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Not Just a Surfing Spot

By: Jonalyn Fulo FortunoNot Just a Surfing Spot

Going on an adventure tends to be less appealing when the cold weather rolls around.  Some people would rather snuggle up at home while others deliberately cross off outdoor activities in their travel plans. But the windy outdoors should not hinder us from going to places and having fun. And if you’re not sure what vacation spot to hit this season, try Baler which is just roughly 6 hours-away from Metro Manila.

As it is the birthplace of our country’s surfing culture, Baler is one of the favourite spots of surfing enthusiasts especially those who can’t afford the costly travel fare to Siargao. At this time of year, its waves belong to experienced surfers because the monsoon season is said to provide a great surfing experience.  For non-surfers, however, Baler might not be on their travel shortlist given that it is more popularly known for its swells and breaks.  But what they don’t know is that aside from catching the waves, there’s a plethora of activities and attractions that one will surely enjoy while in town.

Head out on a food tour

No travel to Baler is ever complete without sampling its local delicacies. For those who like Filipino dishes with a twist, this town is home to a number of hole-in-the wall places that would surely delight every adventurous foodie. There’s this bamboo-inspired restaurant serves dishes the unique way. Its chicken binakol, for instance, is served in a coconut shell, thus adding a “wow” factor. For seafood delights, there’s also a dining hub that has just the right offerings. Must-try includes grilled squid, fish belly steak and calderetang suso, among others.  Now if you’re a big eater, Baler also has this roadside eatery which dishes out a number of offerings such as value sizzling meals, unlimited lugaw and soup, rice meals, and all kinds of cold desserts.

Check out historical landmarks

Baler is also one of best places to learn about historical events that shaped our country. Start your tour at Baler Church, which was once used by the Spanish officers as hideout when Filipino revolutionaries attacked them during the Philippine revolution. Next stop is the Doña Aurora House. Here you can find old mementos including photographs of Doña Aurora and President Quezon as well as antique household items. For those who want to learn more about Baler, visit Museo de Baler which is just across Doña Aurora House. It contains everything you should know about this town including age-old artifacts and documents.

Go on an eco trek

This charming coastal town is also home to some of our country’s most photographed spots.  For a bit of adventure, head to Dicasalarin Cove which offers a fine, white-sand beach filled turquoise waters.  It also has a lighthouse which provides the best vantage point to fully appreciate the stunning scenery that surround Dicasalarin. To reach the lighthouse though, you have to climb the 175 steps leading to the top.

Another tourist spot that requires a lot of climbing is the Ermita Hill. Considered to be the highest point in Baler, Ermita once saved the lives of seven families when a powerful tsunami known as tromba marina hit the whole town in the 1730s.  Today, one can see the life-sized sculptures of the survivors at the foot of the hill.  Aside from these, Ermita Hill also serves up a 360-degree view of the whole town and the Pacific Ocean.

Resembling a huge rock information is Dima-dimalangit Islet. Lush trees, greens and huge rocks abound in this small island. It also boasts of underwater adventures such as diving which is why it is also a popular spot for divers. But if you want to get away from the action, hop to Diguisit Beach as it would let you enjoy a moment of solitude.

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