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Philippines Travel

Weekend Getaway: Baler, Aurora (Part 1)

Baler Aurora; Richel Goes Places

One of my favorite things about living in Manila is that there are plenty of places to visit within a weekend. No need for a long or short haul flight. No need to file a vacation leave. You just pack your bag, pick a destination, and get away from the busy city for two days. Easy as pie.

Baler, Aurora is only five hours away from Manila by car. The original intent of the family was to surf, but since we’re going away for two days, we also booked some sidetrips. Here are the places we’ve been to when we were in Baler, Aurora:

Balete Park

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Having a 12-15 m diameter and standing tall at 60-65 meter, this balete tree at Maria Aurora is said to be the biggest balete tree in Asia. And guess what? You can actually go inside the balete tree! Um, no thanks, I’ve heard of kapres and I’m not a fan of them. This tree is around 600 years old, who know who’s living there. Not that it stopped my brothers and uncles tho.

Fan fact, a kapre is from the Filipino folklore. Kapre is about two to three meters tall, black, stinky and hairy, with glowing green eyes to boot. He is always told to be sitting in the balete tree and smoking.

Tibag Sabang Bridge

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

I have a thing with hanging bridges. I actually like it swaying with the wind and movements, and the feeling of maybe falling off. My little cousins didn’t think the same way as they were holding really tight to the railings and didn’t even make it a fourth of the way. Haha! It’s also really fun to take photos in a hanging bridge.

Museo de Baler

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Baler Aurora

Museo de Baler hosts artifacts from the time Spaniards were ruling over the country, among other things. Some Chinese porcelain recovered from shipwrecks during the Galleon Trade was also present in the museum. There was even a statue of the late President Manuel Quezon in the center of the museum’s park as it was his hometown. The place was actually really small tho, and some of the paintings were on the floor, and not up when we visited. It doesn’t look well-managed, but it’s worth a short visit. Entrance fee is only 20 pesos, I think.

Soooooo… these are three out of the five main destinations we visited in Baler. I didn’t realize how photo heavy this post would end up to be so I’m making a part two for my Baler trip! See you guys, there?

Do you like hanging bridges?

xoxo, Richel V.

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Danica Rama
    November 30, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Been wanting to go to Baler since god knows when, but still haven’t 🙁 and idk what to feel about that tree haha. Like it looks amazing and scary at the same time haha.

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      December 1, 2016 at 1:29 PM

      I was supposed to get inside the tree but with just one step in, my whole body went “NOPE”.

  • Reply
    Xeph Hipolito
    November 28, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Really good photos! I don’t like hanging bridges but from the looks of Tibag Sabang, I think I would love to cross it! Haha. I haven’t got the chance to visit Baler. I’ll make sure to visit Tibag Sabang Bridge when I got the chance. 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 29, 2016 at 3:07 PM

      Hope you’ll like it when you do visit Baler! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mei
    November 22, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    This is one of the places I want to visit kasi nga malapit. Pero I don’t think I’ll be able to go on weekend trips anymore, so tita na, I need 1 extra day for rest after the trip hahaha
    It would be easier if we have our own car and just go on a roadtrip with the fam. Pangarap ko yun! 🙁 Someday haha
    I like hanging bridges, kasi ganda sa picture hahaha mukhang ang tapang tapang mo ganun haha

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 23, 2016 at 11:12 AM

      Tita mode na din ako. We were supposed to go to sa water falls pa nung second day, pero sabi ko uwi nalang kami. Hahaha!

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 21, 2016 at 1:26 AM

    I love a weekend getaway and Baler looks gorgeous! Not sure I could do that hanging bridge though eek!

    Musings & More

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 23, 2016 at 11:10 AM

      It’s great for photo purposes tho. LOL.

  • Reply
    Sauniya
    November 17, 2016 at 5:52 PM

    That tree is pretty amazing. Looks like you really had an awesome time. The museum sounds good, I would love to visit.
    Lovely pictures. Have a great rest f the week 🙂
    xo
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 18, 2016 at 11:43 AM

      Thanks, Sauniya!

  • Reply
    Airish Abella
    November 16, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Looks like so much fun! 🙂 Huhu, hanging bridge is a big no no for me. Haha paranoid kasi ko, I might try pero yun lang lagi ko naiisip what if malaglag ako or what. Haha, love your photos btw! Hope to hear from you soon! x

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance
    http://www.airishabella.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 17, 2016 at 11:32 AM

      Marunong ka ba lumangoy? Hahaha! I haven’t been on a hanging bridge na mukhang bibigay yet. Haha. Maybe that one would scare me. Thanks, Airish!

