Riding (and loving) the waves of BALER – part 1 of my Baler adventure series

Its not how many times you fall that matters, its how many times you rise up from that fall that counts. – a ‘gasgas’ cliche we always hear yet its completely applicable to the world of surfing.

insert background music: miley's the climb...i can almost see it...

last weekend i was again at the peak of my ‘beach bum’ element as I and 3 of my college and travel buddies Rovi, Laiza and Carlo went on to fulfill another adventure in our bucket list – surfing in Baler.

w/ surfer buddies ...naks!

Baler is an emerging destination for local and foreign tourists. by word of mouth it has slowly paved its way in the list of must see places in the country, surfing is a huge contributor to that. add also the historical value of this town for being the birthplace of the country’s only commonwealth president, Pres. Manuel Quezon and home to the political clan of the Angara’s (they deserve the credit for promoting Baler and the province as a whole). it probably also has the biggest number of surfing community in the country numbering to about 30 to 50 surfers. they are also the ones who tutor surfing enthusiasts who frequent the place.

the waves of Baler

because of the intense excitement to finally hop on that surf board and ‘do’ the huge waves of Sabang Cove, i might have to apologize that i had to forgo the other attractions that this quaint little town (and the province of Aurora in general) offer specifically the waterfalls and the largest balete tree (they say in Asia) in the adjacent town of Maria Aurora. please do refer to Sinjin’s libotero.com for his more in depth feature on Baler. we only had the weekend for this trip so the slight mix up with the itinerary caused us a huge chunk of our time thus the failure to visit the said attractions. for redemption purposes though, i have alloted the second part of this series for the other places in Baler we visited.

many think, including me, that surfing is one heck of an extreme sport. the ‘dare devil’ factor is high and that it sometimes equate itself to either injury or even drowning. it gave me such thought- maybe, just maybe, if there’s one extreme sport i can handle, i guess its surfing. for one, i know how to swim and for two i dont mind drinking liters of sea water. my being a beach bum is nothing if i dread the taste of salty sea water.

the mid afternoon sun coupled with the sound of the crashing medium sized waves in Sabang Beach was a classic hit for us that we wasted no time and hit the beach in our (at least for me) most stylish board shorts. finally my board shorts was used fit to its REAL purpose. lol.

thanks to maui and sons for the board shorts

the training, (actually it was just a briefing) only took 2 mins. for basic surfing there are only 3 steps, the ‘ready’ the ‘position’ and finally the ‘go’ -meaning you have to do the whole balancing act thing which if you master, gives you the right to be ma-angas and covets you with that rightful surfer dude look! when we were done, i was like ‘yun na po ba yun?’ then my trainor, in the name of Arnel told me ‘opo kuya, mas mahirap pa po ang skimboarding kaysa surfing.’ so what happend to the extreme part of it? oh well, better try it first hand. the next thing i knew i was already in knee deep waters but waist deep waves, oh i thought this was easy…


‘maling akala’– perfect!, what i thought was easy and doable was actually the exact opposite of it. it took me 30 mins to even stand at the board. and i withstood it for roughly … 3 steps, and well, i fell off right after.

as they say practice makes perfect. it took me about an hour more to finally look ‘stable’ on top of a board. i pretty much got addicted to it that the whole surfing experience took me 3 hours before i said ‘ok, its a wrap….malufet!!!’ arnel thought me a couple of tricks from walking/balancing on top of the board, to how to u-turn when waves are coming and paddling among others. but he told me that the most important thing in surfing is you must get to know the waves. as a surfer, one must know how to make ‘kilatis’ the waves. unfortunately though this was the hardest part and we werent able to perfect the skill. he said it will take me about at least a day more of intense training to finally get the hang out of it.

see the nag mama-angas photos below….lufet!

it was already around 6pm when we got out of the water to watch the famous Baler sunset. much to our dismay, this place is also a ‘stop over’ of heavy clouds and thunderstorms that we again failed to see the sun bid farewell for the day. we ended up sitting on the beach front, with a bottle of RH and in silence trying to absorb what just happened earlier…or maybe we were starting to feel the body pains already that moving in and around (and even talking) was already a struggle.

rovi is loving my surf board...

laiza 'was' excited until...haha!

post surfing analysis w/ carlo

i got injured in my left ankle by the way…but still…it was one heck of ‘MALUFET’!!!!

tips and figures:

surfng lessons w/ surfboard rental is at 350P per hour

surfing school is located at the beach front of Bay’s Inn

surfing lessons come w/ a FREE bottle of water or softdrinks.

surfing trainors are really a kind bunch, if only i have the extra bucks i would have invited them over a drinking spree after lol.

surfing doesnt necessarily need any requirements, for beginners even if non-swimmers pwede.

skim boaards are also available for rent at 100P per hour but no tutorial

the best time to go to Baler for surfing is of course summertime to make the most out of the summer heat (thus the absence of ocassional rainshowers and thunderstorms w/c i dont like when travelling on a beach destination). BUT the waves are still the same even on none-peak seasons such as August.

you can learn basic surfing in half a day, but if you really wanna LEARN it, save 2 days.


more details of the Baler trip on the second part..coming up next!

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