Baler, Philippines: Experiencing the Epic Waves and a Whole Lot More

The idea of playing with a huge water-board was ecstatic.

However, more than this water sport, I realize that there are many other things in Baler that i should be thrilled about; and these I experienced together with my friends in a full-packed three-day trip.

I don’t want to discuss anymore the how-tos/ travel guide and tips because I know that there are many blogs entries out there talking about this same usual topic, let the captured images below do the talking and present the exquisite beauty of Baler. Nature, history and custom in one exciting trip that I will never forget.

Museo De Baler

Museo De Baler

Facade of the famous Museo de Baler.

manuel l quezon statue

In the middle of a plaza-liked space in front of the museum is a life-sized statue of the country’s ‘Ama ng Wikang Pambansa’ , Manuel L. Quezon.

Manuel Quezon

Image of Manuel L. Quezon placed inside the museum, honoring the country’s champion of the national language.

art piece-museo de baler

One of my favorite art pieces in the museum. A miniature of an old sea transportation. Amazing!

Painting-Museo De Baler

A painting commissioned by former senator Angara. It shows the rich culture and history of the province.

Great Water Sceneries

overlooking from PAGASA

Overlooking. From where we stand (PAGASA headquarter’s rooftop) you can see this overwhelming beauty, I’m speechless.

overlooking from PAGASA2

Peace and serenity. Its how I characterized this shot. Peaceful yet breath-taking. I hope I can always have a view like this whenever I need to escape from all the stress of the world.

The Estuary. Have you ever encountered a real one? The feeling is out of this world. Rock!

The Estuary. Have you ever encountered a real one? The feeling is out of this world. Rock!

Lukso-Lukso Islets

The Islets. Famously tagged as the Lukso-lukso islets. One of the attractions in Baler that a traveler/ foreigner should not miss. One word, Fantastic!

big falls-baler

Mother of all falls. The Ditumabo Falls, the highest in Baler that will make you scream for so much excitement. Expectedly, the water is as cold as ice but nevertheless, the experience was incomparable.

little falls- baler

Beside the huge, tall falls are these cute little ones. Nature at its best.

little falls- closeup- baler

The little one’s closeup shot.

Other Interesting Finds

Lobster- Baler

Huge Lobster for Sale. In one of the cariderias that we visited, we saw these huge creatures ready to be eaten. We didn’t try it due to its luxurious price, we thought of spending our money to other more  important things.

century tree

The Epic Century Tree. Its enormous and creepy. This balete tree is said to be as old as the elders of Baler.

After all these side trips, we went to the Sabang spot where we did the much-anticipated water activity- the surfing. The overcast weather was perfect that we didn’t worry us getting sunburns. The waves were not that great but all enough for first-timers like us.

And yes, after all the abrupt slides and painful bumps, most of us managed to balance and do the surfing moves. Happy and proud!


Mr. Alex Santillan, one of my friends, in action. Thanks Extreme Outdoor for this shot!



Dinner time.

Before the year ends, let’s eat something really good and healthy! Fried chicken, why not? It’s been an all-time kids’ favorite (and those young at hearts like me) and no doubt a perfect food sharing idea. Enjoy it with your bare hands and with the twist of herbs-and-spices-riched dip, i’m sure you’ll love it even more. Just imagine the crunchiness and the juiciness in every bite, familiar line isn’t it? (now i miss my childhood-fastfood days every Sunday).
Fried-Chicken l BlackHelios


This simple, easy dish will be more perfect if you’ll have it paired with something healthy yet equally mouth-watering, and yes i’m talkin’ about those steamed and seasoned small pieces of veggie bites. The contrast it gives to your taste buds while you grab those oily frieds, perfect! The balancing effect will make it more ideal and will boost more everyone’s appetite. Agree?


The contrast it gives to your taste buds while you grab those oily frieds, perfect!

So make every simple dish special by being more creative, just use a bit of your brain cells and i’m sure you’ll get what your taste buds want. Happy eating and happy 2013!

Steamed-Veggies l BlackHelios



*Thanks Alejandro for the best dinner ever! We enjoyed it! 🙂

Extra special chocolate cupcakes

“I” notes:

It’s been a while!

I’ve been busy with all the money-making activities for the past few months so i wasn’t able to make an update (blog) as often as before. I really want to post a lot of things, share some of my thoughts and put up a photo gallery here of some of the shots I did during the past months but I just can’t, this new work really took huge portion of my time (who am I to complain?) Anyway, thank God I was able to stole this few moments to post the present i gave to a good friend!

