Baler: Roadtrip for the Holy Week

First of all, it was an unplanned trip.  However, came early morning of Good Friday, I found myself behind the wheel cruising the narrow road leading to what have been dubbed as the Philippines' surf capital - Baler.

Normally, I prefer spending the Holy Week observing traditions like doing the Visita Iglesia, joining a "prusisyon", and most importantly, attending the Easter Vigil.  But a promise is a promise, and I gave one to a cousin to take him surfing in Baler before he flies back to London for work.  Holy Week was the only available time he had.

Taking into consideration that Holy Week is vacation time for majority of Filipinos, and Baler slowly becoming a major tourist destination, one of the concern I had in doing the trip was if we would be able to find an accommodation once we get there.  Good thing my cousin was able to have a travel agency reserve a room for us at Jamjen's Lodge that was located just a few steps away from the beach.  For a bunch of backpackers like us, the lodge was cozy enough, with amenities that included a parking space, an air-conditioned room, and a clean bathroom.  It also helped that the staff were very accommodating, ensuring that all our needs were taken care of.

By the way, for a first timer, I didn't find it hard traveling to Baler.  Maybe it helped that we had relatives in Cabanatuan that gave us a tip on the best route to take, and specific instructions on how to get to the entry point to Baler.  But all that would have been hard to follow if not for the signs and directions that lined the entire route to our destination, especially the ones on the crossings and turns.  The police personnel that have been strategically placed in almost every corner once you enter Baler were also very helpful.  Just to be clear, we took the route Canili-Pantabangan route (i think it's called that).

Now, on how our trip turned out, considering that I was joined by some of the coolest people I know (which includes my wife), that I was able to stand up on a surfboard and actually do a bit of basic surfing on my first day of trying, and was able to buy a cool shirt for souvenir, not to mention still being able to catch a blessing after a "prusisyon" and visiting the church of Baler to have at least observe a bit of the traditions for the Holy Week, I'd say that it was really great. 

Just one of the downside though, for an upcoming major tourist destination, there seem to be a shortage of places to eat in Baler that most restos or even "carinderias" are always jampacked that you have to be there very early or else you'll have to wait in line to have your meal served.  Apart from that, Baler is a place worth visiting over and over again.          



  1. another way to look at baler's beauty=)
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