we had to wait for the rain to stop before we head on to our next destination – the Ermita Hill. when we arrived i immediately looked for the much talked about memorial of the Baler Tsunami Survivors in 1735. The famous political clan of the Angaras were actually one of the very few families who survived the tsunami as they fled towards Ermita hill for safety. The Japan earthquake and tsunami had just recently occurred so the visit in this place was very timely. the memorial was located just below the main stairs leading to Ermita Hill. after a few photo ops and story telling w/ manong trike driver, we decided to start climbing the few hundred steps towards Ermita Hill.
entrance to Ermita Hill
serious discussion w/ rovi...ano kaya namgyari nung mg tsunami no??
goofing around the tsunami memorial
‘up there’ in Ermita Hill one can see a commanding and unobstructed view of Baler Bay and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Just see the photos below. There wasn’t much to be seen on top of the hill as this was developed as a park and a viewing deck. Besides the Chapel, a big cross and a well maintained landscape, Ermita Hill is all about the grandeur of Baler Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
We spent a considerable amount of time in Ermita Hill as we tried to savor its majestic view. the place spelled calmness all over so we grabbed that chance to rest for a while and just feel the uninterrupted silence.
to be continued…
I admit, the concept of a Baler Town tour was the last of my intentions in this trip. the surfing excitement had vacuumed too much of me that some of the ‘must see’ attractions in Baler and its adjacent towns such as Disguisit and Ditumabo Falls and the oldest Balete tree (fondly called as the Millenium Tree) in the adjacent town of Maria Aurora were not included in my itinerary…sorry travel buddies. i just reasoned out to them that travel time to these attractions might hamper our surfing experience. good thing though they all agreed to my plan. (evil laugh lol).
when we arrived we immediately looked for a tricycle that would serve as our tour guide/tour vehicle. luckily we found one manong trike driver who was really kind enough to offer us options on the places to visit. we bargained until we reached a whole day tour amount worth 300P to be divided among the 4 of us. that’s dirt cheap already considering that he agreed to be not just our driver during the tour but our driver everytime we needed one during our stay in Baler.
1st stop was to eat something for breakfast. since this trip was on a shoestring budget, we opt to look for carenderias/eateries in the town proper, we found one in front of the town Church. the meal was a decent one, very typical carenderia at around 50P per meal.
Inside Bale Museum
after eating, we then went to the Baler Museum to start our Baler town tour. i learned quite a few significant facts about the ancestry of the people of Baler and the galleons that were excavated from the rough waters of Baler. I also learned that the parents of then Commonwealth of the Philippines Pres. Manuel Quezon actually came from Aurora Province (thus the existence of a town named Maria Aurora, Pres. Quezon’s mother’s name).
Mc Arthur's Cadillac
Outside Baler Museum one can also find the old Cadillac Cabriolet that was used to bring in Douglas Mc Arthur to Baler town. Adjacent to this car is the gigantic monument of Pres. Manuel Quezon.
Donya Maria Aurora's Ancestral House
the town church. not so much photos because it started to rain hard when we reached the town plaza
After a couple of photo ops, we then went to the ancestral house of Donya Ma. Aurora just infront of Baler Church (honestly i didnt see anything exciting inside rather than a big map of Aurora Province, well i didnt see anything at all besides the map). we took some photos inside. we were checking the souvenirs for sale when it started to rain hard (mind you Baler has the weirdest weather ever, it rains for a few seconds then the sun comes out, it gets really hot then it pours like as if a storm is coming then it stops…)
after that we decided to proceed to Ermita Hill to get a glimpse of Baler Bay and the whole of Baler Town. Now this part deserves another blog entry so stay tuned.