Baler: Haven for Surfers

My boyfriend Wowoo and I have decided to spend his birthday backpacking and surfing. Wowoo already tried surfing. He used to go to La Union to ride the waves but since I have seen a lot of great reviews and good feedback about Baler, I have suggested going to Baler even if it’s both our first time there. Wowoo researched for the hotel rates and I have checked on the bus lines schedules and fares.

I have been dying to try surfing for a long time but wasn’t able to squeeze it in my busy world. And now that it’s Wowoo’s birthday and that’s really a day to celebrate, there shouldn’t be any reason to refuse the inviting promise of a great surfing trip in Baler.

We have considered ourselves all geared up when we have nothing but our own instincts to rely on and zoom through Genesis Bus terminal to start it all. Genesis Bus Lines with contact number 028533115 have 3 schedules for buses going to Baler. First trip is at 4:30am, second trip is at 5:30am and last trip at 7:00am. We decided to take the second trip. The bus struggled its way in scorching afternoon heat through lengthy zig-zag road (while the bus conductor plays 90’s music TLC, BoneThugs n’ Harmony, Robyn, etc. I was reminded of my high school days and Wowoo his college days Ü) The road trip view was a lot of lush green mountains and plantations of coconut and rice. Due to some unexpected circumstances: bus was behind schedule, slow road trip with halts and narrow roads frequented by jeepneys, buses and motorcycles, a lot of stopovers and some irritating passengers who probably think they own the bus and maybe thinking it’s okay for the other passengers if they ask the driver to bring them to their houses even if it’s already out of way. We were disciplined people and we stick to our moral values so we didn’t complain. The expected 6-7 hour travel from Cubao to Baler became a disappointing 10-hour trip.

After the grueling 10 hour bus ride with soar stiff muscle from sitting throughout the journey we arrived in a marketplace where we had to ride a tricycle going to Sabang Beach. We immediately passed over the beach front lined with different resorts. It was the longest coastline I have ever seen, longer than Boracay I think. There were no surfers when we arrive, probably because the waves were not that high at 3pm. We checked out the famous Bay’s Inn resort, but the caretaker said we can only have the room for one night as the resort was fully booked for the coming weekend. We then decided to walk again and check the other transient places. We saw this lodge named “Little Girls Lodge”. We looked at each other smiling with the same thought “why little girls?”. We entered the gate and our question was answered right then. There were two cute mixed-race girls about 4 and 9 years old who greeted us. The eldest called her mom. We checked the rooms and we found it cozy so we found ourselves finally lodging in the “Little Girls Lodge” which is in between Kahea’s Lodge and Bay’s Inn. The Little Girls Lodge is owned by Ate Chona a Filipina married to an American guy (ssshh.I forgot to ask his name). They have two cute little kids named Tina and Danica and Ate Chona is pregnant for the third whom she said is a baby girl too. Now you know why the place was named “Little Girls” huh?! We got the keys from Ate Chona and put our bags in the room.

Both hungry and tired, we went to the beachfront to look for a place to eat. We stopped at Bay’s Inn Restaurant which is open 24/7. We had our favorite Pork Sinigang for our late lunch.

After lunch we walked by the beach. There were bunch of surfers chasing the waves. They look lovely while gliding and riding on the waves. I wished I was as good as them. All afternoon was spent watching these fine surfers. We went back to Bay’s Inn restaurant for dinner. We had booze while I was waiting for the clock to tick 12 midnight for me to greet my lovely honey. We’ve spent his birthday eve drinking booze, talking about lots and lots of things while the splash of the waves roar and the summer wind cools the place. We went back the lodge at around 1am, searched my bag for the cupcake and birthday candles I brought from Manila, secretly put the little green candle on top of the chocolate chip cupcake, lit the candle and sang “Happy Birthday”

We woke up early the next morning, we couldn’t afford to waste time. Immediately slipping into our surf wears and putting on our sunblock, Wowoo and I hit the beach. The sight of the beach itself was breathtaking, making it more irresistible when the walls of waves hit the shores and thundering sounds echoed through the entire beachfront. Sabang Beach isn’t known for its white sand beaches. It’s a long stretch of gray sand beach with sparkling clear waters in contrast to other crystal beaches I have been to. We went to Kahea’s and rented our boards. I asked for an instructor because this was my first time to try the sport. There were many surfers, locals and foreigners, already hitting the waves when we reached the shore. There were professional surfers and there were starters. I’ve met Jen, she’s my instructor. She’s been surfing since she was in grade 2. Her family owns the Kahea’s lodge and surf boards for rent (Kahea’s Lodge contact number: 09208689477). She taught me on how to ride the board, glide and pop. It was difficult to keep your balance and stand on the surf board to get carried on by the waves but Jen was patient with me. I’ve fell into the water a lot of times. Minutes and minutes of bobbing about the waves, I tried to get up, fell in the breaking surf, and got a mouthful of surfboard. Concentrating enough to be able to stand, whoa! There I went standing up feeling like one of those surfers I was watching earlier that day. Hahaha! It felt great to be able to stand up on the surf board and ride the waves. It’s addictive! Then I found myself going back chasing and looking for the perfect wave while my honey was busy chasing the waves. Camwhore and rest, then went back again and ride the waves, then goes on to another wave, and then next until surfing was ingested in my vocabulary as one of the things I’ll always look forward doing. What a cool sport! Finally, I was able to use the word “STOKED” correctly. “Stoked” is a surfer’s lingo used to describe that exhilarating sensation you get when you surf. And yes, that feeling was real!

This Baler trip was a new adventure for me and Wowoo. We both enjoyed the adrenaline rush. We were both STOKED and TOASTED.

I hope this has been WOWOO’s BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.

We will definitely go back to Baler. Tomorrow maybe….

high jump and one-hand stand…perfect combination right?

i love this one…Wowoo’s one hand stand mirrored on the water..

Who says Baler is only for surfers? It’s a runner’s haven too you know..

here we are planning our next trip to Baler…Ü


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