After a quick tour in Ampere Beach in Dipaculao (Check: Baler Escapade : Ampere Beach of Dipaculao), we went to another interesting sight in Aurora, the so-called Millenium Balete Tree. It didn’t take us long to reach the Balete Park. You can easily trace this eco-park because it is located near a public high school.
The so-called Balete Park is just few walks away from ECRMNHS or Eliseo C Ronquillo Memorial National High School, a school named after the founder and donor of the land where the school and the park is currently situated. The park is located within the Barangay Quirino in Maria Aurora, Aurora.It was still drizzling when we arrived in Balete Park and the place was too muddy yet we can’t help but to admire the enormous Balete tree. They were collecting Php 10 per head but since we are part of a package tour, the tour coordinator is the one who paid all the entrance fees.I really don’t know how to describe this place. It was either so enchanting yet so creepy and enigmatic at the same time. This Millenium tree will not be called such for no reason. The 65 meter balete tree has been there for 600 years!It has a crown diameter of 60 meter which requires over 60 people to cover the entire tree’s diameter. With such enormous size, it is not really surprising why it is currently dubbed as the biggest Balete tree not just in the Philippines but in the entire Asia. It was so huge that people can pass through inside and navigate its creepy intertwined path inside.The tree is not just special because of its size. Since the Balete tree has been there for 6 centuries, it has witnessed many events that are probably way beyond our imagination. There are probably some untold stories that only this tree can tell. Balete tree has always been associated with many local folklores saying that these tress have been the dwelling place of supernatural beings (mga lamang lupa) like Kapre and Tikbalang.
But if you are brave enough, you can squeeze your body in and navigate and explore the path inside. If you are with a tour guide (you can hire one on site), they will tell you some creepy story about the tree and some of the mysterious and scary real life experiences of its locals. The Millenium Tree has become one of the popular tourist spots in Aurora and even though it is quite far from Baler, it is definitely a place worth visiting. I have heard that people can also climb this 200 ft tall Balete tree as long as you have guides to accompany you. Too bad it was drizzling that day and the vines are wet and slippery and it was not really ideal to climb the tree so we had nothing much else to do but to marvel the sight.
Things You should know and consider before going to Balete Park
►The Entrance fee to Balete Park as of this moment is Php10 per adult and Php 5 for kids
►You can ask for a tour guide if ever you want to climb the tree. (Not aware with their rate though)
►The place can be very muddy so wearing appropriate footwear is advised.
►There’s a place to shop nearby. Locals are showcasing Aurora’s specialties like the famous Brown-rice Suman, the Pakumbo, fresh coconut and more
►I didn’t get a chance to try it but yeah, surprisingly there’s a free Wifi in this Ecopark
►Comfort rooms are available
How to Get to Balete Park in Maria Aurora, Aurora
►The Balete Park is approximately 30 minutes away from the town proper of Baler. From Baler town proper, you can hire a tricyle that can bring you to Barangay Quirino or drop you off directly to Balete Park. Better yet negotiate with the driver and scheduled a pick up time for a hassle free travel. Not aware with the fare rate though.
Where to Stay in Baler?
Knowing that Baler is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, finding a place to stay here is not really a big challenge but of course, it would be ideal and less hassle to book your reservations as early as possible. There are many budget hotels, transient houses and of course those luxury hotels to stay in. You can check our list of hotels in Baler and see which one suits your budget
After visiting the Ecopark, we went to a quick history tour at Museo De Baler which will be posted on my next entry.
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in case you missed my previous entries, here are the links below!
►Ampere Beach of Dipaculao
►The Enchanting Balete Tree of Aurora (Millennium Tree)
►Museo De Baler
►The Doña Aurora House
►The Historical Church of Baler (Baler Church)
►Sunrise in Baler
►Surfing 101 in Baler
►Baler’s Town Plaza
►Where To Stay in Baler
►Things You Should Buy When Visiting Baler