I decided to go on a solo trip again but only for a day since my friends will be joining me the next day. Well, it is my first time to do it here in the Philippines and I must say, it was a fun experience!
Call to check bus trip schedules
– Take a Joybus or Genesis Bus a regular one. The Joybus offers comfortable seats, free Wifi, and a lesser travel time due to limited stopovers. It also has its own comfort room inside the bus. Semi Deluxe is Php650 while the Deluxe is Php700. Best to reserve online for guaranteed seats especially during peak seasons.
So, I decided to take a regular air-conditioned bus after confirming the bus times with Genesis. It is almost half cheaper than the Joybus, Php 450.
Book a hostel
– It is cheaper and I’m spending the night alone anyway – This is actually me getting out of my comfort zone to meet other travelers (honestly, I’m not good with small talks or being around strangers). Pushing the limits, I guess. This is again a 1st for me.
I booked a Girl’s Dorm with The Circle Hostel for a night at Php 550 online. This includes the locker rental (bring your own padlock) and breakfast (pandesal w/ peanut butter and bananas). Not bad at all! I chose to stay here because of its artsy fartsy theme. 🙂
The adventure begins…
I arrived at Cubao Genesis Bus Terminal around 12mn. Just to find out that the last bus departing was already full. There was supposedly a schedule starting 12mn, 2am, last one at 5am but since there were a lot of people headed to Baler, they moved up the schedules to accommodate passengers. I also checked the Joybus, unfortunately, it’s already full for the whole day as well. I was very frustrated and thought of heading back home but then I said to myself, I need a Plan B (should’ve thought of that early on). Good thing, I read a lot of blogs and remembered that there is an alternative route. I met another passenger who happened to be from Aurora as well so we went together with her niece to the bus terminal beside, ES Transport. Gladly, there were available trips going to Cabanatuan. We were dropped at the market where there are vans awaiting for passengers headed to Baler.
Cubao to Cabanatuan – Php 185.00 | 3 to 4 hours
Cabanatuan to Baler – Php 220.00 | 3 to 4 hours
Baler Terminal to Hostel – Php 30.00 | 10 to 15 minutes
I checked-in at around 8 in the morning. I was given my beddings then I settled for a while and explored the hostel before heading out to the beach and have breakfast.
In the afternoon, while walking on the shore, a kid approached me and offered surf lessons at Php 300/hour so I gave in. After the tiring surfing, I headed to Baler Surfer Grill and got the Grilled Fish Surfer Meal. It was really good! 😉
To sum it up, I enjoyed traveling alone and I will be stoked to do it again. Since my friends are arriving the next day, I had to stick with the surf & swim and do the rest of the activities with them.
Day 2 & 3
So the kuya’s where I rented the surf board offered us a tour with their tricycles (good for small groups, 1 tricycle can be okay for 3 pax). Since the rates are the same around, we just got them as our tour guide. Half day tour Php 400 and Whole Day is Php 700 (per tricycle).
We had a one and a half day tour and went to: Balete Tree, Mother Falls, Ermita Hill, Aniao Islet, Diguisit Falls, and Hanging Bridge.
Entrance Fee is Php 10.00
Travel Date: May 2016