March 9, 2017 Travel Stories|Backpacking 7

It’s Summer now in the Philippines, we start our summer season in the month of March to May. And it’s also the time where students from Preparatory to College are off for their summer vacation. During these months – Manila temperature can go high up to 36 degrees Celcius and some parts of the Philippines like Tuguegarao can experience 38 degrees Celcius. So this is the perfect time to head to the beach, get a tan and enjoy the sun.

Baler Aurora

One of the most popular surfing spot here in the Philippines is Baler Aurora, located in the northern part of Luzon – 231 kilometers away from Manila and easily accessible by public transportation (bus) and via private vehicle.

Via Commute:

You can choose from the two bus company Genesis Joy Bus (Cubao Bus Terminal) and Five Star Bus.

Joy Bus – (Deluxe) 700 PHP / 14 USD one-way, travel time is 4 hours from Manila to Baler

Joy Bus – (Standard a/c) 450 PHP / 9 USD one-way, travel time is 6 hours from Manila to Baler.

For bus, reservations visit http://www.phbus.com/joy-bus/

Five Star Bus – (Standard a/c) 185 PHP / 3.7 USD Cubao Terminal, 196 PHP3.92 USD / Pasay Terminal, travel time is 3 hours from Manila to Cabanatuan. From Cabanatuan Central Terminal, you have to ride a van going to Baler Aurora Central Terminal, the fare is 250 PHP / 5 USD.

For bus, reservations visit http://www.phbus.com/five-star-bus/

Via Private Car:

Head straight to EDSA – NLEX – TPLEX (I think we did a wrong way on this) – Gapan – Cabanatuan – Rizal – Pantabangan – Maria Aurora – Baler.

From my place – Las Pinas City to Baler Aurora, it took us almost 8 hours to get there, when it’s supposed to be a 4-5 hour drive only because it was all our first time to visit Baler and we are just relying on Google Maps and every gas station at NLEX and TPLEX we keep on stopping and taking bathroom breaks and quick snacks even though we packed our SUV with tons of food and drinks yet we still get to buy food from a convenient store, lol. We had our 1-hour breakfast at NLEX Chowking, morning snacks at TPLEXthen stop at a gasoline station in Cabanatuan, then we had our lunch first when we get to the city proper in Baler Aurora.

 

We actually didn’t have any itinerary because all we want is to relax and just enjoy the beach however we still managed to get around the city proper and did some fun things on our 3-day stay in Baler.

Where to stay on a budget

June’s Homestay

We stayed at June’s Homestay – owners are very nice, friendly and they even gave us a special discount :). It was supposed to be an overnight trip only but because we found a bed and breakfast that is so cheap and it only costs us 2,500 / 50 USD per night / 1 room / good for 6 adults and 1 child so we ended up staying for 2 nights. It was a simple bed and breakfast where you can cook your own meal for a minimal charge of 150 pesos for the use of gas stove but barbecue grill is FREE of use.

Things to do in Baler:

Visit Museo de Baler

Entrance is 30 PHP / .6 USD – adult, children are FREE.

Across Museo de Baler is where you’ll find this huge BALER signage and at the back is a monument.

Learn to Surf at Sabang Beach

350 PHP / 7 USD per hour, inclusion of paddle board and instructor.

Enjoy the waves of the ocean

Heads up, because the beach is intended for surfing so if you are traveling with kids like me always be with them all the time!

Sabang Beach

Where to Eat:

Buy local delicacy

Suman Baler, it’s a sweet sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves. 100 PHP / 2 USD for 10 – 12 pcs.

Bayler View Restaurant

Hawaiian Pizza for 300 PHP / 6 USD (good for 3-4 pax) and Fresh Sweet Mango Shake for less than 150 PHP / 3 USD.

Hungry Surfer Bay’s Inn

Pansit Bihon for less than 200 PHP / USD. Good for 2-3 pax.

Baler Surfer Grill

One of the best place to grab a beer and chill with your friends (at beach front)

Home cooked meal

We cooked fresh fish, pork, chicken and local veggies that we bought at the local market.

Pre-nup Photography

Photo credits to my friend Lena and their Photog – Photo by Studio 29

Lena and John Corpuz – Congrats you two!

Our trip to Baler is very relaxed and because it’s not easy traveling with young children it’s best to just chill and enjoy the beach however if you are traveling with your friends or with your partner, you may also try to do some adventure like going to Diguisit Falls, Cunayan Falls and Ditumabo Falls.

A day or two will surely bring you tranquility and energy after staying in Baler and PS. learn to surf cause I didn’t – lazy me, boo!

Travel Guide: Baler Aurora

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