Time really flies when you’re having fun. Four days in Baler during the Holy Week and we wished it will never end. I can’t recall much now but the routine was typical – surf, eat, sleep and repeat. Wait… and skate! There are good spots in Baler to cruise on concrete and that’s what we did whenever the surf would mellow because of the wind. So one afternoon I got my mini and packed the camera in my backpack and pushed around Baler town.
Here are some photos with descriptions.
our crew. our daily view. on to the most consistent spot. it just takes a little drive to get there.
unloading boards isn’t that much of a hassle, if it weren’t that hot! not much shade in this place.
but oooh wee. sweet peelers were waiting for us and I ran in excitement. we surfed as much as we could and we cheered every time someone’s on a good wave. also, we got totally burned in sun. my friend even told me my sunburn isn’t red anymore, it’s turning gray. man that can’t be good.
3 minis. always bring your skateboard to Baler. because when the wind picks up it messes up the surf and it’s time to call it a day. and here starts the photo skate walk.
this is where the locals skate shred on their longboards. it was a bit too downhill. I started in the middle and carved and it was okay. but went I went a little higher up the slope the ride became super fast. sketchy brah.
on the other side of the bridge I saw a familiar looking vehicle. it’s the Jimny! this is JP Sarmiento’s rough and tough ride and it takes him to those off the beaten surf spots. here’s an interview we did with JP in the past called True Grit.
the coastal service. if you go further the skate spot you’ll end up at the Sabang coastline with a long boulevard. this is also a good spot to skate. it’s really cool because it’s a long paved road and there’s surf on the other side.
so on the boulevard are mostly families having picnic by the coast, as the surf goes on. some men where drinking local brandy and I wanted to have a drink and listen to stories haha.
and boom look who’s surfing at Lindy’s Point. I can recognize that style right away. I can also recognize that skin darkness from miles away. AJ is our surf bud and we did a feature on him recently called AJ Hangs Five.
and here’s the rest of the choco banana crew! upper left is college student Denise Miranda and right is Mike Bonifacio. I haven’t seen anyone progress in surfing that quickly. they just started surfing late last year! I do know their secret: sleep early, wake up early, surf all day and drink choco banana shake in between. Pat on the hand is a shortboarder who frequently surfs in Liwa. this is the first time I saw him on a longboard, and I think he has a classic style going on.
so after shooting and skating at the boulevard I had to get back to Sabang. I hailed a tricycle and rode at the back with my camera still in hand. the Aurora mountains are always a sight to behold.
and when we got to town it was traffic. hassle. too many SUVs, vans, sedans in one road! so I decided to get off the trike and just skate back home. good thing I decided to do that because…
I’ve been asking townspeople about how they celebrate Holy Week in Baler. like if they do the senakulo, or that ridiculous self mutilation thing. little did I know I was going to be in the middle of it! dear Mama Mary, I know I have this receding belief in religion but if you guys were really responsible for the good waves we surfed then I would like to thank you very much.
because of the procession I was re-routed to another way to the beach. I loved this. I saw a very rural living. here’s a group of teens where one kid is trying to make the girls laugh. reminded me of my high school days. haha.
finally I made my way back and who do I find surfing Rollin’s Point? Roy of Aliya Surf Camp of course! this is his spot after all. haha.
to cap off the day I had beer at the Aliya Surf Camp and watched surfers surf till the day’s end. the moon was shining bright during the Holy Week, it was just after a full moon. here’s a photo of an unknown surfer surfing classic in the moonlight.
I was so stoked this day with the surf, skate and my attempts at photography. I took another sip at my beer and just felt really good to be in Baler. I’ve been coming back here for almost 3 years now but there’s always something new to experience. Even with all the development and construction that’s happening the beauty of Baler will never fade. Somewhere along off beaten paths are amazing things that await us. It’s not hard to reach these places. A skate around can take you there.
- fin -
photos and words by TJ LokalSoul. follow him on Instagram as tjlokalsoul.
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