Surfing Baler 2.0

Good Morning Baler!

Good Morning Baler!

If you were able to read my older post about my trip here a month ago (This trip happened September 14-15, 2013). Yes another super late post. You won’t probably wonder why we’re back. Together with my colleagues at work who were very ecstatic on this trip, we managed to create a group of 11 (11 is very significant number in most of our trips, check my other posts to know why). For some reason we always end up at 11. Weird but cool!

Since it was after work for most of us. We asked our rented van to pick us up at McKinley Hill at 2am.

The Gang

The Gang

(clockwise) So its my girlfriend, Albert, Zhem, Bree, Bj, Naz, Audrey, Cliff, Kat A, Rachelle and myself. Not to mention our driver and friend, Maio (sleeping in the van), a surfer freak! I love this group! Very down to earth and full of sense of humor!

We started a bit late on our road trip but Maio managed to drive carefully all the way to Aurora with NO STOP. We passed by a very unfamiliar place traversing through the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre. We never thought travel time would take a bit longer than what we have expected. The surrounding view made the trip worthwhile despite not knowing where the road ends until we reached the flatlands and saw some road signs to get to Baler.

At Ermita Hill

At Ermita Hill

Me and My Donut

Me and My Donut

It was around 8am when we reached the town and had breakfast along the road near the museum. After breakfast, the road trip continued as we head to Ermita Hill. The view of the pacific was better than the last time I was here. We took some photos with several attempts of jump shot.

Jump Shot @ Ermita Hill

Jump Shot @ Ermita Hill

After Ermita Hill, we continued to get to Diguisit Beach BUT a major landslide happened the night before. The road was impassable to vehicles. No way?!?! Most of the locals didn’t know this as well so all of us ended going back. Before going back, some of us took the time to walk on the other side of the road to see Diguisit Beach from afar. We can definitely walk to get there but it would eat up a lot of our time. Our plan to visit Dicasalarin Cove will continue to be a plan. ūüė¶

Road Leading to Nowhere

Road Leading to Nowhere

Landslide

Landslide

Along the Cliff

Along the Cliff

Striking a Pose

Striking a Pose

To cheer our spirits up, we went straight to Ditumabo Falls (Mother Falls) to feel its cold refreshing water. We initially planned to bring the van but the recent rain made the rough road even more hard for most vehicles to pass unless you have a 4×4. We ended up renting a tricycle for 100 pesos per head (two-way). It was the shakiest ride of all but the way the drivers maneuver the tricycle was just amazing. Its worst than a roller coaster, 3D Rialto and bump car combined but worth the experience. Haha!

It took us roughly 15-20 minutes to get to the falls. Amazing indeed! I’m not ever sure how long we stayed here plus the many stops we did just to take snapshots. It was freezing cold but everyone enjoyed it!

Lunch Time at Gerry Shan's Place

Lunch Time at Gerry Shan’s Place

We then had our late buffet lunch at Gerry Shan’s Place still at 185 pesos per head. Bbrrppp! After the sumptuous meal, we checked-in at our chosen beach house, SMART BEACH HOUSE. Yes it’s in front of the beach! Perfect place to see the sunrise!

View from Veranda

View from Veranda

Smart Beach House

Smart Beach House

Smart Beach House

Smart Beach House

After check-in food cleo prepared dinner for us whilst other decided to take a swim. After dinner, we had few drinks then some of us ventured out to the local bars nearby. Haha!

The next morning was a bliss! It was a clear blue sky. Picturesque! See photos captured by Cliff Remigio below.

Costa Pacifica

Costa Pacifica

Morning Surfers

Morning Surfers

Morning Catch

Morning Catch

Pictures taken at the Veranda of our room

After breakfast, we went to Balete Tree and took the opportunity¬†to climb it since I wasn’t able to do it the last time. It was a bit of challenge going up as you have to squeeze through the intertwined roots to get to the top. Going down is another story. Your choice of doing it inside the tree or outside the tree. Most of us tried it outside for more photo opportunity. Haha!

After visiting the tree, we went to Museo De Baler. More pictures here and there. We were suppose to see the Aurora House but they are closed every Sunday. We decided to just drop by at the market to get some food and drinks.

Back at the Beach House, we prepped up for Surfing. Finally!!! Waves were much better than in the morning. We all had so much fun! Most even extended for another hour and we ended up extending our stay at the beach house for couple more hours. All wanting to stay even longer.

Trip-Lets Baler

Trip-Lets Baler

This trip I must say is a success despite the fact that we didn’t manage to visit some of the place because of the landslide. In the end it’s not the place you visited but the people you are with. It makes a trip worth remembering. A memory that will surely last a lifetime.

