Baler Escapade: Surfing capital of the Philippines

Last Dec. 30, 2016, my family and I went to a 12-hour drive local trip. This trip is truly special to me aside from the fact that I would want to try this fun sport but also spending our new year’s eve away from our home gives me more excitement. We went to the “surfing capital of the Philippines” which is BALER. Remember Anne Curtis-smith and Jericho Rosales movie? wherein a band of Spanish soldiers heroically defended baler (which now became the capital city of aurora) against Filipino revolutionary forces for 337 long and grueling days. This is where the location shot and the title itself derived from the place.

 

I know you guys were wondering why it took 12 hours? That is only one way. When I was driving from Eastwood until I reached Balintawak.The original plan based on my travel guide is to take the North Luzon Expressway . and take the SCTEX exit in LaPaz, Tarlac. From there, just drive and chill in the highway until you reach Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija. Once you reach Nueva Ecija aurora hi-way, you’ll reach the border by passing Palaver, Rizal, and Pantabangan . Then continue driving through Maria Aurora and San Luis and you can finally see the beauty of Baler. BUT the plan I prepared did not push through because my future stepfather told me to exit to Sta. Rita and I just went straight and felt I’m tired driving for almost 4 hours and still we are in the vicinity of Bulacan. And so I gave up and he managed to drive and I fell asleep. Then I woke up wondering we are in the middle of the woods and passing several mountains and rocky road which quite confusing. After checking my watch it is almost 10 hours that we are on the road and I finally asked the people how to get there immediately and we arrived around 7:30 pm. But it’s ok sometimes mistakes cannot be avoided and more important is that we are safe.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Since we have no reservation, and it’s hard to look for a hotel at night so we just managed to check-in in a travelers inn which is AWEL’S SEASHORE INN. The staff was attentive and they were able to cook for us since we’re very tired from our long drive. Our first night was really tiring and the next day we just stayed in the room until late afternoon and we ate at the rolling stores. We stayed there for two days.The price is cool if you are on a budget which is Php 2,500 per night only with two twin beds in one room, a foldable table, and two chairs. It’s also a pet-friendly inn.

On our third day after searching for a beach front view hotel, The residents told me that the famous “COSTA PACIFICA” is one of the famous hotels in Sabang beach. So I went there to check and asked my family to go with me. Costa Pacifica has a beachfront view accommodation, Free wifi, buffet breakfast, sports shops and other amenities. It was really fantastic because the place was absolutely cozy, clean, great food and staffs were courteous and they attended our needs immediately.  My mom loves it and we stayed for 2 days and 1 night.

 

Awel’s Seashore in located at T. Molino St. Aurora, Baler

Good thing there’s a cradle in front of Awel’s inn. I asked the owner if I could use = )

Free use of cradle

They have the comfiest outdoor furniture!

We simply can’t get enough of this lovely place.

Costa Pacifica has a beautiful seaside reception.

Sabang Beach

 

The beauty of Costa Pacifica

 

Very nice room two twin beds in one room. Extra bed is Php 1500 per head.

Oversized sofa. Can be used as the bed too. I love the end table color.

The look is timeless…

With tv, coffee maker, and working desk. And yes we brought our office files in our trip.

My mom loves the gorgeous style of the restroom.

Costa Pacifia Beach Resort located at #80 Buton St. Baler

 

WHERE TO EAT

There are too many rolling stores along the road. You can actually see their famous Crispy Lechon and mouth-watering grilled chicken near the supermarket and I find it a little pricey compared in manila. We bought those when we stayed in Awel’s inn. We shared our food to the hotel caretakers and we celebrated our new year with them! They gave us one whole plate of “Bico” that they made which is not too sweet.

We recommend:

COSTA PACIFICA RESTAURANT -They have a breakfast buffet which is included in the room rate and we also tried their lunch menu. We ordered kare kare seafood, adobong baka with a liver spread, rice with crab paste and my favorite banana smoothie with peanut butter. The price was a little pricey but the taste and service are worth it.

HUNGRY SURFER – (Beach view cafe, besides Costa Pacifica) Aside with their cool eye-catching interiors they served good food and we ordered their famous tapa,daing na bangus and instant hot chocolate to brighten up our day. Fast service and good food as well.

BAYLER’S RESTAURANT – In Sabang beach also (Besides hungry surfer cafe ). We ordered sinigang sa tanigue, crab meat rice and beef steak with sautéed onions. But the food was late and it took 40 minutes before they served.

