Baler, Aurora is my go-to escape place. As of right now it is my favorite spot in the Philippines because it is a wonderful place full of adventure. Seriously, I have been able to do something different every single time I’ve been there.
After practice on Friday (9/9/16) I found out that our scheduled practice for Saturday was cancelled, so I naturally thought of going home to Baler (parents retired there, mom’s province). I got home, packed my stuff quickly, and took a cab to the bus station in Cubao. It was a holiday/long weekend so I was sure there would be many tourists traveling to Baler because it is becoming more and more popular. Luckily I was able to get on a 1 am bus, although traveling at 1 am does not sound so great… In the Philippines (I will abbreviate it to PI form now on, known as “Philippine Islands”) it’s better to travel long distances at night because the traffic is insane here.
Saturday morning I arrived in Baler around 5:30. Usually I ask my dad to pick me up from the bus terminal, but this time my phones, pocket Wi-Fi, and portable battery charger all decided that I didn’t need to come in contact with anyone… so I took a tricycle. (Personally, tricycles are actually fun to ride in the province- there’s no way I would ever ride one in Manila). It took me about 7 minutes to get home from the terminal since the town is so small. I then proceeded to have small-talk with my dad who greeted me at the door, although I’m pretty sure we were both just sleep-talking to each other. I knocked out until 12:30 pm. Oops. The rest of the day consisted of catching up with my parents, my cousin and her hubby. We also had great food cooked by my cousin, Ate Nimpha (ah-teh nimp-fa). We had my favorite sinigang na hipon (shrimp with broth and veggies), giniling (ground beef with veggies, usually with raisins also), shrimp with veggies, adobo squid, and adobo sitaw (green beans in a soy/mix sauce… I’m actually not completely sure, but something along the lines of that).
SUNDAY FUNDAY!!! This has been one of my favorite days in Baler by far. We had a delicious breakfast- I made pancakes and Ate Nimpha made the bacon and eggs. After breakfast we got ready to go to my favorite place- THE BEEEAAACCCHHH!! Yassss, da beach. When we arrived it started sprinkling, but it was fine because I jumped in the ocean to go surfing. If y’all know me, y’all know I absolutely love surfing now- it has been officially dubbed as my second favorite sport- sorry, basketball. The waves were tiny, but my instructor helped me successfully paddle and stand woot woot! Then after I got the hang of that he helped me work on choosing waves and timing. I think after volleyball is done I will become a surfer. Muahaha.
After we got home from Sabang Beach my dad got a text from my tita saying she’s in Diteki so we tagged along and found this place to be a hidden gem! My parents were reunited with a lot of my mom’s side of relatives and I got to meet new family members as well as reunite with others. I forced my mom to go tubing down the lazy river with me even though we didn’t have our swimsuits on anymore since changed earlier we didn’t know what this place was like. So we did it the Filipino way- go in your regular clothes LOL. The water was cold, yet relaxing. It was cool to see all of the people, especially the kids, enjoy so much of the beautiful simplicity that nature provided; I was humbled and thankful to see it. We ended the day at home feasting on leftovers and for dessert we had none other than Dialyn’s famous brazo! It’s a delicious rolled cake of whipped eggs whites with sugar (going off of my taste buds and what I know about baking), and a creamy custard filling baked to perfection. A sweet tooth lover’s dream.
If you ever want to visit a place where there is always something new to do, go to Baler!
Adventure is out there,