We were supposed to climb Mt. Pulag this weekend, but because of the heavy rains in the north, the climb was canceled. My sister and her friend suggested a trip to Baler instead. I heard Baler is a great place. I didn’t know what to expect but I agreed to go anyway. It’s always fun to discover new and beautiful places 😉
The travel from Manila to Baler is 5 hours. So, we had several stops on the way for food and for pictures 🙂
We didn’t make any reservations at any resort. We just went and asked which resorts had available rooms. We stayed at Aliya Surf Resort.
Ditumbo Mother Falls
Since there were no big waves yet for surfing, we opted to take the Eco-Tour provided by the resort.
First, we went to see the biggest falls in the province, te Ditumbo Falls. We took a tricycle from the resort to the area near the falls. Then, we walked 1.3 kilometers to climb up the mountain and cross the river to get to the falls.
Another attraction in the area was this large balete tree. It was daunting and kinda scary. Visitors were encouraged to climb inside the trunk of the tree.
Early the next day, people at the resort started to get ready for surfing. The waves were weak at first, then big waves started to form. The beautiful mountain range served as a backdrop for the surfing enthusiasts.
We went around the city to check out the museum and other historic places in Baler.
On our way back to Manila, we stopped by this quaint coffee shop along the highway in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
We just wanted something hot to drink before continuing our long drive back to Manila. It turned out to be one nice chat with a wonderful family over hot choco.
It’s a family business being run by the eldest in the family, Andromeda, who finished culinary school. Her dad built the coffee shop for her. Within the same building is their water filling station, named after one of the kids, Aegean. The family’s house was in the area at the top of the hill. It was kinda cool.
Was blessed to be invited by my good friend, Bucky, at his wedding in Boracay this weekend. Bucky was my batchmate in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and we both stayed at the college dorm, Cervini Hall for the guys and Eliazo Hall for the girls. When he mentioned that the wedding will be in Boracay, didn’t think twice about it! I immediately booked my flight and hotel.
I arrived in Boracay last Friday night at 11:00 PM, two hours later than expected. The plane could not leave Manila because of some congestion in Kalibo. Apparently, flights to Caticlan were redirected to Kalibo because of some event. So, I did not get a chance to meet with dorm friends who were already in Boracay.
The wedding was not until 2:00 in the afternoon. So, I decided to have a relaxing morning by the beach. Got my simple breakfast at One Crescent Place before heading out to the beach. In my beach bag was a book, sunblock, my phones, phone charger and, of course, some money. I planned on having a massage at some point by the beach. Yes, massage by the beach. And it only costs PHP 400 at most (around US$ 10).
When I got to the beach, this was the sight that welcomed me.
While walking by the beach to look for a good spot to hang out, I accidentally saw Roldan, another dorm friend from Ateneo waiting for his breakfast at Jony’s. Then we were joined by Albert who was checked in at Jony’s along with his fiance, Cor. Albert is also from the dorm. We went to Jonah’s for some fruitshake. Their milkshake is a must-try. Albert got an avocado milkshake, I got a mango milkshake and I think Roldan got a banana-mango milkshake.
Since we still had time, we decided to get a massage by the beach. We went back to Jony’s and they helped get a masseuse for us.
By the time Roldan and Albert were done with their massage, the water has reached the table. It was high tide!
Got to the Holy Rosary Parish church a little bit before 2:00 PM. It was so cool to see these cool Cervini guys again. Back in college, there was a group of 15 guys in Cervini who called themselves the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. Their goal was to make sure all of them find the one for them and get married someday. Bucky was the President. He is now officially resigned, the third to the last to get married 🙂
A few minutes later, we were all asked to take our seats. The doors were opened, and the radiant bride walked in.
Father Lito Mangulabnan, SJ, who was our Head Prefect for a period of time at the dorm, officiated the wedding. He knew Bucky well. During homily, he assured Kaye that she was marrying a really good man.
The newly weds served cocktails at Sea Wind. Wong hosted the event along with one of Kaye’s lady friends. Wong was hilarious! I think he did a great job making the program fun for everyone.
After cocktails, we were asked to join the newly weds for some pictures with the sunset in the background.
A section by the beach was setup for dinner.
Got this beautiful shot of the reception area and the bluish sky after the sun set and the little moon came out.
We welcomed the newly weds to the party with sparklers!
Kaye’s bestfriend opened the party with a heart-felt message to Kaye and Bucky. Then, he surprised them with a number from their friends – a dragon dance! According to Wong, the dragon dance was for prosperity and fertility! 😉
I was just telling the guys at my table that I wanted to watch a fire dance by the beach. Then, these wonderful people came in! According to Wong, the fire dance was also for fertility! Lol
During dinner, Kaye’s father asked if he could sit with us at our table. He was overwhelmed by the entire thing. But he was very happy for his daughter. He went on to share with us how they brought in the butchered cow that was roasted on the spot for the wedding. They hired a boat from Bacolod to Aklan. They brought all the stuff they needed to roast and the men who will do it.
Dancing ensued after the dinner and program. Fun times!
It was so warm that night that the guys, led by Wong, took off their white shirts and danced the night away. Even the groom took off his shirt! Haha! By the way, Wong – as Bucky asked throughout the event, how did you get that physique? ;D
Unfortunately, I could not stay long at the party since my flight the next day was at 9:30 AM. I had to leave the hotel at around 6:00 AM. Boracay is about two hours away from Kalibo. I needed to take a 15-minute boat ride to Caticlan, then another an hour and a half land trip by van to Kalibo airport. There is also an airport in Caticlan but the flight I got was in Kalibo.
One Crescent Place
This boutique hotel was not on the beach front, but it was right behind the church and was only 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. Found it on Expedia. Why I picked it? The rates were reasonable, the reviews were good, and it was close to the church. I actually did not know where the church was except that it is in Station 1.
It was a very neat place and the room was cozy. But, what I liked most was the service. When I told the guy during check-in that I will miss breakfast on Sunday, since it is normally served at 7:00 AM, he said they can serve my breakfast before 6:00 AM. And they did, and they made sure I was already awake to take my breakfast at 5:45 AM.