I wanted to go away for the long weekend, just an overnight trip, and I suggested either Vigan or Baler. Three days before the weekend, my friends voted for Baler. Below is our itinerary:
3:00am (28 Nov, Sat) – leave Manila
7:30am – arrive at Baler
7:30-10:30 – nap at farm resort
11:00-12:30 – Balete tree
12:30-3:30 – trekked to the Ditumabo Mother Falls with snack break
3:30-4:30 – late lunch at Baler Surfer Grill
4:30-5:00 – surf
5:00-6:30 – massage
6:30-7:30 – coffee and cake/ sugar rush dinner
8:00 – leave Baler, with stop overs for dinner and naps
4:00am (29 Nov, Sun) – arrive in Manila
Can you believe we didn’t even have a photo at the big, red Baler signage in the middle of the city proper? Haha. I didn’t even have any plans on surfing, just really go around and eat. We’re such corny tourists. Anyway, it was drizzling the whole day but that really didn’t stop us from going around the area. I just wanted to see the 600 year old Balete Tree and it was really beautiful! I know for some people, it’s just a big tree with roots but I really find the tree fascinating and gorgeous. Wanted to ask the tree what things she has seen and what secrets she has heard. At the Balete tree, you pay Php10 entrance fee. You may also opt to go inside of the tree, where we saw a CCTV camera because according to one of the locals, some people vandalize inside the tree. Shame on those people.
Afterwards, we made our way to the falls. Since it was raining, unfortunately I wasn’t able to take photos of our 1 hour trek to the Ditumabo falls. I really was not prepared to trek. Haha! I was just wearing de sipit slippers and my ‘pajama’ like pants. But I was able to survive so it’s all good, albeit I was dripping wet from head to toe. Be prepared to go through raging rivers, hop on stones and basically climb up tree roots and boulders. I’m really not a hiker type of person but this trek can be done by anyone. We even passed by an elderly lady, perhaps in her 50s, who also trekked ahead of us.
Here’s a tip for those who will bring their own cars, preferably pick-up trucks: you may drive your car up to the foot or start of the trek, and not just at the red bridge. You see, we were told we should just park our truck at the bridge then take a Php200 tricycle to the start of the trek. Turns out, the other cars and vans were able to park further down at the start of the trek. Sayang! We could’ve saved Php200.
Anyway, if you’re into trekking and mountains and all that, this would be a good trail for you. Lunch was at Baler Surfer Grill (review to follow). My friend then wanted to surf (Php350 for 1 hour) so I stayed with her by the beach. I had no plans on surfing because I’ve tried it before in Bagasbas Island, Camarines Norte and it is not for me. We then had our massage (Php350 for 1 hour) at Isla Virginia Resort, where my friend also had her surfing lesson. The massage was good, staff were kind and the place was decent.
Since my friend-driver was able to sleep during the massage, we played with the idea of going back to Manila instead of staying at the far farm resort. So after coffee and cakes at this place I totally forgot but sold really good cakes, bread and coffee, we headed back to Manila. That ends our trip. And so, we officially spent our Baler weekend in only 24 hours.