September 10, 2014

Baler, Aurora: Surf's Up!

Baler, Aurora is a 6-hour drive from Manila, located on the north eastern side of Quezon. You'd pass by rocky mountain paths with breathtaking views until you reach the small town, filled with secrets, long-forgotten during the last siege of the Spanish era. Today, the town is slowly being discovered by surfers, tourists, and influential people (e.g. Kris Aquino). With it's strong waves, historical sites, hidden coves and waterfalls, what's not to love about Baler?

The Eargasmic call of the waves
If you're planning to visit Baler, stay for at least 3 days. 1 day for surfing, 1 day for the tour, and another day for the road trip.

Feel like a local by trying their well-recommended eat-all-you-can buffet at Gerry Shan's Place. For 185 pesos, you get to eat quality Filipino food and unlimited tumblers of Lemon Iced tea. 

The Kaladkarin Crew (Just one invite and we'll say 'yes!')
Church of Baler - Constructed from stone and brick during the late 1800s
Don't miss their specialty: Nanay Pacing's homemade peanut butter. For 100 pesos, you get to bring this wicked jar that doesn't leave a pool of oil on top. And make sure you put this on top priority because they easily run out of stocks. (No one resells this brand so you can only buy their products here)

Sunset colors of the sea (No filter added)
Though we didn't get to see other hidden spots, there's definitely a reason for us to come back, especially the oldest tree in Asia: the Balete tree. Oh! Did I mention surfing?

How do you ride this thing??
For newbies, you can hire an instructor (board included) for P350. For pros, you can rent a board for only P200. In my opinion, newbies should learn their basics in La Union/Zambales.

We stayed at the Isla Virginia resort because the famous Aliya Surf Camp was already fully booked. We're 5 so we got a room facing the beach for only P2,700 pesos. (It's actually a room for 4 but we had to pay addtl 300 for the extra bed). The place didn't disappoint us. i loved the ambience of the reception, they have a mini sari-sari store for your last minute needs, we have a common area to drink, and a veranda to chill with the beach to our view. 

captivating sunrise
Check out this short video I did during this trip! Enjoy! :)

You made me happy Baler. This was another escape that I needed. You blew my frustrations away from the eargasmic sound of your waves, the friendliness of your locals, the beauty of your sunrise and sunset, and the comfort of nature. I promise to visit you again. :)