Sunday, October 13, 2013

BALER (Surfing)

June 15-17, 2013
( plus Millennium tree, Mother falls, Ermita Hill & Digist beach )

Baler is a well-known surfing spot in Aurora, Philippines especially when summer comes. Sherwin was the one who organized this trip. I'm glad that Chris invited me to join their surfing plan. I thought that this trip was all about surfing but they spiced it up with different activities that includes trekking, climbing and surfing. Honestly, I don't know how to swim so I'm hesitant if I'm going to join this event or not but Karen indulged me to try since it's not all about surfing. I'm glad that I did.

Our itinerary going to Baler, Aurora.

June 15 - Day 1
(We missed the bus going to Baler so we just took the bus going to Cabanatuan.)
8:00 am - ETD ES Transport bus from Cubao going to Cabanatuan
(our fare = 185 per head)
10:45 am - ETA at Cabanatuan
11:30 am - ETD from Cabanatuan to Baler
(we rode Aurora bus lines, fare = 247 pesos per head)
3:30 pm - ETA at Baler
(before we went to Sabang beach, we bought a ticket first going back to Manila. There were only few bus that will take you back to Manila so I suggest to buy a ticket first; fare = 700 pesos per head)
3:45 pm - ETA at Baler beach bay; it took us approx. 15 minutes

June 16 - Day 2

8:00 am - we started our surfing lessons and after 15 minutes, let's get wet and surf!
10:30 am - ETD from Sabang beach to Millennium tree (we rented a tricycle for our itinerary going to Millennium, Mother falls, Ermita Hill and Digist beach)
12:00 pm - Lunch
1:00 pm - ETD going to Mother falls
2:00 pm - ETA  @ Mother falls
(after an hour hike, we finally arrived at Mother falls)
5:00 pm - ETA Ermita Hill
6:00 pm - ETA Digist beach

Sabang beach, Baler
Luckily, I joined this event and it was a great experience. I've always been afraid when it comes to beaches with strong and big waves but after this experience, I felt that another part of me was fulfilled. It's the same feeling that I felt when I reached the mountain's summit. I don't know how to swim but I managed to stand on my feet using a surfing board and let those waves take me to the shore. It was an amazing experience. Another activity that I accomplished for the first time in my life.

(Left to Right: Drew, Me and Chris)
I just wished someone was able to capture our moments while we were surfing unfortunately all of us were busy surfing. We rented a surf board and each one of us has a mentor to teach us how to surf and stand on the board. Instead of us paddling while the wave comes, our mentor were the ones who pushed our board and all we have to do is to stand on our surfing board.

I had a couple of attempts before I'm able to stand on my board. My mentor told me not to think much and just stand on the board and let the wave take you to the shore. He thought that I'm hopeless but when I finally did it, he was also happy. He gave me a high five and a thumbs up. I'm glad that I'm able to conquer my fear. 
After our surfing experience, we prepared ourselves to visit the Millennium tree. Some of us were thinking what's there to visit? It's just an ordinary old tree. It will be a mistake if you will not drop by and visit this so-called "Millennium tree".

The Millennium tree reminds me of my childhood favorite character which is Peter Pan. It's a huge tree that even ten persons were able to fit in. You can see the pictures that we've taken inside the Millennium tree.
That's the entrance of the Millennium tree

Our pictures inside the tree

Since it was a bit hot, we tried some fresh "buko". It was refreshing especially in a tropical country like Philippines. Our next destination was the "Mother falls". Before we even get there, we took some hiking for about an hour. Below are some of the pictures we took going to Mother falls.

I took a picture of the locals swimming at the river. This will be the first part of our trail.
We all have to pass through those rocks and climbed up to reach Mother falls. Just make sure you don't use slippery sandals. Also, take at least a bottle of water because there were no locals selling water once you arrived at the Mother falls.

Before we reached Mother falls, we were able to see the daughter falls. I just can't remember what the locals call it. We were all excited when our guide told us that we're almost near to our destination.

Finally, after a long and tiring walk, we were all lucky to see the Mother falls. It's so beautiful. Almost all of us were amazed of the beauty it has. The water was clear and cold. I just wish we had plenty of time to stay here. We enjoyed each minute that passed. Funny thing was no one wants to go back and took a picture of us swimming. Everybody was enjoying the cold water. But, because of peer pressure, we all have to give thanks to Joao and Ron who volunteered to take us a picture while we're swimming.

The "Mother falls"

Those were the pictures we've taken from Sabang beach, Millennium tree and Mother falls. I don't have pictures of Digist beach because it was already dark and I'm battery low. Maybe next time that I'll go back to Baler, it will be on the top list of my itinerary. This place is really worth visiting. Hopefully, I'll be posting another blog for Baler.
I'd like to thank Sherwin for a well-organized itinerary as well as the people I've been with - Karen, Chris, Joao, Ron and Drew.
- Liz Lagasca

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