Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Sights and Flavours of Aurora

It has been a tradition in the Pink Family to celebrate our birthdays together. No one in the group was a May celebrator. So in our attempt to have our last hurrah for the summer, JT had an early celebration (his birthday wasn't until June) and our destination of choice was Baler.

Our long journey to Baler started at almost close to midnight together with Alain Calderon (our host and guide) and a trusted driver. Cramped in the van, some of us slept while the others just couldn't keep their eyes shut. Midway, we made a quick stop to do some stretching and answer the call of nature. It was daybreak by the time we reached Baler.

Sunrise in Baler

It's nice to watch the sunrise and the waves from the boardwalk.

Surf's Up!

We immediately headed to the boardwalk to watch the sunrise and later had a buffet breakfast at Hungry Surfer by Bay's Inn.

After that filling breakfast, we headed to our accommodation (a basic airconditioned accommodation with its own T&B) just behind the Mahdox Surf Shop and School. We stored our stuff, freshened up and then we were good to go to see Baler and other interesting spots in Aurora.

Diguisit Rock Formation

We treaded on rocky shores under the scorching heat of the sun to have a glimpse of and get near the rock formations that were so beautiful, set against the clear blue sky.

Ermita Hill

Just near the rock formations and at the base of the Ermita Hill is a monument for all those who perished and a handful few who survived the tidal wave that hit the town of Baler in 1735.

We made a trek to the top of the Ermita Hill where we had a breathtaking view of Baler and the sea. By the way, the Ermita Hill is open to the public from 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Museo de Baler

It's a two-storey building that houses exhibits of Baler's culture and history, such as the Siege of Baler, the Dia del Galleon, photo exhibits of former Sen. Edgardo Angara and former President Quezon and some artifacts.

Just outside the museum, one can have a glimpse of the car built by General Motors of America for President Quezon which was later used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

400 Monument

Designed by Junyee, the 40-foot monument consisting of four pillars interconnected by a hundred steel bars symbolizes the four centuries of unbroken history of Baler.

Souvenir shops/tents within the plaza

Replica of Aurora Quezon's House

Aurora Quezon: a Baler native, wife of President Quezon
and in whose honor the province was named

Baler Church 

It was in this premises that the Siege of Baler took place in 1898-1899. The patron saint is San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Millenium Tree

The Nightlife in Baler

We were just so lucky that our guide Alain prepared hearty breakfast and delicious dinner for us.

We also had the chance to dine at the Rolling Store in the town center. Don't expect to see rolling stores; instead you'll find a row of carinderia which back in the days were really rolling stores that have since been immobilized in its spot.

We also visited the store of Nanay Pacing, famous for her peanut butter. Unfortunately, they ran out of stock when we were there and they were uncertain of making new batches of peanut butter because of the ongoing brown-out. But thanks to Alain, we had Nanay Pacing's peanut butter for breakfast.

While waiting in one of the cottages in Sabang Beach, a lady approached us and sold suman. I must say that the suman in Baler is really good.

Their marketplace is also teeming with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as root crops.

I guess you'll never go hungry in Aurora, with all the beautiful sights that the eyes could feast on and all the delicacies and fruits that could satisfy any one's palate.

Cost for this 2D/1N trip : Php 2,400.00/pax (transportation from Manila to Baler v.v. and around Aurora, accommodation, meals)

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Thank you for visiting Traipsing Chronicles. I hope you will continue walking with me as I wander and see the world. Cheers!

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