The Pride of Baler ~ Where All the Pain and Patience Pay Off

Written by Angel de la Flor
I have been in the Pacific Coast when we were in California in April.  I longed to stay there, the waters were all wild and beautiful ... and I very much expected Baler to be the same as it also fronts the Pacific Ocean.

Baler is a second-class municipality in the province of Aurora, in the Philippines. In 2009, it topped the list of beach destinations in the country. It was also described as one of the 'top surf spots' with hundreds of surfers during the surfing season from September to February.

The trip to Baler was extra special; it was the first beach destination in summer and it was also the first weekend I had since I started working.

But, Baler went beyond its wildest waves and farther than the stretch of its coast. It offered so much warmth from the locals, food flavours that remind you of home, and beauty that leaves you so grateful for being in your own country.

It's five in the morning, we were tucked inside the van, I was awakened by the moving silhouettes of Acacia trees against a deep blue sky ready for the sunrise. As it got brighter, we could already see the so-called  'sea of clouds' scattered around the mountains of Aurora province. They were really beautiful, I exclaimed.

Our first stop was at the Ermita Hill. This offered a beautiful view of the beach, the mountains and the little town of Baler. The place was also historical and was deemed as the safest in the province. It was where the locals and the families went up to save their lives during a tsunami in 1735.

To freshen up, we also went to see the rock formations of Aniao Islets. I enjoyed the thrill of walking on sharp rocks and corals, where little fishes and sea urchins hid during the low tide.

We also trekked to the beautiful Mother Falls. It was stress-free. A 30-minute hike, yet very rewarding.

Our transient house was very homey and the owners were nice. We spent the night over a simple yet refilling dinner at Foods Pa.  I loved the fresh home-cooked meals that we had for the day and shared the most delicious Cheese-Kasoy ice cream in town.

Surfing, the pride of Baler and the highlight of our trip.

I had a feeling that surfing won't work for me because I lack all kinds of body coordination. Honestly, I was not excited to try it. I was also scared after I almost chipped my toenails when I tried skim boarding before.  

However, this became the most meaningful part of the trip. I learned so much from my surfing lessons because of my ever so motivating trainer. His name is Jerome, he's only 16 and he did whatever it takes for me to learn.

You know the feeling when all the pain, all of your patience pay off, and when you are able to overcome your fears and your weakness. Well, that happened in an hour of surfing session.

Open windows on a long drive never fail to soothe me.  I enjoyed the fast-moving views and glimpses of different landscapes, the country vibes, the fresh air, and the idea of just passing through unknown places ... beautiful moments shared with a good company of my cousins and new friends ... All the distance was just worth every inch!

Cheers for more awesome weekends to come!

Author Bio: 
Angel is a writer, blogger who hails from the Philippines. A student at the De La Salle University~College of Saint Benilde in Manila. She travels not only to enjoy her life but at times take a trip 'for a cause'. See more of my surfing lessons and other exciting travel experiences in Treasured.

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