More than surfing, Baler and its surrounding towns in the province of Aurora has a wide varieties of attractions for tourist and backpackers to choose from.
I have read blogs about attractions and to do lists in the coastal municipality of Baler and I found out that there is so much to offer aside from surfing. It is a complete package in one destination
What I have noticed were the inaccuracy of travel guides pertaining to attractions located in Baler. The century old Balete tree is located in Maria Aurora not in Baler, which is about 20 km away. The Ditumabo falls or Mother Falls is in San Luis Town again not in Baler.
HOW TO GET TO BALER FROM TUGUEGARAO CITY
From Tuguegarao, Baler can be reached thru a private vehicle or commute. The van that goes to Dipaculao, Aurora via Santiago City, Isabela runs 24/7 and one tip is to wait patiently as it will fill in the passenger van on up to 21 people.
1st option: See details below.
Contact number/s: 09554128457, 09751340655 Tip: Make your reservations in advance. This route to Dipaculao may be steep but the driver can handle it.
Tuguegarao City – Santiago City
200 via van
Santiago City- Dinadiawan, Dipaculao
Dinadiawan, Dipaculao- Baler
2nd Option: See details below.
Baler- San Jose City, Nueva Ecija
|3-4 hours||140 via Lizardo trans|
|San Jose City, Nueva Ecija- Tuguegarao City||7 hours||
439 via Victory Liner
Note that the estimated time of arrival and departure depend on the number of passengers as it will fill in the van capacity.
HOW TO GET TO BALER FROM MANILA
Genesis bus to Baler run from 3:00 AM to 7:30 AM (5-6 trips daily, 1 hour interval), 6-7 hours travel time and bus fare is around Php 550.
GETTING AROUND BALER
The good thing about Baler is you can always ride a tricycle in an affordable price. To get to your hotel you can ask to drop you off in a minimal fee of 12-15 pesos each way. Getting around to major attractions will cost a lot of money. I highly recommend you to hire a tricycle to bring you tourist spots which cost 800 pesos a day for up to 3 people.
Don’t worry if you are traveling solo your best photographer will be your tour guides. They know more!
HISTORICAL TOUR AROUND BALER TOWN
Contact number: Mark Tolentino 09465759622 I highly recommend Mark to take you around these top attractions. Tricycle tour is at 800 pesos.
Other activities that can be done in Aurora province is to pay a visit in its century old Balete tree in Maria Aurora town, you can also climb here and ask a ‘special photographer’ to take a picture using their special skills in photography. Promise they’ll leave you an awe!
Next stop is the Ditumabo falls or Mother Falls located in San Luis town, you have to have a guide and trek for atleast 30-50 mins depending on your pace. But, here you go! The place is cold and refreshing.
Plus, you could buy the most refreshing drink of all time in a minimal price, Buko juice! Coconuts are abundant here!
Around Baler, you can see and revisit its rich culture and history. The Ermita hill is believed to have saved a family from a tsunami way back 1700’s.
The Aniao Islet from a offers an amazing view. I hope it was in BATANES!
Honestly, this is the best part of it. SURFING!!!!!
|Dona Aurora House||
Balete Tree (Mari Aurora Town)
Mother Falls (San Luis Town)
30 php with tour guide 200php
WHERE TO STAY IN BALER?
Many hotels, inns and transient houses are located in Sabang Beach. I didn’t pay for my accommodation during my stay on August 19-21, 2017 as I did couchsurfing that time. Luckily, I was approved within the day of August 17 by my host Trizha who really made extra miles to have my stay worthy and memorable. She happened to have an Airbnb so as a way of saying thank you I’d like to advertise her account here. Please look for her place named as CASA LAMIERDA! Sounds spanish? Yeah, the place is very cozy and 5 minutes away from the beach.
Here is the link:
And you can get your code here for P1,100 off to your first stay with a minimum spend of P2,600.
Copy the link here:
WHERE TO EAT?
Restaurants are around the corner like Yolly’s Ihaw-Ihaw, Yellow Fin restaurant and Chloe’s Pizza Parlor all of these are must try when visiting there. Their main commodity in the province is coconut so expect to have lower price for coconut drinks! They’re very yummy, too!
BUDGET GUIDE for 2N3D Baler, San Luis, Maria Aurora in Aurora Province
|Bus and Van Fare||
1200 (Round trip)
Surfing Lesson with Instructor
*Note that this applies for a solo traveler and prices may lower down if your are traveling with a group.
Alright, as I always say! Pack your things and go. But please go home.
Asked about the best island in my whole journey as a backpacker I would recommend Bohol as one of my top pick. This island has the best destination and believe me it will surely deepen your love with nature, people and the arts. All in one destination that a traveler would not miss. From the chocolate hills, to virgin islands, caves, museums, and alike are just few to mention.
