Baler can very well be dubbed the surfing capital of the Philippines. It attracts countless tourists and locals, surfing enthusiasts flock to Baler year on year. But if you are a mom like me, to four kids, what other things can you do as a family, while in Baler? We all know that Baler is best known for its big waves perfect for those who want to ride them and perfect for those who want to get started with surfing. Surfing (as defined by Wikipedia) is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a surfer, rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave, which usually carries the surfer towards the shore. So we braved the big waves, armed my boys with their kickboards, because the surfboards are surely too heavy and too big for them. I see surfer learners who end up falling towards the water, with their surfboards falling right behind them.
So if you are on the lookout for other things to do while in Baler, read up and know your options.
Baler Destination #1 – Ermita Hill
On the way up to Ermita Hill, it is hard to miss the beautiful landscape around us. I made a quiet thank you prayer to God for creating such beautiful places to visit around the Philippines. The view from the top is breathtaking, you can see the shoreline against the beautiful sand surrounded by lush trees around it. Ermita Hill has a lot of scenic spots where you and your family can take Instagram-worthy pictures while enjoying the view of the ocean and the sound of the breeze. If you have more time to spare, take more time from one of the view decks, remember God’s blessings and thank God for His gift of nature.
Baler Destination #2 – Chef Gerry’s Picnic Bay
Craving for the buffet places from the metro? You will never miss it when you visit Chef Gerry’s Picnic Bay where you can go for eat-all-you-can-buffet for just Php200.00, kids plates are at Php150.00. Choose from any of their seafood, Inihaw and shabu-shabu specialties. I am not so sure if you know but Chef Gerry is actually a migrant from China, you would be interested how a Chinese chef like him has mastered serving Pinoy dishes with the best Pinoy flavours we love to have.
Baler Destination #3 – Asia’s Biggest Balete Tree
As soon as we get to the place, the tree is hard to miss with its size and height. It actually looked so intimidating and to an extent, creepy because of its big branches stretching from the roots to the top. In fact, the tree is so big, a tour group can actually get inside the tangle of branches (they are so big they look like a group of trees). We chose to climb up from inside and from outside, too. Make a mental note that one is only allowed to climb upto 3 meters high. Anything higher than that is not allowed by any of the site guides.
Baler Destination #4 – Nanay Pacing’s Souvenir Shop
Tagaytay has Rowena’s and Baler has Nanay Pacing’s. There is an advantage about visiting Baler off-summer-peak-season. All of the destinations are crowd-free and you do not have to queue to be able to go around. And so, we were able to choose what we want to take home without rushing and without having to wait for our turn around Nanay Pacing’s Souvenir shop. Tried their sampalok goodies, peanut butter, pastillas, and meringue. Oh by the way, do not be surprised if you happen to spot Nanay Pacing herself manning the counter.
Baler Destination #5 – Museo De Baler
There is something that sets this museum apart from other local museums. It accurately allows you to view the cultural heritage of the past and present. The ground floor is full of historical displays and facts that have helped shape Baler to what it is now, while the upper floor displays modern art and sculpture that clearly expresses what Baler has become. Museo De Baler’s facade is so inviting it became the beautiful background for our family picture. I didn’t realize all of us were aptly clothed red and blue, it looked like a picture we have planned to take.
Baler Destination #6 – Ditumabo Mother Falls
This is not the first time our kids had to take a trail before getting to a perfect place to swim. We did the same thing for Kabigan Falls, Pagudpod where everyone had to walk for 30 minutes on a trail of land, mini-rivers and hanging bridges. Caramoan also required my kids to do a bit of walking before finding the right spot for swimming in one of the Caramoan islands. And so when it was time to take the 45 minute walk to Ditumabo Mother Falls, my kids were all for it. The falls did not disappoint. Just make sure you do not stay too long with kids because the water can be too cold for swimming.
Next time you visit Baler, make sure you ask for a Baler map so you can freely create your itinerary as you go around the nooks and corners of what makes Baler a family-destination.