Monday, 25 May 2015

Tales From A Viajera: Baler, We've Been There!

This post is written in memory of my late brother-in-law, Jehrome. 
We shall forever cherish these happy memories and we will remember you in every place we will be. Rest in peace..

Another late post.

Last January 2015, the combined Dijamco-Valdellon-Buenaventura families ventured up north to experience surfing at its best. 

We took the SCTEX highway to reach Baler, Aurora and we reached the place in about 6 hours. We checked out the beach first before we looked for the accommodations recommended by a friend of my mother-in-law and since the price was reasonable because it was quite near to the beach and really accessible, we booked two rooms though I admit, it was pricier than I expected. But it was far more acceptable than the other accommodations we checked as one was cheap but smelly and the other one, was not only expensive but really far from town and the beach. If you need a place to stay in Baler, I recommend ate Dina's. Not only can you ask her to market and cook for you, but her family owns a sari-sari store in front for your needs. You may contact her at 09063047912. Average price for the rooms on off-peak periods is 6000 pesos.

The waves on the right side were tamer than the other side. However, the waters here are deeper.

My niece, Chloe, dares not to venture deeper into the sea because of the big waves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We hired two surfing instructors but rented out three surfboards because some were daring enough to try surfing on their own. 

For beginners, it is best to try surfing in the morning as the waves will get bigger in the afternoon. I wanted to test the waters after lunch but I was too tired from wiping out that I decided to rest instead (excuses, excuses..).

A view of the beach on our way up to see Ermita Hill.

Aside from surfing, we also explored the town and saw other structures and places in which Baler is famous for. 

I find the town of Baler to be tranquil and relaxing..
A plaza dedicated to Manuel L. Quezon.
Baler Church. Fish eye lens used.

Ermita Hill. 
It is said that four people was saved in a tsunami that troubled Baler a long time ago and they were saved because they climbed this hill.

A list of the interesting places in Baler, Aurora. I got this upon the entrance of the Museo de Baler.

We decided to visit other places the next day before we go home because those places were located on the way back to Manila.

Hanging bridge in Zabali, Aurora.

Ditumabo Mother Falls is located at San Luis, Aurora. Frankly speaking, I was not impressed with the waterfalls as man already interfered with its beauty. The lake was turned into a dam and there is no space to rest in and the waters are too cold. Plus, food and drinks are not allowed to be brought in the place there is a stop where locals will inspect your belongings and confiscate any food found. This is done to preserve the cleanliness of the place. But honestly, the climb to the top is quite tiring especially since you need to cross raging streams and climb steep rocks.

Nevertheless, I found the surroundings on the way to the Falls more appealing with the clear waters streaming from the falls and making that soothing sound. I was far more impressed with the simple beauty of the stream and rocks!

That pool looks cool and inviting..

Ditumabo falls.
We were warned by the locals not to go too near the falls as the strong
crashing water will suck anyone downwards.
The millennium tree. This famous spot is found at Maria Aurora. 
We went here on our way home to Manila.

Baler was quite far but it was definitely worth the long trip! In fact, we missed some other beaches noted by the Provincial Tourism Office :( So we are certainly going back to see more of Baler!

If you want to try surfing but you find Baler a bit too far, try Pundaquit, Zambales as the locals say that waves become bigger starting June. Aside from surfing, Pundaquit is also famous for Anawangin cove.

Photo credits go to my hubby. See his blog or check his flickr  for his other works.