Baler, Aurora Tour – 2017, August 12 and 13
A few weeks back, I was in Dingalan, Aurora and experienced their scenic mountain view, caves and falls. I’ve made an awesome trip to Maldives soon after and now I’m back in Aurora, but this time, in the surfing capital of the Philippines – Baler.
Here’s a quick view of our Baler, Aurora Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – City Tour
- 1am – Left Quezon City to Baler, Aurora
- 7am – Balete Eco Park (Millennium Tree)
- 8am – Breakfast
- 9am – Ditumabo Falls (Mother Falls)
- 12pm – Check in to Accomodation
- 3pm – City Tour
- Baler City Center
- Dona Aurora Quezon House
- Museo de Baler
- Baler Catholic Church
- Hanging Bridge
- Ermita Hill
- Diguisit Beach
- Lukso Lukso Islet
- 9pm – Dinner at Accomodation
Day 2 – Surfing
- 6am – Sabang Beach
- 12pm – Check out / Lunch
- 1pm – Drop by Souvenir Shops on the way back to Manila
Baler Aurora – Day 1
We left Quezon City at past 1 am. We had a smooth ride and after a few restroom stop overs, soon enough we entered Balete Eco Park where the Millennium Tree is located. It’s not called Millennium Tree for nothing as it is more than 600 years old. Standing at 60 meters tall and a crown diameter of 60 meters, the Millennium Tree is dubbed as the biggest Balete Tree in Asia. The tree looks fascinating and it will make you reminisce the days when you can play around and just climb up trees. You can actually also climb the Millennium Tree although there is a certain height that is allowed for tourists nowadays.
Millennium Tree – Balete Eco Park – Baler, Aurora
Ditumabo Falls / Mother Falls – Baler, Aurora
We then went to the entrance of Ditumabo Falls, also dubbed as the Mother Falls of Aurora. It would require about an hour of trekking to get there but it was well worth it. You can ask the locals in the place to cook for you in case you haven’t eaten breakfast just like what we did. There are also local guides that can assist you for P200.00/group. Aside from they can help take your pictures, it would be best to get a guide so you don’t lose your way.
The trek involves hiking, river crossing and the trail can be rough and slippery. Make sure you are changed to your bathing clothes as you would definitely get wet along the way. Just a few meters before the Mother Falls, you will also see small streams and a small falls on your way. Ditumabo/Mother Falls is about 140 feet tall and with the raging cold water from the highland of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the view is astonishing! It is definitely something that you should not miss when you are in Aurora. There are shower, rest rooms and changing areas that you can use for a fee after you have come down back to the Entrance.
Baler City Tour – Aurora
We had lunch and checked-in to our accommodation soon after. It was a long trip and though the falls was amazing, we got some rest before we started the city tour of Baler. Once you are in the city center, you can walk around and visit the city attractions
Doña Aurora Quezon House – Baler Aurora
For many that are wondering, Doña Aurora Quezon is the wife of the former president Manuel Luis Quezon. She became the first lade of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. She lived a very humble life devoting her time to charities and humanitarian activities. When the President died, she turned down the pension awarded to herand sent the money to war widows and orphans. It was known that even the communist-led Hukbalahaps, who spread terror through the mountains of Central Luzon, could find no word to say against Aurora. She and her daughter baby unfortunately met their demise when a gunfire emerged on the road targeting her vehicle on their to open a new hospital. The province of Aurora was named after her memory.
Museo de Baler – Baler Aurora
Baler is not just known of its surfing beaches but also for its rich history. Museo de Baler houses several historical aritifacts from the Philippines’ first and longest colonizer, Spain. The museum houses Chinese porcelain items from the Galleon Trade. It also has old letters, reports and drawings from the Franciscan missionaries who settled in the Aurora. You’ll also see visual arts such as photos in black and white printed in canvass with accompanying poems.
Baler Catholic Church – Baler, Aurora
Baler Church was originally built in 1611. The current church was built in 1939 but authentic original details can still be seen inside including the old bell, La Campana de Baler. It is also known as the site of the the Siege of Baler, which took place from 1898-1899. About 50 Spanish soldiers and 4 officers took refuge inside the stone church, fearing that the Philippine insurgent army was too large for them to overpower. In reality, the Filipinos actually made their army seem more intimidating by burning wood to mimic the sounds of gunfire.
Hanging Bridge – Baler, Aurora
I opted to ride the tricycle to go around the city and was also able to visit the Hanging Bridge of Baler. I was told it was under renovation but I insisted to still go and see for myself. The Hanging Bridge connects Brgy Tibang and Brgy Sabang.
Once you arrive you will see a big sign of it being closed for renovation but I saw some locals and kids passing through. I made my way up to follow them and soon enough I saw why it has become a known destination. I am not sure of making it really a tourist spot is a good thing but it definitely needs work in terms of safety.
Connected with suspended cables and ropes, the bridge floor is made up of wood planks. Most of the wood planks has already fallen off that’s why they have closed it for renovation. The view though is breath taking. I carefully crossed it with the locals but with its rusty and deteriorating wood planks and cables, my heart was racing and my head was turning. I can still feel my heart pounding even as I write this blog when as I remember how I got through it.
Ermita Hill – Baler Aurora
After the attractions at the city center was Ermita Hill or sometime called as Ermita Park. It’s a tranquil place for locals and tourists where you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Pacific ocean from the view decks. It’s a few minutes from the city center and you can ride the tricycle to go there although the steep uphill may be a challenge if there are a number of you in it. The view and smell of fresh nature would be all worth it though once you get there.
Diguisit Beach / Lukso-Lukso Islet – Baler, Aurora
Diguisit Beach was our next destination. It is one of the famour surf spots of Baler which also features exquisite rock formations with a nice view of a clear sky and vast ocean. You will also see Lukso-Lukso Islet when you are in Diguisit. As the name Lukso-Lukso represents – hop around, there are three small islands which you could hop on.
We went home and prepared dinner. A few hours of drinking session after made the night more memorable.
Baler Aurora – Day 2
Sabang Beach – the Surfing capital of the Philippines – Baler, Aurora
The hangover didn’t help me though the following morning when you have to wake up early and get to Sabang Beach – the surfing capital of the Philippines. You do not go to Baler and not visit Sabang and try surfing. You can rent a board for P200 an hour and/or get a local instructor to assist you for an additional P100. Being the surfing capital of the Philippines, expect that no matter how big or small you are, you will definitely get to surf with the help of the locals. Go with the waves and stand up as it pushes you to the shore. It may take a few tries but the thrill and excitement is overwhelming once you get the hang of it.
We’ve spent the most of the morning at the beach before we checked-out of our accommodation and ate lunch. We dropped by a few souvenir shops and made our way back to Manila soon after.
Thank you to the amazing group I’ve met on our Baler, Aurora Tour!
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