This trip I had was no surprise. I had the best amazing backpacking experience last July of 2016, as part of my journey from Cebu to Bohol.
I was traveling with my three girlfriends. I have no idea where I was heading and what to do in this beautiful island in the Visayas. As a “go to” person, I don’t plan ahead of time. Yes, I am guilty of it. Trust me beautiful memories and amazing experiences are destined to happen so just go to the flow.
Okay, I’ll lessen the talk. I’ll just show you on how we traveled and experienced the marvelous Bohol.
These pictures will surely urge to travel to Bohol now. As in now.
WHERE TO STAY?
Fortunately, my friends and I found a good location and beautiful ambiance for backpackers like us. We found this BOHOL COCO FARM Panglao Town away from the city center and near in major attractions and just a few mile away from the beach. Staffs are very accommodating, good location, pretty good deal tours from island hopping to country side tour plus the an all day organic breakfast served at the center of a forest made area. I know staying at a backpacker’s place must be so amazing. The cultural exchanges between you, the owner and other races are rarely in your day to day life.
WHAT TO DO?
It is true. Bohol has a wide range of touristy destination. You can’t explore them in just a day unless your schedule is tight and hectic. We stayed here for almost four days and explored the country side and the islands for two days. See a glimpse here.
Bohol is waiting so pack your bags and go!
Alright, every millennial here has their own goals to achieve. Some has the possession to creating more memories than buying things that will fade in a year. One will book one way ticket to somewhere strange or never heard off destination. While many of you guys are dreaming to go to destinations with your inner wanderlust, I’ll show you some tricks and travel hacks that you know and can’t put on action. Maybe, you’re just too lazy to be awake on a midnight. Whatever the reasons are I know for sure you still want to book, pack and go.
I have been so in love with seat sales that my relationship with it is true and forever. Many requested me to write about how I score super low and cheap flight tickets that one can’t just get over night. I have been traveling to the country using just a small amount of money allotted to my airfares. Well, I am busy and have no time to spend in a bus or any transit that can prolong my agony in traveling to places. To use your time wisely, you can book airfare tickets.
Piso sale is just around the corner make sure to read my simple and tested travel hacks tips since I started traveling last 2013.
1. Plan your trips.
This is the first stage of every travels. Planning is quite crucial because of the many beautiful destinations you have in mind. You have more options and with that you can’t decide where to go next. For me, you should list down at least 3 destinations.
2. Keep yourself updated on Facebook.
I know everyone here has Facebook and not only that you’re super active on this application. You should use it wisely. Follow airline companies on Facebook and click see first on the button setting for you to be updated every day on what their promos are. Even freebies, promotions, contests and other important information that you’ll need to know in the future.
3. Subscribe using your email
Airline companies always updates me on what the ongoing promotions are. They will send you monthly newsletters that you can use as your future reference like travel guides, travel inspiration and a lot more to see and read. Also, they’ll notify every time they have incoming sale.
4. Be a member of airline loyalty programs
It is always rewarding to have signed up of all most of all the airline rewards and loyalty programs. Not only that you earn points on the money you spend every time you fly but also you’ll get the real deal on the cheapest airfare. Members get priority access 24 hour prior to the sale day.
5. Your dates and locations should be flexible
Admit it, airline companies have their own strategies on how seat sales are properly distributed. Not all locations and dates are always available. Sometimes you have to adjust your schedules and destinations.
6. Gather the important data when you are booking with your friends
To avoid hustle with your bookings it is best to write all the information on a clean sheet of paper like the birth date, name, sometimes passport numbers, and expiry date of your passport. Also, you have to have supportive friends to cheer you up and help you out when in the waiting room.
7. Go solo
This is one of the thing I like the most. When times that you want to wander alone. I just hopped in a plane off course a low priced ticket in a destination where I know nothing about. Everyone is just planning while me is on the processing of booking. That is how fast I am.
8. Book one way, look for the other flight in a different airline
The concept is always go home after every travel. But how about if you just booked one way airfare ticket? The answer, I have to wait for another seat sale in a different airline. Bookings can wait. Yes, this one is my best technique. I booked a 14 pesos airfare ticket in Airasia to Bohol-Manila but Manila to Bohol costs thousands. The best thing I did was to book it one way and shift to Cebu Pacific and to their website and I found that there was a sale to Manila to Cebu. How about that? I went two destinations in the Visayas region in a 6 day journey. Going to Bohol from Cebu I took the super ferry and travel time was 2 hours.
9. Don’t use add on buttons unless you really need it
To save up on flights you can choose between adding some baggage, purchasing preferred seats, or buying a travel insurance. Or simply not to add at all. My advice is always be vigilant on what may happen on your travel but as always planning it ahead of time is the best way to have a smooth travel experience. Don’t bring 20 kg baggage if you have not purchased any baggage with your booking this is a hustle thing to deal with at the airport. Plan ahead.