  • Reply
    Tienne
    November 16, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    I love hanging bridges! Out province has one of the longest hanging bridges in the country 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 16, 2016 at 12:04 PM

      Which province is that? 🙂

  • Reply
    sileas
    November 15, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Wow I’m absolutely amazed by that tree! Wish I knew about all those places when I was in Manila!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 16, 2016 at 12:08 PM

      What places did you end up visiting in Manila? 🙂

  • Reply
    Clémentine
    November 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    I would be so scared to walk or even sit on a hanging bridge!! Ballet Park look fabulous! I saw some awesome trees when I visited Australia but wow! It look so impressive to me. European trees are quite ordinary… Looking forward to see the pics from the rest of your getaway! Clem x ravacholle.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 16, 2016 at 12:05 PM

      It’s actually fun to run around hanging bridges, at least for me. Haha. Thanks for dropping by, Clem! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dianne
    November 14, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    I love hanging bridges too! There is something fascinating about being afraid to fall and by swaying along the wind. There are a lot of tour packages available for a Baler trip and I wanted to book for how many times already but it obviously did not push through. That’s a huge balete tree! wooooaaa! I won’t mind going inside. haha. Hope to visit the place soon!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 4:34 PM

      I love the feeling between being scared to fall and loving the feel of the wind in your hair. Go book it na! We took a tour package for most our local trips. Hehe.

  • Reply
    Marielle
    November 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    I didn’t know you can enjoy Baler in just two days! I really want to go there for a long time now but I’m not sure if I can make the most out of it with just two days huhu but thanks for this post, now I’m sure it’ll be a nice visit! Lovely photos!!!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 1:18 PM

      Two days is actually enough to visit the place. However, if you’re planning to spend a whole day just for the beach and surfing, you might consider visiting on the long weekend instead! 🙂

  • Reply
    Pia
    November 14, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Amazing photos, Richel! I wish I went to these places when I went to Baler. Haha. Looking forward to your next Baler post! <3

    http://pepperonipia.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 12:21 PM

      Thanks, Pia! Which places did you visit in Baler? We passed on seeing the falls since it was a long walk ahead.

  • Reply
    Nerdy Maria
    November 14, 2016 at 3:43 AM

    Oh, I have a bit of love hate relationship with hanging bridges. They give me stress and scare me but I love how they look 🙂 Also, this looks like a great place to travel to. Can’t wait for part 2!! 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 12:16 PM

      I can’t wait for the day that I’ll get to cross a hanging bridge that’s way up in the cliffs… Or maybe I have a death wish. Either way, I really love exciting activities. Hehe.

  • Reply
    Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's
    November 14, 2016 at 2:00 AM

    The tree is so cool!! I haven’t heard of a kapre before so I gave it a quick Google search; very interesting!! I love myths 🙂 // omg the bridge, you’re so brave! I’m a teeny bit afraid of heights, so I don’t do well with swaying bridges! Maybe I’d do it for the Instagram though… haha jkjk -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 12:19 PM

      Maybe one of these days you’ll have a free time to read about Filipino folklore. We have a lot! 🙂

  • Reply
    Abdelkhalek Benrahho
    November 13, 2016 at 8:56 PM

    Wow great photos and pleaces
    Have a lovely day:)

    New Giveaway on my blog, good luck 🙂
    http://www.abdelkhalekleblog.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Miera Malcampo
    November 13, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Nice pictures! What camera do you use? 🙂

    Little Miss Miera | http://www.littlemissmiera.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 11:19 AM

      Hi! I was using my Sony A5000 camera. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hazel
    November 13, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Balete trees remind me so much of kapre/ centaur and other underworld beings. I wouldn’t dare go inside that tree. Hahaha

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 11:18 AM

      Saaame! I was supposed to go in with my brother, then I remembered about the folklores and I was all, NOPE.

  • Reply
    ohyeahmelissa
    November 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    I have been to Baler two times already but this is the first time I’m hearing about the Tibag Sabang hanging bridge! I enjoy crossing hanging bridges too – the excitement and the sights you can see up there just thrill me! I hope to go there next time I visit Baler! 🙂

    Melissa the Mermaid ♥

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 12:08 PM

      It was worth a quick side trip if it was already on your way! My family and I just love hanging bridges, even if they don’t particularly enjoy walking in it. lol.

  • Reply
    Augustin Ra
    November 12, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Omg! The hanging bridge reminded me of Minasangay’s hanging bridge. Minasangay is a rocky beach in Visayas specifically in Balangkayan, E. Samar. It’s a 30-minute drive by tricycle from our house when we were still in Borongan. Hahahaha! I usually get curious on how they were able to grow such tree and of course, I was surprised when I saw the pictures of your brothers inside the tree. I even blurted out here, “I wouldn’t do that. Aren’t they aware of kapres and other things mentioned by old people?” hahaha!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      November 14, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      Most hanging bridges I’ve been to look alike. Haha! But I still love them! IKR? I was supposed to go in, then I remembered about kapres. And since I believe in all those stuff, I NOPE-d it out of there!

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