Located on this long stretch of gray sand beach are several resorts namely: Angara's Beach House, Bay's Inn Resort, MIA Surf and Sports Resort and Baler Guesthouse and Restaurant, which, offer accommodations near the beachfront and provide food, relaxation, and respite for swimmers and surfers.
Sabang Beach is renowned for its gigantic waves ideal for surfing, wakeboarding, and other nautical sports. But Sabang can be more than just a beach and it can offer more than a fro lick with the waves.
When the northeast monsoon blows, it is time to pack your surfboards and come to Aurora to ride its gigantic waves. Fronting the Pacific Ocean, Sabang beach is a favorite haunt among surfers (aside from Caliraya, Quezon) especially when waves rise heights idea for competitions.
Located in the town of Aurora, the park features a huge Banyan Tree believed to have existed for the past 3-4 hundred years. Locally known as Balete, the tree amazes visitors with its gigantic trunk, lush canopy, a crown of about half a hectare and height of about 60-meters.
We haven’t seen this place due to lack of time and we are counting the time we had left.
Located in the Poblacion of Casiguran town, Ermita Hill provides an enchanting view of the entire Poblacion, the dark blue coast of Casiguran Bay and the barrios nearby. Aside from its magnificent landscape, Ermita Hill is known as a sacred dwelling for religious activities by devotees of the Miraculous Mother Mary, of whom a life-size statue is situated in a grotto on top of the hill. Under the Spanish rule, a Watchtower was built to guard the town against possible attackers. Congresswoman Bella Angara-Castillo has recently appropriated funding for the prevention of erosion of the hillside and its beautification.
Aurora is a province blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. It has its share of historical sights such as the home and rest house of former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon. The province also has a beautiful Catholic church and several historical markers. Its natural attractions include picturesque waterfalls, lush greenery on mountainsides, and panoramic beaches. Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain climbing and trekking are only some of the activities a tourist can enjoy in Aurora.
This shrub-covered area provides an excellent view of the town of Baler, Sabang Beach, Cemento and Dimadimalangat islet. It is a short, steep trek from the foot of the hill, through small trees and cogon grass, to the top. Hidden beneath a clump of trees are the almost unrecognizable remains of a bell tower. Owing to its excellent vantage point, the bell tower was formerly used to warn people of Baler of raiding pirates. During sunny days the place is swelteringly hot.
Mother falls has been one of the tourist spot to see around Aurora. It is located in San Luis, outside Baler and would take 30 min-45 min to travel. It's a rough rode going there so brace yourself. From the parking, it would take 30 minute or more to Mother Falls.
The Aragon house is just across the Baler Church. It was on this site where Dona Aurora Aragon-Quezon was born on Feb. 19, 1888. This was where as a young girl, she witnessed the burning of houses during the "twilight" of Philippine-Spanish Revolution, and her family sought refuge in the church during the Siege of Baler. Along with many other houses, the burned Aragon house was reconstructed after the 1900 siege. As time went on, the house has undergone some changes.
Today, a replica of the original Aragon house stands. The restoration of the ancestral home is a joint project of the Angara politicians (namely Senator Edgardo Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo Angara, Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Mayor Arturo Angara) and the Sangguniang Bayan Members with funding from the National Historical Institute. Architectural details were painstakingly studied and reconstructed. Except for the landscaped garden and cemented "silong" (area under the flooring), the structure is a faithful copy with no alteration to maintain the original character of the Aragon house.
The site is now open to the public, and used for some community meetings and/or events.
The ancient structure of the old church can no longer be gleaned from the present appearance of the Baler Church, but it was declared a National Historical Landmark on February 29, 2000 for the pivotal role it played in the Christianization of the natives in the area, as well as the role it played in the Seige of Baler. It wil be recalled that Spanish forces were besieged by Filipino insurgents from June 27, 1898 to July 2, 1899. The church was converted into a garrison by the last four Spanish officers and their 50 men. It was also here where they surrendered to Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's revolutionary forces, upon realilzation that there was no more reason to fight since Americans already won over the Spaniards, and therefore the Philippines no longer belonged to Spain.