10. Download Airline Apps
Not all of us can carry a computer with us every time. Just to have mobile apps handy and good internet connection you are good to go with your bookings. These apps help you in making your booking experience easier and hustle free. Plus, they notify you every time as in every day. So far, Traveloka is the best app for me. I’ll discuss that in another write up.
11. Alarm at 12 mn ‘Piso sale is coming’
This is the part that every traveler is awake at this time. A little sacrifice. Yes, this is the most demanding time every one needs when booking the cheapest airfare. Almost all of the travelers have prepared the things they need to have with them. So, move like a ninja.
12. Choose your mode of payment
Airlines today have wide options in terms of payment method. Take advantage of this because you can pay in payment centers, using your visa or debit cards or if in time that you don’t have extra money, always call a friend!
I know you are excited to travel. The thing is don’t always post your information online. This will cause you problems when you get to the airport. You’ll be surprised your booking is canceled by someone else.
Happy travels! Don’t forget to go somewhere awesome.
Last July 8, 2016, I traveled to Cebu alone. For some it is dangerous to travel in a land where you know nothing and no one. I booked a one way ticket to Cebu-Mactan International Airport, and damn that was the best decision I made. Off course, like travelers out there I planned my itineraries and to do list. What to eat and where to spend the rest of the night are just the things are the most essential part of my travels. I arrived at the airport at 3pm and directly my tourist guide brought me to attractions in the city.
Here are the things I did during my half day tour in Cebu City.
1. SIRAO FLOWER GARDEN
Oh, this garden is awesome it has the coolest air that one could have after a stressful months in the concrete jungle. It is located up in the mountains of Cebu City and I didn’t expect that it has weather like in Baguio City. Plus, I feel like in Amsterdam and you can admire rolling fields of blooming flowers while learning that this city has a lot to offer.
2. Tops Lookout on Mt. Busay
Want to see the city in bloom? Go to Top’s Lookout and you can see the whole city in colors. The cold breeze this mountain area offers is simply free from anything that stressed you in the busy city where you came from.
3. TEMPLE OF LEAH
She’s maybe the luckiest. Love has moved mountains for this temple to be built. This is actually one of the sweetest act I have seen in my entire life. You build a temple like this? Oh it is just amazing!
One can always drop by in the Magellan’s cross to see and experience how is it like to be in the Queen city of the south’s one of many amazing landmarks.
5. Fort San Pedro
Honestly, I don’t drive. Arriving in Fort San Pedro at night is just one good experience. You own the place at least a while. You don’t need to be with so many tourists.
KAWASAN ADVENTURES : JUAN IN BADIAN
After the half-day tour, I was brought to my host and I spent the night in Lapu-lapu City a nearby town. I was welcomed by the sounds of the waves and a friend I met in couchsurfing. That was an awesome night.
My trip in Cebu continued as I just hopped in a bus going south. I heard Kawasan Falls is amazing. I decided to stop by in Badian town before heading to Oslob. And yes, I saw and experienced the beautiful falls. No words can describe those moments when I had to just live in the moment.
So, I talked to locals and some travelers alike if it is okay to drop here and proceed to oslob after as I want to experience the ‘butanding’ watching. Destiny says, no! I didn’t go to Oslob, instead I spent the night in Kawasan Falls. The best part?
I talked to three (3) travelers like me if I could share the room so we could divide the cost of the falls view room in the 2nd level of Kawasan. Surprisingly, they said yes!No hesitations at all. I learned that they are Muslims who came from Lapu-Lapu. That was something I can’t forget in my life. They are really awesome.
One lesson I learned is to be kind always. I never thought that I could be with strangers turned friends in one room hearing the waters of the falls while in a good sleep that night. I learned that being able to share and see the goodness in anyone you meet in the road was a life changing experience to me. I am always happy to share the places where I can say proudly say that I went to awesome places like this. These memories that my future self will thank me for.
I urge you to travel! Yours view about the world will expand. Your life will be changed if you see new places at least once a month, on a weekend, or during times that you can’t figure it out.
*I just booked one way ticket to Cebu, that is why be updated on where to next before going back to Manila (my point of entry)
I know everyone here is doing everything they can to score a piso fare in our very own domestic airlines. Isn’t? I am just so happy to write now my experiences in terms of booking flight tickets and probably scoring the best deals in town.
So, if airlines announced that “brace yourselves, sale is coming”, that is true sometimes not every time. Many will totally wait for hours and hours just to have the lowest fare possible for your next adventure.
Maybe, I am lucky enough to have been able to book at least one way ticket or round trip tickets in every of my travels. I will separately discuss on my next blog on how and when to book cheap flights.
In the meantime, I’d like to share to you my misfortunes and amazing journey with my friends while traversing the provinces of Leyte and Biliran in their amazing beaches.
