Baler: Behind The Raging Waves

IMG_5972Let the waves take you…

Baler is a municipality situated in Aurora province. This is known to many as the Surfing capital of Luzon. But aside from its raging waves, this municipality has a lot more to offer. From museums, parks, waterfalls etc, Baler got you covered!

This trip is a product of my “impulsiveness”. It was conceptualized a week before our intended date of stay. We wanted to have an easy / no brainer vacation near Manila. And out of the many options that we have, i finally gave Baler a try. This isn’t even in my bucket or to go to list. 😂

Anyway, Below is my actual itinerary. Prices are subject to change, so more or less make some adjustments.

Note: We travelled from Manila to Nueva Ecija first to have a Minalungao Side trip (see my other post regarding Minalungao National Park). Then from Gapan, Nueva Ecija we transferred to Cabanatuan and rode a Van to Baler, Aurora.

Alternate Route:

From Cubao – Take Genesis Bus. This Bus goes straight to Baler, Aurora. For advance reservation, call their Cubao Office at (02) 709-0803 or (02) 421-1425.

Day 1: Departure / Arrival

3:00 am – ETD Manila to Cabanatuan

5:00 am – ETA to Gapan

7:00 am – 11:00 pm – Minalungao National Park (see my other post)

12:15 am – Gapan to Cabanatuan via Bus (travel time: 1 hr.) – P100

1:30 pm – Lunch at the Local Carinderia

• Lunch – P150

2:00 pm – Cabanatuan Central Terminal to Baler, Aurora via PUV Van (travel time: 4 hrs.) – P220

6:00 pm – Arrival in Baler

Note: The vans from Cabanatuan or any buses from Manila usually alight in Baler Public Market. We chose to stay near the center for an easy access to the transportation hub.

6:30 pm – Hostel Check-in ZEN BREEZELANDS – Purok 1, Javin Building, Baler, Luzon 3200, Philippines (1 min from Baler Public Market / Terminal)

Verdict:

Location: 😊😊😊

If your purpose is to be near at transport terminal, then this will be your best bet. It is located just infront of Baler Public Market and Baler Terminal. Since it’s near the market, there are a lot of people in the morning but comes 6 pm, everything is quiet! Not a lot of restaurants which I expected. Everything is situated near the beach.

Cleanliness: 😊😊😊

It’s okay but not exceptionally clean. There are loads of ants in our room, so make sure to avoid storing food in your room if you choose to stay here.

Over-all: 😊😊😊

We stayed for 2 nights, and we paid 2000+ for it, for real, it’s 3000+, and because I’ve got some rebates from Agoda, it lessens our damages. Heheh. The room is actually not bad, we have the Master Suite, the room is large, has closet, a tv and an ensuite bathroom. But if you intended to stay for a bit longer, it’s better to stay near the beach area since the night life here is quite boring.

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  • Relax, Chill, Drink and Eat

We decided to go to the beach and stroll around. We roam at the bay area to look for a nice restaurant/bar. Unfortunately, this isn’t the scenario that i’m expecting.
Since Baler has already made a buzz in the tourism industry, i expected that the night life here will be fun and lively. Unfortunately it wasn’t. “Sad to say” . We decided to stroll at the back side and been fortunate to find a “nearly” nice bar, The Yellow Fin Bar and Grill located at the back of Costa Pacifica Hotel. We eat our dinner and drunk a little and just enjoyed the night.

  • Dinner – P200

Okay, my damages are not 200 php! I paid 1500 I guess, since this will serve us my birthday treat! uh ohhhhh….

DAY 2: Baler Tour

Baler Tour – P600-P800 (we arranged this tour on the spot, we roam around the public market and talk to one of the tricycle drivers. We haggled the price and drop it to 500. 😂

Balete Tree – The oldest and the biggest Balete Tree i’ve seen in my life! This tree do scares me so i made a point to stay away from it whenever i see one. But this one i can’t escape. So “keber” with all the malignos inside, i climbed and had a pictorial! Hahaha

Baler church

Museo de Baler – Loads of memorabilia from Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon

Dona Aurora Aragon Quezon House – This is a little house preserved by the government.

• Lunch – P150

Ermita Hill – It was actually created as an evacuation site for the people of Baler incase of natural disasters.

Dimadimalangat Islet – This is best visited during low tide, usually in the afternoon

Lukso-Lukso Islet / Diguisit Beach

Diguisit Waterfalls – Baby Falls, as they call it… hahaha

Ditumabo Falls – Mother Falls (we skipped this for safety reasons, probably will do it again if we return)

I was having a hard time doing the City Tour as i’m experiencing a bad hangover from last night’s supposedly “light” drinking session. Alright i admit i drank a lot from what I’m “supposed” to consume. We even ended up drinking with a former Ms. Universe-Philippines and the co-owner of the bar even gave us a free mucho bottle of beer! 😂

Surfing Lesson – P300 / hr

IMG_5687

• Dinner – P200

DAY 3: Beach Time!

5:30 am – Dicasarin Cove – Tricycle – P400 (haggle please!)

  • Get Pass at Costa Pacifica or at the site – P300 / person
  • If you booked a room from them, you can reduced the rate by half. This cove is a private property of Costa Pacifica that’s why one should need an entrance pass if you want to visit the place.

At the starting point, you need to hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) to bring you to the entrance of the Cove – P300 / person (roundtrip)

• Morning Picnic Breakfast – P500

We bought our food at the public market before heading to the cove.

Dicasalarin Cove is a secret white sand beach situated in the middle of Baler’s Raging Surfing fiasco.

dividerlouise

Other Places Of Interests:

Dipaculao, Aurora Tour – Tricycle P500 (r/t) or Van (if with Time)

• Dinadiawan Beach

• Ampere Beach

12:00 pm – We Checked-out already before heading off to Dicasalarin Cove. So when we return from the cove, we got our bags and went straight to the bus terminal.

1:00 pm – Bus to Cubao via Genesis or Joy – P550

7:00 pm – Arrival to Cubao

TOTAL: P3995 / person

Baler might not be in my bucket list, but certainly this place placed a mark in my heart. I hope I can come back sooner.

“The waves might be tough… but if you stand your ground, you can just sway with its flow…”

IMG_5833

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