I’m scared of the ocean, or any other big intimidating body of water. I know how to swim but with the rage of the sea I don’t understand why we even attempt to go to the deeper parts. I semi-respect semi-find-crazy divers and surfers because they’re really brave and GET OUT OF THE WATER!
But surfers look really amazing right? When they’re on their surfboards riding the waves like there’s nothing dangerous under (there are, by the way, monsters.), I sometimes consider learning how to surf. And then my fear of the water overcomes me again.
One of my friends has been dragging my butt into surfing (she’s been unsuccessful in convincing me), and her favorite spot is Baler in Aurora. A five-hour drive away from Manila, Baler has become a favorite surf spot by those Facebook friends of yours who say that it’s a good day when it’s all stormy and windy. They love the big waves that I fear! Here’s a list of some surf schools in Baler, for your and my reference if and when I ever muster enough courage for it.
Mahdox Surfing School: P350/hour (includes surfboard rental)
Aliya Surf Camp: P350/hour (includes surfboard rental)
Charlie Does: P350/hour (includes surfboard rental)
But the sea and the shore aren’t only for surfing. They were also given to us for people like me who do not like getting drowned and are too paranoid to try surfing. Baler is home to stretches of beach, the most famous of which is Sabang Beach. Moreover, you can also check out other must-see spots such as Dicasalarin Cove and Cunaya Falls. The great thing about it is that you don’t even have to wait for cheap flights to go there, since it’s reachable by land travel. Here’s a list of resorts to choose from for your Baler trip:
Bay’s Inn: Rates start at P700 for a double bed room with fan and bathroom
Isla Virginia Resort: A room for five costs P2,000 a night
Bahia de Baler: Air conditioned rooms start at P1,200 a night.
How to Get to Baler
By private car: It’s easier to tread the easy roads of NLEX and SCTEX highways to get to Baler. Just take the Mabalacat exit from NLEX, and then enter the SCTEX at La Paz. One you get to Cabanatuan City, take the Nueva Ecija-Aurora highway and pass through Talavera, Rizal and Pantabangan. The trip could take about five hours. This is the ideal travel option for large groups that can fill up a van for rent.
By commute: Genesis Transport has direct trips from Cubao to Baler. If you’re traveling alone or in a small group, it is best to take this bus to save on money and also to conserve your energy; driving for five hours can deplete your energy that’s supposed to be for surfing and enjoying the sights. Fare costs P450 or P600, depending on the type of bus that you choose to board.