The second (and the final) day of our Baler trip was filled with surprises as we went to some of the municipality's underrated places.
True enough, Baler is more than just a surfing spot of the country.
The tricycle drivers arrived early, fortunately. The second part of our tricycle journey covered three places namely Ermita Hill, Digisit Falls and Lukso-lukso islets.
Baler's geographical location makes it prone to tsunami originating from Pacific Ocean. According to the locals, a tsunami brought unimaginable havoc to the municipality last December 1735. It destroyed most of the people's livelihood and claimed hundreds of lives, except for the eight family members who sought refuge at Ermita Hill for their safety.
It was not an easy climb though and I underestimated it. The stairs was a bit steep and I exerted a LOT of effort just to be on the top. Ermita Hill provides a scenic view of the entire Poblacion and the dark blue waters of Casiguran Bay. This place is also famous for devotees of the Miraculous Mother Mary, of whom a life-size statue is situated in a grotto on top of the hill.
The view from the top was truly breathtaking and the only thing I did was to close my eyes, took a deep breath and be with Mother Nature. True story, bro.
Today, Ermita Hill serves as a recreational park where everyone can unwind and spend some quality time with their family or friends.
|And this is 'quality time', ladies and gentlemen. LOL|
The last destination of our tour and probably the best part of my Baler trip. No adjective can perfectly describe the place; it's beyond beautiful.
Lukso is Filipino for jump and it was named as such because those islets will make you think that you could jump on each... only if you're a Goliath. Unlike Sabang Beach, Lukso-lukso Islets' sand is white but not as powdery as Boracay or Siquijor. Despite the sharp stones and the scorching heat of the sun, it didn't stop us from exploring the place, camwhoring included.
Here's our obligatory group window photo:
|Window group shot.|
Before going back to our inn, we had a quick stop at Digisit Falls. Again, the climb was very steep considering that I only wore my brother's flip-flops.To date, Digisit Falls is my 6th waterfall encounter, but it isn't that grand compared to Iligan's Tinago Falls or even the Aurora's Ditumabo Falls. Still, we took some photos of the falls. Walang ganito sa city!
|Yet another obligatory group shot with Brenna as the diwende. LOL|
The Enchanting Balete Tree of Aurora
Many people fear the Balete tree because they believe (ehem, including me) that it is the home of supernatural beings, vicious or tame. When we went there, we did find several beings inside the Balete Tree and even talked to some of them! Well, it's not what you think, unfortunately. We were greeted by the kids who were busy climbing Baler's half-millenium old tree. It was so huge that one can even enter the tree's hollow chamber.
|Balete in Aurora|
I was so amazed as how the kids managed to climb the tree easily. I admit that I haven't climbed a tree ever since. Because our group shot required us to climb the tree, I forced myself to find the right spot. Going back to the ground was even more challenging than climbing the tree.
|Alam kong napapagod na kayo sa mga itsura namin.|
Baler is not your ordinary town; a town that is organized albeit the absence of gargantuan malls and other infrastructures. Other than that, the province of Aurora offers a lot of majestic sights - waterfalls, beaches, hills and a whole lot more. The six-hour journey to this province was really worth it. The whole tour covers the historical and ecological trails of Baler. The whole tour can actually be done within a day, that is if you start very early (as in 7AM early). The tour cost around Php 800 per tricycle (maximum of 3 people in one tricycle) but it can go lower if you know how to haggle.
We stayed at Pacific Waves Inn and it didn't disappoint me. Air-conditioned room, hot and cold shower, free wi-fi and the place comes with a kitchen on the first floor where guests can cook their own food. More so, our room's located at the second floor which provided us a great view of Sabang beach. For reservations, you may contact Ms. Rosita Rivera at 09178950276.
|'Til we meet again, Baler.|
The movie Baler may suck balls but the town itself doesn't. Baler is promising and I won't be surprised if more and more people will visit this town in the near future.