AURORA: Baler

Another birthday weekend to be grateful for! ♥ Can’t thank God & the gratitude universe enough for all the blessings I receive each & everyday! ♥

Travel date: April 2014

JOYBUS

Our transportation to/from Baler was Genesis’ Executive Coach Bus – Joybus! It’s a non-stop 5 to 6 hour ride. There’s already a bathroom inside the bus! There’s also a stewardess and free snacks.

Baler, we have arrived! Thank you JoyBus!

Baler, we have arrived! Thank you JoyBus!

Book your reservations in advance because tickets sell out fast especially during the summer. The ride was comfortable because seats can be extended & there were leg/feet rests. Amazing, amazing view during the ride back from Baler! I felt like I was in another country! Didn’t get to take pictures! One must really experience it for it to be really appreciated! ♥ For more info, check out genesistransport.com.ph

Boardwalk in front of Costa Pacifica

Boardwalk in front of Costa Pacifica

COSTA PACIFICA

What a paradise! This hotel is very very nice! I loved their infinity pool, their modern design & furniture, their clean rooms, and really grateful to their lovely & accommodating staff! They even provided us transfers to/from the bus terminal.

Costa Pacific at Sunrise

Costa Pacific at Sunrise

Costa Pacifica is the best hotel in Sabang Beach. It’s a bit pricey so better book your reservations through Agoda so it’s relatively cheaper. The restaurant at this hotel is called “The Beach House”. It is situated wherein guests can pick seats with such a great view! ♥ We got amazing seats during our complimentary breakfast buffet, it was one of the best moments of the trip!

Ina chillin' at Costa Pacifica

Ina chillin’ at Costa Pacifica

Just eating breakfast with that awesome view was truly a grateful blessing! Food was great too! Lots of variety considering that it’s breakfast! ♥ Not really a fan girl, but Coco Martin & Kim Chiu were there! ♥ For more info about the hotel, check out costapacificabaler.com

Amazing view at Costa Pacifica

Amazing view at Costa Pacifica

BALETE TREE

My mom & I decided to go to tourist spots in Aurora aside from Sabang beach in Baler. We got a tricycle from Satoda Tricycle Tourist Guides & we got Kuya Ryan. He took us first to Balete Park to see the Millenium Tree.

Climbing the roots of the Balete Tree

Climbing the roots of the Balete Tree

It was really tall and people can go inside the tree and see mazes of roots and thin wood trunks. Our tricycle driver said that the tree is starting to die because tourists keep climbing the roots & trunk. The top parts of the tree are getting weak so as much as possible people are discouraged to climb high.

MOTHER FALLS

THIS IS THE BEST (and most challenging) PART OF MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND. This is the best part because this turned out to be a challenge and whenever there is a challenge, there are lessons that are learned! So let’s talk about reaching this place. Last year for my birthday weekend, my family & I went white water rafting in CDO. So the ride to the mother falls was sort of like that but instead of a raft it was a tricycle, and there was no water. The tricycle made its way through a VERY VERY VERY ROCKY ROAD. It went downhill, it went uphill. During that time I felt like the tricycle would explode at any minute – KUDOS to the driver AND the tricycle for surviving such a road.

Start hiking!

Start hiking!

When we reached the entrance gate, we were told that it would take 20-25 minutes by foot to get to the waterfalls. I thought to myself that a hike would be good exercise! So we started off through a rocky road, the stream of the waterfall was beside us flowing so it was a good sight to see while walking. The walk started to get challenging, we passed by light jiggly bamboo bridges, up hills, rocks that had to be climbed and carefully stepped on. A few moments later, from a distance, I could see a traffic of people.

People falling in line for one hell of a rocky adventure!

People falling in line for one hell of a rocky adventure!

Our guide said that because of a flood just a week ago, some bamboo bridges were destroyed so we had to go through this rock maze where water was flowing! We had to carefully hold on to the sides or any rocks and carefully step on small to big stones. One wrong step can send you down the stream and even hit your head on some rocks.

At that point, I asked myself if I should continue this, would the waterfall be really worth it? Should I go through with this knowing that when we have to go back we would have to pass through this again? I decided to ask those questions not just for the current situation I was in but for life, in general. If a challenging situation came my way and I knew that I had to do it over and over again, would I go through with it just to reach a certain goal? Would I risk it?

And the answer was YES.

My mom & I continued on. It was very tough but with common sense, and a sense of awareness, we were able to achieve it. We also helped as much people as we can get through that rock maze. After that maze, a few more minutes of walking happened.

Mom & I resting after that rocky adventure

Mom & I resting after that rocky adventure

When we saw the waterfall, we were at awe. We felt like all that we went through to get here didn’t matter.

Almost there!

Almost there!

The waterfall was so beautiful! It was so pristine! It was so rewarding. We stayed there for a few minutes and just appreciated the view that was in front of us.

Mother Falls, Baler

Mother Falls, Baler

We knew we needed to get back soon so we started walking again. Surprisingly, the hike back was relatively easier. Once you’ve accomplished a challenge, I believe you can do anything. Just set your mind to a certain goal, believe you can do it, you can surely achieve it.

Photo playing with the Mother Falls

Photo playing with the Mother Falls

SURFING

Surf Lessons

Surf Lessons

You can’t leave Baler without trying to surf! Or at least try to stand up on a surf board! Since I was the best photographer in our family, I was the last one to surf. It was really fun seeing my family try to stand up on that board and fall off every time.

Iris surfin'

Iris surfin’

The waves were so beautiful to watch and to see Filipinos enjoying surfing with their families was a grateful sight to see. When it was my turn to surf, well, I got to stand up ONCE! Well at least it was ONCE! All I could do was kneel, slip, fall off, bump into others, hit surfboards and I even lied back one time – maybe to sunbathe on the surfboard! HAHAHA! Great experience overall! ♥

Trying to stand up!

Trying to stand up!

BAYLER VIEW INN

We went to this hotel & had the infamous “Chocnut Turon” and “Banana Split” with their homemade vanilla ice cream! A lot of people were eating at this place. The desserts were good! My sisters loved it but not really worth it for my cheat day! 

Chocnut Turon at Bayler View Inn

Chocnut Turon at Bayler View Inn

ROLLING STORE

These are famous food stands along the street in the town center. They sell typical carinderia food like Papaitan, Sinigang, Menudo, Vegetables, and many more! And all for minimal costs! The sellers were surprised that we only ordered one cup of rice! We were all on a diet! 

Cheap meals at Rolling Store

Cheap meals at Rolling Store

BALER 2014 was a blessing! My birthday weekend was truly a grateful experience! Grateful to mom & lola for this trip! 😉 Always find meaning in everything that you do 😉 Find a lesson and always be grateful! 😉

I love you, Mom! Thank you for this birthday trip! ;)

I love you, Mom! Thank you for this birthday trip! 😉

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