Museo de Baler and Doña Aurora Ancestral House
In every journey to a province, it’s very hard to miss the capital or the town proper. Usually, most of the tourist destinations are in or near the city. Just like Baler, it is not just all about its coastal areas the surfing enthusiasts crave, its municipal proper also has something to offer to visitors, especially to history buffs.
As the smallest municipality of Aurora, its place of commerce is not that big. There’s a big lettering of the town’s name about 4 feet high with the Baler 400 Years Monument on its background. Almost never you will see it vacant as tourists lining up to pose and have a picture there. From there, it’s very easy to locate the town hall, the tourism office, as well as our two destinations: Museo de Baler and Doña Aurora Ancestral House.
MUSEO DE BALER
Museo de Baler’s façade is decorated with detailed mural portraying the town’s history. Before entering the museum, ready your P30 for the entrance fee.
Unfurled at the museum’s balcony are the flags of the Philippines and Spain. The influence of the Spanish colonization of the town and to the whole province is very evident as more than half of the ground floor is filled by Spanish artifacts and illustrations.
Also noticeable in the museum are the icons of the province: Former President Manuel L. Quezon and his wife, Aurora A. Quezon. In fact, the province of Aurora was named after her.
Other sections of the museum showcase photos and memorabilia about American and Japanese occupation, the natives of the province, and Baler’s present time.
On the second floor, you’ll see an art gallery, exhibiting the talent of the people of Aurora.
DOÑA AURORA ARAGON ANCESTRAL HOUSE
Done with Museo de Baler? Time to go to Doña Auroras Ancestral House! The receipt given to you on the museum is very handy as it also serves as passes to the ancestral house. No need to spend another entrance fee! 😀
The house is made mostly of wood, and the roof was from nipa or Palmer’s grass. Upon ascending the stairs, you’ll probably sense a typical pre-modern Filipino atmosphere there. Everything is antique, from the living and dining area, to the remaining rooms. Just like other old structures, this had already gone changes and major restorations. Still it’s the typical kubo we knew from childhood.
OTHER INTERESTING PLACE: BALER CHURCH
Just in front of the ancestral house, there’s a church that is simple, yet has a historical significance. San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Church became the quarter of the remaining Spanish troops during the Siege of Baler. They stayed and on guard in this once fortified church for 337 days.
Entrance Fee – P30 (access to both Museo de Baler and Doña Aurora Ancestral House)
From Cubao, ride a Genesis Bus or Joy Bus bound to Baler (P600). Locations of the tourist spots mentioned earlier are easy to go to once you arrived the town proper.