Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Baler Capsized Boat Experience

I planned on not blogging about this frightening experience in Baler primarily because I don’t want to freak-out my mom who lives very away from me. But how can you not write about something which has nearly taken the lives of seven fun-loving individuals – the Survivor Seven as we call ourselves.

I have been to Baler late last year and having been bitten by its natural beauty, I found myself going there again and this time with a group of friends all from Nueva Ecija. We took the earliest van ride from Cabanatuan to Baler (fare is Php200 each).


The van took the Bongabon Route and that ride was an adventure in itself because the road there is mostly unpaved and bumpy. And when the van reached the mountainous Sierra Madre range, our van is literally threading within just few inches away from the cliffs. And just to prove the perplexity of the road, we have passed by a container van which fell-off the cliff as we approach the province of Aurora. And hey, did I mention that that we have to make a sudden stop in the middle of the mountainous road because of mechanical problems? Good thing that the few locals there are very accommodating that our lady friends were able to use their comfort rooms.

To make a long story short, we have reached Baler terminal in nearly five hours and we rode a tricycle to Sabang Beach to look for our accommodation. Our original plan was to stay at Bay’s Inn but ,as usual, the hotel was fully booked so we walked westbound to look for one. Bahia de Baler is also fully booked as well as some other budget surfer’s lodging house. Luckily, there was this two-storey lodging house, Kaheya’s Inn owned by an American married to a Balerian which we have gotten at a discount price of Php 2,400.

After resting a little, we had our lunch at a rolling store near the Municipal Plaza and that is where our group decided to go to Dicasalarin Cove. But how do we go there? The Cove can be reached either thru a road trip or a boat trip and both rides usually last about 45 minutes to an hour. We initially planned on hiring a van at the terminal but the tricycle drivers there said that we will not be allowed to pass by a gate that will lead us to the Cove because the land there is privately owned by the Angaras and they do not allow passersby if the Angaras were around. I was also informed beforehand that you need a permit to pass through Angara Property but since it was Saturday, we deemed not to proceed to the Tourism Office because it might be closed.

So we opted to do the boat ride. Lucky for us (?), our tricycle driver know someone who owns a boat that will lead us to Dicasalarin. After agreeing on a price, our tricycle drivers fetch us to Barangay Zabali. We then rode a mini-banca that brought us to the other side of the shore where our boat awaits.


Our boat is a mid-sized fisherman’s boat that can carry around ten persons. There were seven of us plus three boat crew (two were children). We asked for a lifevest but there is none. We have noticed that it is quite wavy but Mang Simo, the boat captain, assured us that the waves are pretty normal and we will be in Dicasalarin Cove in just an hour.


Albeit the sometimes mild and sometime rough splashing of the waves, the sailing seems to go smoothly and everything seems to fall according to plan… but then… as we pass by the middle of the gorgeous Aniao Islets, the motor suddenly stopped and the horror begins…

24 comments:

  1. sad, pero at least safe kayo. ang gears makakabili ka pa rin nyan in the future

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  2. I AM JUST HAPPY TO KNOW THAT YOU GUYS ARE SAFE.... AND SOUND... :)

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  3. don't worry about the gears, they're materials things that money can buy!

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  4. at least safe kayo. mapapalitan mo ang mga gears mo promise! :)

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  5. Good thing you were able to live to tell the tale so to speak. Ingat palagi! :)

    - Cedric http://www.galapinoyredux.com

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  6. Cliffhanger! What happened next?
    Anyway, good to know na safe kayo lahat and no one was really hurt.

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  7. You probably had mixed emotions while drafting this post. But we are glad that this tragic chapter (without knowing the details) is over.

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  8. ang importante buhay at safe lahat
    ingat na lang palagi
    ganon talaga, eh

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  9. (✬._.✬)Hello, my blog site had been idled for a couple of months now. And I am sure that I am BACK.
    Care to visit my newest post, THANK YOU!
    (✬._.✬)

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  10. Hope your mom is not reading your blog. She must be very worried. I am glad you guys are ok to tell the adventure. Take good care in your future adventures.

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  11. eto na nag pinakahihintay kong entry (aside from calaguas).
    bitin.. next please. Ü

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  12. mind to bring me here when i visit the philippines next time?

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  13. 人生的光榮,不在永不失敗,而在於能夠屢仆屢起。 ..................................................

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  14. the important thing is that you're all safe and you can write about it.

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  15. i can imagine how terrified you all must have been. thankfully, you are all safe. thanks for sharing this scary moments.

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  16. Wow, Baler. Beautiful place. Is this the place wherein a group of Japs surrendered themselves to the Filos and the Americans? Haha.

    Nakakabitin naman ito, what happened next? Wow, you guys are alive to tell the story, what an experience!

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  17. Glad you are back. Safe and sound I supposed. Can't wait for part 2 of this story.

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  18. this is a spine-chilling incident. this should serve as a lesson to every traveler--don't get in the boat if there is no life vest.

    i'm just glad that you're alive to tell the tale.:p

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  19. ayan nabasa ko na ng buo. kasi naman beautiful pictures are deceiving kaya akala mo great adventure misadventure pala. at least safe kayo. yung camera maraming brands, si lawstude isa lang yan eh, may title. marami pang gears ang mabibili ng title basta buhay lang. teka, matanong ko lang. kelan ba ito nangyari? noong friday kasi naaksidente rin ang sinasakyan na van ng calssmate ko with his group.as in wasak ang van pero wala naman may namatay.

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  20. pampelikula at pam poster! ang dating!

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  21. good things ur safe...so what happened next? pero gusto ko pa rin atang pumuntang baler ah ..just the kind of trip i so love hehe

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  22. What happened to you was truly scary specially after reading the second part. Just be safe always.

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  23. Just discovered your blog. That's kinda sad but thanks God you're all safe.

    Yours is such a nice blog with nice photos. Thanks for sharing with us your stories. I am now a follower. I'll come more often.

    God bless.

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  24. what happened next? where can i find the continuation? nabitin naman ako.

    buti you all survived.

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