Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baler Beach Break

This weekend was pretty epic. I had many firsts in a matter of 30 hours or so.

A few weeks ago, what was a bagnet-fueled conversation ended with a plan to go to Baler.  It's one of those spur-of-the-moment things, which we didn't really make a fuss about but materialized anyway.

I have to say, I wasn't really that excited because I've never tried surfing and I didn't think I would enjoy it. Also, Baler is not exactly as scenic as Boracay or even Batangas.

True enough, the beach didn't seem spectacular but there's something captivating about it. It actually reminds me of the beach we have in my hometown--its's probably the black sand.

We arrived at our resort very early so the room, naturally, wasn't ready yet. We decided to tour around town to kill time. The waves weren't good at that time anyway.

One of the highlights for me was when visited this approximately 400-year-old balete tree. It looked really creepy but also intriguing. I was surprised when this teen asked me if I'd like to climb it and he was offering to guide me. I was apprehensive what with all the mysterious tales attached to balete trees. But curiosity and an odd sense of adventure prevailed.

It definitely was not an easy climb. I literally had to squeeze myself into branches. But it was fun and rewarding. I'm so glad I did it.

After the balete tree visit, we went to Ditumabo Falls. We weren't briefed properly. I didn't know we had to trek for about an hour to reach it. The way up was rough and quite treacherous for untrained mountaineers like ourselves. But my, my, was it worth it. The sight of the water crashing down from several feet to form a crystal-clear pool at the bottom was majestic. It wasn't part of the plan but we couldn't help but take a dip in the ice-cold water. The girls had to swim in their shirts, which was unfortunate. How "provincial", I thought. :)

What followed our Dimatubo Falls experience was not exactly as scenic but definitely planned and needed and vital; a heavy, shameless buffet lunch at this inexpensive joint called Gerry Shan's. It was pretty decent at only P185  per head.

We were ready to go home after our little feast but the driver had a different idea. He brought us to Ermita Hill, much to the chagrin of our surf-hungry friend. It was nice and pretty but nothing breathtaking if you ask me.

Unfortunately, the waves still weren't as sizable as we were wishing for that afternoon. I decided to postpone my first surfing lesson to the following day. It turned out to be a good idea as the sea gave better swells the next morning.

Can I just say, getting to stand up on a surfboard, riding the waves gave me a sort of I've never had before. It was an awesome experience. It was my first time and I'm hoping it's not my last.

After learning how to surf, I took time to take in the scenery.

I decided to leave the girls who had extended their lessons and walked back to the resort. On my way, I was stopped by this interesting scene. Curious, I walked closer to and observed the local way of life unfold before me. It was pretty charming--touching, even.

It was a short trip and it was far from luxurious. There were a lot of mishaps (mostly involving our accommodation) that could have ruined this weekend but I'm glad none of those dampened our spirits. My entire back is burning at this very moment and my body still hasn't recovered from the physical stress of this trip but my gawd, was it all worth it.



  1. omg nakakamiss ang baler! i never really got to surf properly but learning was so much fun (and so painful, i remember!)