Despite my hectic work schedule, I still able to make a friend’s birthday a little more special (well, that was self-assumed) because of these treats. I’m so great! (self-proclaimed)

Just a little background on how I was able to have these cute and yummy cupcakes; first and foremost, I didn’t bake these myself, instead I asked another good friend who owns an online bakeshop (she bakes as you order) to do me dozen of cupcakes. I dropped by their house and picked up these luscious chocolate cupcakes and presto! A home-made cupcakes were served.

Here are the pictures of my extra special chocolate cupcakes.

Home-made cupcakes- BlackHelios

The ultimate chocolate cupcakes, served with wine? Why not!

Chocolate cupcakes- Black Helios

This set up might work for this type of occasion, let’s see

Birthday cupcakes- Blackhelios

Let’s take a look a little closer: Chocolate cupcake covered with thick dark chocolate cream with a little candle on top

Lighted candle- Blackhelios

The lighted candle on top adds a little drama/effect, I like this one better 🙂

Lighted candle home-made cupcakes- Blackhelios



I asked my friend the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe. I told her i’ll be posting it on this blog. So for those who want to have and taste this cute, luscious, little cupcakes here are the things you need to have and need to do.


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.

In motion and getting in track

‘I’ Notes:

Exercise four of my photography class was one of the best. We were taught on how to shoot moving objects, how to catch the action using our lenses and how to capture and make it appear like a frozen element in the middle of a moving background.

It was really challenging. We had three days to submit the result for this activity. Most of my shots weren’t so good. I had to spent two rolls (36 shots) of films just to have pretty good pictures- a not so perfect but could be accepted.

These are some of the pictures I took during the third day of trying really hard. Not that perfect but at least, I learned how to do it.

My professor’s tip: a lower aperture while carefully following the subject- this really worked!

The prelim trial: The fast cars

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away? Remembering Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Cars’

Prelim shots: moving subjects

You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way

prelim shots: moving cars

I remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk

motorcycle in motion

This time, I tried my luck with some motorcycles passed by UP CAL area, here are two of the shots, not so good pictures

prelim shot: moving subjects motorcycle

A more improved shot, but still, a not so good one (there will always be next time) 🙂

The baptism

‘I’ notes:

                       I was finally baptized.

I believe that in every skill that we want to acquire we have to know first the basics.

Computer operations, calculations, driving and of course photography, we all need to be familiar with the simple how-to before we call ourselves real pros.

That’s why after I bought my DSLR, I enrolled in Basic Photography class to know more about the craft and get familiar with all the necessary things about Photography and the camera itself. We used manual camera and the old-school film and process our own pictures using all those chemicals and tools in developing. It was really fun. I enjoyed it a lot.

Now that I am baptized already, I am sure that I will be a big shot in the future. God knows.

Here are some of the pictures I took after I got excited using my first-ever film. And yes, my first try failed but I’m still up for the challenge. I’ll post some of my first successful shots in the future. God speed!

1stfilm-Manual Photography

My first film and negative

1stfilm- Manual Photography

My Emo film l Subject: Inanimate objects

1stfilm- Manual Photography

I tried really hard, but i think failure made me aim for a perfect shot! 🙂

Play of lights

Going home after tons of workloads is the best moment everyone has been all waiting for.

Daydreaming. Planning. Craving.

What to eat? Where to go? How to go?

These are the things that run in everybody’s mind once they think of going out of the office and walk their way home. Well, who can blame them?

Tower of one of the biggest TV stations in the Philippines

‘I’ notes:

I fantasize a lot when I am in the middle of doing something; when I am stuck in the middle of meetings for five to ten long hours; when everybody thinks that working too much is just fine.

When it’s about to go home, my camera is always with me, walking with me. It’s a kind of relaxation which is soothing to the soul, really refreshing and cannot be replaced. I love going home because this is the only time I can be as creative as I can and can do things without restrictions- freedom.

Here are two of the pictures I took when I was about to go home. I took some clicks and had some play of lights.

Starry, starry night, it’s time for me to go home and take some rest

Flower power: ‘…can never be ugly’

Remembering my Photography professor’s remark about flowers as our subject.

He said, when we presented our works in one of our photo exhibits, that flowers can never be ugly and has always been a good subject for photography. It’s undeniably beautiful and its mystical form gives every frame a unique yet elegant finish.

I tried to compile some of my flora photo snapshots from different photo walks that I did in the past. And yes, he’s right, amazingly beautiful!

Vivid colors, lively, charming and really enchanting.

Pictures were taken from different locations in the Philippines: Sagada, Mountain Province, Banio Kreek Resort, Silang Cavite, Chateau Royale, Batangas, Calamba, Laguna