When in Baler: A Place of Love in the Midst of War
January 1, 1970
by Mr. Crappy
Origin of the province of Aurora:
This is a story of love in a time of war. The late Philippine President, Manuel Luis Quezon has a wife named Aurora Quezon. They were both loved by their countrymen; and individually, they are known to have a kind heart towards their people.
President Manuel Quezon was loved by many Filipinos. He was known for his involvement in humanitarian activities and was known to serve as the first Chairman of Philippine Red Cross. He fought for the independence of Philippines, but later on died because of Tubercolosis. Little that they know, the love he shared with his wife is also as great as the love they have for their dear country. Five years after, her wife and daughter were assassinated while trying to open a hospital dedicated to him. Soon after, a province was named after Aurora in memory of her.
But do not think that’s it’s only because she is the wife of the late president that the province was named after her, it’s also because she also have outstanding qualities in which the Filipinos took pride of. Mrs. Quezon received a pension of P1,000 a month, a decision made by the Philippine Congress (that time, P1,000 pesos is really a huge amount of money). But then, Mrs. Quezon returned the pension saying that she cannot accept it because there are thousands of people that are not yet taken care of by the government. She added that it would be a disgrace to her husband if she will accept the money. She was then regarded as the queen-mother and patriot saint by thousands of Filipinos.
And this is the story of Baler, a place of love, in the midst of war.
So when the seas and waves of love are calling, in Baler we surf!
It’s a bother when the love you have is not as sweet as it is anymore and love starts fading away. It is as if your whole life was a mistake and the thought of your special someone is already driving you nuts. These are the warning signs! Take a deep breath and dive into the place of love – Baler, Philippines!
This place is a perfect way to clear your troubled heart. It’s also a Travelicious spot to unwind all the problems you have!
What to do in Baler:
Baler Mother Falls
The wave in Baler isn’t the only thing to look out for; you can also fall in love with Baler’s Mother Falls! If you are not into swimming of surfing, then hiking the Mother Falls is the perfect activity for you. Don’t be afraid of hiking the Mother Falls, it’s just a 50-minute walking on stones and sturdy bridges. There are no dangerous courses going to the falls. If you think that this will be tiring, then you’re wrong. You’ll feel refresh once you’re up there, the breeze of the Mother Falls will recharge all your energy! Just a reminder though; no hiking after 4pm. So be early if you’re planning to go to this famous falls.
Note: The stones you will walk on are slippery, so take time in walking to avoid scratches and wounds in your feet and legs.
Baler Catholic Church
Be amaze with this historical Baler Catholic Church! This is where an epic story happened; where the Spaniards gave their all and showed that they won’t easily surrender. This epic battle was called, “Siege of Baler” because the Filipinos and Americans weren’t able to occupy the church for almost a year, from July 1898 to June 1899.
The Filipinos already tried several attempts to get the Spaniards surrender. They surrounded the church with trenches; they cut off their food supply; and they even tried to smoke them out; but still, the Spaniards were able to defend the Baler Church for almost a year.
Baler Hanging Bridge
If you’re not into heights, then you better walk slowly! Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe! Just a piece of advice, look where you are stepping…
Museo de Baler
If you want a crash course on the history of Baler, then you definitely must not miss going to Museo de Baler! It’s a place full of Spanish Culture and heritage.
Here you will find paintings, real artifacts recovered from the war, historical porcelains, jars, bells, Filipino soldier uniforms and skeletal remains!
Ermita Hill is the Land of Hope for the people living in Baler back then when “tromba marina”(tsunami) hit Baler and flooded the whole city within just an hour. It happened last December 1735, the whole city was submerged into the water except Ermita Hill. The people and families who were able to climb up were able to survive. Now, it’s a hill with a breathtaking view for tourists and alike!
Diguisit Rock Formations
A rocky shore in Baler; it’s not just made up of plain and simple rocks, but these rocks are made out of the pounding waves of Baler for maybe around a million years!
Also known as the “Balete Tree”. Supernatural beings are said to live here according to the Philippine folklore, but this Baler Tree is more amazing than its scary part! It’s a 600-year old tree that is enormously high and enormously wide! The best part is, you can climb this tree and see how amazing Baler is!
It’s a private beach cove famous for its Baler Lighthouse and its white sand. Just a reminder though, you have to pay an extra P300 to enter Dicasalarin Cove.
Instructions: Get a tourist tricycle once you are in Baler, he can guide you to all the famous destinations in Baler. Day tour could cost up to P800.00.
Travelicious Recommended Budget:
Food: P500 / day / person
Accommodation: P3,000 / day / room
Transportation: P1,000(bus) + P800(tourist tric) = P1,800
Surfing lesson: P350/ hour
Total: P6,650 for 3 days and 2 nights / person
Diving your way to Aurora, Baler (from Cubao):
Genesis has air-conditioned buses going to Baler from their Cubao Bus Terminal.
Bus Schedule: 3AM – 7AM Daily trips (1 hour interval).
Travel Time: 6-8 hours