August 27, 2016

This has got to be one of my favorite travels. I don’t have much pictures as I wasn’t really planning on writing a post about it, but I figured it is worth telling. Two years ago, my friends and I made a spontaneous trip to Baler, Aurora. And believe me when I say it is totally spontaneous. We were supposed to go to Batangas but our plans changed and we went North instead. This new plan to visit our friend in Cabanatuan was only finalized at 1am and we had to meet at the bus station at 4am.

We got to our friend’s house and was trying to find a place to go to. We were only supposed to stay at a resort near her place (since the original plan was really to go swimming) but we decided to just go somewhere else completely. We were deciding among La Union, Subic, and Baler — since none of us has been to Baler (and at that time I was dying to go visit), we decided to go there.


None of us has any idea how to get there. We had to rely on Google Maps completely. It told us it will only take us 2hrs. and we only had to follow a fairly straightforward path. So, armed with a full tank ride, young and carefree recklessness, off we went.Β And it really was a straightforward path (meaning we didn’t have to take so many turns or go into teeny tiny streets) but it was a looooong drive! We actually ran out of songs to play because of how long it took us — FOUR FREAKING HOURS.


You’d think we probably had our shit together when we got there but we didn’t. We haven’t even thought of where we’re going to stay before we left (we thought it wouldn’t be as crowded as summer was about to come to an end then). We did prepare for alcohol though — we bought enough alcohol but not enough food. LOL. So we had to search for a place to stay for the night and beggars cannot be choosers, we had to settle for the best we were offered. And thank the universe the receptionists at the inn we stayed at were very accommodating.

We really wanted to see the white sand but we figured it would take us another 141km so we just decided against it. The waves were pretty strong and it would’ve been fun to surf if we only knew how and if we weren’t pressed for time (we arrived at 4PM). We had dinner at Hungry Surfer and we were so disappointed with the food that nobody finished what they ordered — not that it tasted bad, it just tasted bland.

We just walked back to our room and started a round of drinks. My friends wanted to go out so we did, and looked for a place that served drinks (again, as if we didn’t buy enough — we did, we even had a bottle leftover). It was a pretty chill place, and it rained that night which made the ambiance even more relaxing. We clocked in by midnight (which I consider early because my friends can really drink until dawn) because all the traveling wore us out.

We had to wake up pretty early because we had to get back to Manila. We had coffee at this quaint souvenir shop and their coffee was strong which I didn’t like because I take mine just right. By 9AM we left because we were hoping to reach Cabanatuan by 1PM. Now, we do know that there were two roads going to Baler (the other of the two being the one we took). Little did we know that the other road would really just have us sitting on the edge of our seats.


We didn’t know how we got on that road but when we came to a bridge, Mica told us that we didn’t pass through it when we came. But we told her maybe she was just sleeping during that time or that she forgot. THE REST OF US WERE WRONG. We didn’t pass by that bridge, it only took us to the road very much less traveled. The road was rough and because it rained the night before, it was also muddy. We were pretty worried by then because all of us were certain that we’ve never been on that terrain and there weren’t any cellular signal to confirm with Google if it would take us to Bongabon. On our left, a mountain that looks like it will cave in on us at any given time, and on our right, a cliff. But we had to keep driving forward as there’s no way in hell that we can make a U-Turn without causing any damage to ourselves (and nobody knew we went to Baler; our parents — Billy’s, Ken’s, Crizzel’s, and mine — know we were in Batangas, and Mica’s know we’re staying at the resort).


We came across two different men and asked if the road we’re taking leads to Bongabon and they said that it does so we were a little bit relieved. But the rough road just seems to keep on stretching for hours that we’re still a bit antsy. Then came a guy carrying a shotgun on his back. He didn’t do anything to us but you can just imagine our fear due to the scenarios we were building up in our head. Some minutes (or was it an hour?) after that, we were finally on a cemented road and a car passed us by so we were super relieved. And then we spotted a house and went down to confirm if we were on the right road and they said that we were! According to them it would only take us about 15mins until we finally reach Bongabon.


We got back in our friend’s house around 4PM (or was it 5?). IT WAS SUCH AN EXPERIENCE. It was so exhilarating — from the unplanned detour to that road, I’ve never felt more young and carefree. It will always be one of my most treasured adventures in college. I mean, it has been two years but I still feel that thrill whenever I remember that day. I’m so thankful that I have something like this to look back to (and that I came across with people such as Crizzel, Mica, Billy, and Ken who really were the spontaneous ones) and that our original plan didn’t push through (LOL). It felt good to be able to be given a choice where you wanted to go and you get to go there with your friends.

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  • Reply Pearl August 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Lovely photos Pia! I’ve been to La Union and Siargao Island before, both surfing spots in the PH, but I’ve never been to Baler. I’ll definitely check it out when I go on another Luzon backpacking adventure hehe πŸ™‚

    • Reply Pia August 30, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Thank you, Pearl! I’ve heard La Union is a great surfing spot — but I’ve only ever went to go grape picking. Haha. Yes, check out Baler; long drive but totally worth it! <3

  • Reply Bea September 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I enjoyed reading this post! haha! Para akong nagbabasa ng suspense story. I’m happy you got to experience Baler even for a short time. And stories like these are the ones worth remembering someday. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Pia September 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you, Bea! Haha its definitely one for the books, I don’t think I can ever forget it. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kai September 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

    It was last year when we went to Baler! Ahhh, I miss this place so much! So beautiful and peaceful. A small percent of pollution since tricycle were the visible means of land transportation, I think?

    • Reply Pia September 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      I think so too! Only a few buses go there, and because it’s far from the city there’s still a lot of trees. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Andi September 26, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Nice blog you have and I have browsed through pages until I saw this Baler post. I am no surfer but I still want to go here and experience the fun! More to fun travel πŸ™‚

    • Reply Pia September 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks, Andi! Baler is a good place to visit, maybe you can try out surfing. I think they offer a beginner’s lesson. πŸ™‚

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