<we were not just first-timers in surfing, but also first-timer visitors in Quezon, Philippines. we readily agreed to join the tour around Baler. here is the prelude to our first-timer-story. first-time travel to Baler was actually interesting and fun!>
Coming from Manila, Baler is more or less 7 hours away via land trip. Prepare for long trip essentials such as light jacket, small pillow, fully-charged gadgets, and comfortable clothes. Our travel time started at 12midnight, on-board a van. So I just slept for most of the trip, waking up at sunrise to enjoy the view. I loved it!
Affordable accommodations can be found around the surfing area. Since ours is a packaged tour, our hotel was pre-selected by the travel agency. It was basic but good enough to recommend to other first-timers 😉 For booking and rates, check Bayler View Hotel.
Baler is a beautiful place other than surfing. Take side tours that can relax you (or should I say “distract” you) from the anticipation of the surfing activity.
Don’t miss the visit to the old giant Balete tree, located in a town next to Baler. Climb and imagine how it is being a “kapre” (a mythical creature known in the Philippines with exaggerated scary human features). If you have extra money, you can donate some amount for the maintenance of the area.
Enjoy the taking pictures during the Historical & Countryside Tour: Museo de Baler, Quezon Park (picture taking at Quezon’s Bronze statue), Baler Church, and Aragon’s House.
Proceed to Ermita Hill (136 steps) and relax with the super nice top view from the chapels deck with view of Pacific Ocean, Baler Bay, Baler Town, Sabang beach and Dimadimalangat islet). According to history, Ermita Hill is said to be famous in 1700’s when a tsunami came and 7 people went to the hill to take refuge. A monument was built in honor of the bravery of these people.
Try eating suman (a type of rice cake in the Philippines). When bought outside the streets, you can have 10pieces for Php5.00 only.
There are also a lot of eat-all-you-can eateries around, and we tried two of them during our visit (around less than 200php per meal).
Baler has also a lot of handmade stuff that you can buy as pasalubong. For myself, I bought a basket, and a bright orange hat (which I used in our Boracay Trip).
Once you visited Baler, you’ll discover it it not just about surfing. It is about Philippine history and scenery, intertwining with the rich culture of Filipinos.
So if you’re looking for a place to visit, consider the wavy unique experience you could have in Baler. 😉