Finding space in a crowded place. A Baler Story.

The fam and I try to avoid road trips and beach outings during long holidays as much as possible; lest all tourist spots will be jam-packed and we won’t be able to enjoy ourselves. Hub and I even opted for Mt. Pulag over Boracay during one Labor Day weekend, thinking that no one would choose to hike at a time when the ocean’s call is the loudest (summer).

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Seven-hour drive to and from Baler

 

However, this year had us driving seven hours straight from Quezon City to the birthplace of surfing in the north, Baler. It was a quick decision to join my husband and his friends who planned to chill by the beach and enjoy the music at the Nalu Music Fest that hosted some of the country’s coolest bands and artists.

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This experience was another first for our toddler and me, making it more raw and enjoyable.

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Zach was the youngest partygoer back then who, according to my husband, was a real “girl magnet.” <insert angry face for me, and proud face for hubby>.

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We only got to experience the beach the next day. And because of an accommodation located right on the stretch of Sabang beach, we were able to witness both the angry waves in the morning and the calm seabed during low tide in the afternoon.

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Then suddenly, everything was peaceful. There was no crowd. And we enjoyed the beautiful serenity of Baler for the first time.

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I, therefore, conclude that to find space (literally) in Baler; you’d have to wade into the shallow waters of the low tide. Haha.

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Kidding aside, it’s one of the most memorable views I’ve had on a beach.

Because of the soft sand, we stayed there discounting the fact that the sun was high in the sky. Thus, we all endured sunburn that we continue to nurse until today. But it was worth it.

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Though we stayed for three days, time was too short to explore all the great places and eat all the delicious food. So we only chose a few of them before we headed off to another long drive back home.

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Will come back, definitely, and maybe try to surf the next time.

Accommodations:

Because it’s a long weekend, the better (but pricey) hotels were already fully booked. Good thing there are lots of less expensive ones now.

The Balerina: A baler surf resort
– Ideal for beach bums who want to have access to the beach 24 hours of the day. Because of its unbeatable beachfront location, it’s easier to get wet and get dry anytime.

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Pros: Quick beach access. Can cook by the beach. Has hammocks below the kubo.

Cons: shared bathroom, no aircon room, may not be ideal for rainy days? No Wi-Fi.

Alobaj Cottages
Just a few meters from the shoreline (cut by T. Molina Street.)
This is NOT beachfront, but they offer beautiful rooms with beds, private CR, air conditioning, and a cottage-like porch.

Cons: Ants in your room. No fast access to the beach. Some parts are still under construction. No Wi-Fi.

Pros: The buildings are new. Quieter (if you prefer not to hear the waves at night. Ideal for rainy nights, has one parking space allotment per kubo, the owners are kind, Has tables and chairs set up for guests’ use, FREE Silog breakfast at The Shack.

Dining:
The Shack: MUST TRY! Calamansi juice is fresh. Silogs are normal but the Indian cuisine are def. delish.

Maple Inn:
The attendant that time was kind and still all-smiles despite the full restaurant. Food is delicious but the presentation of the Ebi Tempura was unspeakably horrifying. LOL! It didn’t look like the Ebi Tempura in Jap restos, it was more of small sized skinny shrimps without the breading. It tasted great though but the small size is not filling. Not even for one person. The pinakbet is delish!

Pros: Has a hotel. Beside Nalu surf camp. Delicious food. Kind attendant.

Con: Ebi Tempura presentation 😦

Picnic Bay Buffet Fiesta
MUST TRY! For only 200 pesos you get to eat A LOT of available viands. I think they have about 20 trays of different cuisines out on the table!

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Pro: Yummy food with a wide selection of cuisines. Affordable buffet, “all you can eat” type.

Cons: Umm, no aircon and no wi-fi? 😀

Kusina Luntian
Must Try! Popular resto in Baler thus, the 1 hour waiting time. Pinoy comfort food goodness. Their rice is the steamy, soft, yummy kind 🙂 Pako salad is a must!! Lechon kawali specialty. 🙂

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Pros: Delicious
Cons: Guests have to take off shoes (inconvenient for me, who was with a toddler), long waiting time (because it’s that popular)

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