Baler Bound: How to go to Costa Pacifica Raintree
August is one of the rainiest months in the Philippines, but.on a positive note, it usually has the most number of long weekends next to December. This gives you a chance to have a quick getaway from hustle and bustle of the city. Last week, during the National Hero's Day long weekend, we took the opportunity to explore the beautiful Baler in Aurora province.
More than a surfing destination, Baler, a second class municipality, is located more than 200 kilometers northeast of the Philippine capital. Its rich history and diverse eco-tourism destinations are more than enough reason to lure you to explore this once sleepy town. Plus, the food - buko, pako (fern), suman with coco jam and peanut butter, as well as yellow fin tuna - is worth checking out.
There used to be a direct flight to Baler via Seair but it had ceased operations years ago. So, unless you have a budget for a private plane (which lands on a tiny operational airstrip), see below how you can reach this quaint little town by land.
How to go there:
If you're bringing your own car, Baler can be access through NLEX via Sta. Rita exit and head towards my hometown, Nueva Ecija. Just go straight, passing by Cabanatuan City. Take the Camiling-Pantabangan road straight up. You will be driving through scenic green mountains along the way until you reach the province of Aurora. You can also go thorugh the NLEX-SCTEX route passing through Tarlac-Zaragoza-Sta. Rosa and continue on to Cabanatuan City, all the way to Aurora. Depending on how fast you drive, travel time with a private car can take around 5-6 hours. For detailed instructions, see here.
|On the way to Baler|
If you don't want to drive and just want to sit back and sleep throughout the trip, take the Joybus (the executive coach bus line of Genesis Transport) bound to Baler. The terminal is located at the corner of EDSA and New York Street in Cubao. Make sure you reserve a seat in advance at it gets fully-booked easily. (Joybus: +632 4211413, 4211422, 4211425, 7090803). Usually, there is a trip at 12:00 midnight and another at 2:30 am, but please confirm the latest schedule when you do your reservations. Fare is Php 700.
|Nueva Ecija-Aurora border|
|Waiting for boarding at the Cubao terminal|
|Blanket and snacks are provided|
If you are staying at Costa Pacifica Raintree like us, a "Pasajero" will pick you up at the bus terminal to bring you to the newly-opened boutique hotel which now stands beautifully in front of Bahia de Baler. The two properties were merged together.
Otherwise, you may take a tricycle to Sabang Beach where accommodations in all shapes, sizes and price range are.
|Costa Pacifica Raintree's Pasajero|
Costa Pacifica Raintree
80 Buton St, Sitio Labasin,
Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora, Philippines
4/F Universale Building,
106 Paseo de Roxas cor. Perea Street, Makati
tel (632) 576.4555 | fax (632) 893.2561
Special thanks to Mr. Randy Salvador
and Ms. Mela Sison for making our stay memorable.