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.

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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™‚

Loving Yourself

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. “I’m the greatest baseball player in the world,” he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest player ever!” He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, “I’m the greatest baseball player who ever lived.” He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “What a pitcher!”

This was a story I’ve read today from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Loving yourself nowadays might seem so hard for us to do. First and foremost we are not little kids anymore, we do not see the world in rose-colored glasses anymore. You see this kid dear reader, he is very resilient. Why does failures need to hold us back? Get back up dear reader and continue the race! Second, we do not proclaim kind words at ourselves anymore. Why is it so hard to tell yourself that you are pretty with no BUTS? I’m pretty but, I’m so sexy but, I’m good but, I’m fine but… stop focusing on your BUTS. Starting today, when you wake up declare something good about yourself. Tell yourself today “Hey look you, you’re so pretty!” Third, he did not compared himself with others. He said that he was the greatest baseball player ever. Stop comparing yourself from others, you are the best you and the worst somebody else. Lastly, he saw an alternative. Nobody’s perfect and the sooner you accept that fact the sooner you are to being perfect. Hmmm, confused? Me too, but it does makes sense! He might have failed at batting the ball be he never failed as a pitcher. See your strength dear reader. May it be that you are square shaped and trying to fit yourself in a circle shaped hole? Stop that dear reader. We all have talents and skills. We are so different from one another. Maybe, you are a great pitcher and you just don’t realize it…

Love yourself dear reader… and smile.

Tips and Tales on Travelling

Tales:
I just came from the beautiful land of Cebu, Philippines! I had a blast with my friends and all of it within my budget. It seems that it is our last hoorah for the summer. Cebu is very historical and that’s why it is essential to visit historical places here, the most famous is Magelan’s Cross at Cebu City. The original cross though is now encased within the wood but this place is really a must-see spot. You can’t say you’ve gone to Cebu without going here. There are lots of places to see at Cebu such as the Fort San Pedro, Yap-San Diego ancestral house, Casa de Gorrordo, and temples like the Taoist Temple at Beverly Hills! The list can go on and on. Also, don’t limit yourself with Cebu City for Mactan is just a short bridge away! Mactan is famous for the Lapu-lapu shrine wherein the cheapest pasalubong can be bought. Mactan also boasts beautiful and cheap resorts, the ocean is really blue! If you’re feeling to splurge then go and enjoy Plantation Bay for only 2000php. Like any pinoy culinary you will not find any fault with Cebu’s dishes. If you’re on a budget just opt to eat Aa’s Barbecue, they have lots of branches in Cebu and Mactan. Be on the budget but don’t forget to indulge yourself with Lechon Cebu. The lechon there is not only sumptuous but it is relatively cheap, the best out there is CnT. This tour is really another experience for me since we made the tour ourselves. Lastly, I enjoyed my 2nd trip to Cebu because I’m with new friends that are really positive and beautiful…

Tips:
1. Buy your tickets early! Wait for promo fares. Despite the recent news about flights getting delayed and all the hassles our flights are all on time. Maybe, a big factor here is that it isn’t the peak season anymore. Don’t hesitate on getting a trip to Cebu after May (summer), Cebu have longer summer days so expect it to be sunny there even if it’s gloomy somewhere else.
2. Look for promos for your hotels. Of course, hotels that are nearer to the airport and malls are more expensive than others. The hotel we stayed in might not be five star but it is more than acceptable (hot shower, tv, free wifi, clean beds). Search for Alba Uno.
3. Rent a van! It might not be cost-effective but it’s surely time-effective. We rented the van for 8am to 4pm. The driver such knows the places where tourists should go plus if he doesn’t he can contact his colleagues. Also, it is very comfortable. In the long run I think we save money from renting a van instead of riding taxis after every destinations!
4. Utilise the front desk! Hotel receptionist do knows a lot. They’re locals for God’s sake! Ask away and they have loooots of suggestions to give.
5. Research before the trip. There are lots of site there that can help you with you diy tour.
6. Be alert and enjoy! Nothing can ruin a trip more than having bad experiences along the way. Be cautious, especially with pick-pockets. Lastly, enjoy! It’s a vacation! Forget about your worries and smile a lot!

There you go dear reader. Live your life to the fullest!