Baler: One Perfect Summer Getaway by Len Armea

At the start of the year, my office friends and I were looking forward to a nice summer getaway but all seemed to be in a drawing board due to our busy schedules. After one failed plan to another, we finally set foot in Baler, Aurora which is a five-hour trip from Manila last weekend. Yes, our summer getaway happened in June!

Although we were a bit worried a few hours before the trip because of typhoon ‘Butchoy’, a lovely sunrise and a sunny weather welcomed and greeted us on Saturday morning.  Together with Pao, Liz, Hoshi and our two Brazilian office mates Marcus and Daniel, we wasted no time and headed for a day tour after having our breakfast at Bay’s Inn.

We were supposed to start the day learning the history of Aurora by going to the famed two-storey museum, Museo de Baler, but unfortunately it was closed for renovation. But what’s attention-catching is the statue of former President Manuel Quezon which appears to be greeting visiting tourists and onlookers. It’s a fitting tribute to the former who was born in the province. The façade of the museum is also emblazoned by sculptures depicting the Philippines under the Spanish era.

We also got a close look at the General Douglas McArthur car which was actually made for Quezon by General Motors of America but was used by McArthur on his tour of duty in the country. In 1976, the black vintage car was eventually turned over to the Philippine government.

 

We tried visiting another museum, the Aurora Aragon Quezon Replica House but it was also close when we dropped by.

 Our next stop is in this Balete Tree Park which according to the locals is 600 years-old and is the tallest of its kind in the country. Liz, Marcus, Daniel and I found the courage to climb it guided by the Baler kids and were successful doing so except for Liz who bailed out halfway through.

One great challenge: a 45-minute trek to Ditumabao Falls or also known as Mother Falls. If you’re not used to trekking or long walks under the scorching heat of the sun then this would really pose some challenge. We found ourselves hopping from one big rock to another, crossing rivulets and whatnot but at the same time you’ll feel one with nature. The trek is worth it because the falls is truly breathtaking.

The Ermita Hill also known as Ermita Park provides a scenic view of the vast ocean and striking coast brought by its hillside vantage. It has a chapel, a few gazebos and is like the better version of Tagaytay’s Picnic Grove where families and tourists can hang out and bond together.

Daniel @Ermita Park

We also didn’t miss the Tromba Marina on our way to Lukso-Lukso which is a reenactment of how the locals climbed the Ermita Hill to survive the tsunami that shook the province a long time ago.

 

Tromba Marina

Of all the places, Lukso-Lukso is the one that left me in awe. Lukso-Lukso, which means “to hop” in English, is comprised of three islets off the coast of Barangay Zabali, Baler,Aurora. What make it endearing are the rock formations that are visibly seen especially during low tides.

 

A trip to Baler isn’t complete without surfing! Sunday morning was all about surfing as we head to Sabang Beach (best for beginners) which is just a few blocks away from where we were staying.

(from left) Surfing Instructor (SI), Daniel, Marcus, SI2, Liz, Len, SI3, and Pao – shot by Hitokirihoshi

Instructors from the Aliya Surf School taught us the basic know-hows of surfing and guided as all throughout our two-hour activity. Being able to stand up on a surf board facing all the waves didn’t come easy, at least, for me. Took me several tries before I was able to get the right surfing form and when I did, boy, was I hooked! We were supposed to surf for an hour but decided to extend for another hour mainly because it was thrilling!

Aliya Surf School charges P350 / hour of surfing inclusive of the surfing board and the trainer’s fee.

Fabulous place.  Great company. Unforgettable experience. J

shots by Hoshi/ Collage by Pao

Note:  Len Armea , is the first guest blogger here at Hoshilandia


38 thoughts on “Baler: One Perfect Summer Getaway by Len Armea”

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  2. hi Joanna C and welcome dito sa Hoshilandia jr!

    Tanong ko ‘yong friend ko na kasama namin na nag-arrange ng trike or bigay namin sa iyo yung number nung inuupahan nya. para ikaw na mismo ang makipagtawaran. update kita maya-maya

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  5. hello, hoshi girl!

    nakarating na rin ako ng baler – ang ganda! ang laki ng karagatan, lifesize, haha! and yes, truly, ang daming falls at ang daming higanteng pako (ferns). one of the few places sa Pilipinas na nakita kong well-preserved pa ang kalikasan – mga bundok, gubat at katawang-tubig, ahihi… ayon lang, pamatay ang terrain, haha. siyanga pala, gaganda ng pics mo. ikaw na… 😉

    1. sa surfing po yung sa akin pero salamat kung maganda pa rin. hehehe

      oo nga grabe yang lugar na yan. nakaka-refresh ang utak ko. nakalimutan kong nandun ako para magtapisaw sa dagat at hindi magkukuha ng pix. wahahah

      mabuhay!

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  7. wow
    sabi na nga ba hindi si hoshi ang sumulat nito, eh
    ang galing ng english, eh
    nyahaha

    astig ka, chief!
    contribute ka naman sa malibay
    hehe

  8. this looks like a nice place to visit! the photos are so nice, particularly the one with the falls, very beautiful and good job on the guest post!

    1. sorry apollo but i’m too afraid of limelight because i want to keep my privacy.chuz! And that’s my rule here, no picture of mine in my personal blog. wohoho!

      I told them no jericho rosales (dun daw sya si-surf), no surfing. hehehe!

  9. this made me think of visiting baler in the future..wish i could try surfing too! balete and mother falls shots are amazing. thou it seems so creepy to climb it. giant roots, umaygad! nice post! 🙂

  10. Hindi ko alam kung sino ang i-a-address ko dito: ang blog owner o ang blog writer. Hmmm.

    Anyway, buti pa kayo nakapunta na sa Baler at isa rin yan sa mga lugar sa Pilipinas na gusto kong puntahan. Hindi nga lang para sa beach, kundi para mag-shoot. Hehehe.

    1. ako rin Tim, halos nagpunta lang ako dun para mag-shoot!

      hindi pa ako masyadong fan ng water sports, swimming pa lang parang nilumot na ako. PE ko pa naman yun noong college.

      enjoy ako sa sarili kong photo shoot at sa trekking, sobra!

    1. oo celebrity na celebrity ka nga base pa lang sa pasok ng comments. hehehe!

      i hope na this is not the last time na mag-guest blog ka and start na para mag-blog ka ulit.

      mabuhay sa iyong beautiful blog post and pix.

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