Weekend respite in Baler

Famous for surfing is Baler located in Aurora province, about 231 kilometers away from Manila.

Baler, however, has other attractions besides surfing, including the rock formation in Diguisit, Barangay Zabali, and the waterfalls in San Luis, Aurora, among other spectacles that visitors will want to see for themselves.

Of course, surfer aficionados will always prefer to go there for the big waves rushing from the vast Pacific Ocean to the Baler shoreline.


Confortable quarters

This, we experienced when we visited this surfing destination in June, a pre-pandemic plan that finally pushed through this year.

Our hotel was located near the beach, about 100 meters away from shoreline. We booked the rooms online and paid half for our two-day stay with the balance to be fully paid when we arrived.

Each of the four couples in our group shelled out close to P5,000 for the two-day stay with breakfast. Enjoying the beach and swimming at the hotel’s pool were, of course, free, except the use of a surf board at P200 per hour and the hiring of a surfing instructor at P300 per hour.


Smooth drive

Our six-hour drive from Manila to Baler was a breeze using Google and Waze maps.

The trip from Manila to Nueva Ecija was uneventful, our excitement building as we traversed the steep and zigzag road starting near Pantabangan Dam all the way to Baler town.

From Manila, travelers may opt to travel by bus at P1,200 fare for one way and P2,400 for a round-trip.


Food for the soul

Baler’s beach area is safe to explore, with plenty of choices for accommodations and dining.

In the morning, you can wake up to a gentle breeze and feel energized by sight of the rushing waves from your window.

Adventurous spirits may try surfing and other water activities. For those who don’t know how to swim, it is entertaining to watch the folks using their skills in balancing while the rushing waves hit their surf boards without falling to the water.

Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs at Balete before heading home.

Our group of four couples — Rick and Angie Galang, Efren and Tina Impreso, Dante and Ofelia Magbanua, yours truly and Lyn Junco — certainly recommend a staycation in Baler’s peaceful environment where the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline can be heard day and night.