Baler comes from the word bali--meaning "a place to come back to".
Sometimes, I wonder why I allow myself in a situation that I am super sure in one way I'll be uncomfortable in. If for anything, I love challenging my introverted and non-athletic self. I think I grow and become better because of these.
Last APEC break, I spent 4 sunsets with Sarah and her barkada in Baler, swimming, eating, and touring the city.
My favorite parts:
1) The 6-hour road trip where I saw different cities, slept, talked with Sarah and her friends, and slept some more.
2) Beach time, splashing and playing with Sarah, Nikola, and Baler's crashing, buwis buhay waves.
Hello to mag-ina Nikola and Sarah!
3) Half-day tricycle tour with the gang where we visited Baler's best, including Ermita Hill, Hanging Bridge, Museo de Baler, Dona Aurora Quezon's House, and Diguisit Beach. Full and super sulit day!
Tricycle seatmates with Sarah's friend Pat!
The gang + Kuya Tour Guide's amusing photo trick!
Benta si Nikola, haha!
Parang field trip!
Selfie time while crossing the hanging bridge!
Beautiful isolated beach!
City proper, and turista mode photo!
4) Lounge, eat, take photos, and swim at Costa Pacifica Baler's beautiful outdoor area.
BEST FOOD TRIP!
5) Hangout + Hot Americano (hehe) and BEST cookies at the beautiful Groundswell Cafe.
This bathroom "mirror" made me smile. :)
Unlimited coffee breaks!
Tried Kuya Tour Guide's panorama photo trick!
And last but not the least... 6) Surfing!!!!!!!
I may be shy and awkward, but I often catch myself with other people's barkada trips, haha! I enjoy meeting new people, and Sarah's friends were all very cool and welcoming. I also especially miss my nightly Snapchat / Youtube pre-bedtime kulitan with the group's baby Nikola, while the rest were having their beer wal-wal outside the room. Lola-mode ba ako nun? More of baby-mode pa siguro! Lol.
And of course, I wish I can go surfing more often than once a year. Although I fell more than the number of times I stood up the surf board, I enjoyed every minute learning and focusing and making myself proud for every little improvement. For every "wave", there is a lesson and a chance to try again. And that also goes with life and its challenges, hehe.
No one to take my photos or capture the things that made me happy during the trip, but this made me realize what's more valuable to me than an Instagram-worthy photo: Doing my best and being happy even when no one's watching.