The Quezon Park was developed to serve as a landmark of Baler, Quezon, it being the site of the late President Manuel L. Quezon's birthplace and house. A bronze sculpture of President Quezon seated in his usual stately fashion serves as centerpiece of the park. Children love to play around the sculpture which is set on a circular cement platform. Sometimes, they sit on Quezon's lap, or embrace him as they pose for souvenir pictures. I noticed that many families go there to stroll under the giant trees on late afternoons or early mornings, or simply sit on the benches as the kids romp on the gardens.
When we went there, a festivity of some sort was being held. The different barangays/sitios were setting up their own creative interpretation of Belen (Nativity Scene), using only indigenous materials from products of Baler (e.g., coconut, corn, etc), combined with recyclable materials (e.g. plastic softdrnk bottles, used tetrapacks,etc).
Having read about the miraculous cross at Ermita Hill, I wanted to go there. So when I saw the towering white cross and the big "Maligayang Pasko" (Merry Christmas) greeting on the hillside from our resort in Sabang Beach, all the more I looked forward to going there.
Since we took a tricycle going to Ermita Hill, we had no choice but to go up through the 136 stairs. Actually, I counted 120, but I could have missed some steps as I gasped for breath. The sweeper at the park insisted it was 136 steps. It was a tedious climb for my osteoporotic knees and thigh bones (I'll write a separate warning tip on this) but it was all worth the pain.
As you climb the stairs, you can already see the bay, and when you finally reach the viewdeck from the chapel, you'll be reinvigorated by the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Baler Bay, Baler town, Sabang Beach & delta, and Dimadimalangat islet.
There are picnic cottages on the hill, but what people usually go there for is the miraculous corss and chapel. Alas, my legs ached so badly, I couldn't climb up to the cross anymore so I just prayed at the chapel. The chapel site is said to be Old Baler's watchpoint. With the bell tower's excellent vantage point, the people of Baler were warned of raiding pirates (moros).
Note: If you hire a car/jeep/van, it can actuallly bring you up to the park where the chapel is.
If not for the giggles of some curious school girls, I would have most missed this historic secret tunnel devised by the people of old Baler as escape route during the frequent raids of moro pirates. The starting point is said to be from a location in Barangay Santa Elena leading up to this site at Ermita Hill.
From the view deck of Ermita Hill, we saw the Baler Municipal Fishport. We drove past it when we went to Diguisit Beach; we didn't stop because we were hurrying to see the islets. We decided to drop by on our way back, since we were in the area anyway. I had wondered what was worth seeing there. I learned that this was where fish like blue marlin and tuna, as well as seafoods like shrimps, crabs and lobsters are bought at wholesale prices. Too bad, it was already past noontime when we passed by so there weren't anymore fish. What was left for trading at the fishport were coconuts.
We just took some shots of the fishport and its surroundings. From a distance, one sees the Bangus Hatchery, the beautiful coast and islet.
The Diguisit Falls is actually called Natulo Falls in the olden days. I was told that it was the source of the first potable water system in Baler, an initiative of Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon. It reportedly supplied clean, cold, fresh and sweet-tasting water to the houses of the townfolks. The water came from the mountains and diverted to the top of the waterfalls. Then in the early eighties, modern water systems were installed, taking over the supply of potable water to Baler residents. Today, locals say the Diguisit water source still produces (though in much smaller quantities) the same quality of water to some private resorts along the Diguisit area.
Diguisit Falls is more than 10 kilometers from the Poblacion, but easy to go to. If you go to the Aniao and Lukso-lukso Islets, you will pass by it shortly after the Baler Fishport. You won't miss it because water trickles down to the road. Some tricycle drivers stop there to clean their tricycles.
Even to the uninitiated mountaineer, Diguisit Falls is easy to reach. However, because of leg pains after my Ermita Hill climb, I didn't go up anymore to the first layer of the waterfalls.
Wake up early and have a good morning exercise by the beach. Whether you're into jogging, brisk walking or tai-chi, you'll surely feel reinvigorated with the cool seabreeze and be freshened up by the mist from rampaging waves.