Baler City Tour
The Memet and I got up early (well, relatively early anyway) on our second day in Baler so that we could have breakfast before we embarked on our "City Tour".
We booked our tour at Costa Pacifica's front desk and paid P1,500 (approx. $35) for one whole day with a tour guide. We were told that the P1,500 fee was good for a maximum pax of 10, but it only included a tour guide's services for the entire day. There's a different charge if you'll rent a van. We used our SUV, so we only paid for the tour guide's services.
So, off we go. :)
First Stop: Doña Aurora Aragon's House
Maria Aurora was former President Manuel L. Quezon's wife. The old house in the photos is in its original location, but obviously, it's been restored many times. In the same property, you'll find the Presidential car used by former President Manuel L. Quezon encased in glass.
|The car is huge!|
Second Stop: Museo de Baler
Museo de Baler is situated in Quezon Park, just a short walk from Doña Aurora's house. Inside the park, you'll find a statue of former President Manuel L. Quezon, one that's sitting down. Our guide explained that the former President wanted it done that way so that he could show how comfortable he was in his home town.
Museo de Baler is a two-storey structure filled with artwork and beautiful photos of Baler.
Bit of trivia: The bronze carvings found on the museum's facade were made by an artist from Angono, Rizal.
|The park had a lot of shade courtesy of the big (and definitely old) trees.|
Third Stop: Old Balete Tree
The Old Balete Tree is actually in Maria Aurora, and not in Baler. But it's practically just a stone's throw a way from Baler.
The tree is huge and though it hasn't been carbon dated yet, it's believed that it's centuries old.
We were assisted by a teenager who worked there and he took photos of us all around the tree. He knew all the angles and instructed us to pose here and there. Haha! They encourage people to upload their photos with the tree on social media, and they actually have free WIFI around the area just for that. Too bad their connection's slow while we were there.
Fourth Stop: Ermita Hill
After lunch, we headed up to Ermita Hill.
In December 1735, Baler was hit by a tsunami and only a few families survived by bravely swimming to Ermita Hill.
Ermita Hill is a very quiet and serene place. We saw a few groups of students huddled around in some of the pavillions. They seemed to either be between classes or working on projects.
When in Ermita Hill, don't forget to spend a few minutes just admiring the view of the ocean.
Fifth Stop: Baler's Fish Port
Our guide joked that Baler's Fish Port is the only fish port that he knew of that had no fish. Haha! True enough, it was completely empty when we got there.
Our guide explained that the port usually becomes a busy place during weekends, but not because of fishermen bringing in fish. It's actually more of a transport terminal than a fish port.
After soaking in the silence and tranquility of the fish port, we headed to Dicasalarin Cove. But I'll leave that for another post, because it deserves a blog post of its own.
In the mean time, I'll leave you with our guide's contact information:
Harry Arish V. Gabriel
Contact Nos.: 0930.110.6802, 0936.923.7463
E-mail Address: email@example.com
He's an accredited local tour guide and knows practically everyone in Baler because he used to work at the town's municipal hall. Hehe!