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Aurora on a Weekend (Baler and Dicapulao)
(Jhei Maniulit/ Mar 13, 2017)
It was Friday and an hour 'til midnight when we decided to leave Manila (BGC, Taguig) and drive to Aurora. If you think exploring the province is impossible for an overnight trip, think again.
(Baler Surfer Grill: They use this yellow Volkswagen Beetle-themed grilling station)

We were able to visit Baler and Dipaculao in two days (with stop overs in Pantabangan and Cabanatuan Market). There are two set of itineraries below which you can follow depending on your priorities. Our group preferred the latter for more sleep and food! The schedule might be too tight but I assure you that it won't compromise the quality of fun and adventure.
Itinerary One: Non-Stop Adventure
This is the jam-packed itinerary. With non-stop adventure from the long drive, visiting almost all attractions in Baler to chilling at Dinadiawan Beach in Dipaculao, this itinerary will let you make most out of your weekend.

Pros: Maximized time and very efficient!
Cons: Might be too tiring for some, especially for the drivers (and navigators/ Wazers/ Google Maps managers!).
Itinerary Two: The Laidback Itinerary
For a more laid-back vacation, this itinerary may serve as your guide. If you'll compare it with the first one, this will bring you to less destinations but will give you time to rest and chill when it gets too tiring. The stopover at Hillocks might be one of the highlights here! We followed this itinerary since we wanted our drivers to rest and get some zzz's before continuing the long drive.

Pros: More relaxed and you will have time for stopovers (can also be while on the road to take pictures! Aurora's sceneries are to die for).
Cons: Won't let you visit as many attractions, especially in Baler.
Aurora is known for Baler as a surfing site. Indeed, Sabang Beach is a great place to learn and try riding waves! We enrolled at Aliya Surf Camp for 400Php an hour of surfing lesson (including board rental). They have friendly and patient instructors and they aren't strict with the time at all- surf until you drop.
After dancing with the waves, we all longed to chill by the beach and for a quick dip in more calm water. This led us to Dinadiawan Beach Dipaculao. It's approximately 1-2 hours away from Baler. Which may be a long and sometimes scary drive (aaaahh zigzags and landslide remnants) but the view is fantastic!!! You may also take a quick stop at Ampere Beach, the boulder beach in Dipaculao.

Estimated budget is around 2,000-2,500 per person including transpo, an hour of surfing lesson and accommodation at Dinadiawan Agri Beach Resort. We were on a private vehicle, which is more ideal than riding a bus if you are on a budget.
(Sunrise at Dinadiawan Beach)

Certainly, Aurora is a beautiful province. It may be known for the beauty of Baler but it's definitely more than that. I am looking forward to explore the farther areas and beaches! It should definitely fall on everyone's bucket list.

All photos are courtesy of Jigs Tenorio.
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Tags:   Baler   Sabang Beach   surfing   
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