When everything fails, God makes its presence felt. Ermita hill is a testament of that fact. Baler has been God’s favourite child. He loves to dismantle Baler every now and then. On December 27, 1735, a great Tsunami had swept away Baler. At that time, people had taken refuge at Ermita Hill. That incidence had carved Ermeta Hill’s place in history books forever. After climbing the 250+ steps hike under shady trees I reached the top of the hill. The view wasn’t as great as at the start of the stairs. I was drinking in the magnificent view of the bay below, including the Baler fish port from the Baler view deck at the hill. There were hardly any tourists at that time. I spoke to a group of locals about the recent typhoon. They said, “Natural disasters are a part of our life. You really can’t control them. But you can control how you respond to them. Whining about them will not do any good. Best is to move on with a smile.” Isn’t that gem of an advice?
After a sleepless night and a busy sightseeing day I wanted to relax a bit so I retreated to my hole. There was no electricity since all the Electricity poles were uprooted in Baler. And no internet. I was happy to be in nature’s lap without any distractions. A tented accommodation in a lush green garden with coconut trees was my abode tonight. Gulping the freshly plucked coconut water I indulged in a small talk with the caretakers of the property. I did not want to miss the Golden Hour so I headed to the beach. The entire beach was covered in the golden paint. Kids and their pets were enjoying their play time. Couples were walking hand in hand. It was hard to believe the waves which looked so calm at that moment were 20 feet high just few days back. But that’s how unpredictable nature can be.Baler is not Baler without the swells and breaks of Sabang Bay. Surfing is the main reason why tourists flock to the town. I was already too tired so I did not try my hand at surfing. Instead I walked capturing the sights and sounds of Baler. Besides glorious sunrise and sunsets Baler is famous for its nightlife and astounding variety of food. Being a vegetarian I opted for a safe option – Costa Pacifica, a high end Beach resort. The food was yummy but the best part was the fire dance performance.
Sabang Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Aurora. Tourists wanting to try surfing and pro surfers alike flock to this place. The waves are perfect for surfing beginners as well as those who already compete. There are several inns, restaurants and surf camps lined along the shore, you just have to choose.