It’s been four years since Team Redefense was established. Sleepless nights, blood and tears were the foundation of this beautiful friendship. Hand-in-hand, we faced and conquered one of the biggest horrors of being an AB Communication student in Letran Calamba (hint: DNSM, jk! Hihihi~~~) And years after, here we are again walking (or swimming, perhaps? Haha) hand-in-hand to create a new adventure together with a new partner in crime: Mark DJ. HAHA.
This Aurora escapade has forever stayed as a ‘plan’. We finished our thesis, graduated, and walked our own paths without having this trip accomplished. Finally, the plan became a reality.
Day 0. 11 June 2015 (Thursday)
We left Calamba at around 8PM. It was a long weekend so there are a lot of passengers so we decided to take the bus going to Alabang then ride another one going to Cubao. Pitoot gave us two ways to get to Aurora:
Take the Genesis Bus that goes straight to Aurora, or
Take the ES Bus going to Cabanatuan, then ride a van going to Aurora [Baler].
We reached Genesis Station (Cubao) at around 11 PM and as expected, only chance passengers are available. We decided to take the second option and took the ES bus going to Cabanatuan. The line of passengers was long, but it was organized. O diba. Parang hindi totoo. Lol. The three of us (Mark DJ, Pips, and I) spent our time playing childish games and bullying each other so before we knew it, we were already on board. We left Cubao at around 12 MN. Whew~
We reached Central Station, Cabanatuan at around 3 AM and decided to eat something at 7-eleven. The place is dark and somehow scary, so I don’t really advise taking this option for people traveling alone at this hour. After eating and a series of communication with Pitoot, we finally rode the van going to Aurora. Yeeeey!!!!
It was almost 4 AM when we started our journey from Cabanatuan to Aurora. I was somehow uncomfortable with the trip because the road was dark and the only source of light was the van and the moon outside. It took a while before I could go to sleep.
A few hours later, I opened my eyes to check where we were. I lost the urge to go back to sleep as the breath taking landscape, the cool breeze, and the gentle rays of the sun forced my eyes and jaw wide open. We finally reached our “final” destination, Pitoot’s baluarte, at around 6:30 AM.
Day 1. 12 June 2015 (Friday)
Our first destination was the famous millennial Balete Tree. Pits warned me that I might get disappointed since I was expecting a forest-like eco-park. The moment I took the first glimpse of it from afar, I thought o’nga no. If you will paint this landscape, it looks so dull. It was no doubt a beautiful tree, but it wasn’t picturesque enough for me to appreciate the view.
I really thought I would be bored, but the adventure of exploring the tree made my heart pump with excitement. You definitely have to “immerse” yourself with it before you fully appreciate it. A piece of advice, boys and gals: if it’s your first time to visit, I highly recommend that you ask the assistance of the kuyas. They are very creative and they know the perfect angles for those picture-perfect shots.
Our next destination was the Museo de Baler. We really enjoyed our pictorial inside the Museum, especially at the Baler movie background…
We headed straight to the Donya Aurora’s house near the museum afterwards. Walang masyadong matino na picture of the house so…
There were a few minutes left before lunch so we decided to take some pictures at the Baler landmark before we went to Chef Gerry’s for an eat-all-you-can buffet treat.
Diguisit Beach was our first destination after lunch, and we hired another tricycle to take us there. The tide was low so we were able to explore the rock formations. It was difficult for me to cross the sea because I’m only wearing my flip-flops and the rocks underneath are sharp. Define struggle. [I can’t help but smile every time I try to remember the hardship we’ve been through. Naalala ko si Mark DJ and his slow motion plunge while crossing the sea, lol.]
After the buwis-buhay exploration at the rock formations, we headed straight to Ermita Hill. This is considered to be a sacred place and people come here for refuge during a tsunami.
Our next stop was the Diguisit Fish Port.
After some picture taking, we finally set off to the beach.
This is definitely the highlight of our first day. I know surfing is one of the must-dos in Baler, but it’s not on my list. I know myself that I’m not really good with balancing. Bike nga hindi ako marunong, mag-surf pa kaya? So Pips and I decided to just take some pictures and goof around.
Unfortunately, Pitoot managed to convince me to try surfing. NYAHAHA.
After swimming, we went to the grocery to buy some snacks and liquor before heading home. We freshened up, rested, browsed our pictures and of course uploaded it on our facebook accounts.
A few hours after we’ve taken our dinner, we played card games with Pitoot and her cousins while sharing a bottle of Empi Lights. It was around 12 MN when we ended our tiresome first day.
Read part 2 here.