Monday, April 11, 2016

SURFING IN BALER

           Got invited four years back to attend a priestly ordination in Baler, Aurora of a parishioner from Palo who became a priest for the Prelature of Infanta.  I was excited to go  having not explored yet this part of the country. Since it would  be long trip, we left Manila on a private van just before midnight. By sunrise we were traversing a non-cemented mountain road. Since it had been raining that night, we soon found  ourselves on a slippery road with road constructions going on. We were wondering why we didn’t meet any vehicle along the way. Our fears were soon answered when we ended up in a traffic jam of trucks caused by a landslide that just happened. There was already a bulldozer that was trying to take out the debris but then we were told that it would still some time as there were other landslides in other parts of the road. We were told to go back our way and use another route.  We were told later that our driver took a shorter road from Bongabong, Nueva Ecija to  cut across the Sierra Madre but this road was still being cemented. We finally were able to take the better road passing through the Pantabangan dam and Alfonso Castaneda to Baler. When we arrived in Baler, the ordination was already over, even the reception and program had already been finished.  We had to content ourselves with what was left over from the reception. 

            Since to attend the ordination was just a part of the reason for the trip, together with my companion priest, Fr. Plox we decided to stay behind and explore Baler. We first visited the Baler Museum which was just near the church and the house of Doña Aurora Quezon. Then we booked ourselves in one of the resorts by the beach which was a few kilometers away from the town. Since  it was already surfing season, we took some lessons on surfing. I did learn how to ride the waves but only for a short time.  I need to practice more.  Then hiring a tricycle we toured some of the sights around Baler like to the Diguisit rock formations, a waterfalls along the way, the Ermita chapel and the cross on top of the hill. 


By early morning we found ourselves traversing on this unpaved road. 








Soon the roads became muddy and slippery. 



A bulldozer was trying to clear the way after a landslide covered the road. 


Road widening still being done on this Bongabong- Baler Road. 



SAN LUIS OBISPO PARISH CHURCH
BALER, AURORA
Founded: 1609


The parish church of Baler. 






Church interior



A closer look at the altar. 

Stations of the Cross







Museo de Baler. 































The house of Doña Aurora Quezon.

House of Doña Aurora Quezon.


Learning how to surf. 







After learning some techniques on the shore, it was on to the sea afterwards. 






Was able to ride on the waves a few times. 


A souvenir pose with my surf tutor 




A monument at the foot of Ermita Hill commemorating the tsunami that hit Baler in 1735 that wiped out the whole community. Only those who were able to climb up the hill survived. 

The Diguisit rock formations. 



Diguisit rock formation. 

A waterfalls we found along the road. 



Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT)





Pebble beach along the Casiguran-Baler road. 


On  our way back from a recent trip to the Quirino province we passed by the Baler-Casiguran road. This is one of  the sights along the way. 

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