One year before the flight, the group decided to go to the eastern visayas region and yes I actually booked a 350 php airfare and take note that is a round trip ticket to manila-tacloban-manila route. Did I mention that their sandbars in Leyte is just amazing?
So there, everyone is eyeing for that price. Damn, real! Those beaches are real! For only 350 php, we flew to Tacloban from Manila even though we were warned to may have been in the center of typhoon during our travel period.
We had that bad news! A typhoon will hit the region but we still continue our journey! That was the best decision we made!
Many might be asking how this amazing rice terraces were formed. If only our ancestors can talk and tell us a story on how this stunningly beautiful rice terraces’ rich history I will definitely sit down and listen. This is one of the the best and most beautiful things I have seen in my life. I mean, this is priceless, you wake up watching the sun to rise in this famed village- it was just surreal. No amount of any money can substitute on how I felt during that morning. I can’t just escape at the moment who have made me the person I am now.
For many years I tried to find you! And I’ve waited for this to happen.
You dreamed of riding on a jeep, and it is top load. This is our friendship goal. We know that it is dangerous but we ought not to scare ourselves seeing the cliff on the side of the road. Yay or nay? I make sure that I am financially ready when it comes to travel like this in case of emergency by saving up ahead of time. Yes, it is indeed the best time of our lives.
How we spent 1,770 php on our 1N2D trip last Nov4-6, 2016.
How to get there.
🚌 Ride a Ohayami Bus in Sampaloc, Manila near Florida Bus Terminal Fare is 450 per way (travel time is approximately 9 hours).
Latest trip departs from 10pm and I advice you to reserve as early as possible.
🏍 When you reach Banaue Town proper you can hire a jeep or tricycle going to the saddle point which cost you from around 500 php for 3 persons. However, in our case we paid 300 per way for the jeep.
Register in the tourism office and pay 20php.
Note: You can save up for transportation when you knows how to wait for public transportation. Don’t always settle for comfortability. If there is no PUV available go hitchike. Better way to really explore new places!
🚶🏻 Walk from saddle point to Batad and enjoy the breathtaking views around the community.
Once you get to Batad register to the tourism office and prepare to pay 50php for heritage fee.
Accomodations in Batad are affordable, you can have for one night for only 200 pesos. They offer you the best views ever. You will wake up in an awe! Amazing indeed.
Chase waterfalls and stare at the most amazing natural wonder!
Bus fare- 900php(RT)
Jeep fare- 600 php (rt)
200 overnight accomodation
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic. So appreciate today for all it’s worth. These are the good old days you’re going to miss in the years ahead”.
Little things matter, nowadays we tend to ignore small blessings we have. I personally, agree to this! I travel to find myself. I find myself happy to the hard roads I am taking. To the uncertainties I encounter on the road. Up to the misfortune and happy moments are considered blessings.
1. A smiling Apo Whang-Od
2. Free unlimited black coffee
Yes, every household here are generous enough to let you stay in their humble homes (minimal fee applies) with free unlimited black coffee and rice for dinner or in any other meals.
3. 2pm is the latest jeepney heading to Buscalan Village
4. Re-discovering nature and oneself
One thing is for sure that you caught up yourself imagining ‘wallpaper like’ image down below. It will always be good to try something and visit new places you have never been in to at least once every quarter. You go and rediscover our nature in this village. Once you get back to the concrete jungle there you will thank yourself that you should have done traveling before this image has been posted.
If you started chasing what you want to do in life you’ll never stop doing it unless your parents told you to do so. I am lucky my parents have never warned me to stop! They insisted me to keep going.
1. Never get tired of waking up before sunrise.
Only you can find the best day time when you wake up first before everyone does. You will feel the magic in every sunrise. How it sets and turns to an amazing panoramic view that will cover up the day.
2. Book a round trip ticket.
Life up high is pretty amazing. You can see clouds dancing but remember to book a round trip flight ticket to always go home after every journey. Home is the best place you can tell your stories. Your friends and colleagues may hear what your experiences are but after five (5) minutes they’ll get bored.
3. Be kind and gentle.
Observe courtesy in every place you dwell with. Respect everyone as how you respect your parents. A kind and gentle person treats a waiter same as how he treats his friend.
4. Be in competition not on others but to yourself
Life is not a race in the field. Who comes first will win first in not always true. You figured out yourself ten years from now successful but that didn’t happen.It is okay you’re not racing to someone else. You’re you. So don’t be in competition because you’ll really lose.
5. Get loss and wander
It is perhaps the most used term but my parents told me to do what I love to do. Get lost and wander everywhere is an everyday mantra. You go to a not so typical hitch-hiking, go on tour in a city that you’ve never been before or visit a museum in a nearby town. Just go home after.