Trip-Lets Baler

Trip-Lets Baler

Contact Info:
You can contact the below for availability and rates.

Smart Beach House +63928-507-6551
Book directly at Mahdox Surf School and get a Group Discount

Another Surf Instructor named Lord might offer you a discounted rate. Just send  him a message for enquiry at +63949-430-4760

Cliff Remigio Photography Link to FB

Baler Trip with WowTrippers

Street Sign near Aurora House

Street Sign near Aurora House

Finally after 2 months I am writing about this trip. Better late than never as they say. So what’s in Baler?

Near Town Hall

Food Stalls facing an Abandoned Hospital

If you google it, first thing you will notice are pictures of its coastline, big waves and people surfing. I am not really a surfer but I’ve been dying to try it out. With Janine of WowTrippers’ invitation we decided to join their trip to Baler.

I wet home early coming from work to make sure I make it to our meet-up time and not mess up the planned itinerary of the trip. It was our first time to be with the group again after more than a year since the last time I joined them. Nothing much has changed. Still the same cool people, full of energy and sense of humor.

We left at around 1230am and arrived in Baler just after sunrise where we had breakfast at the local food stalls near the museum and in front of the abandoned hospital.

Right after breakfast, we went straight to Diguisit Beach featuring beautiful rock formations. It was a picture perfect scene! Clear blue sky, clear view of the vast ocean. Wow! Still tired after a more than 5 hour trip to get here we stayed here and rested for around 2 hours.

Our next stop was Ermita Hill. Ermita Hill offers vast view of the Pacific Ocean, Sabang Beach and Baler Bay. This was once a witness to a devastating tsunami. It was believed that people climbed up this hill to survive. A monument was built to mark this event in Baler History.

View Decks, picnic areas and Gazebos are all over where families and friends can stay while enjoying the scenic view of the ocean. If one decides to climb all the way up, you can see a big white cross.

It was time to go back in the town are and see the Aurora House and church. The house was well maintained featuring old furnitures, antiques, paintings and the Manuel L Quezon Presidential Car. Yes you can go inside and have you picture taken. To get to the church just walk across the road.

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Just few meters from our last stop, we went to Museo De Baler. The museo showcases old artifacts, paintings and history about Baler. No entrance fee here however cash donations are accepted.

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It was time for Lunch and so the group decided to have it at Gerry Shan’s Place. Buffet here only costs 185 pesos and that includes unlimited iced tea. Pretty good deal!

Gerry Shan's Place

Gerry Shan’s Place

Inside Pacific Waves Inn

Inside Pacific Waves Inn

Pacific Waves Inn Banner

Pacific Waves Inn Banner

 

After lunch, we checked in at Pacific Waves Inn. One room can fit around 4 people. They have to locations, one near the beach and one near Iglesia Ni Cristo.

 

It was surfing time in the afternoon but we wanted to recharge a bit after check-in so instead of hitting the beach, we took a nap first only to wake up and realise they’re all back and done surfing. Haha!

Dinner was prepared for us and we had few drinks after. It was cool! We even played mental games(only the opposite if you know what I mean)

At around 12am my girlfriend and I decided to call it a day so we can catch the sunrise.

Wake up sleepyheads! It was past 6 when we woke up but we’re not lucky enough as it was a cloudy morning with no luck of a beautiful sunrise. We just walked along the shore and played in the sands.

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When we arrived back in the house, breakfast was ready. We prepped up shortly after to get to our next destination. The Mother Falls. It took us roughly 30 minutes to get there via Van and another 15-20 minutes river trekking to get to the falls. The water was very cold and refreshing. They don’t allow bringing of food in the area so better leave it.

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It was a magnificent view and the water is very clear. Dare to take a dip into its cold water to appreciate it even more. Too bad we don’t have a waterproof camera to show but I think pictures below would be enough to show why I love this place.

After more than an hour, it was time to head back to the house to tidy up and check-out. We had lunch again at Gerry Shan’s Place!

Pasalubong Center

Pasalubong Center

After lunch, we dropped by at the Pasalubong Center near the Terminal. After buying some keepsakes, we went to our last stop here, Balete Tree.

It was huge! The rest of the group decided to go up the tree. Not ideal for those with fear of heights. Haha! I wanted to go up but I was discouraged to do it. Not sure why.

The trip was a success with many reason to come back. Yes! I still have not surfed! Still need to climb the Balete Tree! I want to see Dicasalarin Cove and other falls near the area.

Baler Map

Baler Map

Definitely Baler is more than just a surfing spot, it’s a haven for nature lovers and trekkers. You also get to know a bit of their history and get to experience the warmth of the people around. A place worth visiting.

Note: This trip happened last August 3 & 4 2013.