I needed a birthday trip. I had to go somewhere that’s not too far nor too near, but I had a very limited budget. Since it had exactly been three months after I got face-boarded, I just had to go Baler! But the agenda was not just to go surfing, but also to tour Baler and see what other beauty it has to offer. So I joined this group who was going there over my birthday weekend. Just like my trip to Batanes, I didn’t know anyone else except Anna, my surfing buddy.
We left Makati past midnight and got there around 6:30 am. Only to find the beach semi-flat. I was really disappointed to see the beach looking not very different from the one in Boracay. I was bummed. I was looking forward to some action-packed surfing. So after an eat-all-you-can breakfast (P150) at Bay’s Inn, I decided to sleep my exhaustion and disappointment away. I woke up to find Anna telling me lunch was ready.
After lunch, it was decided that we would go out there and surf those baby waves. There were fifteen of us, about half were first timers but almost everyone went there to surf. When it was my turn, I got assigned to this instructor-kid and I remarked to him that the waves were really small. He replied that once I got out there they would seem bigger. That comment should have tipped me off.
For the first time, I used a fiberglass longboard. I was worried that I won’t be able to do a good job because I usually fail to stand because of a slippery board. But lo and behold! I was able to stand up and ride all the way to the shore on my first go! That made me really happy.
Then suddenly Anna was near and she was telling me that it was a good thing that I already know how to surf (which only means that I am no longer a 100% newbie). I didn’t get what she meant, but would eventually find out.
The waves were small, almost all my rides were successful and I was getting bored. I kept asking my instructor to take me far out like I did last December. But he wasn’t too keen on doing that. I even went as far as asking him if he couldn’t swim. I was thinking that maybe he was afraid of going into the deep water. But as Anna would tell me later on, he wasn’t the best surfer around and that all the waves he was giving me were the really small ones. No wonder a lot them died before I could reach half-way to the shore. For the second time that day, I was disappointed.
Surf season’s (almost) over. So, what is there left to do in Baler?
There is that option of going on a tour around Baler in a tricycle and visiting several tourist spots such as the Ermita Hill, the Cobra Reef, the Duguisit Falls, Ampere Beach and of course, the Mother Falls. That was what we did on our second day when we woke up to grey clouds and some slight rain.
Cobra reef (Lukso-lukso)
From Ampere beach, we were about to go straight to the Mother Falls but we were already so hungry. I suggested that we go to Gerry Shan’s for an eat-all-you-can lunch. Well, turned out that it was a really good move because we burned everything that we ate on our trek to the Mother Falls.
The trek to the Mother Falls was about 45 minutes long. The sun was already up but the ground was still muddy from the rain earlier. It was slippery and hard going. Then we had to cross the river several times. The current was strong and there was that danger of being swept away, or stepping on an unstable boulder or a slippery stone. It was the most extreme trekking that I’ve done to see some falls. It was really cool!
The Mother Falls was the last leg of the tour. We were supposed to go to the famous Balete Tree but there was no time left and we thought that we could pass there on our way home to Manila. But that didn’t push through, so it was one more reason to go back to Baler.
And with that, the trip was over. And since the waves won’t be back until around September, I won’t be able to go back there ’til then.
March 16-17, 2013
***all photos and the video were taken using an iphone5
- P150 Bay’s Inn eat-all-you-can breakfast
- P300 one hour surf lesson
- P180 Baler tour (plus P20 tip to the tricycle driver)
- P185 Gerry Shan’s eat-all-you-can lunch
- P10 donation to the Mother falls
- P65 tapsilog
- P350 Surf Baler shirt