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Baler On A Budget

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Baler On A Budget


Want to explore Baler, but on a budget? That's possible.

Baler has become a popular vacation destination in the Philippines. It is famous for its waves which attract experienced surfers and those who want to learn how to surf, largest Balete tree in Asia, ice-cold fresh clear waterfalls, and other postcard worthy and historical places.

Here's how we explored Baler on a budget:

How To Get There:

Travel time from Manila to Baler is about six to seven hours.

We took the Genesis Bus from Cubao Terminal at around 2:30 am.  We were told that that was the last direct trip (Manila to Baler) for the day.  No reservation required, so I advise you to come early if you want to arrive early in Baler without the hassle.


(Click on individual photos to view in full size)


we passed this breathtaking view along the road


Tour Package:

We were lucky that the trike driver we hired from the terminal to Secret Spot Sabang Beach was an accredited tourist guide as well.  He's ardent and he knows where to go and what to do best when in Baler.  He took care of our itinerary.  His name is Kuya Christian and you may contact him at 09066820356.  We paid 800Php for the whole day trip visiting different places. 


Accomodation:

We stayed at the Secret Spot in Sabang Beach.  We pitched tents and paid 200Php each for a night.  For reservations, you may contact them at +63 928 453 1777.

Secret Spot

Food:

We had our lunch at the Rolling Store; plenty of viands to choose from at affordable prices.  It's one trike ride from Sabang Beach and just beside Baler Museum.


Tour:

1. Baler Museum
Our first stop after lunch was in Baler Museum.  No entrance fee, only donation.  You also need to register at the entrance.


most of the displays at the museum are props from the award winning movie Baler

Team Baler at the Museum

2. Ermita Hill and White Cross
We climbed 275 steps at the Ermita Hill to get to the White Cross at the top.  It was tiring, and almost noon time so we had to endure the scorching heat of the sun. The view at the left side of the hill was breath taking though and seeing the big cross up close was rewarding (at least for Catholics like us).




On December 27, 1735, Baler was hit by a tidal wave and the Ermita Hill is where the locals escaped for safety

3. Diguisit Falls
One of the four falls in Baler that's worth visiting is the Diguisit Falls.  It is located along the highway facing the beautiful Diguisit Beach.  The water was cool and fresh.  A few people were bathing at the topmost falls when we arrived.  It is a small falls, and the way up is steep, rocky and muddy.  Lucky we have a tour guide and boys in the group that helped us get to the top and back down without falling.  

Diguisit Falls is at Barangay Zabali, Baler.

The way to the top is rocky, muddy, slippery, but worth the short trek.






4.  Diguisit Beach
Facing Diguisit Falls is the Diguisit Beach.  There is an entrance fee of 20Php.  The cottages were full when we arrived, which was fine because we only went there for pictures and to see the place.  There were rock formations.  Since it was low tide when we went there, we were able to take pictures on the rocks.  We even got the chance to stand on corals and see a variety of fish swimming nearby.







 
happy kids


a jump shot is required here ^_^

5. Doña Aurora Quezon’s House
Doña Aurora Quezon is the wife of the first president of the Republic of the Philippines.  We loved her native and simple yet elegant house.  I especially loved her library/study.  It was a little humid outside but because her house is made of wood, bamboo and Nipa, it was cool inside.

Doña Aurora Quezon's house is just across Baler Church.







the 1st Presidential Car



4. Balete Tree
The huge Balete tree in Baler is not your ordinary Balete tree.  It is the largest Balete tree in Asia and the second largest Balete tree in the world.  The enchanting Balete tree is in Barangay Quirino.



this is inside the tree





5. Mother Falls
Ditumabo Falls or Mother Falls is a must see when in Baler.  True to its name, Mother Falls is around 140 feet high amidst After about 40 minutes of trekking, walking on and climbing slippery rocks, passing through rivers, seeing the Mother Falls even from afar is rewarding.  You wont mind your  sore muscles and fatigue anymore.  The water was literally ice cold! 

Since it is around 4pm when we started the trek, a looooot of people were already at the site when we arrived.  Still, we got to enjoy our time there.  So worth it!

this is what you'll see just before the Mother Falls

the glorious Mother Falls left us in awe the first time we saw it




7. Surf! Surf! Surf!
On our second day, we went surfing in Sabang Beach!  I was hesitant at first.  I'm not sporty, and I don't like trying new things.  Watching surfers and beginners riding the waves though, I thought it's now or never.  Plus, the waves weren't that intimidating that day.  Perfect for beginners like us!

