicious food and artsy ambiance
Since Baler was known for being one of the best surfing place, I grabbed the opportunity to learn how to surf
at first I was a bit hesitant since I’m not really a good swimmer ( I was so afraid of drowning lol)
but then after .56789694 failed attempts, I was finally able to successfully ride the waves YAY
Then next day, we headed out to the Zabali hanging bridge. I wasn’t able to take that much picture since I was so scared lol
After that we went to the Baler Rock Formations.
i felt like mermaid here lol
and of course a trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the pasalubong center!!
Overall, Baler is a place worth coming back for. Everything is just perfect and peaceful in here. There are so many nice and affordable accommodations to choose from, cheap and sumptuous meals anywhere! (you will never run out of cheap and fresh seafood in here) and of course the people in here are very friendly and accommodating! Baler will always have a special place in my heart <3
P.S. I’m planning on returning again next summer with my friends!