Monday, April 27, 2009

Conquering Baler

Conquering Baler

Sometime in November last year, my college friends and I started to muse over the fact that after all these years, we haven’t gone on an out-of-town trip. We planned but nothing was accomplished. That time around, we decided that we definitely have to get away from the stress and give travelling a shot.

Now, where do we want to go?

At first, the likes of Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Ilocos and Sagada came to our minds. However, we realized that for our first trip, these places are costly. So we decided to look around and compare tour packages.

Since I work in the marketing department of a real estate company, I had a good range of magazines to browse. Fortunately, I found this Sidetrip Magazine which featured Baler, Aurora – one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines.

The article by Bart Dumlao featured Sabang Beach which is known to be the birth place of Philippine surfing. Towards the end of the article, Bart mentioned that he offers tour packages to Baler.

I got his email address and mobile number. After countless emails and text messages, we were booked for our first trip to Baler on January 17-18, 2009.

My friends and I were so excited.

As soon as we got booked for the trip, we started planning our “To Bring” list. Just so you know, we are so fond of writing lists ever since we can remember. So this trip required a “To-do” and “To-bring” lists. I guessed Bart had a difficult time with us because even during the Christmas break, we sent him countless text messages asking the itinerary for the trip and what we need to bring. So much for being an OC.

Another thing that made us excited and scared at the same time is the fact that we were scheduled for a surfing lesson. Yes, surfing! Surfboard. Waves.

And I don’t even know how to swim well. I even asked Bart if I could wear a lifevest while surfing. He politely said no but I could sense that he was laughing at me. During the actual surfing, I realized how ridiculous it was if I wore a vest.

What did we do in Baler? Here is the itinerary of our trip:
Friday, 12:00 midnight: ETD Manila

Sat, 7:,00 am: ETA Baler, Aurora (Sabang Beach, Bay’s Inn Resort)
8:00 am: Breakfast
10:30 am: Batch 1: Surf Lessons
12:00 nn : Lunch
3:00 pm Baler Municipality Tour
5:00 pm Batch 2: Surf Lessons
7:00 pm: Dinner and Bonding Time

Sun , 7:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: Dicasalarin Cove
12:00 nn: Lunch
1:30 pm: Batch 3: Surf Lessons
4:00 pm: ETD Baler, Aurora
12:00 nn: ETA Manila
We never realized that surfing could be so much fun. The adrenaline rush, the fun and the accomplishment of standing on the surfboard were addicting.
Another highlight of the trip was the Dicasalarin Cove. It was a gruelling 2-hour trek to get to the cove but every step was worth it. The breathtaking view of the pristine blue waters and almost white sand beach front were enough to leave all of us in awe. We secretly prayed that such beauty will be protected.
All in all, our first trip was very successful. We met new friends. We learned surfing. We trekked. Above all, we fulfilled our wish to travel together.


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