Baler is a surfer’s bliss with the waves of the Pacific Ocean unrelentlessly raging its beaches. Where the sunrises from the vast ocean, and sets behind the Sierra Mountain Ranges, this surfer’s escape to board over the waves is an alternative to La Union or Siargao.
We got there at dinner time, coming from Baguio City. There was low pressure in the area then. The waves were rattling the sleeping cold sand. The endless roars of the raging water that night was like a throng of thundering drums. I could only imagine how big the waves would be the next morning.
Rain fell, its showers were like the waves of the sea pouring all over Bayler View Hotel. After the rain, the sea calmed. That night’s rain still left some dark clouds hanging in the eastern horizon the next morning. The sun hid from those clouds but its rays filled the sky with its light.
That early morning sun atop the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean got me on my feet to walk the grey-sand stretch of Sabang beach. Resorts dot the place and the choices range from the simplest to the high-end. Development is still continues to accomodate more tourists. Surfing boards are available in almost every resort. You can rent the board 200 per hour with a free lesson.
I am no surfer, but I was thrilled to see how surfers jump on their board and glide over waves. I tried too, but my attempt that morning did not prosper. I just lavished on floating with the board and wrangle with the waves. As I alter in using the board with two friends, in moments the board was not with me, I would enjoy the foaming wavy water. Perhaps I needed more time to practice to become a surfer. The waves at Sabang beach are endless for the surfer’s satisfaction.
Watching the surfers jump on their boards as they balance their bodies and glide over rough waters, I felt bless to realize some truths in life: that like the rough waves we can go through it and over it; that in moving around and getting through our travails, we need some balance and quick actions; and that being above our problems we are empowered as we gain control over our situation. Like the waves are concerns are there, and they come big and small but we can surf and find our way as we enjoy.
Dining in Sabang beach is not so expensive, depending where you are staying. The fresh catch from the Agora (market) makes the best for any seafood viand. You can dine in your hotel or any other resorts with restaurants. Make sure you have a taste of Baler’s Blue Marlin, grills or in soup mixed with other seafood. In the town plaza are several carinderias with a variety of dishes for you to choose from. If you are opting to buy some pasalubong (presents) for your family and family friends, the public market is your best option.
It is a misnomer to go down Quezon Province from Manila if you are going to Baler. Baler is the capital out of the province’s eight municipalities. Aurora Province is totally a different place from Aurora Quezon. The former is in the northeast side of Luzon, while the latter is in Southeast Luzon. However, the two provinces meet at a corner.
Getting There: Going to baler is roughly 6-7 hours by bus from Manila. Genesis Bus lines have nightly trips to Aurora Province. This road trip takes you to Baler via SCITEX and passing through Nueva Ecija via the Pan Philippine Highway. From San Jose the bus will pass through Nueva Viscaya and over mountains. Watch out for the scenery when you get to Pantabangan Dam. From that point you are near Ma. Aurora, the first municipality of Aurora Province. There’s another body of water you might like to see from here, its the lake from a smaller dam. Then off you are to the vast farmlands of Aurora leading to Baler. From the terminal catch a trike to take you to Sabang. Fares are regulated so don’t you fall on a tourist trap by paying excessively. Check the tariff.