Baler: Tips and Tricks on going there

This is the cheapest barkada getaway we've ever had.
And probably one of the best too, considering that we only stayed there for a little over 24 hours.

A trip to Baler is something you shouldn't miss. It is a perfect mixture of rich history, natural wonders, hospitable people, and adrenaline-pumping adventure.

So, here are the tipid tips and recommendations for those who want to enjoy a Baler Getaway of their own.
  • Genesis transport is the only bus line that has direct trips to Baler. I recommend you ride the regular airconditioned bus which costs Php450.00 per passenger. You just have to choose the most comfortable seat since you'd be travelling for around 6-7 hours. If you plan to reach Baler around 7 o'clock the following morning, be sure to be at the terminal by 11 pm. There are no reservations for regular aircon bus, so you have to wait in line. When we came at the terminal around 11pm, the guard told us that buses 1, 2, and 3 are already full. They issue bus number for passengers who came early. He added that there will be buses  4 and 5 which can accommodate us but he will no longer issue bus number and we would just have to wait and fall in line. There were many passengers waiting, and I don't know what would happen to passengers if buses 4 and 5 were already full. So better be early and pack a gallon of pateince. You can also opt to ride in their Joybus that promises comfort and luxury while you travel. But of course you have to pay around Php700.00 plus you have to book at least two weeks in advance before your scheduled trip as the joybus gets fully booked quite fast. 
  • Unless you are confident about your driving skills or you are a daredevil, I do not recommend riding and driving your own car going to Baler. It was a smooth drive at NLEX and SCTEX but once you passed Cabanatuan City, it will be long, winding, zigzag, not paved well, steep, narrow roads to Baler. 
  • Travel time is around 6-7 hours via regular aircon bus due to stopovers. We left Cubao around 1am and reached Baler by 7am. So if you want to catch the sunrise, be early.
  • There are no jeepneys in Baler (i think. or maybe they were hiding when we came.) So the mode of transportation are the Tricycles. Once in Baler Terminal, tricycles are already lined up waiting for passengers and offering you tour around the place.
  • Kuya Dante offered us a tour for only Php500.00 - a highly recommended tour guide.
    • contact no: 09489484382
    • you can haggle, but we didn't. It was the cheapest offer.
  • Hotels, resorts, homestays are like mushrooms in Baler. You can easily find and book a room online. Your decision will of course be based on your preference. If you want affordable accommodation, homestay would be the perfect choice. But if you like the beach, the restaurants, the crowd, and the fun, then you should stay in resorts in Sabang Beach. Meanwhile, if you want beach+fun+relaxation- the crowd, then go to Brgy. Buhangin. That's what we did. It's the same stretch of beach but far from the numerous resorts at Brgy. Sabang.  We stayed at Isla Virginia Resort. What I liked about the place is that the rooms are new, staffs are EXTREMELY VERY HELPFUL AND KIND AND RESPECTFUL AND HAPPY AND EVERYTHING NICE, and they have a swimming pool. You can't really swim when the waves are huge. So it's a good thing they have a pool.
  • If you want to book for a room at Isla Virginia, you can call 09207550467. Please call, because we had a hard time trying to communicate thru text messages. They say it is because of the weak signal in the area. Our room was Baybay4, which was worth Php2000.00 for two persons. We paid extra Php300.00 because we were three. Standard check in time is 2pm but we got there around 7am and they allowed us to check in WITHOUT additional fees!
  • Surfing! You cannot go to Baler if you will not try this! Standard rate for 1hour rent of surf board is Php350.00 with free surfing lesson. Isla Virginia offers this as well. Look for JR, Enric, or Jinky. 
  • For beginners, like me, it is best to try surfing during the months of April and May because waves are smaller.
  • You can actually surf, even if you can't swim. 
  • Like What I have said, this trip is by far the cheapest I've done. Here is the summary of expenses:
EXPENSES each group of 3
fare from cubao to baler 450 1350
fare from baler to isla virginia 25 75
accommodation- isla virginia 767 2301
Breakfast – isla virginia 463 1389
tour 167 501
surf 350 1050
entrance fees 28 84
water 40 120
fare from baler to cubao 450 1350
TOTAL 2740 8220

Enjoy your Baler trip!


For the Love of Baler

Baler is just one of a kind.

I think I fell in love.

There I was standing in the terminal, waiting with one thing in my mind: "relaxation starts NOW."

But from there, the feelings developed little by little... My feelings for Baler. To get to the place, we traversed the steep roads of Sierra Madre Ridges. It was looong, winnnnddiing, tiring, crazy journey... Just like any other love story. There were points were I got scared. I can imagine the bus falling off the cliff and rolling down the mountains. But the view from afar was stunning.. promising. And it made me look forward to everything else that would be coming.

And as I roam around Baler, it felt like a man introducing himself to the woman he adores. Quite a fine man, may I say.

The place was rich in history, natural wonders, and hospitable people. And what I saw, was just an introduction.

I saw the beach. It was a long stretch of beach - serene and rough both at the same time. The waves were strong but the place was peaceful, quiet and simple.


I faced the ocean with fear in my heart. Scared to get hurt. Scared to death.

But just like what we've heard so many times " what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... Wiser. Bolder. Fiercer. Happier. and many other words ending in ER.

So... I dipped in.

I thought " cool, the Pacific Ocean is hugging me". And the waves literally hugged me nonstop as I fell off the surf board countless of times.

But I kept on trying. Until at last... I did it. I was able to stand on my board. It was a sense of fulfillment. Triumph. Something I have never felt before. 

Then I did it a few more times. And it became a mutual understanding... between me and my board... me and the waves... me and Baler.

And as we all expect, all those happy moments would have to end. I have to go home.

It rained. The skies cried when Baler and I parted.

You are simply breathtaking

Now, reminiscing about the affair, it made me smile. Big time! That same smile I had everytime I read corny text messages from my crush when I was younger. I look at the photos and I look back at the moments when I can say " this is joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction." It was a 'kilig' moment.

Yes, this is love, Baler. I will see you again.