You know the saying “throw a dart at a map and travel to wherever it lands”? Yeah, I kinda did that for this trip… Well, except it was a computer mouse not a dart.
Going to Baler is a last minute birthday plan. Unlike my previous trips, this time there will be no itinerary and it will be just me and my backpack. Baler is considered as one of the best surfing spots in country, located North East of Manila in the province of Aurora. Boasting waves that can go high as 9 feet during the surfing season (September – February).
I made my way to this town in a 6 hours bus ride via Genesis. The trip was bearable. Though there have been a few bumps and zigzag once you reach the Cordillera ranges. But aside from that, you can actually have a goodnight sleep.
Since I have no concrete plans. I decided check out the town first. While walking I noticed a lot of locals were setting up decorations, and told me that their fiesta is coming. People who live in Baler are kind in general. Before I had to take my lunch I ended up talking with students practicing their dance routines outside the museum.
In the scorching heat of the 1:00PM sun. I decided to surf! Haha sobrang random! Good heavens for quite a good waves during that time, I got up my board in my third attempt! Well, of course with the help of my instructor. Though there are a LOT of times I got wiped-out by some “unexpected” waves, I’m still proud of what I achieved in my first surfing lesson.
Later in the afternoon, I watched locals do their traditional way of fishing which is called Pukot. There is nothing for me to do but to watch the sunset and kids play with little crabs and surf. Aaaaahhh, the art of doing nothing.
When I returned in the inn, I met two ladies who were also there for vacation. They’re genuinely nice, I get join them for breakfast and tagged along to their Caunayan Falls adventure.
Since it’s my first to travel alone, it felt good that I was able to meet people who has the same interest as me. During the time I was with them, it feels like we’ve been friends a long time! Til’ now we still exchange messages via Facebook to keep in touch.
Baler was a short and sweet trip. But I’m happy that I finally did my solo travel that time. I let go all of my hesitations and now I gained new experience and friends.
How To Get There:
Only Genesis Transport Service has a direct bus going to Baler from Cubao. I only took the regular air-conditioned bus, but they also have the Executive Joy Bus (P700) which many people preferred because it has no stop-overs, comes with free snacks and blankets. When you get in the last stop, just ride a tricyle going to Sabang beach or inn. Going back, I took the Aurora Bus Line going to Cabanatuan then from there I rode a Baliwag Transit Bus bound for Cubao for me to get home in Bulacan.
Where To Stay:
There a lot of accommodations to choose from in the long stretch of Sabang beach. I stayed in one of the nipa huts of Ballon Heaven’s View (0939-374-9145) which cost P500/night. I like their location because it’s far away from the noisy bars.
Where To Eat:
Rolling Stores! You can have a decent meal with drinks below P60. You could also try Gerry Shan’s Place (just for the sake of trying!). For a hearty breakfast, there’s a weekend buffet in Hungry Surfer by Bay Inns for P170.
What To Do:
Surfing! Of course! Duh! :))
I would recommend Micheal Surf Shop and Lesson (0939-939-0786), they offer P350/hour surfing lesson.
If you want to know the town’s background you could visit Museo De Baler (free entrance) and the old house of Aurora Aragon Quezon (free entrance), wife of President Manuel Quezon.
But if you want to explore all the tourist spots in Baler, then you should opt for the tricyle tour. It cost P800. Don’t worry, all of them have equal prices, because the rates were given by the Aurora Tourism Office.
See you again in November Baler!