One of my goals when this blog started was to travel solo, and I’m happy to announce that I had finally fulfilled that goal.
First I would like to thank my friend Andy for inspiring me to travel solo, her trip to the city of Davao was one of my inspiration. And I would also like to mention a couple of back-packers like the “Pinay Solo Back Packer” and “Lakwatsero” I have been their follower even before this blog was born, and the TV show like “Biyahe ni Drew” they have all inspired me to travel and explore, and the information they have provided was a big help to plan my travel.
I have been planning to go to “Baler” one of the best destination for surfing, though I’m not a surfer I know that the place has more to offer that surfing, good thing I have already prepared my itinerary, I’m just waiting for the right timing and approval of my leave in order for me to start my travel.
November 24-25-26, finally my supervisor informed me that I can take my vacation leave on the following dates, the sign I have been waiting for.
Finding a place to stay in Baler is not difficult base from what I have read, there are a lot of places to stay, but since I have already done my research and I have already chosen a place for me to stay, I contacted “Pacific Waves Inn” and booked my room.
Going to Baler by public transport is by Genesis Bus or by Joy Bus, I have chosen Genesis Bus instead, 450 pesos is the bus fare from Cubao station going to Baler, first trip starts at 3:00AM and the last trip is at 7:30AM.
Since it’s my first time traveling solo I’m a bit excited, nervous, paranoid and I’m super attentive and alert, I barely sleep the night before my trip.
I arrived in Genesis Bus at 4:29AM and the bus left at 4:31AM going to Baler, and there was just only 9 passengers in the bus, I guess it’s because its off-peak that’s why there are few passengers.
The check-in time in Pacific Waves Inn is 2:00PM, I arrived in Baler town proper at around 11:30AM, and it was just a few minute ride of tricycle for only 15 pesos going to Pacific Waves Inn. I’ve inform them already if I can check in early and they are kind enough to let me, normally there is an additional fee for early check in but they did not charged me anymore, so thank you for that Pacific Waves Inn.
I then took my branch (breakfast and lunch) in Smart Beach House just a few walk from Pacific Waves Inn, after my branch I then took the rest of the afternoon walking around the bay walk and enjoying the waves of Baler. There are few tourist at that time and according to the locals I had talked it’s because its week days and normally people will arrived during the week end, which actually make sense since I saw a couple of family in the lodge preparing to check out. While walking around I manage to talk to kuya fernan for my tour and surf lesson.
The city tours I’ve arrange is for 800 pesos good for the whole day already, while the surfing lesson good for 1 hour and 30 minutes is for 300 pesos.
At night the baywalk of Baler was very quite and the sound of the waves is the only thing you can hear, I’ve read good feedback about the restaurant in Bay-ler View and best part is that its front beach you can feel and hear the waves while enjoying your dinner.
I had “Sinigang na Baboy” for the night for only 270 pesos including the rice, honestly this serving is for 2-3 persons.
I woke up early the next day to have an early breakfast before my city tour begin, this time I had “Hotsilog” from Bay-ler View.
And so my tour around the town of Baler begins!
First stop was Ermita Hills, my tour guide was telling me stories of how the people of Baler survived Typhoon Lando and taking shelter in Ermita Hills.
Ermita Hills is open to public and no entrance fee, all you have to do is to register before going to the hill. Ermita Hills is the top most part of the town proper of Baler, so from the top you can actually see the entire coast line of Baler.
Next was a beach resort in the far end side of Baler, “Disguisit Islets”, according to kuya fernan the place is best for picnic, but I think after seeing the place, its best for taking stunning landscape shots.
The resort is located at the far end side of Baler and a great place for taking pictures, surprisingly kuya fernan is good at taking photos.
Next location is the town-proper’s fish port, another good spot for taking pictures.
After the fish-port our next location is the famous “Balete Tree” which is around 20-30 minute drive from the town-proper, and there is no traffic which one of the things I like about this city tour.
There is a 20 pesos entrance in the Balete Park, and I was advise that climbing is not allowed, that was a bit sad but its ok anyway I don’t think I can climb this century old tree, so the best think to do was to take more pictures and enjoy the time like a kid.
After the Balete Tree park photo ops time to go back to the city town proper for the remaining locations and time to hit the market for the pasalubong(souvenir).
I skip going to the Mother falls since the travel time is far plus the trekking, maybe some other time when I’m in a group, I think I’ll return to see it, but kuya fernan was kind enough to take me to the nearest falls which is the “Disguisit Falls”.
The town proper of Baler is where the park and the museum is located.
My tour ended in the market buying key chains, ref magnet and some shirts, over-all I spent 950 pesos for the pasalubong (souvenirs).
I spent the third and last day in Baler enjoying the beach and the waves, though I’m not a surfer I still gave it a try, the experience was fun riding the waves and trying to balance, my trainer was very supportive and keeps on cracking a joke that if I cant stand up while on the board the entire lesson is for free and he’s friend might bully him, well luckily I managed to stand up for about 4 times, sad to say I was not able to bring my water proof cover for my phone for a souvenir photo, but its ok I will treasure that experience and memory.
After my surfing experience I spent my remaining hours in Baler eating and enjoying the view of the beach, I head back to Bay-ler View for the famous “Tuna Carbonara” paired with Banana Shake.
After relaxing I pack my bags and head straight to the bus station, unexpectedly when I arrived at the bus station there are no more Genesis bus going to Manila, I actually miss the last one which left at 1:00PM, the woman told me that the next bus is bound for Cabanatuan, and from there I can ride a bus back to Manila, I’m actually familiar of the route she was telling me but its not in my list to do a cutting-trip and I was surprised that there are no more buses going back to Manila when the last trip was supposed to be 3:00PM, she explain to me that because of the off-peak season they have to cut some of the trips and apologizes that the details was not posted online, anyway she told me that the Joybus is bound to Manila and that is the last bus.
Joybus bound to Manila is 700 pesos , air-condition bus with no stop over bound to Manila, I took the Joybus instead.
Over-all my experience in Baler is fun and definitely I will go back some other time, but maybe with a group next time.