Summer Destinations: Baler, Aurora (A Trip with Pop Talk)

by Mar 11, 2016Blog, Hearty Living, Travel Notes

Summer Lovin

Welcome Summer 2016!

What’s one of the best ways to come to terms with the spiral of emotions that you have from time to time? Last time I checked, I definitely had set aside the possibility of just having  “Itchinessis Pedis” or the ITCHY FEET or Wanderlust Syndrome as a cause of what I had. But I think I was also suffering a bit from it because traveling to a different place and meeting a bunch of new people from this trip actually helped me a lot in going through this season.

Traveling to Baler for roughly (yes rough roads ahead too! haha) six hours from Manila was a good transition as I welcome the (sometimes) exhausting but fun heat of the summer!

byahe just with the moon as your light

Ze Moon…

Pitch-black! This was my view while we drove the road heading to our destination. But the blackest of black just made the moon’s light shine brighter than anything else (uhmm and because there was really nothing else around). (Yes, that tiny white dot was the moon. I didn’t Photoshop it. Promise!)

pop talk

What else was exciting about this trip? Besides getting to travel and discover places/accommodations, food and activities in Baler with the Pop Talk team, I really enjoyed giving a review if these places were POP or FLOP!

We hope that this episode will help you decide and prepare where to go, what to do and what things to try when in Baler.

Here are some preview and behind the scenes of what you can expect as you watch Pop Talk this Saturday (tomorrow) at 8pm on GMA News TV.

old parola

This view…


While having this…

make up artist

And with this… hehe (make-up artist Mona Borromeo chillin’ on one of the hammocks)

the question is...

While trying this… (Activity #1: SURFING)

“Do not panic!” That was me reminding myself NOT to panic or I’ll die haha! I shared on this post my struggle of being in the water or under it. I love the beach – water, sand, sky and sun. So here I am challenging myself again to do something that scares me!

The question is, despite the fear, having flu before this trip, the leaking “water” from my nose, the taste of the delicious and fresh salt water in my mouth, and the challenge of balancing… Did I make it?

Did I survive my second attempt to surf?


With the very accommodating owners of Old Parola – Evaristo and Lorline Gonzales Pereira

welcome drinks

A refreshing welcome with some calamansi juice in colorful mason jar mugs!

Next stop was this very chill place, the perfect place to hang out.


fat biking

Something special… FAT BIKING on the beach? Why not…

challenge #2

Activity #1: Fat Biking (and boy they were fat!)

“Do not panic (again)!” Okay, okay I don’t think I’m a total loser nor a failure but the last time that I rode a bike was when…. uhmm… I was in college inside a village? Haha! I BARELY ride a bike and I didn’t say anything to the team until it was time for me to actually ride the FAT BIKE!

So, did I try it? Did I fall? Did they leave me?

(Special thanks to the team who helped me get through this… haha!)


Pizza! I just couldn’t resist. I.LOVE.PIZZA. I always do and will forever love it! Here, you’ll see how our “neighbors” (pic in the middle) were also waiting to devour the pizza. And devour we did (right pic)! 😉

Ze pizza at SurfHouse Baler was made from their own dough recipe, baked with fresh ingredients from their small garden (like their tomato and basil) and real Italian ingredients from ItalFoods. Plus, they only make them hot and fresh from their brick oven. Enough said. I want one more por favore e pronto!


Coffee from the region of Sidamo, varietal – Mixed Heirloom from Edsa Beverage Design Group


So, about this carrot cake. It’s so good!


nag enjoy ba kami?

Trying on these bamboo shades with Dasuri.

the place


So inspired by this cool couple behind SurfHouse Baler, Weng and Revic Rodrigo, who officially opened their property to the public last April 13, 2015.

enjoyed hammuck big pool

Hammock fun with Kuya Tonipet, Dasuri and Phoi

happy birthday

Last stop at Costa Pacifica. What a huge place and what a place to celebrate Kuya Obet’s birthday too! 🙂

how was the food?

Pop Talk’s host Kuya Tonipet with this episode’s reviewers – Benj Pacia (Surfer & Bap’s Waffle Burger Owner), moi and the super fun and talented Dasseul Choi (Dasuri) 🙂

So, which of these places do you think were sadly FLOP and which ones were POP?

Watch this special Baler episode tomorrow night 8pm on GMA News TV. 🙂 Let me know what you also think! Should we go back to Baler? Would you want to go to Baler?

pop talk

Thank you so much for having me, Pop Talk! 🙂



Here’s our Final Verdict about the three accommodations that we visited in Baler. Are they Flop or Pop? 🙂



  1. Diamond

    I want to go there!!!
    So, that’s the bike you had to ride, fat tyres!!!!!!!

    Miss you, love you! ❤️

    • Joanne-Marie

      Let’s plan this trip on your next visit! Yah that’s the fat bike haha! Love & miss you too, queen! 😘

  2. Uno Nicolas

    Nice article! Balik ka sa amin sa Pop Talk! Hehehe 👍👍👍

    • Joanne-Marie

      Thanks Alvin! Sure… Anytime! Saan tayo next? Haha. 🙂

  3. Ana

    How much is the fat biking?

    • Revic

      Hi Ana fatbiking is P250/hr if you will be our guests at Surfhouse you have 30mins to experience the beach fat bike ride for free. 🙂

      • Joanne-Marie

        Thanks for the info, Revic! 🙂 Hope you get to try it, Ana! It’s fun.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your gift handwriting

10 Ways to Take Care of Your Well-being


Yey! You've successfully subscribed!

Your gift handwriting

10 Ways to Take Care of Your Well-being


Yey! You have successfully subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest