Baler is located in the northern coast of Luzon near the towns of Casiguran and Infanta. It used to be under the jurisdiction of Quezon province until World War 2 and became the 73rd province in the Philippines in 1979.
Whenever I hear the word “Baler”, I automatically associate it with wave riders or surfers. But Baler has more to offer other than surfing. Check out the fantastic activities you should try in Baler! 🙂
Diguisit Rock Formation and Waterfalls Located in Barangay Zabali, just 15 minutes away from town proper. Diguisit has two waterfalls that are only meters apart; one has slower flow than the other. Just across the waterfalls you will find Diguisit rock formation. One tourist said, “It rocks!” It totally is.
It’s nice to visit there when it’s not high tide so you can hop from one rock to another. Be careful though coz it’s slippery and there are some crablets walking around, trying to get a tan like you.
When you go rock climbing, bring a dependable footwear coz you might slip when you wear flip flops. When you get tired, stop and appreciate the spectacular view. Take nothing but pictures too! It’s a perfect place for landscape photography.
Museo De Baler Tour guides inside the museum will give you a crash course on the rich history of Baler. You will see there a lot of artifacts such as jars, bell church, miniature ships, paintings and some props they used in the Manila Film Festival Best Picture “Baler” in 2008. Tour guides inside the museum are very knowledgeable too, they will answer all your questions.
Historical Walk Take a walk in Rizal Street within the town proper to see Baler’s past. Check out the Baler Park, house of Doña Aurora (the province was named after her. She is the wife of former president Manuel L. Quezon) and San Luis Obispo Church. This church was renovated because it was destroyed by a great tsunami, they are also some graves underneath the church. You can literally follow footstep-shaped markers on the street to find your way from one destination to the other. According to history, this is to commemorate the uprising of the people of Baler where they walked from this Church to Manila. They were fighting for the immediate action of the government regarding the sickness that is spreading in Baler at that time. You could actually see this footprints all over Baler.
Ermita Hill Located in Sitio Cemento, Barangay Zabali. This 2 hectares grassy land is the highest point in Baler. You will also find the ancient escape tunnel where people take refuge to elude the raiding moros. At the foot of the hill, you will see Tromba Marina statue commemorating the great tsunami that swept Baler in December 27, 1735. According to history, the tsunami killed hundreds of people. Only few people who climbed up the hill survived.
Surfing The surfing culture in Baler started in 1979 when the American film “Apocalypse Now” were shot in Baler. Some of the movie crew taught the local kids how to surf then eventually, these kids teach other kids in Baler and passed it on to the next generation.
In Sabang beach, a lot of resorts offers surfing lessons. It’s only P350 ($7.81) per hour for a surf board rental with an instructor. Normally a lesson would last for 1 hour. 15 minutes on land, and 45 minutes on water. If you already know how to surf, you can just rent the board for P200 ($4.47) an hour.
Ditumabo Falls Locally known as the “Mother Falls” coz its the biggest waterfall in Baler. For you to get there, you have to take a long walk over slippery rocks and shallow rivers. They said that the walk going to the falls is part of the whole experience. But if you are not into trekking, just rent a motorbike to save time. I’m sure you will be tempted to take off your clothes and swim in the cool water of the 140 feet waterfalls. 🙂
Millennium Tree Located in Barangay Quirino, Maria Aurora. They said it is the largest Banyan tree in Asia. Estimated 600+ years old, the ground that is occupies is about 10-15 meters in diameter and 60 meters tall. They said it would take 60 adults with arms outstretched to encircle its huge trunk and it is also possible for an adult person to get in to the center of its roots network. Pretty amazing eh?