BALER 2014

8:43 PM Pia San Felipe 0 Comments

Some of my college friends and I were supposed to go to Batangas but something came up and we had to change our plan a few hours before we had to leave. We asked one of our blockmates who has a house in Cabanatuan if we could go there and fortunately, she was there. It was around 12mn or 1am when we finalized this plan and we had to leave at 4am to meet at the bus station. Crazy, I know. After some hours, we finally boarded the bus and some more hours after, hello Cabanatuan! We were only supposed to check in at a resort near our blockmate's friend but then we decided right there and then to have a roadtrip. We were thinking of going to either La Union, Subic, or Baler. Since none of us have been to Baler, we decided to go there not knowing where we were supposed to stay upon arriving. And so with Google Map showing us an outline of the road and with our spirits filled with recklessness and impulsiveness, off we went to Baler.

This was one of the views on our way to Baler, although this was in Cabanutan.

We stopped to take this picture and we nearly got hit because we just stopped, not minding that there's a car behind us. That's NDE(Near Disaster Experience) #1.

Those shots were taken somewhere up a mountain, I forgot where. Somewhere on the slopes of the road, we were staying on our lane but then a bus was running a bit fast for our lives, that gave us only two choices: either we get hit by the bus or we crash into a post. Good thing our blockmate got us out of that situation unscathed. And that's NDE #2.

And then this refreshing and beautiful view when we thought we were close to Baler. Were we ever wrong, it was a long drive from Cabanatuan to Baler. We were actually running out of songs to play already but of course we can't turn back now, we've already gone too far. Around 4pm, we reached our destination. Woohoo! Then came the dilemma of whether or not all the hostels and apartments were already fully booked. Of course almost all of them were. We found  three places that has an available room for us but beggars can't be choosers so we had to settle for something less than we deserve. #hugot We rested for a few minutes and then we hit the beach.

We were expecting white sand but we were told, and we came to our senses that it was probably another 141km or so. So we dipped into the water and boy, were the waves really good for surfing. If only we knew how. We stayed at the beach for about half an hour and left to eat at the Hungry Surfer. The food was disappointing. We ordered a double cheeseburger and it was the worst that I have tasted. The drinks we ordered never came until we billed out so we had to cancel it. After dinner we went back to our room to rest and shower. Some of us decided to go out for some drinks at an inuman place (I wouldn't call it a bar because it isn't). After a few bottles, we went back and then continued drinking for a while. We were about to sleep when we decided to go back to the inuman place because boys. Hahaha! Much to our disappointment, there were none. So Crizzel, Billy, Mica, and I went back to our room just full of alcohol and nachos. Ken couldn't be bothered to wake up so Billy had to reach for the door knob through the window and then sleep. We all woke up at around 9am because we had to drive back to Cabanatuan ASAP. The coffee we had was also disappointing. A 3in1 mix would've tasted better (imo). We left before 12 and had lunch at NE. Their chicharon bulaklak was really good. You see, we do know that there were 2 possible roads to take to get back to Cabanatuan. What we didn't know is that there's a third way which would knock the breath off of your body and would summon all the stress and nervousness pent up inside you. 

When we saw this, Mica knew we never saw this on our way but we decided against it and continued taking the road less traveled. After an hour or so of being on a rough road we knew something was wrong. So we had to ask the construction guys as to where the road would lead us. They said it leads to Bongabon and we sighed a bit of relief. But then more minutes of being on a rough road, on our left was a mountain side ready to cave on us and on our right was a cliff ready to catch our unfortunate fall, if ever. We were going slowly because it would be roadkill to go faster. We were in a hurry to get out of that place before dark because dude, who wouldn't. And then it started drizzling and another wave of anxiety washed through us. So we had to ask another local if the road we were on would lead to Bongabon and he said yes. A bit of relief. And then we saw a guy walking with a shotgun in hand. No, he didn't do anything but imagine our fear seeing someone with a gun in such a remote area. I think each of us had a vision being held captive flash before us. There weren't any signal, at all so we cannot check on our location. We had to trust what the 2 guys we asked told us, and that the car that just passed us had to be from somewhere. That car gave us hope. LOL. And then after sometime we saw a body of water (lol, idk what to call it) that we had to cross. It was cool that the water runs over the pseudo bridge but we still didn't know where we were so the excitement just passed us by. A few more hours going up, the rough road seemed to be leading us down. Another bit of relief. After a some minutes, we saw three vehicles. And another bit of relief. And then we saw a paved road. Bit of relief. And then we saw more people and we had to ask whether the road is headed towards Bongabon, they said yes and that it was 15mins away. R E L I E F. By the way, that's NDE #3.

Because we knew we were on the right track, we started to appreciate the beauty that is nature surrounding us, again.

There was probably a purpose as to why we took that road, that's what Crizzel kept saying. Hahaha. And maybe there really was. A few more hours, we reached Cabanatuan. Tired but thankful that we made it out alive. We were lucky and beyond blessed to be telling this story now. I was thinking of our NDEs and dude, the Grim Reaper must have been looking at us in the eye and we managed to dodge through. To my college friends (Crizzel, Mica, Billy, and Ken) thank you for this one of a kind experience. I'm so happy Darla. Hahaha. 

I guess that's all for now. A roadtrip with friends, check!