Friday, June 17, 2011

Baler, Aurora with Trail Adventours

Last weekend, my friends and I went on an adventure to Baler, Aurora with Trail Adventours.

I know what you’re thinking (and I probably would have thought the same too), why the heck am I going out of town on a med school weekend? Well you see, our official classes only started this week so there was pretty much nothing to study for during the first weekend. And I thought of this trip as the real official hurrah before med school, and what a hurrah it was.

Let me just clarify myself that when I said we went on an adventure, I can really call it a legit adventure. Imagine the three of us riding a van with 10 complete strangers for 8 hours, up and down mountains, across cities/provinces/regions. We hadn’t thought of how perilous this may have sounded had our own parents known about it. But, what the heck, we were young and thirsty for some adventure. (Hello to our NFFs!)

 The view from our room in Aliya Surf Resort 

 A handful of surf shops and surfers' lodges by the beach

 I love thiiis! I love those coconut trees!

Aside from risking ourselves on that awful drive from Manila to Aurora, it was pretty challenging for me considering this trip was not your usual college outing that included booze and beach lounging the whole time. We actually went surfing. Don’t’ get me wrong, I’m not scared of water at all, it’s just the idea of having to try a sport that made me feel anxious. Just so you know, I was never the sporty girl. I like my place by the shore, just lying around and getting a tan while my friends try skimboarding or whatever’s there to play with. You could only imagine how scared I was that I might hurt myself from surfing. Thank you to the surf instructor from Aliya Surf Resort for being so maalaga and for being so patient with all my girly screams when I fall down.

Photo taken by Lorenz Zapanta

But what do you know, surfing felt so different. It was challenging yes, but at the same time, it felt exhilarating…fun…extraordinary… I can’t say it right, but it was really like an out of body experience! Well, it didn’t feel like that the first 5 times I tried standing on the board, but when I was able to actually stand and move with the water for a while, it felt so good! Like you’re really one with the sea or with nature or with the entire Pacific Ocean! Hay, it’s not the easiest thing to put words into unless you’ve tried it yourself. But let me tell you this, it’s really okay to fall and feel stupid during the first few tries, because this will all be worth it when you find yourself traveling with your board from like 20 meters away from the shore then back. Aaaah! I really want to go back to Baler and surf some more. In my dreams, I will surf.

Thanks to Trail Adventours, surfing was not the only that I discovered in Baler. I was commenting to one of my friends how it was really smart of Trail Adventours to also include a tour of the city into their package. It would have felt kulang if it were just the beaches and the surf lessons. On Sunday morning before the drive back to Manila, we went around Baler and nearby municipalities like Maria, Aurora. I especially liked the visit to one of the biggest Balete trees in Asia that’s found in Maria, Aurora. The height and the view was just amazing, but it felt even better when we went INSIDE the tree! Yes, inside the Balete tree! I felt like Totoro when I went inside the tree and saw all those roots/branches with the ray of sun coming in from the top. The inside felt colder than the rest of the place, like the tree was really alive. Hay, nature really amuses us in ways unimaginable.

 Inside Quezon Museum

 The famous church from the Siege of Baler (both in history and in the movie)

 Trekking in Ermita Hill to get to the Ermita Cross

 View from Ermita Hill, you can see the whole Sabang Beach of Baler 

 The Balete Tree!

 Going inside

Those I believe are tree trunks?

Before the tour ended, we had lunch at one of the baby falls in Baler. I forgot the name, but a lot of people really go here with their baon to have lunch and swim by the river. Sarap! Grilled liempo and fish lunch by the river was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had this year. After a full meal, we took a dip in the super cold river with waterfalls. The water felt so clean and fresh that we didn’t have to take a bath when we got back at our beach resort before packing up. Nature, nature, nature, I love you!

It’s really true when my physiology professor from college said that your 20’s will be your strongest and probably most alive years. It’s really during this time that we all thirst for some adrenaline rush and some thrills and spikes in our young lives. So, thank you Trail Adventours for making me feel so alive and young!

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