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Tuesday, December 30

Walk through the Past of Aurora in Museo de Baler

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Museo de Baler, Baler, Aurora

“My dearest Padre: My pulse is shaken and I am horrified in face of the burtal and atrocious acts of the night of the 4th. Some insurrectos entered the town, it is said that coming from San Miguel de Mayumo and Binangonan, and they incited rebellion to the whole village in such a way, that none of them have remained loyal to us.” – Fr. Dionisio Luengo, Baler. October 6, 1897.

To know one’s history, you need to learn its background. One can see a short glimpse of everything a town has undergone by simply visiting one of its museums. In this case, Aurora has its Museo de Baler (Baler Museum), a short distance from other tourist spots such as Baler Church, Quezon Ancestral House and the so-called rolling stores. By visiting it, you will get to see a broader view of what Baler looks like in the past, and probably have the idea on how to preserve it for the next generations to see.

Part 3 of Baler-Aurora Trip: An Exotic Adventure

Trophies inside Museo de Baler
When we finally arrived in the simple town of Baler, Aurora, there were already several tricycle drivers offering us tour to the different tourist spots in the province. If you are not on a private car, the best way to go to the different tourist spots is by hiring tricycle for the whole tour. So when we got off the bus all the way from Baguio to Baler, we talked to two of the drivers and had our deal.

We were supposed to head directly to Sabang Beach but the tricycle drivers insisted that we hire them so that there will be less hassle once we push through with our tour. We sealed the deal. We hired two tricycles for the whole tour for P1100 each, including Ampere Beach in Dipaculao. It should include Ampere Beach with that price; otherwise, it has to be cheaper, since Ampere Beach is a few kilometers away from Baler. We were five when we had our tour in Aurora.

Baler Aurora Travel Video by Travex Travels

Museo de Baler Exhibit Directory

Museo de Baler earth jars and pots dating back in the old times

Stuffed animal inside the museum

Since we only had two days and one night to tour Baler and Aurora, we decided to have our first stop in Museo de Baler. You have to take note of their opening and closing hours. We arrived in Baler before 4 PM, and thus we still have ample time to tour the museum (the usual 8 AM to 5 PM operating hours). We were on a tight schedule, thus, we should be able to check out these tourist spots before proceeding to our nature adventure trip.

Museo de Baler is relatively a new museum. It was inaugurated in 2002, with the cast of the façade created by sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist for the Visual Arts Abdulmari Imao. With the Baler Historical Committee, it was spearheaded by Senator Edgardo Angara. It was constructed to re-experience some important events in the history of Aurora such as the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day and the popular Siege of Baler.
Historical data on the Siege of Baler
Donation boxes are put there, and as you go inside Museo de Baler, you will get to see its Exhibit Directory. Practically, you will get to see some earthen artifacts (pots, jars and old stuffs traded during the galleon trade era), stuffed animals, old newspaper stories, paintings, historical data, dioramas and exhibits where you can have some remembrance photos. It is a pretty amazing idea to put up something like this in Baler as it adds up to the Baler experience in general. Those artifacts, they made me admire how rich Baler was during the galleon trade times.
Surfboard photo op inside the museum!

Baler is a second class municipality in Aurora and is the capital of the province. According to history, Franciscan missionaries found a settlement in this coastal side of Sierra Madre sometime in the early 17th century and later turned into a town by Augustinians and Recollects in mid-17th century. Almost a century after, Baler was devastated by the so-called tromba marina, or a tsunami in today’s terms; in Barangay Sabang where the popular surfing spot is. People who survived actually went up to Ermita Hill (another tourist spot).

Similar to what other towns have during the past, Baler has its San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Church constructed and is the center of the town. However, the church was destroyed by the retreating Japanese troops during the Japanese occupation. The present church in Baler was not the old church that used to be the center of Baler in the past.
Paintings on canvass displayed on second floor of Baler Museum

Another painting inside Museo de Baler

You will get to see an old Baler when you watch “Baler” movie starring Anne Curtis and Jericho Rosales. That movie received different awards and it catapulted Anne Curtis to stardom as she won the Best Actress Award.

On the first floor of Museo de Baler were earthen jars, historical pieces, surfboards and things related to the past while the second floor offers different exhibits of paintings and photographs. Outside, there is this vintage car used by President Manuel Luis Quezon. A statue of Manuel Quezon is also located in front of Museo de Baler and a marker that on that particular part of Baler, Manuel Luis Quezon was born on August 19, 1878. Aurora was actually just a sub-province of Quezon Province before, but then it was separated and Baler was made the capital of the province.
Birthplace marker of Manuel Luis Quezon in Baler, Aurora

Vintage car of Manuel L. Quezon in Baler

After a brief historical tour inside Museo de Baler, we decided to check out Quezon Ancestral House, a few blocks away from the museum.

Manuel L. Quezon statue (Baler, Aurora)

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