I was able to find a quick breather before I tackle 2018 when I went to Baler with my friends. Same with my La Union post, I will be breaking down fees and activities that we did on our 3-day vacation.
But first, Baler.
Baler is a town on the Philippine island of Luzon. In its center, Museo de Baler chronicles colonial history. On the coast, Cemento Beach is known for powerful surf, and Sabang Beach is lined with resorts. Nearby, Ermita Hill offers panoramic views. Inland, Baler Hanging Bridge crosses the mouth of the Tibag-Sabang River. To the east, the distinctive, angular Baler Lighthouse overlooks Dicasalarin Cove.
(photo from Google images)
We rented a van for 12,000 Php which includes gas while toll fees are separate (I apologize since I wasn’t able to take not of how much the toll was).
We stayed in Aliya Surf Camp & Resort which is cheaper than costa pacifica but is okay if you would spend the day outside. We got a family deluxe room for around 6,000 Php.
Unfortunately when we stayed, they did not have wifi so we had to resort to using our mobile data when we wanted internet and the free breakfast was reduced to two instead of five because of their new policies. Another downside was that since we were 8 and the room was only for 7, we paid 300 Php per night but they did not provide extra bedding, we just squeezed in the bunk bed and two twin beds. Other than that, Aliya offers surf lessons and they have in house restaurant, bar and souvenir shop. The comfort room was also okay since it was a private room.
What I enjoyed about Aliya was that it was walking distance to restaurants.
On to the trip, for the first day, we started travelling from Quezon City around 3:30 am with only one stop over we got to Baler by 9:30 am. For breakfast, we ate at Good Food.
Good food served affordable yet delicious food.
Pork chop for 100 Php
Mahi mahi for 130 Php
Burrito for 110 Php
Potato fries for 50 Php
After breakfast, we started our historical walk around the plaza. What’s interesting and good about Baler is that since it’s small, everything is walking distance so this historical walk can be done quickly if you’re pressed for time.
First stop is Museo De Baler which hosts memorabilia and items from Baler’s history.
This includes clothes, pins, medals and letters from the past government of Baler, Manuel Quezon and his wife
As well as props from the movie Baler starring Anne Curtis and Jericho Rosales. There were also interesting paintings done by locals on the second floor.
After that, we walked towards the city hall which leads to Baler’s church then Aurora Quezon’s house. I wasn’t able to take photos of the inside of the church but it was what you’d expect of an old provincial church.
Aurora Quezon’s ancestral home was a few steps away from the church. It was an old wooden house with a silong. It looks as if it’s a two-story building but the first floor, usually called the silong, is used as a place for animals that are being taken cared for or storage.
The house was not as extravagant as you’d expect, it has wooden floors and walls but had at least 3 main rooms, the library, a sala or living room and the dining area/kitchen. I am amazed that Aurora Quezon had a library since in the olden days, women were not allowed to study. My feminist side was happy because of this and hey old books. 🙂
Fee for the museum and aurora quezon’s ancestral home was 30Php per head.
It was after we finished the tour when we realized that there were footsteps that you can follow to guide you through the tour. We finished just in time for lunch then a quick chill time before our room is ready (check in time is at 2:00 pm).
For the first day, I think my friends surfed in the afternoon while another friend, my boyfriend and I chilled around the beach before heading out to dinner.
Surf costs 350 Php in aliya with the instructor and board rental. I didn’t have the best experience in LU since I’m not the best with balancing then so I opted not to go this time. The waves weren’t as friendly as well so I’d rather chill at the beach.
For dinner, we ate at Charlie Does. Locals and tourists (even google) recommends this place. They are known for being the vegetarian/vegan restaurant near the beach. They also offer surf lessons and yoga lessons (when instructors are available). They also have a hotel where you can stay.
For dinner, my boyfriend and I had tofu sisig and fries while my other friends had their rice meals and pasta.
We had to wait 45 minutes for the rice to cook and most of the items on the menu were unavailable.
I have to say, the food was not as good as I expected it to be. For a place highly recommended by people, this was a fail for me. Whatever Charlie does, please just don’t.
FOOD/DRINK TO TRY: their Baler brew (beer) I enjoyed it even if I’m not much of a beer drinker. However, I think hard-core beer lovers won’t enjoy it as much
We didn’t go out to have breakfast since we were still sleepy. We had breakfast in Aliya and it was okay. Serving was Filipino size, enough to keep you full for a 1-2 hours.
This was our only full day in baler, We were debating whether we’d go to the mother falls or balete tree or Ermita hill (those recommended by google)
but since we wanted to chill on the beach, we decided Dicasalarin cove was the best option (and PS. it was).
Luckily since we had a van, we just had to use Waze to find it. It was 30-40 minutes away from Sabang beach (where Aliya was) and the roads were steep but once you get to the place, it was worth it.
Along the way, you’d see the rock formations that the locals recommend seeing but I don’t think those places are good for swimming.
Dicasalarin cove, in my opinion and experience when I was there had the most relaxed waves and you can have leisure swimming rather than surfing.
If you could bring snacks, that would be great since dicasalarin cove is not that developed and there is no restaurants around. We spent our morning here to chill and take photos.
For lunch, we ate at Yellow fin.
Coming from the disappointment from Charlie Does we loved our food here. Yellow fin is known for grilled food and Filipino food.
Sinigang na hipon
Inihaw na pusit
I wasn’t able to take photos of the rest of our order since we were hungry.
FOOD TO TRY: Pork BBQ
My friends took a nap before they surfed again while I took a dip in the pool before I took a nap. While I was napping, they went to Dialyn’s which is a popular bakeshop in Baler.
They were nice to bring us kiwi cupcakes which I must say is a MUST TRY in baler. We went back here before heading back to Manila for pasalubong.
Once everyone was settled and showered, we had dinner in Aliya. I do not recommend their grill area since it took a long time and my order was served cold. I was annoyed and didn’t enjoy my meal that night.
We capped of the night in the bar while my friend sang in the open mic. It was a chill way to end our full day in baler.
Third day was hectic since we were about to check out. I opted not to swim anymore so after eating breakfast in Aliya, I walked around to buy pasalubong for my brothers.
BEST PASALUBONG: Aling Pacing’s Peanut butter and/or Dialyn’s Kiwi cupcakes
Check out time was at 12:00 noon and we headed out to Manila around that time.
We dropped by the balete tree on the way to manila.
Stop over was at NLEX around 3:oo or 4:00pm for lunch and we arrived in Manila around 8:00 or 9:00pm (Quezon City)
It’s a good place to chill and surf with your friends although I find that the food choices and activities were limited. 🙂
until next trip 🙂