Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baler Probe

I should have written a blog about Baler long ago but I felt that my visit wasn't complete yet. So I waited until the time came to explore more about Baler and this is it!  I remember Baler when I was still a little child and when my father used to work there. He said that it was a place so far away and until then I thought I could no longer get there at all. I was in Baler in year 2013 with the whole family and it is known to be one of the top surf spots in the Philippines. Baler by the way is a municipality of Aurora Province. There are many interesting places in Baler since it is a historical place aside from being a haven for surfers. During my first visit I was able to go to some of the historical sights in Baler. Museo de Baler would be the first one to flaunt which stands along Quezon Street in the town proper. The museum tells about the history of Baler through its displays of artifacts and paintings and shows some mementos of the late Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon.

Sitting President Manuel L. Quezon.

A replica of Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon's, Philippine First Lady (1935-1944)  ancestral house stands in the poblacion just across Baler Church, where some of her memorabilia are kept.  Doña Aurora was assassinated together with her daughter on her way to Baler to inaugurate the Quezon Memorial Hospital on April 28, 1949.

Doña Aurora Shrine

The Baler Church. A historical structure that played a major role in Baler history where the Philippine flag waved for victory. It was in this church where the last Spanish garrison of four officers and fifty men were besieged by Filipino insurgents and made the Spanish forces surrendered to American troops. It is such a simple church but rich in history that made the heroic people of Baler very proud!

According to history Baler has been affected by a great tidal wave which resulted to great loss and misfortune and that some of the survivors ran to a hill now called Ermita Hills for safety. A monument of the survivors at the foot of the hill was laid and a big cross stands on top of the hill in memory of the thousand of lives lost in that catastrophe.

People trying to survive from the tidal wave.

The Cross on top of Ermita Hill.

The view of Baler Coast from Ermita Hill Viewdeck.

The view of Baler fish port as seen on Ermita Hill Viewdeck.
Baler is not only rich with historic heritage but they also have abounding natural resources which made the town a complete haven for nature trippers, photographers and bloggers. Take a trip to Barangay Cemento and witness the breathtaking view of the Diguisit Rocks. A series of rock formations found along the coasts of Cemento Beach in Barangay Diguisit, a perfect subject for photographers.

The golden hour at Dimadimalangat Islet.
Well there is notion that cliff diving would be possible at the back of this rock formation for an added thrill while rock climbing. I think it is a bit scary for me to plunge in the Pacific Ocean, well I guess that would be a piece of cake for thrill seekers and why not?

The view of the Aniao Islet and Lukso lukso Islet.
These line of rocks stands on Ampere Beach in Barangay Diguisit, it is one of the tourist destinations in Baler, sunset is best viewed in that area.

And there they go!

Surfing is one of the reasons why tourists flocks to Baler, old and young ones cannot resists the inviting surge of water in Sabang Beach. It has a long stretch of beach with waves which swells during its peak season from October until February. Surfing in Baler started when the film "Apocalypse Now" was shot in Baler, it was during the scene of American soldiers catching some waves and after the filming the crews left their surfboards and that's when the locals awakened their passion for surfing.

Let it go...let it go!
Kite flying competition is highly recommended, I suggest you bring your kites and let it play with the wind! Another wonderful place in Baler that you should not miss is the Dicasalarin Cove in Barangay Zabali. Its white sand beach mingled inseparably with the verdant mountains around and the blue skies, and would make heart beat faster with the richness of the colors of nature!

Colors of nature!

Tourists are welcome to Dicasalarin Cove with an entrance fee of 300 pesos per head but if you're a guest at Costa Pacifica in Sabang, Baler you will only pay 100 pesos. It is a bit pricy for 300 bucks but the experience of getting there is unforgettable. Like getting a view of the cove with the lighthouse at the background which is the most photographed view in Dicasalarin Cove. This breathtaking scenery is best viewed at the main gate of the Dicasalarin Cove where you can get the full view of the lighthouse and the cove.

Taking pictures of the lighthouse under time pressure.
If you want to get nearer with the lighthouse you can go to the highest point of the mountain by stairs which will take only a few minutes before you could reach the summit and you'll see the expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Cape Encanto.

The Modern Baler Lighthouse.

Cape Encanto

It's my second visit to Baler and I can say that my mission in Baler is finished. The place is fast becoming progressive unlike during my first visit last 2013. I just hope that the once naive town wouldn't get chaotic in the coming days or years. I just want to leave a few words to the people who will come to Baler, please give respect to this native land for it has been the home of the noble people. Let's not taint their homeland with rubbish and instead help them improve their lives.

1. By private vehicle coming from Manila, take NLEX exit at Dau, then SCTEX exit at La Paz. Take the road going to Cabanatuan City then follow the signage going to Pantabangan and Baler. Normally it will take 6 hours but if you're speeding maybe it'll take around 4-5 hours but be careful the road is winding.

2. By public transportation, Genesis Bus Lines has a direct route to Baler from Manila with their terminal located along EDSA in Pasay City.

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