Travel Budget: ₱7,600 (US$156)
How to get to Baler
Joy Bus provides direct transportation from Manila to Baler. It’s a 7-hour travel but it’s comfortable because they will provide you with blankets and pillows, the seats are adjustable and it leaves exactly on time regardless of the headcount.
Booking should be one day before the trip, you can call their office for booking and schedules. The payment is made through bank deposit and through e-mail confirmation.
Image is taken from PHbus.com
Where we stayed
We stayed at KL Javers homestay, it’s like an ancestral house with lots of paintings and sculptures. It also has a botanical garden where I think most of the art pieces are being made. The price per night for a 1BR unit is Php850, a big room with two beds, a TV and AC. It’s a walking distance from Baler public market and the Joy bus terminal.
If you want to be on the beach right after you wake up then there are cheap hotels near the beachfront, we’ve only learned about it when we’re about to go surfing. Our accommodation is a 10-minute ride from the Sabang beach.
What to do in Baler
Sabang beach is part of the whole Baler Bay where the Aurora surfing cups are held every year. Surfing lesson is at Php350/hour, that includes the board and the instructor, Php200/hour if you’ll just be renting the board. If you’re just there to watch surfers and lay around at the beachfront, there are restaurants nearby, I recommend Surfer Grill, just take note that the shore has a fence and you’re not allowed to bring foods or drinks beyond that fence.
If you’d like to travel the city there are tricycles that offer city tour package and will take you to the different tourist spots in Baler. It cost about Php500 (half-day) and Php800 (whole day) good for three people, your driver/tourist guide will provide you the itinerary.
Museo de Baler
Baler is rich in war history, the last standoff during Spanish-American war happened at a fortified church in the province. Filipino revolutionaries (American allies) held siege at the church for 11 months and Spaniards can’t break into their defense. (Siege of Baler)
The museum is located along Quezon street, at the center of Baler, it housed all Baler related history, from war, government, discoveries and arts, you just need to pay Php20 for the admission fee.
Operating hours: 8am-12nn; 1pm-5pm, closed on Sundays.
December 1735: A huge tsunami struck the town of Baler and without a warning, the town was gone in just an hour. Few survivors have climbed the hill in order to save themselves and their families. To commemorate the tragedy and to remind people of one of their strongest points, a sculpture was placed right at the ground of Ermita Hill and it’s called “Tromba Marina”.
When you reach the top of the hill, a breath-taking view of Baler Fishing port and the Dimadimalangat Islet will greet you with a stretch of the Pacific Ocean.
Where to eat in Baler
Hungry Surfer in Bay’s Inn
The best Tapa I have tasted so far, it’s not the traditional tapa, it’s like threads crumpled together, but it’s so tasty, the flavors explode when you put it in your mouth.
Price: Php180.00. Breakfast is from 8am-10am only.
Yolly’s Ihaw-Ihaw & Seafood Resto
The restaurant is in the town proper and they serve all-Filipino cuisine. Bulalo, Sinigang and Inihaw na Seafood are the best sellers. The price starts at Php200 and ideal for group travelers.
Visit their facebook page.
The Rolling Store
Gerry Shan’s Place – Buffet
Right beside Yolly’s Ihaw-Ihaw & Seafood you’ll find Gerry Shan’s Place, for just Php200/person you can enjoy eat-all-you-can buffet meals. All-Filipino food of course.
During peak season, Gerry Shan’s place is the next best choice when Yolly’s Ihaw-Ihaw is too crowded.
Overall Expenses = PHP7,600 per person
- Joy Bus: Php1,400 (back-and-forth)
- Accommodation (3D2N): Php1,700
- Surfing lesson: Php700 (2 hours)
- Food Allowance: Php2,000
- City Tour: 800 whole day
- Pasalubong: PHP1,000 budget.
“I will definitely go back”
Baler is one of the places where you can enjoy almost everything–the foods, the activities, the tourist spots and the people. The stories told by local about the town is also fascinating, some houses are still built in Archian Designs.
I felt like 3 days are not enough because I didn’t get to visit the falls and the Dimadimalangat Islet. I will definitely go back and will recommend this to my traveler friends.