I’m a Surfer!

How many times do a person need to play a sport before he or she considers that game as his/he sport?  Does it have to be a daily playing of the sport? Once a week? Once a month?  Do a player needs to receive a prize or a medal for winning the game before he or she considers that sport his/her sport?  Or do you have to enlist yourself to legit and recognized sport organization so that you can call that sport your sport?

Or do you simply need to know the mechanics of the sport, be a knowledgeable on who are the legends and superstars of that sport and you just have to simply have to be an avid fan of such a sport before you can consider that sport your sport?

If the basis for having a sport is the last question, without any shoes or any gear, then my sport would be tennis.  But for other basis or criteria of having a sport, then I can easily say that I don’t have one.

Maybe playing a sport is not in my genes and bloodstream.  In the past, every time a soul would ask me what’s my sport, without butting an eyelash and feeling sedimentary, I would simply say “none” then start justifying that sports are only for people who needs to exhibit hatred, vent out ones boastfulness and dispense their sadistic pleasures.

But this is until recently when for the third consecutive year of visiting the bucolic municipality of Baler, I guess I can consider myself of finally having a sport.  That would be SURFING!  No not windsurfing or kite surfing or internet surfing.  Its beach surfing!  Yeah!  This is my third time on three consecutive years to surf the soft-sanded Sabang Beach of Baler.  Would this count?

a short re-briefing...

a short re-briefing…

as usual someone needs to carry my surf board for me. hahaha!

as usual someone needs to carry my surf board for me. hahaha!

i heart baler

i heart baler

surf is up! hahaha!

surf is up! hahaha!

I have yet to know technical terms of the sport like tubing, windswell, crumbly and pearling, but I’m definitely stoked every time I got to surf.  It may only be my third time but I already feel like I’m a Kahuna!  Kahuna by the way according to surfers are the wizards and magicians of surfing!  Hahaha!

Now ask me.  What’s my sport?

You, what’s your sport?

‘Yun nga lang… nakaka-hingal!

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Haler Baler…

One measure to prove that a traveler is so fascinated by a holiday destination is when he experienced the wanderlust to come back.  It is the strong desire and the itching feeling of wanting to return and re-experience the stunning sights and striking sounds of such captivating destination.

I have done a lot of returning and re-experiencing of various spellbinding tourist destinations myself both locally and internationally.  And one destination that has recently been added up to this beautiful list is Baler.  In less than a year I am back visiting this countrified town of Aurora Province here in the Philippines.

What I particularly loved about Baler is that there are so much to see, do and explore.  And that every spot is so overwhelmingly beautiful.  Add to that are the surprisingly affordable restaurants and food establishments  that offers fresh, delicious and hearty meals.

To further substantiate that I am truly captivated by this place, I returned back with Nengkoy and my family for them to see and experience for themselves how much fun I had the first time I visited.  And true enough, Baler for the second time around did not fail to amaze the traveler in me.

A very long rickety yet enjoyable Hanging Bridge

A very long rickety yet enjoyable Hanging Bridge

enjoying the sea breeze at the baywalk

enjoying the sea breeze at the baywalk

me & nengkoy posing at lukso-lukso beach & islets

me & nengkoy posing at lukso-lukso beach & islets

the millenium tree! one of the largest trees in asia..

the millenium tree! one of the largest trees in asia..

the surf is up at Sabang Beach!

the surf is up at Sabang Beach!

magnificent Mother Falls!

magnificent Mother Falls!

Swimming at the magnificent Mother Falls in Baler #motherfalls #baler #swim #waterfall #philippines #aurora

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the view up the lighthouse hill...

the view up the lighthouse hill…

And what is even further amazing about this return is that members of family were equally amazed by the beauty, warmth and hospitality of this gorgeous province.  I wont be surprised if I will again be back in this province and say “Haler… Baler…”

Babalik-babalik pa mor…

A Superstar Tropical Destination

El Nido was never in my bucket list.  It is because, before I was able to create mental notes about my bucket list, I have already been to this paradise of a place.  My recent trip to El Nido was not my first.  I was in this tropical paradise more than twenty years ago.  I remember during that particular trip, going to El Nido was even more difficult than how it is now.

it felt like owning the whole stretch of this beautiful beach paradise

it felt like owning the whole stretch of this beautiful beach paradise

cheers!

cheers!

