Baler has some competition nearby
Dinadiawan, in Dipaculao, Aurora province, lies on the eastern coast of Luzon on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It’s approximately 320kms from Manila. While not as renowned as the more popular surfing beach of Baler, DipaculaoBeach is a much better beach. There is golden sand and turquoise blue water to rival Baler Bay. This is all set in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range, which offers breathtaking scenery.
Unfortunately, a typhoon swept through the southern Philippines while we were there. As a result, monsoonal rains had formed all over Aurora province. However, this didn’t deter us and as a matter of fact, the air and water temperature were just about perfect. We were able to go paddle boarding and swimming without being worried about being burnt to a crisp by the sun. There was also some decent 1-2 metres waves which were some of the biggest I have seen in what are normally very serene waters. The beach here drops off very quickly. As a result, the waves were breaking very close to the shore.
Great roads for a road trip
We did a road trip up there with a group of about ten of us. The condition of the roads all the way up there left us all pleasantly surprised. There was hardly a single pothole and there was very little traffic in either direction. Luckily, we didn’t really pass through the usual provincial towns that are clogged with jeepneys, tricycles and buses.
As we passed through Baler and continued north along the coast heading for Dinadiawan, we were treated to some of the most incredible ocean views. The road snakes its way up the Sierra Madre mountain range and back down again. And the water was an amazing light blue color, with plenty of strong waves breaking along the shore.
Where the river meets the sea
We were also treated to the amazing sight of a small river that made its way down the mountain range and straight out into the ocean. The amazing little canyons carved into the beach’s sand as the water made its way into the ocean. There was one point where the fresh mountain water met the warm ocean water. With the waves breaking at the mouth of the river, it was an amazing sight to behold. This is a place we will definitely be back to visit despite the lengthy drive to get there.
The millennium tree of Baler
One of the other spectacles was on the way back in which we stopped at Balete Park in Barangay Quirino, Maria Aurora. We were eager to see the famous Balete tree, known as the “Millennium Tree”. This particular tree is the largest of its kind in Asia and is estimated to be about 600+ years old. It really is massive at about 60 metres tall and with its root system about 10 metres to 15 metres in diameter. It is possible for an adult to squeeze into the center of its tangling root network. Truly awe inspiring.