How We Had Fun in Baler, Aurora

I never thought that I would travel in Baler, Aurora. I am not even familiar with the place. My only knowledge about it is limited to the movie Baler starring Jericho Rosales and Anne Curtis which is, by the way, a really good movie. Anyway, since my lack of knowledge, I have never thought of going here. However, some of my friends already travelled here and gave me really good travel testimonials about the place. I also heard other people telling good stories about the area. So when my friend and I started to think of a new place to discover, we immediately thought of trying it. And we were so happy we considered Baler as one of our travel destinations. It was indeed an awesome place. It was not just a historical paradise, but also a serene place to unwind and be one with nature.

HOW TO GET THERE
From Dau Terminal (Mabalacat City, Pampanga), we rode a van going to Cabanatuan at 7:00 am. There are available trips every day from 7am to 5pm for only P167.00. Make sure to arrive early to reserve a good seat. It was a 2 hour travel and we arrived at the Cabanatuan Bus Terminal at 9am. There are dispatchers roaming around and “puto” sellers who will assist you. But be careful and limit your conversation to strangers.

From Cabanatuan Bus Terminal, there are different bus companies who offer trips to different parts of Baler. We took a bus going to Baler wet market for P240.00. It was a 3 hour drive and we arrived at 12nn.

Upon arrival there were tour tricycles waiting to assist us. These tour tricycles offer tour service to all tourist spots in the area.

THINGS TO DO
Since we know little about Baler, we have to do our own research to make sure we visit the good spots.

However, our prepared itinerary was not followed since we let our tricycle driver/ tour guide Kuya Marlon to lead us throughout the trip. Here is his contact number 0948-266-5778.

Kuya Marlon gave us really good tour rates. Since we will be staying in the area for two days and one night, and we only have the whole afternoon of Saturday and the whole morning of Sunday to roam around, Kuya Marlon charged us P1, 000.00 for the whole 2 days tour. It was pretty cheap compared to the regular rates of P1,000.00 whole day tour and P800.00 half day tour.

For our first stop, we went to the Baler Historical Museum. You just have to pay P30.00 for the entrance. There are pretty much interesting stuff inside.

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Next is the, Ermita Hill. Vehicles are allowed on the hill, so you don’t need to worry about going there. The road is cemented too, so it was an easy climb.

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Ermita Hill is the highest peak in the area. And according to locals, in the past, there were 2 families (7 people) who climbed up the hill and were saved from the devastating tsunami which devoured the whole area.

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The place is indeed fascinating. You can see the whole Baler. The blue horizon is really amazing. It is one of the best places to have sunset or sunrise watching. Too bad, we arrived at 3pm and we can’t afford to wait for the sunset, as it will limit us to see other places.

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Our next stop is the Duquisit waterfall. Even though it is just a small waterfall, you can still enjoy the cold water. To get here, you need to hike a little. Since we don’t have plans to bathe here, we didn’t spend much time in the area.

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After, we spend the rest of the afternoon at the Duguisit beach to see the beautiful rock formations. We were so tired from the whole day travel and we just wanted to relax. So, we lay down on the white beach sand with the big rock giving us shade while we let our eyes relax with the amazing view.

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When we had our energy back, we challenged ourselves of climbing the big rocks. It was so hard and dangerous. But once you started, you cannot easily turn back. So even though, I was so terrified climbing (without harness) on the rock, I have no choice but to continue. And I must say, finishing the climb, getting at the top and watching the beautiful sunset, is all worth it. I was able to conquer my fear. I was really happy I finished that very challenging climb.

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Our energy is still high because of that wonderful climb. Feeling adventurous, we continue our sunset viewing at the Baler lighthouse. It was already 5pm and the caretakers of the lighthouse are already hesitant to allow us to hike. Good thing, Kuya Marlon did a very convincing job and the next thing we knew is that we were already hiking the lighthouse hill.

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It was a steep hill, but I assure you it was fun climbing it. It was pretty high and we were really exhausted when we reach the lighthouse. We rested for a bit. Then we continue to climb the lighthouse itself. For the weak hearted, you might get dizzy climbing the top. But once you are there, you will enjoy the cold air and the wonderful view.

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The next day, we skipped our plans of going to the Ampere Beach to watch the sunrise. We just went to the beachfront near our hotel and watch the beautiful sunrise there. And it was so beautiful!

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After the memorable sunrise, Kuya Marlon took us to the hanging bridge. Too bad they have to close it because they are doing some repairs.
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Then next is the famous Balete tree. It was indeed fascinating to see a very old tree still standing firm. It was a pretty huge tree and we got a chance to climb and go inside it. Kudos to all the people who are taking good care of it.

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The last trip we had was at the Dimatubo falls or most popularly known the Mother Falls. It was indeed the mother of all falls! It was so big and the water is so cold! This is one of the major tourist spots that you should not miss when you visit Baler. You’ll have to hike for about less than an hour to get there. There was a bit rain during our trip and the road is pretty wet, so it was a slippery hike.

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WHERE TO EAT
There are a lot of high end restaurants near the beach front that you can try. But since we are maximizing our budget, we decided to eat in carinderias. But we splurge a little on our breakfast at Delyns. We have to wake up early to enjoy their hot pandesal.

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WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Summer Breeze Resort. It was clean and cozy. It is also affordable. We reserved a fan room for only P800 a night.

HOW TO GO HOME
We finished our tour at around 2pm. Luckily, we were able to catch a bus going to Cabanatuan, though we had skipped our lunch. But we were able to catch the last trip (van service) from Cabanatuan to Dau.

We were back in Pampanga at 8pm and we were really tired after that.

WHY WE ARE COMING BACK
The waves in Baler are really friendly and are best for surfing. Next time we go there again, we will make sure to try to tame the waves.

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HAPPY TRAVEL!

These links might help:
Here are some of the sites we’ve checked before our tour:

DO-IT-Yourself travel guide: http://www.lakas.com.ph/2011/08/baler-auroras-do-it-yourself-diy-travel-guide/

Accommodation: http://www.lakas.com.ph/2011/08/baler-accommodation-lodging-list/
http://www.adventurousfeet.com/2012/04/baler-beach-resorts-where-to-stay-in.html

Itinerary: http://www.adventurousfeet.com/2012/02/2-days-1-night-baler-itinerary-and.html
http://www.lakas.com.ph/2011/08/baler-aurora-diy-backpackers-budget-and-itinerary/
http://www.lakas.com.ph/2011/08/8-must-do-activities-in-baler-aurora/

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