Budget for this trip is Php3000-Php3500 for 2D/1N. Let me share with you a breakdown of the expenses that you should consider on this trip:
- Joy Bus (Manila to Baler) Php 700 – first trip is 02:30 AM (approx 5-6 hrs). Convenient travel: lazy boy chair plus free blanket, snacks and comfort room inside the bus! so no stop over.. saves time!
- or.. Genesis Bus (Baler to Manila)Php450/one way, (approx 7-8 hrs, with stop overs)
- Accommodation (good for 2pax/nyt) Php1,500 – bring more friends to minimize costs
- Surf board plus instructor Php350 (surfboard only Php200)
- Food – depends. My friend and I tried Gerry Shan’s Place: an eat all you can restaurant for only Php150/pax. You can also try ‘The Rolling Store’ – Baler’s carinderia type restaurant, cheap but good food- the typical lutong bahay cuisine.
- Baler tour Php 200/pax – hiring a tricycle for the tour is convenient and cheap.. plus the driver can be your own tour guide too! I am kinda amazed when I toured Baler because I noticed their obvious care for nature. When we went to see Ditumambo Falls, we passed along the tourism officer’s booth and wrote down our names in a log sheet. I was surprised when they asked if we carry plastic bottled water (the one that you buy in sari-sari stores) and asked if we can just leave these bottled waters (if we have) before we proceed with the trek. You can bring water of course, it’s just that you must have your own containers. This is one way of preventing tourists from littering.
My friend and I started our tour with ‘Museo de Baler’. Of course, knowing the history, culture, people, events & the landmass of Aurora is a must! It would be better to know the place first before you experience it.
After the museum, we headed to the ‘Millenium Tree’. This is Aurora’s Balete Tree! For some, Balete trees are home for supernatural beings, which makes it creepy. But in Baler, people are not scared of the Balete tree. They are even proud and they let tourists come close to this 600+ years old tree, which is 60 metres (200 ft) tall. They even allow tourist to get inside the tree, which is scary for some, but fun, exciting & mysterious for the adventurous ones!
Next stop is the ‘Ditumambo, Mother Falls’. This is my favorite part of the tour! I love the trekking experience and the ‘oh so cold!’ water falls.
After the falls, we went to.. ‘Ermita Hill’
During the Tromba Marina, a phenomenal tidal wave on Dec. 27, 1735, which swept the town of Baler, it was used by the old folks as their get-away (http://www.aurora.gov.ph/tourism-2/tourist-attractions/historical-sights/)
Next, we went to…. ‘Aniao Islets’
..last but definitely not the least, ‘Diguisit Falls’. This waterfall is just along the highway.
What I liked the most from my Baler experience is the chance to conquer my fear with waves! ..and realizing that surfing, is not an easy sport, yet very addictive. I remember, I even skipped my breakfast just to experience my last waves before I left the place. I will surely come back for more waves (bigger waves)!