I caught some last minute heat as the dry season (there’s no summer in the Philippines, we only have two seasons 😉 ) finally said goodbye this year. I filled last weekend with a fair share of nature’s quiet beauty and the surprising waves of the open ocean in the stunning little wonder down south – Baler.
I have always been curious about this particular town as I usually hear about it whenever people search for nearby surfing destinations in Luzon. Being a non-confident swimmer (I still can’t do water treading), doing such activity isn’t really at the top of my list. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed surfing the most during my quick trip to Baler. Before I share that experience, here are some additional events that happened and the special moments that I also truly appreciated.
The waiting game started the weekend. Call time was at 10:30pm, Friday night, but people started coming at 11pm and we still waited for the driver to pick us up. In spite of this, the drive to Baler was a unique experience on its own. I was with my former office friends and some funny, seniors (yup, senior citizens). Plus, the bumpy ride away from the expressway – the driver passed along almost pitch black roads that I was unfamiliar with. There were no street lamps that guided the drive, but no one in the van was seemingly concerned about it that at some time during the trip, I was the only one awake. Aside from this view, I also wasn’t able to rest (sleep) throughout the ride because I was seated on the last row which had no headrest for me to lean on and I could really feel the bumpy ride. It was no roller coaster but the zigzag road was the worst. I almost felt like sliding from side to side if I didn’t hold tight to whatever part of the window or the chair that I could reach. Anyhow, it was a quick drive. There were a number of stops along the way, unlike in the Ilocos trip last April.
First stop, the Millennium Tree (Balete) where we almost didn’t know that it was the first destination already.
Next, the more-or-less three-hour trek (back and forth) to the Mother Falls in Ditumabo, San Luis, Aurora. Here, there were a lot of picture-taking opportunities on our way back down. Also, I got the chance to drink cool water coming directly from the spring.
After washing up in the dorm/hotel, we headed out for lunch then straight to the city for some “historical” tour. Museum, streets, and others. Then, off to the Daquisit rock formations. This was our last stop for the day as we were finally accompanied by heavy rain. We weren’t able to walk to the Daquisit Falls, Ermita Hills, and the Hanging Bridge. Still, the day was already great.
For the 2nd day, it was mostly out on the beach. Surfing 101 was the peak of the experience as I tried to survive the relatively calm waves for an hour. It was fun and fulfilling because I was able to stand (though, I fell) on the surfboard on my first try. Sadly, I didn’t have any photo taken while surfing. Still, the memory was fun.