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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Surf and Music Festival at Baler, Aurora

I've just been to the 3 day and 2 nights trip in Baler, Aurora and I must say I definitely had a great time.

Surf Up

Baler, the capital of Aurora, is a coastal town located in eastern Luzon some 230 km from Manila. Aside from having a very unique geography, Baler's waves during September to February attract troops of surfers from all over the Philippines.

Baler is considered to be the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines. It happened when the crew members of the 1979 film Apocalypse Now left their surfboards for the locals to use!
                                                                                        - Details taken from Surfvival Manual
Lots of activities were prepared by the organizers, Aloha Boardsports and TravelFactor. This is my first time to join a TravelFactor group and I must say, I'm happy with our first experience.

We left the meet up point at around 11pm on Friday, 28th October at Ynares Center in Ortigas. After around 8 hours on the road, we arrived finally.

We were checked-in at a fan room at Little Surfer Girls Lodge, which is quite close to the shore.

After a few minutes of resting, we were supposed to start with our free Surf Lessons but we hesitated as it's too hot and thought we can do it on Monday instead.

We then had lunch at the Bahia de Baler Bar & Grill. I'm stuffed as usual!

In the afternoon there was a Frisbee Clinic but we weren't too keen to have another activity in the sun so we decided to just head to town and explore other sites in Baler. We were glad to have had the chance to visit the Museo de Baler, the town plaza, Quezon's house and have enough time to buy pasalubong at the souvenir shops!

Later that night there was a line-up of band playing that capped off our first night.

On the second day we woke up with a gloomy and rainy morning. The Surfvivor Challenge is supposed to start but have to be moved later when the weather has improved. Abby and myself just decided to take our breakfast at Bay's Inn. The breakfast is also included in the package.

A few minutes later, we heard news that the Surfvivor has started so we head to the site to marvel at the surfers joining the competition. It was a cool contest and everybody performed well on each of the divisions.

Later on we head to town again to have late lunch and then went to hear mass at the church.

We head back to our lodge and rest for a while and later that night head to the second night of the music festival. Abby is looking forward to see Echo and Basti (Wolfgang). The concert ended around 2am but we didn't complain as we had so much fun, even if it rained a bit during the concert.

On our third day, sadly our last day in Baler, we had our usual breakfast and then finally head to the surfing lessons.

I was a little scared to see the waves but kuya assisted me and gave me enough instructions on what to do. And the first timer that I am, I wasn't able to stand up right but at least I can sit on the surfboard! Haha. Anyway, it was quite a nice experience, if not for the heat of the sun I could have mustered more energy to finally get myself to stand up.

After the surfing lesson, Abby and myself went on to go up the Ermita Hill. We rented the tricycle for 150 pesos to take us up and back to the beach.

Ermita Hill sits a top and has a great view of Baler and the shoreline. View was magnificent of course.

We then head back to our lodge to fix up ourselves and get ready to check out. After check out we had lunch and then a few minutes later boarded our bus back to Manila!

Overall, I had a very nice and relaxing experience in Baler. And you know what's great is that we didn't have to bother and plan for itinerary and activities because everything is set and we just decide if want to go or not. We had complete set of things to do and it lessened the stress. So good job to TravelFactor and its organizers!

I hope to try more of the surfing next time! Also, thanks to Abby for getting me to join this and taking care of our booking :)

I'm still pumped up with the happenings in Baler, I thought of making up a video montage instead.

Here you go, enjoy!