Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Baler Series: Historical

From At Last, Eureka!

Blisters on the foot tell much about how far one has traveled and how painfully difficult it was to arrive at a destination and back. I would have already given up whatever there was left in the itinerary that day if it happened to me but our staff worker knew bigger problems than blisters and walked in steady composure to finish the day's activity plan.

Diguisit Falls

Next stop --- Digisit Falls.
We were getting ready to get historical with Baler, however, our motorcycle driver was kind enough to make short stops at some other popular spots we passed along the highway to the town central. This is where we found waterfalls almost literally along the highway. Most waterfalls are usually remote and will require people to walk kilometer distances from the highway but this is one I find truly amazing. The waterfalls was not grand in terms of size and altitude, but it was extremely inviting especially because of the climate contrast from the scorching sun along the highway. The water is kept cold by of course the flowing water basin at the top and the shades provided by forest trees. The rocks provide the stairway up to the waterfalls.

Aniao Islets

Aniao Islets
After a few snapshots, we went back to the highway. Just across, the Aniao Islets are already visible at plain sight jutting above sea level. The two islets seem to be a good vantage point for hawks and other fish-feeding birds when spotting targets. We didn't and couldn't spare time to walk along the shoreline to the foot of the islets due to time constraint, hence, we took photos instead.
Other places one can visit along the highway from Zabali to Ermita Hill are Cemento Beach and Lukso Lukso islets.

The monument reminder of the locals' tsunami escape (stamp): View of Ermita Hilltop
Ermita Hill (Park)
If you come from Cebu, Ermita Hill in Baler would be like "Tops" except that the view from the top is not the cityscape but mostly the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, sightings of some parts of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, Cemento Beach and the Fishing Port. Much has been said about how the hill played a very significant part of Baler's history especially when it stood as the only escape for a few surviving families when the tsunami hit the area in 1735. Monuments of people reaching out to each other while climbing uphill were installed to serve as a reminder of the story about how a few Baler townsmen defied natural calamity. The developing town of Baler shows how possible it is for any man to survive and bounce back from adversities, be it tsunami.

Street side Halo-halo (iced fruit mix) hand-scooped. (lol)

We stayed in one of the cottages in Ermita Hill and took our lunch. There are not too many (if there was ever one that slipped my scouting) canteens in the place. We took recommendation from our trike driver about bringing food when he knew we will be taking our lunch on the hill. There are "halo-halos" sold by the locals across the highway. We didn't mind them scooping scraped ice by bare hands and forming ice "ermita hills" over a few scoops of fresh fruits in a plastic glass. Let bygones be bygones. The scorching heat made it impossible for us to even care.

Tip: Other tourists prefer really climbing the hill from the base to the top to feel the drama during that fateful day in 1735. We opted to ride the trike from a more established and less steeper route.

Dona Aurora Aragon Quezon's House in Rizal Street.

The Chrysler Presidential Car of the former president Manuel L. Quezon.

Doña Aurora House
In less than an hour from Ermita Hill, we arrived at Doña Aurora House at Rizal St.  It was said to have been rebuilt quite a few times over the the years but have been President Quezon and his wife's rest house in the town. From the window of the 2nd story, Baler Church is already in frame. It looks quite modern now as some parts of the church had been reconstructed and repainted, but its glory of having witnessed history and having remained a place of comfort for the locals up to the present perpetuates.

Baler Church painted anew.

Baler Plaza beside the church.

Baler Plaza

Beside the church is a plaza. Walking on brick floor, sighting lamp posts and lined benches, an obelisk erected by the Angaras, a few Spanish inspired buildings on the side, a gloomy, cloudy afternoon, -- all these create an ambiance that is reminiscent on how television depict the old Spanish influence. People wear their modern clothes but there is just something about the atmosphere in that part of Baler that kind of sends one decades backwards.

Museo de Baler and the artistic mural.

Museo de Baler
A few meters away from the church and the plaza is the Quezon Memorial Park. Right behind where the president is proudly seated on a chair is the town's musuem. I haven't quite seen a museum as artistically designed from the outside. The mural, a wall of carvings on hard wood, look very expensive, classy, and intricately made. Inside the musuem, you will find old artifacts of writing pens, note pads, and letters. Paintings hang with details of Baler's rich history. The only sad thing I would comment is that there seem to be really few authentic pieces of memorabilia inside the museum. Odd as it seems, a huge wall dedicated to showcase the movie, Baler, stood at the center of the museum. The film may have brought prestige to the town but I don't think it suited a huge space inside the museum as I've always thought museums are storage houses for old, meaningful items, that provide glimpses of a towns old ways and lifestyles.

Welcome to Baler

It was the end of the historical tour for us but my friend refused to call it a day, yet. We side tripped to take snapshots of the welcome arch at the boundary of Baler, a short stop at the capitol, back to Sabang beach to catch late noon surfers, chilled by the beach at Aliyah resort, and FINALLY, dinner at Baler Surfer Grill.

mlibby_photos's Baler Day 1 album on Photobucket

Baler Series
  Haller! Baler
  The Rolling Stores
  At Last, Eureka!

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  1. Sa Diguisit Falls bai, real-looking ra ang ubang parts sa image, pero ang tubig seems like it's from a painting. Picture perfect. Nice! :)

    1. Tnx boss. Low shutter and CPL play lang. I'm happy to know my several attempts did pay off. hehe. Thanks again.

  2. I likey the water photos, too. ^_^
    Unique ilang museum.

    1. Hi Bee.. you know i learned the tricks from you. haha.. Thanks hap. :)

    2. Ngeee! You have that eye & talent na baya.
      Pusher ra man ko... as in the one you pushes you. lol

  3. My friend's on a roll. :) keep the posts coming! And I'm also looking forward to your surfing account too.

    1. Hahaha.. I hope i can sustain this.. (crossed fingers)


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