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Baler

posted on 2015-07-19 21:29:49 in May 2015

Baler

The town of Baler is the provincial capital of the Aurora Province to the north east of Manila. It is a relatively small city with a population of under 40,000 this number is swelled by the large number of tourists who visit the region. It is often talked about as being the Philippines first surfing beach and regarded by many as one of the Philippines best surf beaches. The province also has a rich history with Spanish, American and Japanese occupation all taking place along the Aurora coastline as well as natural disaster that often is associated with east coast Philippine Islands.

On this occasion the town was full of Filipino tourist as it was still in the school holidays. I was quite noticeable as there were only a few westerners visible. Other tourist included citizens from other Asian countries, mainly Korean. With most of the hotels along the beachfront or one road back the majority of tourist stayed around the  beach area.

The town centre was very “Bitty” with a few shops here, a market place there and so forth needing to travel by tricycle between different parts.  In the area near the town hall is a small museum “Museo de Baler”, housing historical documents and photographs from the region. While I there I was lucky there was a photographic exhibition on display as well. The images were all portraits displayed in a gritty or grungy manner and presented as panorama format. I found a several to be very compelling and hung around for a long time viewing the pictures. Outside the main museum in a special glass fronted building was a vintage car. The car was built specifically built for the late President Manuel Quezon by General Motors of America. Later on, this car was turned over to General Douglas MacArthur who used it all throughout his tour of duty in the Philippines. General MacArthur was a very influential figure within the Philippines, pre / post and during WW2.

After being “Warmed up” going around the shops it was back to the beach once again to cool off in the waves.

For dinner Sofi suggested trying a eat all you can Filipino Buffet. The words “Eat all you can” were enough for me to try it out. To be honest I was left a little disappointed with the experience. There were 3 different soups to try and then onto the main course. The protein dishes included fish, pork and chicken, a couple of vegetable selections and of course rice. For my serving I found most were a bit cold and some a bit dried up, sitting too long waiting, it did however give me a chance to try some new things. I even tried seaweed, which I have always steered clear of in the past. It was OK and I even tried a second serving to make sure. There is no substitute for fresh fruit to cleanse the pallet and here watermelon and pineapple were plentiful and very refreshing. Just when I thought I had enough out came some more dessert, Filipino custard cake.

Oh MY, to think I thought I didn’t like sweet desserts…… how wrong could I be!