After nearly 7 hours on the road (should be 5 to 6 says the veteran holidaymakers this neck of the woods, probably even with no stops), we reached COSTA PACIFICA, a resort on Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora, Philippines.
Baler is credited as the surfing capital of Eastern Luzon (Luzon is one of the 3 major islands of the Philippines; that leaves you with 1,704 smaller ones to visit). Baler is also the town where scenes from the movie 'Apocalypse Now' were shot. It starred Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. After filming, some of the crew left their surfboards, and the locals taught themselves how to surf (source: BBC News Magazine via Filipiknow on Facebook). While my friends' little boys couldn't wait to get on their surfing boards, I couldn't wait to get on my sunlounger.
Us in the backseat were woken up by the sunrise, and we made a stop for the below scenery. I must admit I sometimes forget how beautiful the Philippines is, just because we don't see each other much anymore.
|My pareo has decided to chill out on its own|
|This shot has a slight smoky effect as the humidity was causing my camera to sweat when taken out of an air-conditioned room to an open space.|
The Philippines is known to well-travelled tropical destinations cognoscenti as a stunning gem that rivals the coastline of her neighbours. Sabang Beach in Baler is stunning, but if you ever find yourself in Boracay, Palawan, or Bohol, among other famous resorts in the country, you'll find out why Filipinos aren't easily impressed with beach resorts anywhere in the world.
|My friends' kids bonded over surfing. We bonded over food.|
|Love the water station by the pool. And the little guard as well. Swimmers and sun worshippers didn't have to walk far to get either a lemon or cucumber-infused glass of water.|
|The lobby and reception area|
|Question mark for information; tick mark for check out. Thought it was quirky|
|Costa Pacifica restaurant called The Beach House|
The food in Costa Pacifica was to die for, we weren't encouraged to try out the restaurants outside. Click HERE to see the menu as featured on Appetizing Adventure.
|Guests out on the lawn, sharing drinks and pulutan, a local term for appetiser or bar food or starters (or starter portion) eaten with alcohol. Filipinos are not in the habit of drinking with no food on the side.|
|Footpath leading to the guest rooms|
|Taking a dip as a form of a nightcap|
The last time I was in a resort with my friends was in 2002, when we were all candidates in a beauty pageant. Okay, stop laughing. We were in our late teens and early 20s, single, child-free, with no responsibilities and emotional or even psychological baggages. It felt like we were back, at least for a day.
More on Baler, Aurora in my next post.