Tag Archives: Philippines

Baler, Aurora: Of Natural Wonders and Perfect Swells

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Besides being known as the capital of Aurora Province, I could only attribute one word as to how the entire Baler experience would enthrall you– exhilarating. Baler is actually located on the northern part of Quezon Province and the eastern seaboard of Luzon. It lies majestically along the Sierra Madre and the Caraballo mountain ranges. Baler is not only just about surfing, one of the activities it is most famous for. There are lots of places where one can commune with nature, and the feeling of being this close to nature would make you come back for it again and again!

Actually, Baler surprised the best in Pao and I as we did not quite expect that we will love our experience in one of Luzon’s best kept secrets up north. Yes, we were really happy and have nothing but high praises as to how remarkable our weekend trip was!

We thought that all there is to Baler was its beach with awesome waves and swells perfect for surfing hence its popularity to surfing enthusiasts—the primary reason why we wanted to see it. What we did not know was that Baler offered pristine natural wonders made even better because of the touch of history in it!

 

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Surf’s Up in San Juan, La Union

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San Juan La Union is known as the Surfing Capital of Northern Philippines. It has lately become a convenient go-to destination among locals as it gains popularity as one of the Philippines’ Surfing Hotspot.And a town dubbed as such was definitely a tempting option that was hard to resist! We just had to visit San Juan after staying in the neighboring town, San Fernando La Union.

After an exquisite breakaway in our local Santorini, the heaven on earth called Thunderbird Resort located in Poro Point, La Union, I just couldn’t resist the urge of traveling to the next town to get a refresher on the art of riding waves– surfing.

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A Piece of Santorini in Thunderbird Poro Point

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And we took a bite on a piece of Santorini for our 8th anniversary.

Santorini, Greece has always been a dream destination for both Pao and I. Santorini is the epitome of a Greek island. Located in the southeastern part of the Greek mainland, it may be reached through a huge circular bay, which was once covered by an enormous volcano. But at some point during the 1500s, the volcano erupted, and with such brute force, a large amount of magma was ejected so the top of the mountain collapsed and the bay was formed from the sunken crater.

Pao and I have always wanted to explore Santorini and get lost in the traditional villages of the island built on tall cliffs, and just admire the priceless view the wonder brought by nature through the beauty brought over by disaster of the submerged volcano.

I just love the dome ceiling!

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Slice of Paradise in Northern Philippines: Palaui Island, Anguib Beach, Cape Engano Lighthouse and Crocodile Island

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Batanes, but not yet! And yes, we reached the northernmost tip of Luzon. We took a 642 km trip towards north of Manila, towards the northern tip of the island of Luzon. With only our backpacks and our usual eagerness to explore the unexplored parts of the Philippines, we scratched the travel bug’s itch as we enjoyed every moment of the trip.

Palaui is at the northernmost tip of Luzon Island.
(Map from Wikipedia)

PALAUI ISLAND

Palaui Island, dubbed as “One of the Best Beaches in the Philippines” by CNN Go, is a protected landscape and seascape where different ecosystems exist in well-preserved conditions. There is a rich variety of flora and fauna in the forest, the tidal flats and coral reefs. The island also serves as a refuge for migratory birds and marine life.

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Baguio Weekend and the Chase for the Strawberry Taho

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Almost all of us have a keep a happy memory of Baguio somewhere in our brain. Most of it, we  would mostly relate with our childhood. Like Tagaytay, Baguio will always be a place that never gets old. It will always be a familiar place that could never satiate us. We can’t explain why, but maybe because of its friendly weather, or the comforting atmosphere, or maybe just because of the good memories. But whatever it is, we always find comfort in seeking refuge in the solitude that Baguio always brings, 5000 feet above sea level.

One random weekend, our spontaneity made our feet itch and made us hop on a 7 hour trip to Baguio. Pao did all the planning since I was so busy with the year-end requirements for my class. Weekends are always rewarding for me because I always make it a point that it will be my perfect time to relax and unwind. Pao made all of it possible by planning a spontaneous Baguio trip for both of us. With a last minute itinerary that I prepared, we were good to go!

Good thing we visited during the weekend before the Panagbenga Festival, when Baguio was not crowded and the weather was all sunny. With only our backpacks and bus-reclined-rested-bodies, we reacquainted ourselves with wonderful Baguio memories as we started off with Mines View Park to meet Baguio’s famous dog, Douglas the Saint Bernard. Mines View Park is perhaps one of the tourist friendly spots in Baguio as caters mostly for recreation and sight-seeing. It gives a breathtaking panoramic view of Benguet’s mountains along with its copper and gold mines.

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