Baler Bound

Might be a little too late to post about my Baler trips but oh well… I’ll still write about it!

Thanks to my friend Cha, I discovered this place called Baler. It’s a six-hour-bus ride away from Manila. Just enough to catch some snooze and to recharge your energy if you’re leaving Manila around 1AM. I highly recommend for you to ride the semi-deluxe buses of Joybus! Not as expensive as their deluxe buses but they are as comfortable (no stopovers, toilet on the bus, free blanket, water and biscuits, lol). If you’re going there around the peak season, better reserve online for your bus ride.

My first trip to Baler was around September last year and we just stayed there for two days. Cha was kind enough to tour me around the touristy spots in Baler even though she already visited those places. My favorite is Sabang beach where I was able to have surf lessons. LOL! Since I’m too lampa, I wasn’t able to stand on the surfboard. For my first time there, I fell in love. I fell in love with the people, the stories, and the food (of course). Cha is a frequent visitor already of Baler, thus, she already made a lot of friends there. Their stories of how they end up there were amazing! It’s the wanderer and romantic in me, I guess. From bustling cities and busy 8 to 5 jobs, they decided to leave everything and start over in Baler. You can say that Baler is a place for the weary. It’s also a place to dream new dreams and make them happen.

Second trip happened in Novermber. We went there to celebrate Cha’s birthday. First activity was trekking to reach a secret waterfalls (only locals know the place). That was fun though, even if I’m not that into trekking. Haha! One of the highlights of this trip was our trip to Dicasalarin Cove. That place was surreal. It was beyond beautiful. You need to experience it to truly appreciate it. The beach, the lighthouse, the cave, and the artist village were soooooo beautiful. It’s a place that can inspire your soul. I highly recommend this place even though transpo plus entrace fee are a bit costly. Our supposedly three days stay in Baler became five days. We always don’t want to leave!

Now… let’s talk about food! Baler will not disappoint. From sweet to savory cravings, Baler got you covered. If you’re tipid na tipid, there are the rolling stores near the plaza to satisfy your hunger. For sweets, go and indulge on the different breads, cakes, and cupcakes at Dialyn’s Bakery. Don’t forget to partner them with their 20 pesos Twining’s tea (nakakaiyak sa mura). If you looooove food (like we do), eat your lunch and dinner at The Good Food. Their food is to die for!!! There’s nothing like them in Manila and their prices are soooooo affordable.

If you’re looking for new places to visit, Baler is a must. I love how the big waves are my lullaby at night. I love the stories of people there. I love how chill the vibe is there. I love how nice the people there. I love the memories I made there. I simply love it there.

IMG_6246

IMG_6268

IMG_6332

Best place to stay: Charlie Does Inn

Best food: The Good Food

Must Do: Surf Lesson

Must Visit: Dicasalarin Cove

Must pack: Sunblock

Must leave behind before you go here: Your worries

Must take away from Baler: Happy memories

P.S. All photos are taken by me πŸ™‚

First Solo Trip, a Continuation: Laoag and Vigan

Hi dear readers, I’m still alive and kicking. Remember my last post about my first solo trip? Well, I didn’t stop from exploring Pagudpud, I went southwards and also explored the treasures of Laoag and Vigan. I thought, why not?!? Since I’m already there then…why not?

I know that I’m soooooo, SUPERDUPERUBER, late in posting this travel diary but better late than never, right?

So, I finished my tour at Pagudpud before lunch time so I immediately rode a bus going to Laoag so that I can tour it that same day. While eating my lunch (luckily, they have wifi), I’m already booking my hotel in Vigan. After lunch, I just randomly ask a tricycle driver there if he can give me a tour of Laoag and I’m set! Here are some of my outtakes of the tour:

image

image

image

image

After my half-day tour at Laoag I went to Vigan by bus also. I reached Vigan around 8pm, I think. So I just checked-in, had dinner and looked for pasalubongs around Calle Crisologo. Then morning came… first stop: a Vigan longanissa breakfast!!! Then I’m off to random places that was recommended by google search. Here are some of the things I did:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

So there…

I do encourage you to travel solo even just once in your life. It teaches you a lot of things. Like for me, it teaches me how to be more organized, control my spending, and how to talk to strangers. I really will treasure this experience because it’s a very nice one. Maybe…who knows…my next solo trip will be out of the country!!! Until that moment come, I will just spend my time living life like a one big happy adventurous journey.

image

Dear Danna, travel on…

First Solo Trip: Ilocos, Philippines

Hello friends, I miss pressing some words… oh, the woe of holidays and school. Ha! Anyhoo, I’m back and I’m finally, finally, finally blogging about my first (and definitely not the last) solo trip ever!!! Β Say hello to Ilocos, Philippines!

Ok, here’s a back story of this trip. It wasn’t suppose to be a solo trip. I was suppose to go with seven friends with this trip, yes, SEVEN! What happened? Well….. something devastating happened. Long before this trip which was October 21, 2013 we’ve already book a plane ticket going to Cebu. Days before our trip, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the cities of Cebu and it was such a heart breaking scenario. So me and some of my friends decide to not continue with our Cebu plans. However, I don’t want to waste my vacation staying at home so I decided, for the first time ever, to go away… SOLO!

After much debate with myself and a lot of internet research I’ve decided to go to Ilocos and my first stop would be… Pagudpud!

Since I was late in leaving Manila, like around 12am already I took Partas bus going to Laoag. I think, Florida bus line has a direct bus route going to Pagudpud but it is not 24-hours unlike Partas. From Manila to Laoag I’ve spent 797php and an additional 12hours bus ride, Touch down Laoag and another hour and a half, riding another bus, to reach Pagudpud.

Hello Pagudpud and Kuya Arnel (the best tricycle tour in town) was already waiting for me. First, he let me put down my things at the place where I’m going to stay which is Cathy’s Stay Inn. Then off we went to tour!!! Yeay!!!

Kabigan Falls
Kabigan Falls plus a mini trek
Kuya Arnel at Patapat Viaduct
Kuya Arnel at Patapat Viaduct
Patapat Viaduct
Patapat Viaduct
Timmangtang Rock
Timmangtang Rock

image
Bantay-Abot Cave

image
Blue Lagoon in front of Hannah's

image
Say hello to Pagudpud

image
Bangui Windmills

image
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

image
The lighthouse!

image
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

image
Behind the rock formation

Since I was late at arriving at Pagudpud which was around noon, I did my two tours for two days. You can do all in one day actually! Both tours will cost you 600 each, but be generous enough to tip since people there are so nice! As in! For tours you can check the internet for contact number or simply ask any tricycle drivers there. Good thing about this place is that the government train their people to be local tourist guides, from being guides to taking a good picture. Now, about accommodations well if you’re on the tipid side then opt for the beach front houses of Saud beach but if you can spulrge a little then better stay at the hotels of Blue Lagoon.

Aside from their empanadas and beautiful sites, one of the best things here in Pagudpud is their people. They are all so nice, from the mama who talked to me during my bus ride, Kuya Arnel, Ate Cathy, Ate Imelda at the falls, the kuyas at the tourist center, and even just the kids you meet!

image
Warm smiles for everyone!

After touring Pagudpud, instead of going home I’ve decided to tour Laoag and Vigan (since I was there already). Haha. I’m going to post about them on another pressed word page! Soon, promise!

I like travelling a lot. It feeds me, it makes me happy. Travelling is not escape, it is about going to…

image
Travelling is not escaping
image
To travel is to go

p.s. all pictures are taken and edited by me πŸ™‚