Yoga and Free Diving Wellness Trip in Aurora Province (Baler)

Friday, July 08, 2022

The parallelism between yoga and diving is uncanny. 

Last week, I joined a Travel, Breathe, and Dive wellness trip with the Department of Tourism Region 3 to promote Aurora beyond being a surf site. 

Located at the eastern part of Central Luzon, it took us about 5 hours to reach Aurora's capital Baler, where we stayed for 4 days / 3 nights. We had yoga sessions almost everyday, and one day of freediving (supposedly 2 days, but weather did not permit). I can't help but notice the similarities of diving and yoga.

(1) Diving and yoga essentials. (2) Breakfast in Costa Pacifica Baler.

In both practices, breathing is essential. In fact, breathing is the make or break. You have to be mindful in following each step, connecting your body to your breathwork to achieve actions or postures that seem physically impossible. 

In a way, both yoga and diving are forms of meditation. You have to be present in order to achieve your goals. And of course, regular practice of both yoga and diving will lead to improvement--it is normal to not perfect it at first, but there will always be another day to try! 


When it's a Baler trip, I almost always stay in Costa Pacifica. I think it's my 3rd or 4th time in this beautiful resort, and I love that they are consistent through the years. From good service, beautiful rooms and facilities, and delicious food especially their breakfast buffet--in 2022, I still enjoyed my stay in Costa Pacifica. 

I was assigned roommates with my friend Say Tioco, and I realized that although we had been to other media trips and events, it was our first time to hangout this long. While settling in our room, her first question to me was "anong klase kang tao?"--the green flag of a best roomie, and my signal to feel comfortable during our whole trip. 😁

The doorway from back side of our room, leading to a garden / small pond area: 

Our room is HUGE!

Separate sink and toilet and bath:


It has been a while since I stepped on a mat. I remember almost a decade ago, I was super active in our neighborhood hot yoga school, I never missed a class and joined their challenges. It was addicting to sweat it all out, feeling physically and mentally refreshed after every session. 

In Baler, we had morning and afternoon yoga or meditation sessions almost everyday. It was different every time, so we were able to try different forms of yoga. Here are some of them: 

Tea Meditation + Journaling + Sound Bath

Day 1, first group activity. Reflective and intention setting. Learned a lot of breathing exercises that I can easily apply everyday.

Gentle Flow Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Beer Yoga

So. Much. FUN! Our finale group activity on our last night in Baler!


Meanwhile, our free diving 101 happened on a rainy day. We were told that as long as "hindi kumukulog", it's still safe to free dive. 

First and foremost we had a long "classroom" session, discussing the nitty gritty details of freediving. I actually learned a lot from this, from why our instructors got into freediving, the dos and don'ts, etc. In small groups, we also practiced the different steps of duck diving in a swimming pool, before heading to the ocean.

During the open water session, it stopped raining, and the beach was soooo clear! Through my goggles, I watched my classmates duck dive to reach the bottom of the ocean. It was so amazing! How being mindful in following each step brings results. 

I had several trials, and finally did it on my 3rd or 4th dive! It was super quick, I panicked when I felt the water getting cold already. My ears hurt a bit coz I forgot to equalize from being overwhelmed! 😅 

After that, Sir Jmer told us he will be recording us one by one as we dive and swim toward the shore. This time, I wasn't able to reach the bottom of the ocean, but I glided longer than earlier. Here are some screenshots of my video:

If anything, I am glad to have Sir Jmer as my instructor. He really helped our group relax and stay present. I think everyone in our group improved in the short amount of time that we had, thanks to sir Jmer's attention to details!


  • Listen to your teacher, pay attention to everything they say. During the open water session, everything mentioned during the lecture helped me a lot. Which leads us to...

  • Info overload, to the point that you might mix things up or forget the next step. When this happens to you too, repetition is key. Practice lang ng practice.

  • Lastly, stay safe by always being around professional freedive instructors. If something is uncomfortable and hurting, go back up!


As they say, you know that a trip is fun when time seems to be running fast. On our last day, we finally availed our hotel breakfast buffet, and rushed to our rooms to change into our swimming clothes. It wasn't surfing season, but my friends and I still attempted to ride the small waves thanks to our new surfing Coach Gino! 

After checking out, we also had a Centro Baler tour c/o sir Leo Lorente. It was a super interesting tour, Sir Leo shared to us bite-sized historical information about Aurora and Baler while going around significant spots. Ang dami ko natutunang bago!

Heading home was another 5++ hours on the road, but the time spent in Aurora was worth the travel time. It was a breather from work and city life. I also gained new friendships and new insights--that Aurora is more than a surfing destination. It's about time to come back and visit, and discover these other things they have for us!

PS: Thank you so much for reading my travel blogs, and making me a part of the Top 100 Travel Blogs in the World! :)

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