Experiences and Stories of Biyaheng Palos

Experiences and Stories of  Biyaheng Palos
A Personal Travel Journal

Monday, June 04, 2012

Baler Sunrise

Another day has come.

 As the sun goes up, a new beginning awaits the adventurous soul. The glimmering rays of the sun is a drug for the sleepy heart. As I chase the morning sun, I chase the day with a thankful smile.

Life bring not all happy endings. But you can be that blessed person as far as your heart desires. For life teaches  the experience for us to grow better. And in life you can't stop the waves but you can learn how to ride the current. Courage is knowing what not to fear.

As I stare at the setting sun, the spirit of the day comes whispering goodnight. The night is me being patient in waiting for another beautiful sunrise.

Baler, Aurora

Aurora Province was named after the wife of Manuel L. Quezon, the President of the Philippine Commonwealth. This province was part of the old Quezon Province, that is why many still mistakenly saying that Aurora Province is in Quezon Province.

The time you say you're in Baler, you're in Aurora, and not in Quezon.

By walking the town, you'll come to many distinguished landmarks of the old times. You'll come into the replica of the house of the Quezons and the restored Presidential car. You can actually go up the house and take your pictures. The area is notable to other historical facts as well.

Walking along, you'll find the Baler Catholic Church and the Baler Museum and the town Plaza. 
What's notable of Aurora is the town of Baler, where the natural tragedy happened in early 1700s, almost wiped out the entire town, and everything was displaced including the town center, and she has recovered.

The story of the town is as exciting as the pretty beaches in this province. One can't go wrong  with the province of Aurora, she still has many treasures open to be seen by the adventurous soul.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

"Tawiran" and the road to the Ancient Story

According to myth as told by one of the locals in Sta. Elena, "once upon a time", there came an underprivileged lady stranger in their town and brought with her is the vision that the town will soon be vanished. Happening together, a rich visitor of the town came and the town people gathered and welcomed the rich visitor.

The town people disregarded the revelation of the poor lady. 
Days come and go, one cold night, the earth trembles, forming a devastating wave. That tsunami wiped out the old town of Baler, and only a handful of survivors; one of those are the wealthy Angaras and the Bihasas.

Learning from manong, who told me this story while sipping a soda, the person who told them of this story is still alive, I wish to meet the person but it's getting dark, and it's a long walk back to the lake.

Walking along, I came to this structure and found out this is a 15th century edifice, long before the Spanish arrived, used as watchtower. This ancient escape tunnel with opening in the chapel at Sta. Elena and ends in Ermita Hill, devised by the people of Baler to elude raiders in the old days.


The Hill where the survivors of the tsunami in 1735 fled, now known as Ermita Hill, was made into a state park in recognition to the courage of the survivors; and  remembrance of the people who lost their lives in the natural tragedy. 
The ancient escape tunnel used by the people of Baler in the ancient times, to get rid of the raiding moros are still visible. But the bridge was left behind in a bad way.

It is said that in the early 70's, archaeologist flock this town of Baler where the ancient escape tunnel was located and found ancient pots, gems and other accessories while the other items found by the locals was sold at P300.00 at that time. Today, many of the houses erected in that particular town of Sta Elena hold many olden mementos of the ancient days.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Ermita Hill

According to history, Baler met with a tsunami in 1735 that wiped the old town and killing hundreds or thousands of people. Only 7 survived by climbing the now known as Ermita Hill, as depicted in the life-size "Tromba Marina" memorial structure right at the park's main entrance. 
(I don't know if it's 7 families or only 7 people.)

Walking along, the ancient viewing point and tunnel marker dating way back 15th century can still be seen, there's a chapel and a viewing deck of Baler Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

There's also this 300 steps of concrete stairs that brings you to Ermita Cross.

At the time of my visit to Ermita Hill, I have seen the face of neglect to this park. The aviary and the cages are full of garbage and offensive smell. And the only primate needed help. He's the only lonely sentinel of the park when everyone else gone gone. 

Given this recognition, I just hope the Provincial Government of Aurora is responsive enough to maintain this landmark. Photos of neglect is not a good picture.

Visitors and tourist must also observe cleanliness and discipline at all times, there are trash bins located somewhere, be responsible enough not to throw away even a candy wrapper everywhere.

Going to Ermita Hill on an easy budget of less than 50 pesos.

Hail a tricycle and ask him to bring you to "Tawiran"
Walk along and ride a paddleboat to bring you to the other side of the lake.
Walk the seawall to bring you to the road going to Ermita Hill. 
(Ask directions from the locals, they are so kind, believe me..)

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