4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Baler
A wanderer shares her reflections about her favorite place: Baler, Aurora.
By Ayin Azores
October 23, 2015
When people ask me what my plans are for the coming weekends, this answer almost always comes out of my mouth: "Baka mag-Baler ako (I might go to Baler).” Soon after, I would hear my friends say, "Baler nanaman (Baler again)?" or "Ang layo (It’s so far away)!" or "Bakit ka ba laging sa Baler (Why are you always in Baler)?”
I have always loved traveling. I am known as a woman with no rest; that’s why I have a hashtag called #kurAchadventures. But if there is one place that I’d come back to over and over again, it would be Baler. Here's why:
1. It’s a one-stop shop.
Cue “Let's Go Surfing” by The Drums! The waters of Baler are perfect for beginners in surfing (for example, I know how to surf, but I’m not a surfer). I personally love it because of its sand bottom. The waves are best from October until well into summertime. If ever you find yourself not in the mood to surf, you can always go for a tour to the Mother Falls, climb the famous Balete Tree, visit Museo de Baler, or just hang out by the beach and drink Banayad Whiskey with the locals! Baler has something for everyone.
2. There are munchies galore.
Being the stingy traveler that I am, I try to stick to my budget, but I always end up going over it. I am no food blogger, but I just love food! Food makes the world a happier place, and the dishes in Baler are perfect for “hANGRY” surfers. I personally recommend Baler Surf Grill's grilled chicken and Baler's salpicao and aligue rice. Of course, if you want tipid meals, there are plenty of small restaurants in the area. You can get everything from silog meals to grilled specials to even hot lomi for your early hangover. Name it, and they surely have it!
3. No one is a stranger in Baler.
When I travel, I don't usually mingle with the tourists; I interact with locals. I love learning things from their stories. A tip: When you visit your next destination, talk to a local and ask him or her about the political situation in the area, the nearest hospital, the weather during certain months, etc. Learning things personally is better than asking Siri or Google.
From my most recent trip, I made new friends from local surfers to the “regular na nauwi” / “medyo lokal” (like myself), as they would call us. Although we weren’t able to surf that day due to the typhoon, we still had fun in our own little ways. The good thing with interacting with surfers is that you will never ever have a stranger danger moment.
4. Baler is home.
Because I love to live dangerously, my friends and I braved the signal number 4 typhoon, which recently hit Aurora. To our dismay, we never had the chance to surf even when the coastguard gave the go ahead and said it was already okay to head into the water. But despite the series of unfortunate events, Baler will always be home for me.
You see, when I am in Baler, I don’t think of it as an escape from reality. It's still there as presented by the roaring waves. But just like in life, you have to ride the waves, try to balance, and enjoy the ride. I never leave my heart in Baler; I bring Baler and my awesome stories with me whenever I go back to Manila. I have found comfort in its shores. How about you? Where is home for you?