I always get excited whenever I hear people talk about out of town road trips and beaches.  Seeing unique things and eating famous delicacies are the first things that I want to do whenever I reach my destination.

It is not my first time to visit Baler, Aurora but it still excites me whenever friends invite me to go there.  Baler is a part of Aurora. It used to be a 10-hour drive from Manila but the recent development and construction made it easier for tourists to reach the place.  I think sports utility vehicle is the best ride in going to this place given the zigzag roads of Sierra Madre. But there is also an alternate route somewhere in Nueva Ecija.

 During my last visit in Baler, my partner invited some of our friends to come with us. It was not difficult inviting them since they heard a lot of good things about the place.   We left Manila at around 6:00am which is a very bad idea.  EDSA traffic was already heavy during that time. I remember suggesting to leave Manila at around 12:00am to avoid heavy traffic and to get to see the sun shine while we were in the mountains of Sierra Madre.   Anyway, we were still on the road when lunch time came. Fortunately we had some packed lunch that we shared among us.  We ate beside rice fields along the empty street of Nueva Ecija.

 

 It was mid-afternoon when we reached Sabang Beach in Baler Aurora, which is famous for surfers because of its unstoppable waves especially during the months of October to December. Summer attracts a lot of tourists to this beach and that day is among those days when you can hardly choose a spot to stay in.  Given this, we still soaked ourselves and felt the waves until we are told to stop. Lifeguards in Baler do not allow people to swim when it is already dark, the waves and the dark environment make it difficult for them to save people in case there will be accidents.

 

 The next morning we made our way to the famous falls in Aurora, the Ditumabo Falls. From Baler proper, it is a 30-minute ride to San Luis, Aurora then 10 minutes drive on a rough road and then another 30 minutes of trekking. There is a spot where tourists can leave their cars.

 There is no camp site in the area though some picnic hut is available about 200meters from the falls.  To reach the falls, you are to cross 4 rivers and walk on rough roads. On the day we went there, we got lucky because people there built bridges. The bridge they made is not that durable though, so if you are up to a more exciting trekking I suggest you cross the river without using the bridge. It is a tiring trek but the surrounding will surely make you feel relaxed.

 

Finally after the long trek, we spotted the falls. People in Aurora call it mother falls because it’s the biggest among all the falls around Aurora. The water is so cold, you would surely forget the amount of time you spent just to reach it. The huge flow of water is really relaxing.  Bringing of food is allowed in the area but you have to bring your trash as you leave the place. But there is no dry area on there so  I suggest to just leave your food in your car and eat there as soon as you get back.

 

After we got tired of playing with the water we headed back to where we left our car. On the way back are nice stone formations where photo addicts like us can pose. There are no decent tables and chairs in the area, since the place is not yet commercialized so we opted to sit on the stones beside the river. It is relaxing and it’s a good experience.

 

That day we also  headed for another one-hour drive to Dipaculao, Aurora.  The shore is covered with rocks. We decided not to swim and just let ourselves sit on the stones. The waves alone got us wet and it felt like the water is calling us to swim, but we didn’t give in to the temptation.

 We headed back to Sabang beach again and allowed ourselves be carried by the waves. We had dinner and then had a drinking session on a bonfire in the shore of Sabang.

Our last day was spent in Dicasalarin beach, the place is said to be owned by Senator Angara. Tourists need a permit to be able to come and stay in the visitors’ area.

 

We drove for about an hour to go there. Our van had a hard time going up and down the mountains. The roads were steep and it is a one way street.  I think the road to Angara’s place is a private one so you wouldn’t get scared that there might be someone else on the other side that you would play Scissor-paper-and-stick with so you can decide who’ll take the cliff. Dicasalarin beach is a private resort. Most tourists come to this place from Sabang through a boat, but they cannot get inside Angara’s rest house.

 

The water is clean and the sand is white. What makes the place more exciting is that it has caves and a river that if you get tired of swimming you can go and explore the caves or just rest and sit beside the river.  The area is not spoiled and there are only few people around.

 

 After lunch we headed back to Baler. Did I mention that our van had a hard time going up the mountain? We are supposed to walk our way up to spare the van from its difficult situation. Good thing a truck is going up that time so we did not waste our time and rode on the back of the truck. It feels like a roller coaster ride. It was an exciting and thrilling experience. Thank God there was someone going uphill because we realized that the way back is far.

 

We took a bath in our hotel room and had a good rest for a while. Our last stop was the century-old Balete tree in Ma. Aurora, Aurora. The tree is so huge but you can go all the way up. The branches inside the tree make it easier for people to climb from the inside. I didn’t get inside at first because it was scary but as soon as I entered it felt like I am just outside.

 

Except for Sabang beach most of the places in Aurora are not yet commercialized so you need to bring your own food going there. You can ask the cook from the hotel you checked in to cook something for you and pay them a minimal amount. There are rooms available for rent from an expensive to a very cheap one.  I love Baler’s unspoiled beauty.  The nearby towns also do not fail to enchant my nature loving soul.  It’s a place worth visiting and I am sure just like me you will also be charmed by its beauty.