Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend Escape at Baler

My org mates invited me to spend a weekend with them at Baler, and being the travel junkie that I am, I instantly said yes. We are off to Baler for the weekend!

Baler is a municipality in Aurora. It is the capital of the province. History tells us that before Aurora was a province, it was under Tayabas, which is known as Quezon Province today. Aurora was named after former President Manuel L. Quezon's wife and soon was separated and was named as a province. Baler is the birthplace of former President Quezon and so, the town honors him.

Another thing that made Baler famous is its awesome waves which is very good for surfing. The province is located at the east coast of the country so, it is facing the Pacific Ocean. The waves here are great for surfing and since we are here, we dared to surf and survive the waves of Baler.

Going to Baler from Manila takes about 6-8 hours. Our adventure began at Cubao when we boarded a bus going to Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija. The bus leaves every 30 minutes and we get to board the 11pm bus. I was a bit late but luckily, we got there in time for this bus ride. The bus fare costs Php185 and it was almost a 3 hour ride. We get to rest there as we travel to the final stop of the ride. At the terminal in Cabanatuan, a van was waiting for us to take us to Baler. After hours again of travelling along the side of the mountains, we get to stop on a small eatery where we ordered a bowl of lugaw (rice porridge) since we haven't eaten for a long while now. It was cheap and has a lot of meat in it. What is good about it is that it only costs Php20 and it is good enough for 2 people. It filled our tummy as we travel again for the next stretch of our journey.

Lugaw at the stop over (Php20)

At 6am, we got to Bahia de Baler, which is our place to stay there. We left our stuff since check in is still at noon. We opted to tour the town first before we check in. After that, we went back to the inn and had our dinner and socials. We rested and got ready for the adventure the next day.

Bahia de Baler
After our breakfast the next day, we headed to Mahdox Surf Shop and Surf School, a few blocks away from Bahia de Baler. It was a very nice adventure as I learned the basics and actually stand on the board and ride the waves. It was an adrenaline filled adventure and I wanted to do it one more time.

Mhadox Surf Shop and School
After surfing, we packed up our stuff and had lunch. Our van was waiting for us and before we left town, we headed for a souvenir shop. Unfortunately, there are no more suman (this is one thing you should taste here in Aurora) available and so we settled for other stuff in the store.

Suman in Baler

Souvenir: wood crafts 


Souvenir: key chains
We went on our journey back and it took us a van ride and a bus ride to finally get back to Manila. It was a tiring 6 hour ride but it was all fun and adventure filled. It was a nice way to escape the weekends and for a cheap cost.

Here is the summary of what we had for this trip:

Bus (Manila-Catanduanes) - 370.00 (round trip)
Van (Cabanatuan-Baler)- 700.00
Accomodation - 600.00 (breakfast on Day2 included )
Baler Tour - 200.00
Surfing Lesson - 350.00
Socials - 200.00 (snack, softdrinks etc.)

SUB-TOTAL 2,420.00

Other Expenses:
Stop Over Meal - 20.00
Breakfast DAY1 - 85.00
Lunch DAY1 - 40.00
Dinner Day1 - 185.00
Lunch DAY2 - 155.00
Pasalubong - 140.00


Day 0
1030PM Meet-up at ES Transport Terminal at Cubao
1100 PM Ride bus. Depart to Cabanatuan

Day 1
0130 AM Arrive at Cabanatuan. Ride van to Baler
0600 AM ETA Baler, Aurora
0630 AM Breakfast at Bay's Inn
0800 AM Start Baler Tour
1200 PM Lunch at Bay’s Inn or Bahia de Baler for those left at the resort.
0200 PM Check-in for those that did not join the tour.
0230 PM Estimated end of Tour
0700 PM Dinner at Bay's Inn

Day 2
0800 AM Breakfast at Bahia de Baler (Included in Accoms Fee)
1000 AM Surfing
1200 PM Check out.Lunch
0300 PM Depart for Manila
1000 PM Arrive Cubao

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