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Baler | Of Surf & Siege

In 17th century, Spanish galleons braved the waves of Baler. But after 300 years, they surrendered the last Spanish garrison to the Philippine revolutionary forces & their regime ended. Today, more than a century after, brave ones still ride its waves, but not anymore on those huge expedition ships but on colorful surfboards!

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Baler is one of the favorite spots in the surfing circuit. Karts, wackos and squids flock here for a surfing safari—rain or shine. And when the water swells, the fun begins. Flipping, rolling and balancing on the waves, the wide sea becomes the kingdom of the adrenaline tribe.

If you mean chill weekend roadtrip, it has to be Baler!

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Life in Baler doesn’t end when the water is placid. On its vast stillness, people chill by the shore playing the guitar, reading a book or trolling around with ice-cold smoothies. At night, the beachside of Sabang transforms into a party place. However, the parties here are just simple. No laser lights, no fog machines, no ledge and fire dancers & no defeaning techno beats.

Just like how cool surfers have fun, it’s cold beer and bonfire on the beach with nardudes and lovely wahines gyrating to music.

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Baler is not all about surfing. It played a monumental part in Philippine history too. The famous Siege of Baler in 1898 ended the long Spanish occupation. The San Luis de Tolosa Church is a historic footprint of the many battles won and lost in this area.

It is also the birthplace of former President Manuel L. Quezon. His wife, Ma. Aurora Aragon is immortalized here as a local heroine. Their ancestral house is kept to this day as one of the heritage landmarks of the town. Visitors also frequent the memorial site of the 1735 tidal wave atop Ermita Hill.

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This coastal town on the northeastern side of the Philippines is framed by amazing geographical formations. The huge waves coming in from the Pacific Ocean hitting against the huge rocks are like endless fireworks exploding on air.

Among the most photographed sites is Lukso-Lukso Islets along Diguisit Bay where during low tide, one can hop on coral stones to reach the islets. On the other side of the town are wonderful and quiet coves hemmed by fine ivory sand.

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Baler is such a charming town that speaks of its grand history, enthralling natural splendor and bold fun. It has grown fast but remains alluring to visitors because of what it perpetually offers—all the time and space you need in this world.

I love Baler. It’s wild yet soulful. It’s active yet whimsical. It’s hard to reach but easy to get.

-oOo-

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