The best time to go surfing according to the locals is from September to February.  The waves are much bigger then.

One on one surfing lesson is 350Php for one hour.  Since we were three, they gave us a discount so we paid 300Php each.  We were lucky to have eager, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient instructors.  Ian was my instructor and he was beaming when I was able to stand (on my 3rd attempt) and when I was able to do the "walling", which at first I had no idea I was already doing.  He also taught me how to paddle, how to surf without an instructor pushing you (although I didn't try doing it on my own yet), and he even explained to me every part of the surf board and it's functions before we started.

It was an amazing experience.  And addicting, too!  You'd want to do it again and again.

I don't have a  sense of balance, honestly speaking.  I never learned how to ride a bicycle.  So, this is an accomplishment for me.  Another item in my "New things to try" to-do list this year added.

our instructor showing us the how-to's

trying not to lose my new found balance



posing proudly.  feeling pros! haha

We had to go back to Baler Church the following day. We were late for the mass, so we just spent some quiet moment there.

Baler Church is just across Doña Aurora Quezon’s House.  It is actually walking distance from the Baler Museum.  It is historical and famous for the Siege of Baler.  After Spain sold the Philippines to America, a group of Spanish soldiers still continued with their battle and occupied Baler Church for almost a year before they surrendered.







Eats!!!
1. Gerry Shan's Place
Aside from the Rolling Store which we frequent for its affordable lutong bahay food, I recommend Gerry Shan's eat all you can.  For 185Php only, you get to enjoy a variety of viands, fruits, and soups and drinks.

2.  Alfonso's Pizza
 Just across Gerry Shan's is Alfonso's Pizza.  Tastes like homemade pizza at a reasonable price. 


3. Surfer's Grill
Located in Sabang Beach, facing the sea, the cute red Beetle outside where they grill the food is an attraction.  People who pass by stop for  a picture.  Nothing special with the food, but it's palatable enough and it's reasonably priced.



4. Hungry Surfer
The Hungry Surfer is just a few steps away from Surfer's Grill. Although I will not recommend the place for the service (very lousy!) and onion rings (too thick flour coating), I'd recommend their mojos.  It rivals that of Shakey's.



If you want to travel, see not just one tourist attraction and experience something new, e.g. surfing, Baler is the place to go to.  If you are a budget traveler, Baler is the perfect destination.

See more Baler photos on Baler Adventures.



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9 comments

  1. How much does Baler cost in total for around 3 days and 2 nights of surfing? I've been to La Union which I think is also a great spot and we spend around 3000 per person for a tour package!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Chef Jay.

      We went on a budget travel for the weekend only. Our tour package (you can just approach the trike drivers because most of them are accredited) was only Php800 per person. We already visited a lot of places as posted here. We pitched tents which cost us Php200 a night. The surfing was only 350 but if there are 3 or more pax, they could give a discount of up to 300 per pax. Not sure if the prices changed. May mga cheap na kaninan naman dun na lutong bahay pero okay na at the Rolling Store which is beside Baler Museum lang. One trike away from the beach. All those excluding the bus fare ha. Not sure kung magkano na ngaun.

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    2. Sorry that's Php800 for the whole day. 4-5 persons in a trike hati hati sa 800. :D

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  2. Haven't been to Baler but I want to check it out. I think it's a nice summer destination. I'm not big on the beach but I would love to check out the museum and I guess it'll still be fun to hang out at the beach.

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  3. The Balete Tree and Mother falls look stunning!

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  4. Sayang! We went to ilocos instead of baler. I really want to take awesome shots at Diguisit. Also, I love to surf! :D package

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  5. Omg! Thank you thank you for this very informative post about Baler! We plan on visiting Baler sometime this summer and your post really saved me some time, so now instead of googling what we need to visit in Baler, bookmarking your post for reference later. :)

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  6. I have always wanted to do surfing (after I learned how to swim); it has been in my to-do-list for quite a while now. Thanks for the breakdown! Budget na budget talaga.

    That was a great jump shot huh!

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  7. What caught my attention was the Balete Tree. As a Filipino, I'm pretty sure you've heard of a lot of horror stories about it. And I saw you have a photo from the inside, that was scary! How was that experience?

    http://thetopknotters.com

    ReplyDelete

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