Stoked in Baler

I couldn’t believe I didn’t post a single entry in the month of March, my birthday month.  I’ve been busy with client works and personal projects.  I must admit, last month was pretty exhausting–not physically but purely mentally.  I felt that my brain’s lacking in creative inspiration and is hungry for new ideas, so I have to feed it.  I need to take a time off from work.

Good thing, my friends and I planned a trekking and surfing trip in Baler, Aurora.  And I must say, I came back rejuvenated and ready to share with you my summer experience.  Baler is known for its perfect waves that surfers dig but it’s more than just a surfing site.

Baler Waves

Baler Waves

Day 1 (Monday, April 8)

My friends and I left at 1:30 am and took a 6-hour trip from Metro Manila to Baler, Aurora.  We arrived just in time for breakfast so we stopped by a carinderia to fuel ourselves for the rest of the day.

After checking into our beachfront hut at Sabang Beach, we went on a tricycle tour.  Our first stop: Ermita Hill.  If our Baler trip is a literary piece, our stop at Ermita Hill makes a perfect prologue since it gives us a perfect aerial view of the Baler coastline–a very welcoming site.

Aerial view of Baler

Look at those colorful boats!

Baler

Breathtaking view of Baler

We also went for a short visit to The Baler Fish Port to take pictures.

Baler Fish Port

Meet the locals...just kidding! They're my friends :)

Meet the locals…just kidding! They’re my friends. :))

The arrested Chinese fishing vessel

The arrested Chinese fishing vessel

After an exhausting trip uphill and walk to the fish port, we went to Diguisit Falls and rewarded ourselves with cold refreshing water.

Diguisit Falls

Diguisit Falls

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Us being all goofy while enjoying the cold water

Our second to the last stop of the day is the beautiful Aniao islets where we dried ourselves off under the heat of the sun.

Aniao Islets

Aniao Islets

Being cautious.  There are a lot of starfishes and sea urchins lurking.

Being cautious. There are a lot of starfishes and sea urchins lurking around.

We went back to our hut and rested for a while in a hammock.  After recharging ourselves, our local guides took us  for a trip down in history lane.  We headed first to the house of Aurora Quezon, the wife and first lady of Manuel Quezon (2nd President of the Philippines).  The province was in fact named in her memory.  Just across the  house is the reconstructed Baler Church where we said our prayers, thanking God for a safe trip.

Our last stop for the day is Museo de Baler (Baler Museum) which houses historical artifacts.  I never knew Aurora was very rich in history! My apologies for not taking pictures during that time (please kill me). My friend had a couple of photos though.  We then finished our first day of the tour by lunch time so we headed again to this nearby carinderia to eat before hitting the beach to surf!

Tired from our trip, we went back to our hut to rest.  I also took the time to stroll along the shore and go people watching :))

Surfer dude

Surfer dude

stoked!

stoked!

We spent the rest of the day riding the waves and ended the night with a buffet dinner at Gerry Shan’s (It’s a “must go to” restaurant there).  We hang out after in our small hut, having some drinks while playing cards, exchange stories until we doze off.

Day 2 (Tuesday, April 9 | our last day)

I’m not an early riser (and I’m not proud of it) but we all got up at 4:30am to catch the sunrise at Ampere Beach.  As I’m typing this, I’m already missing waking up to the sound of the waves.  It was an hour ride from Sabang Beach to get there so we really have to move fast.  UNFORTUNATELY, it was a cloudy morning with a bit of drizzle.  Mr. sun didn’t show up 😦 Nevertheless, the view was still breathtaking.  It was actually one of my favorite spots there.

Lonely road beside the beach

Lonely road beside the beach

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Don’t you just love the different shades of blue?

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very zen

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Gotta love Ampere Beach

Our second destination for the day is the mystic Balete tree–it was over 500 years old and is considered as the biggest tree in Asia.  It was so big that more or less 10 people can fit inside the tree (yes it’s hollow inside). Our tour just kept getting better!

Balete Tree

Balete Tree

Inside the tree. It was pretty dark inside, I have to use my flash

Inside the tree. It was pretty dark inside, I have to use my flash

monkeys :)

monkeys 🙂

The rain started pouring when we were about to leave the tree but that didn’t stop us from going to our next stop–the Ditumabo falls (mother falls).  I think it also took us an hour to get there (I dozed off in the tricycle).  It has also stopped raining when we got there.  It was a very rocky and bumpy ride getting to the starting point of our 4km trek.

We  trekked the rough terrains and crossed the slippery rivers for more than an hour.  It was exhausting but we didn’t regret anything once we got to the mother falls.  It was all worth it.

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look how small we are!

look how small we are!

We wished we stayed a little bit longer but we have to get back to Manila early, plus we have to squeeze in an hour of surfing in our last day. 🙂

We got back to Sabang Beach just in time for lunch and went surfing right away. We also witnessed a bit of the 5th Annual Baler Beginner’s Surf Cup which took place right in front of our hut.

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And it’s time for us to leave 😦

Goodbye Baler

Goodbye Baler

Goodbye Baler, I’ll miss you, the locals and the waves.  2 days is not enough so I promise I’ll come back again.

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