GROUNDSWELL CAFE – (Infront of Costa Pacifica), Our nightlife well spent. I’ve met incredible people here and got a little chitchat with the cafe owner. We tried their best seller craft iced latte, green tea, and vegan chips. They do have some sort of board games on the corner perfect for family bonding. I’m a little dismayed when I tried ordering their pesto pasta. As per them, they couldn’t make it because they’re under staff. The music is very entertaining and they played my favorite bossa nova hit list. 

 

 

Costa Pacifica restaurant has a perfect meal for every craving! located at Buton St. Baler, Aurora

And because we ate a lot. Ooops!

 

Our love and hate relationship

For sale novelty item

Groundswell cafe located at Buton St. Baler, Auroa

 

 

Hungry surfer’s cafe located at Buton St. Baler, Aurora

Bayler View Restaurant located at Buton St. Baler, Aurora

WHAT TO DO

  • Surf Surf Surf! Board rental is Php 350 per hour only with the instructor at Charlie does.
  • Chill with the locals and have few shots of tequila at night.
  • Night jamming at the beach front.
  • Explore the beaches, waterfalls and other attractions.
  • If you are into water sports, they also have snorkeling and paddle boarding.
  • Go camping in a sheltered cave or beaches. A favorite among the surfers since it is located just in front of the surf camp’s surf spot.

 

My ultimate list of surf travel essentials

gdgdrgegr

Life is better when you surf = )

High tide

Practice makes perfect!

Surfer Bar and Grill located at Buton St. Baler, Aurora

Yellow Fin Restaurant and Bar located at Buton St. Aurora Baler

 

WHERE TO GO

Baler may appear as an exclusive surfer’s paradise but the fact is a few other adventure destinations can be found within the town.

 

 

Spectacular and breathtaking sunrise in Sabang beach. Best time of the day to walk and have some quick exercise.

 

 

 

Municipal hall

 

Museo de Baler

Ermita hill has a haunted history. Way back 17th century, baler was washed away by the tidal wave. Thousands of lives were lost and only a few people survived in the incident.

 

Tibang Sabang steel cable hanging  bridge

 

Roadtrip with my family. Exploring the beauty of baler

 

Dimadimalangat islet

 

Road trip from museum to lukso- lukso islet in diguisit

The clingy couple in rock formation

Baler Lighthouse. I wasn’t able to finish it because I’m full that time.

One of my favorite rolling stores in Baler!

 

Bahay ni Donya Aurora

Renovated historical church

Balete Tree. And yes that’s my sister. I know she looks scary. Peace!

WHERE TO SHOP

As a traveler, why do we buy souvenirs every time we travel? Because we always want to bring home something that will remind of our trip and it’s a collection of moments that we had. It will keep us remembered how we truly enjoyed our trip. You can actually buy some souvenirs beside the municipal hall  (You’ll see a variety of stalls). You will see some surfing- themed shirts made of high-quality material, keychains, handmade bags, key chains, magnets and Aurora’s famous homemade  PEANUT BUTTER by Nanay Pacita. I actually bought three (crunchy peanut, creamy and choco peanut). I do really like the taste and I think it is made extra special. By the way, Have you ever heard of a healthy suman? Yes, they do have here! Aurora’s ORGANIC SUMAN made of organic black rice and coco milk.

 

 

Organic Suman

Nanay Pacing Peanut Butter

 

My overall experience is 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed our trip and pretty sure I’ll be back soon with my friends and my blogger besties next time.

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8 Comment

  1. ivana says: Reply

    Great suggestions, and i wish to visit this place, especially Ermita hill, it looks so interesting xoxo

    https://theninebyivana.blogspot.com/

  2. Sabine says: Reply

    Such a beautiful place, Philipines is surely on my wishlist!

  3. Julie says: Reply

    What a fun trip!! Your photos are awesome- makes me want to go!!

  4. Jasmin N says: Reply

    Oh my goodness that place is beautiful! This made me want to go to surfing so badly! It has been too long..

  5. Great food and beautiful beaches, looks like my kind of trip. Glad you guys had fun!

  6. The pictures you clicked reflect the good time you had. And surfing must’ve been so much fun!

  7. Such an informative guide you’ve put together! I will definitely be referencing it if I ever head that way!!

    Best,
    Rebecca

  8. Perla says: Reply

    Looks like a lovely place, with great places to visit and nice elegant restaurant. Thanks for recommendations!

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