Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kwentong Kaladkarin #53: Baler Break – Of Surfing and Serenity

Da Where: Baler, Aurora, Philippines
Da When: February 23-25, 2013
Da Who: me, Vin, Maggie and Ferdz

One of the good things that greet you as soon you step into Secret Spot is the warm sweet-salty air playing with your hair. This was a welcome change from the freezing AC of the 8-hour bus ride from Cubao to Aurora. The other is the sight and sound of waves crashing just a cartwheel away from where we were standing. And of course, Tita Rose's welcoming grin.

Why haven't I ever thought of coming to Baler sooner?

Oh right. Coz I can't swim. And thinking of learning how to surf sans floating and swimming skills equals crazy. And this is where I was wrong. Sort of.

Rewind back a couple weeks earlier, I was pestering friends in Facebook if anyone wanted to have an early summer break. I could use a good weekend in between work, my Saturday classes and everything else. Three people said yes. Marvin, Maggie and Ferdz. It's a green light, then!

It was the Fates at work when I saw Lois of We Are Sole Sisters post a link on Facebook on a new resort along Sabang Beach. I loved the photos posted – rustic, charming and all together organic. My kind of chillax place. And we were not disappointed.

One of the highlights of our trip - hanging out with Sole Sister/Surfer, Lois Yasay!

In fact, we just wanted to chill that we forego of the the scheduled agenda for that Saturday and just cooked food from the common grill and sat back and enjoyed the sea breeze from our wooden veranda. Twilight came and we started knocking back alcohol shots too, amidst the cold sea breeze and the thundering sound of waves in the background. We promised to wake up early the next day and start seeing more of Baler.

Tita Rose, our ever maalaga hostess at Secret Spot Baler. :)

The rain wouldn't let up the come morning but we didn't give in. We rented a tricycle and went to see Ditumabo (Mother) Falls and the Balete Tree. Though the skies were gloomy and the heavy rains stopped us from seeing the falls by making the river uncross-able, it was still epic. I remember being soaked in the tricycle on our long trips from Baler to Maria Aurora but I also recall breathing in the freshest, cleanest air I've had in a long time while feasting on verdant views as far as my eyes can see.

Hiking to Ditumabo Falls in the rain.
Eeerrr... How do we cross that?
The huuuuge Balete Tree in Maria Aurora. Too bad it was pouring, we could have climbed  in the inside trunk and see the view up high.

We then hurried back to Secret Spot as we had a scheduled surfing lesson for the day. I was both apprehensive and bursting with excitement. The ocean looked a little daunting the waves looked menacing and the color was a churning brown because of the rain. After a short practice on the sand, it was time to get wet.

Practice session muna on solid ground. :)
Then let's hit the waves! :)
Happy surfer! :D

Kuya Joel 'Brader' Daluyong, our surf instructor, was amazing! He made each session personal by asking for our names before he started and knew how to get us going after every wipe out. After a few attempts, I managed to stand on a board! Hallelujah! :D

It was a great rush to be able to do it, even for a few seconds. Now I sort of understand when surfer dudes say they're 'stoked' after being out in the sea. If I got this feeling after being able to stand on a board on baby waves, I wonder how it'd feel if I can do waves way taller than me. But that's sort of a dream because yeah, again, I don't know how to swim. Lol! :D

This short weekend was what I exactly needed and as cliché as it sounds, nothing is indeed impossible if you put your head and heart in it. Like what Kuya Joel said, once you hit the waves and stand on the board, just look straight up and right ahead! :)


  1. masaya talaga basta personalized ang treatment ng instructor (lumalabas ang pagiging dating QA ko. lol).

    Wish to try surfing in Luzon when I come back sa Pinas! :)

  2. I love ur life cams. More to come. Mayad lawas a. =)