Surfers catching a wave in Baler
Catching a wave in Baler. Photo by Renato Ubay Jr.

This is a guest post from my friend Mick Ison, who divides his free time between motorcycling, wakeboarding and all sorts of other water sports.

 To Pinoy surfers, Baler needs no introduction. Along with La Union and Siargao, it is one of the most frequented surf spots in the Philippines. But being new to surfing, I had little idea of what to expect.

I had been hearing about Baler for the longest time. Unfortunately, I never really had a chance to visit the place. My luck changed when I reconnected with an old friend, Noel Lazaro, who invited me to tag along with their Surf Trip to Baler. And without any hesitation, I said yes.

Water has always been my element. Years ago, I discovered the thrill of windsurfing, and became a weekend warrior at Laguna’s Caliraya Lake. Last year I got into wakeboarding and became a frequent visitor to CWC, Lago de Oro and then Republic Wake Park. Later I experimented with wakeskating. I’ve always wanted to try surfing and I was thankful that I finally had my chance.

We left Manila at about 9pm. After a quick dinner and gas stop at NLEX Shell in Balagtas, we were on our way to Baler. After a 5 hour trip, we arrived in Baler at about 2am. We checked in at Carlito’s which is about a 5 minute drive to the beach front. For the next three days, this would be our home.

Panoramic view of baler's Beach
Baler’s breaks beckon surfers. Photo by Renato Ubay Jr.

We woke up at about 9am, We trooped down to the beach. We ate breakfast at Bayler’s View Hotel, and after that it was time to hit the surf! We met the locals from Sagasa Surf– a bunch of cool, fun loving guys. Adams, a local surfer, agreed to be my instructor.

My wakeskating and windsurfing experience came in handy trying to stand up in a surf board. But I discovered that that was not the tricky part–catching a wave on your own proved to be the bigger challenge.

Baler surfer stands up on board
My previous forays into windsurfing and wakeboarding helped me stand up on the board, but that was not the hard part. Photo by Renato Ubay Jr.

After several tries, I was able to catch a wave on my own. And instantly, I was in love.

Eat, sleep and surf–that became out routine for the rest of our stay in Baler. I couldn’t ask for more. Good vibes and great surfing. Beer is always cold, food is good and cheap. While the beach is not your white sand variety, you don’t really come to Baler to roll in the sand. You come here to surf.

Here are a few things you also must try when you’re in BALER

  1. Carlito’s buffet Php100.00
  2. Gerry Shan’s Buffet Php 185
  3. Bay’s Inn Crispy Buntot

If there the water is flat (which can happen sometimes)

  1. Visit Quezon Museum
  2. Visit Ermita Hill
  3. Ride an ATV along the beach

7 thoughts on “Surfing in Baler

        1. pwedeng pwede po ang scooter. we tried that many times with my Honda Beat couple of years ago (considering that national roads to baler that time not yet completed). you will surely enjoy the ride. 🙂

  1. I couldn’t agree more to the things you’ve said above. There are a few things I missed when I went to Baler to learn surfing, the buffet at Carlito’s and Gerry Shan, the museum and the ATV ride. I should try those when I come back.

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