The weather didn’t cooperate with my trip to Aurora. It was raining hard when I reached the town of Baler after 7 long hours of travel from Manila by bus. I was fetched at the terminal by my friend who lives there and accompanied me to search for a decent hostel where I could stay in the next few days. We took a tricycle going to Sabang Beach where we found Jam Jen's Lodge. Although there are many nice beach front accommodations available, I opted to stay here to save on expenses. As I've said on my previous posts, I travel on a defined budget, and spending too much on accommodation is a "no-no" for me.
The lodge is located few meters away from the beach, it's more of a home stay facility as the owner's home is just beside the rooms. So, for 500 pesos a night, this is the best place for the rest of my stay here in Baler.
Good thing that the rain had stopped after I have checked-in. So, we decided to go to the town plaza to get something to eat as I haven't taken anything solid since last night. After a hefty brunch, my friend immediately toured me around. We visited the different historical landmarks within the town proper.
We started at Quezon Park where a statue of President Manuel Luis Quezon spaciously stands (or sits... hehehe!) at the center. You can also find here a replica of the nipa hut where Quezon grew up and the presidential car he used during his term.
Within the vicinity of the plaza is also where the Museo de Baler is located. It houses Aurora province's priceless artifacts and momorabilias that showcase the province's rich history and culture. Its intricately designed facade is definitely a feast to the eyes.
A few steps away from the park is the Baler Municipal Hall. Like in many town halls or plazas, you'll also find here a statue of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It proudly stands on one side of the hall's entrance.
What's interesting about this statue is how they depicted our national hero. It’s different from the other Rizal monuments I’ve seen in other parts of our country. This is the first time I've seen such representation. I would like to call it, "The Thinking Rizal". Hehehe!
Another statue dedicated to Quezon is located on the other end of the municipal hall's entrance. As the birthplace of Manuel Luis Quezon, it is just appropriate that they give importance on his contribution to the Filipinos. Here, you'll definitely see more of him as a testament of how proud the people of Aurora are of the former president.
In front of the municipal hall is where the Baler Church is located. It is rich in history as it is the site of the "Siege of Baler" during the Philippine revolution in 1898-1899. Markers by the National Historical Institute were mounted on the facade of the church.
As you walk towards the entrance/exit gate of the church, you'll see a replica of Aurora Quezon's Ancestral house. Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon is the wife of former President Quezon. She was also born in Baler, and the province was named after her. Known for her untiring efforts on social welfare and charitable activities, a historical marker was placed in front the house in honor of her.
As we finished taking pictures of the house, it started to rain again, so we decided to go back to the hostel.
My 4-day "love affair" with Aurora happened last June 11-14, 2011. Here's a series of posts on what transpired during my stay in a province that I quickly have fallen in love with. This is my 4th solo trip and 27th province on my list.
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