MANILA, Philippines – For those who vacation in the more popular destinations south of Metro Manila, Baler seems like a distant and remote spot. To the peripatetic and those bitten by wanderlust, Baler is a jewel of a paradise waiting to be discovered. Tucked between mountain and sea, Baler is the economic hub and political center of the province of Aurora. Its very location between the formidable Sierra Madre mountain range and the waters of the Pacific Ocean endows the town with so many attractions.
For surfers, Baler has long been a byword among those searching for excitement and sure adrenaline rush. Most famous among the town’s many surfing spots is Sabang Beach, a long stretch of gray sandy beach. It offers a calm and soothing beachfront from March to June with moderate waves ideal or swimming. From October to February, however, the large waves come in which gives ample opportunity for surfers to ride the crest. For experts, Lindy’s Point, along the southern part of the beach, offers more challenging waves.
Lovers of marine attractions will enjoy a visit to the coral-rich islands of Dimadimalangat, Aniao and Lukso-Lukso strewn just off the coast. The picturesque Dicasalarin Beach offers calm, crystal-clear waters for hours of swimming and just lazing on the white sand beach. This is the same beach where the romantic scene between Anne Curtis and Jericho Rosales was shot for the movie “Baler”.
Baler is also a town with a rich historical past. Baler Church marks the famous Siege of Baler when the last Spanish garrison of four officers and 50 men was besieged by Filipino insurgents from June 27, 1898 to July 2, 1899. This was the last pocket of resistance of the Spanish Armed Forces to surrender to American troops.
It is also hometown to the late Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon and those who want to know more about the man can visit the Quezon Memorial Park—a beautiful park with stately trees, flowering ornamentals and gardens. A statue of Pres. Quezon sits in the center where tourists can have their photos taken. In the middle sits the striking Museo de Baler.
Ermita Hill in nearby Poblacion Casiguran offers a commanding view of Casiguran Bay, Sabang Beach and the nearby islets. More than just a park and perch, this is also the site where seven families escaped to during the great tsunami of December 1735. At the foot of the hill stands a stunning memorial created by artist Nemi Miranda—a sculpture depicting fathers, mothers and children clambering up on the hill to escape the rampaging waves.
In the midst of the beauty and attractions, Baler is a true haven designed to pamper the body and soothe the senses—Costa Pacifica Raintree. Located along Sabang Beach, it offers a breathtaking view of the ocean with windswept beaches and a striking sunrise. More than that, Costa Pacifica Raintree is just a lazy walk away from the famous surfer’s beach.
Its 108 handsomely-designed suites are equipped with LCD television with cable programming, air conditioning, and hot and cold shower. Guests have free use of the pool and gym. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi access for those who wish to be connected even on a holiday. For the young ones, the hotel has an activity room and gym.
A feast awaits gourmands at Costa Pacifica’s dining outlets. The Beach Shack offers a menu of mouthwatering local and international cuisine for lunch and dinner, and a breakfast buffet served daily. It boasts of a wood-fired oven to give most selections a smoky, heartwarming flavor and offers calming view of the ocean.
Café Rosa is charming, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and coffee shop where one can luxuriously savor themed buffets and ala-carte selections. Authentic Baler cuisine is the main attraction of the menu and is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Those who want to spice up out-of-town business gatherings, product launches and private parties such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays will fall in love with The Pavillion. The handsome structure sits along the shoreline and opens to a panoramic view of the sea. More than a function room, it is a destination where one can make beautiful memories with friends, family and loved ones.
Costa Pacifica Raintree opens in the first quarter of 2013.
Costa Pacifica Raintree is located at Buton Street, Sabang, Baler, Aurora. Sabang Beach is a few minutes away from the Baler town proper and about 230KM northeast of Manila. For details and inquiries, log on to [email protected].