The first time I met you, I never really thought you were a doctor. You barged into the session hall while, if I’m not mistaken, we were having our orientation and courtesy call to the Mayor as RNheals. I was actually a bit ‘kilig’ like a teenage girl ’cause I thought to myself, “May gwapo sa RHU, ang saya!” You …
THE OVERCOMER November 10, 2016 I can clearly remember it was in June 2011 when my cousin booked us a flight to Boracay, Cebu and Bohol for their vacation on November 2011. It was a two week vacation and I wasn’t sure if my employer would allow me to take a leave that long, but I remember I jokingly told …
My obsession about Baler started after my trip to La Union last summer. I have seen its stunning photos through my friends and relatives in Facebook and that’s when I started planning.
But when things did not go according to how we planned it, we normally feel disappointed.4 It actually almost didn’t push through until evening of June 13 when my college dormmate/friend sent me a message that she badly wants to go there, too, atleast before she leave for Hawaii on the 25th.
Morning of June 14 before I go to work she told me to pack my things and we’re leaving at exactly twelve midnight via Cubao terminal thru the Genesis Joybus.
I never really thought that the way to Baler is going to be very smooth and comfortable because I heard from my relatives that there’s a zigzag road but surprisingly, I did not even feel a glint of fear on our way and I even slept the whole time. It was a five-hour drive with snacks, comforter (it was really cold), portalet and wifi on-board.
We arrived at the Baler bus terminal at exactly five o’ clock in the morning. Kuya Wendell (our rented tricycle driver/tour guide) fetched us and brought us to the transient house that he reserved for us. He even brought us to his house and introduced us to his wife and children since we arrived very early and the owner of the house/apartment was still asleep.
It was already past eight in the morning when Kuya Wendell and his friend, Kuya Norman, took us around the three towns of Aurora Province until six in the evening.
First Stop: DITUMABO “MOTHER” FALLS
Location: Brgy. Ditumabo, San Luis, Aurora
The view during the more or less 30-mins trek to the falls literally took my breath away. Who wouldn’t?
The green-ish color of the forest full of coconut trees were very relaxing to the eyes. The clear and fresh water flowing from the falls through the mini-river made me want to go down, swim and drink from it (which by the way I did when I found a hose directly connected to the mountain).
The road to success can be very rocky and bumpy but at the end of it (in this case, in the middle of the forest) there is a paradise waiting to be taken advantage of.
Ditumabo Mother Falls is definitely one of the best I’ve seen despite the on-going construction, especially without the hundreds of tourist around. I can say that we came at the best place at the right time – thanks for the Mt. Pinatubo Day (June 15)!
Needless to say, I fell in love with it an instant! The cold water coming down from only-God-knows-where was too refreshing and captivating. We did not mind swimming around despite the water temperature!
Second Stop: 600 HUNDRED YEAR OLD BALETE TREE
No matter how much it creeps me out, who would miss the famous Centennial Balete Tree? We didn’t. Though a few shots are enough. We didn’t stay there that long because we were already hungry, but it’s where my friend bought an Organic “Suman” (Filipino dessert made in organice brown glutenous rice wrapped in coconut leaves and boiled for hours), and I, a black Baler shirt to be included in my travel collection.
When we got hungry because of not having breakfast, Kuya Norman (our driver) took us to Picnic Bay’s P200 worth of unlimited buffet and this was our view while eating. This part of Sabang beach gave us the best lunch experience because of its bluish/greenish color and the mountains behind is a perfect view for a panoramic shot. The food is 2.5 out of 5.
Third Stop: ERMITA HILL
After lunch, we decided to go to where the only survivors (five families) of tsunami found refuge back in 1735 during the Spanish Occupation (click here). They stayed there until the the water subsided thus they made them replicas made of stone to preserve the memory of that tragic event. Now it has become one of the best backdrop for a photoshoot in Baler.
After Ermita Hill, we drove straight to Diguisit Beach where you can see upclose the beautiful view of the ocean and the scary cliff that when you accidentally slip your foot, you’ll go straight down the deadly rocks and might find yourself dead
Dicasalarin Cove is one of the highlights of our our trip. Senator Angara did a great job in preserving this place and I hope it’ll remain that way. To have an experience of paradise, you have to pay P300 for the entrance fee and P150 (transportation for Habal-habal). Not everyone would like to go to the cove because of the entrance fee but as Kuya Wendell said, it is definitely worth the price!
The spectacular view of the cove reminds me of my trip to Palaui Island last March 2016 where you can see endless green to dark green color of the mountains, signifying the purity and solemnity of the place. I even felt like I am one of the Survivor cast-aways while walking around as you will see in one of my photos in the photo gallery section of this website.
But behind the breathtaking mountains are equallt beautiful rock formations that will make you regret if you don’t have a nice camera with you. The cave behind the mountain has the perfect view of the Pacific Ocean.
And when you start climbing your way up to the light beacon, you will witness one of God’s most beautiful creation created through His Word. I almost stopped breathing due to slight dehyration and extremely hot weather but when I am already at the top, I only said: THANK YOU, LORD! I DID IT!
I didn’t miss standing at easternmost tip of Central Luzon with a victorious smile! I survived Dicasalarin!
And, finally… my favorite part of the day happened. It almost sunset when we decided to go down from where we were and I took a video of it. The pinkish sun rays took my breath away.
Sunset is my favorite part of every trip and it’s what I always look forward to everyday. A beautiful sunset gives me hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. That no matter what happen, a beautiful future is patiently waiting for me. It never fails to leave me a hearty and hopeful smile.
I read this quote from the Thought Catalog website that I want to share with you who is reading this, and I pray that it will give you something to ponder on even after you read this blog:
“When you’re tired, go slowly. Go quietly. Go timidly. But do not stop. You are tired for all the right reasons. You are tired because you’re supposed to be. You’re tired because you’re making a change. You are exhausted for all the right reasons and it’s only an indication to go on. You are tired because you’re growing. And someday that growth will give way to the exact rejuvenation that you need.”
When life keeps throwing you stones, don’t run away from it. Face it with faith and courage. Because God said in Matthew 11:28-30:
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
‘Til my next trip.