Reaching and travelling now and then to El Nido is like reaching for the stars!  More than twenty years ago, underprivileged tourists like me could not afford to pay for a private plane that would bring me to El Nido.  Me and my friends had to travel first to Puerto Princesa and take a bumpy public transport (a huge non-air-conditioned truck transformed into a bus) that would pass through the never-seem-to-end super dusty dirt road for 12 long hours.  Now the easy, smooth and air-conditioned land travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (though still a lot of time) would only take about four to five hours.

What is so distinct about the El Nido tourists more than 20 years ago is that majority of them were foreigners.  Except me, local Filipino tourists then would comprise of either from (i) very rich families; (ii) corrupt political personalities; and, (iii) stylish showbiz superstars.  Now, it is so heartwarming to know that more local tourists from the middle class spectrum of society could already go and marveled at the beauty of El Nido.

beautiful

beautiful

big lagoon

big lagoon

twin beach

twin beach

Local tourists from rich families more than 20 years ago may have gone bankrupt; corrupt politicians more than 20 years ago may have been jailed or whose souls are now burning in hell; and, stylish showbiz superstars may have gone baduy (outmoded) and laos (obsolete) but the majestic beauty, charismatic energy and mesmeric attraction of El Nido remains the same.   Glad to know that El Nido continues to be the country’s superstar tropical destination!

peaceful and very relaxing

peaceful and very relaxing

Because of its splendid attractions, I have just revised my bucket list.  It is because I have included El Nido and that I have to experience all the marvelous sites that it has to offer.  Right now this paradise has four island hopping tours (A, B, C and D tours) plus the inland travels going to a fresh water falls and the Nacpan/Twin Beach.  This now gives me reason to return!

Ang ganda naman kasi.

El Nido: Effective In Playing Hard To Get

believe it or not... i took this shot...

believe it or not… i took this shot…

One romance theory that has been backed up by empirical study shows that playing hard to get is a good way to build desire and romantic attraction.  Case in point for this theory is the hardships that one would have to encounter and endure before reaching the most beautiful tropical vacation place on earth known as El Nido in Palawan.

Unless you have heaps of wealth, getting to El Nido is an exhausting challenge.  Like the theory of playing hard to get, reaching El Nido can be like investing into some emotional and physical investments.

el nido port

el nido port

going inside the big lagoon...

going inside the big lagoon…

inside the "secret lagoon"

inside the “secret lagoon”

super nice.... at the yet to be spoiled, nacpan beach

super nice…. at the yet to be spoiled, nacpan beach

beauty...

beauty…

One would have to encounter the dangers-that-be lurking at the Manila airport, one would have to endure the often-delayed flights of airlines, one would have to suffer the butt-aches and bladder-control agonies of land travel for five to six hours, one would have to bear with the bumpy boat rides when touring the paradise-like destinations, one would have to endure the stings and soreness of a sunburn.

But all these hardships would definitely be worth it!  All these pains and stressors would simply be erased as soon as you see, smell and experience the desirable and attractive paradise known as El Nido.

Kakamangha!

 

First Time Surfer

Not in my wildest dreams that I would be one with the waves.  The thrilling waves of Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora Province is the site where I first learned and experience gliding on water.

While learning the basics on how to position my body and the technique on how to stand on top of the surfboard, I pity my tutor because he will have to squander tons of patience, immeasurable strength and lots of miserable time before I can finally learn to stand and ride a thrilling wave.

trip to baler is incomplete if without surfing...

trip to baler is incomplete if without surfing…

move over Mick Fanning...   the future surfer of the year is here...

move over Mick Fanning… the future surfer of the year is here…

At my present age, in which my body is two steps behind my brain, I know that being a beginner sucks! And I have always accepted the fact that the whole Pacific Ocean would first have to dry up before I’d be able to learn how to surf.

And while acting out the necessary moves being taught to me by my tutor, I was also thinking that since it would be impossible for me to attain balance and be able to stand on a moving surf, I might as well enjoy the thrill and the feeling of my body crashing and splashing down the ocean!

But lo and behold, after just few attempts and immeasurable metric tons of salty water that I drank everytime I fell off the moving surf, I was already standing atop a gliding surfboard! I was like floating on air!

ryan, my tutor was also my "taga-buhat"

ryan, my tutor was also my “taga-buhat”

I can say that the experience was indeed pure fun!  It’s the ultimate feeling of joy out from accomplishing something that you never dreamed of in the first place.

I was so ecstatic, I even hugged my instructor when he approached me telling me “Good job!”  It’s that happy feeling of accomplishment that gives me a reason to visit back this thrilling side of the Pacific Ocean.

Parang gusto ko na tuloy bumili ng tatlong piraso ng Surp Bord!