this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Kid-proofing Our Baler Trip

Whenever my family travels, as the "supermom" as my kid calls me, I have to make sure that the essentials are packed and there's a provision in case something goes wrong.  So when we booked our trip to Baler, I had to make sure that the essentials have been taken care of.

Small falls before we reached the Mother Falls

1. Bus reservations

Since it was going to be a looong weekend, I made sure that we had reserved tickets to Baler via Genesis Transit. A good friend, Atty. G, suggested that we book through But since the seats were already full for all the  trips from April 26-28, I stumbled upon which also offers online booking. I immediately booked and within the required number of hours to pay, deposited our payment through PNB. But my reservation was cancelled and I was mad and I couldn't contact them blah blah blah (long story) in short, I had to get another set of tickets this time, directly at the Genesis Bus Terminal in Cubao. Good thing, my good friend Rach was nearby, and purchased our tickets for us.

photo source

Anyways, we got tickets for Joybus, Genesis' executive coaches. We got the  1 am trip (semi-deluxe), so that the little boy can sleep through the entire ride without barfing. Each seat has skyflakes, mineral water and flannel blanket. The seat was also comfy. Though I didn't like the reclining seat. I prefer my bus seats upright, straight, like I'm being punished by my elementary school teacher. I don't know why. Hahah!

On our second day, we booked tickets for the next day (deluxe since that's the last three seats that were available). Good thing we did that because the trips were full when we arrived the next day for our trip. There were unsuccessful passengers hoping to catch a ride back to Cubao.

Joybus has semi-deluxe and deluxe buses. The difference:
                        Fare                Seating Capacity               Chair
Semi-deluxe:  P650                        40 seats                 Reclining
Deluxe:           P730                        28 seats                 Reclining with Foot Stool

Both types have blankets, snacks, and a loo. I found the semi-deluxe seats more comfortable. The Deluxe's seats are too reclined for my taste and I couldn't adjust them. Sagad na daw, sabi ni manong.

2. Barf bags

Your kids don't have motion sickness? Lucky you!!  I have motion sickness but it doesn't make me less "gala." My little boy doesn't have motion sickness. He calls it smells sickness. For those of you who commute, you would know the buses have different "odors" or "scent" basta yun na yun. Iba ang amoy.  My kid smells that too and it's what causes his "biyahilo."

So whenever I travel by plane, I make sure I bring home the complimentary barf bag and collect it at home. I've got a stack at home! I stick two pieces inside my bag. To be honest, in all the years I have been commuting to and from work, I still suffer from "biyahilo" depending on the vehicle's smell, the driver's driving skill, and my seatmates (especially during summer when the lolas bring out their scented pamaypay, ooooohhhh),

For our trip, I brought  SIX barf bags just in case. I was able to use only three, thanks goodness! One for me, one for the little boy, and one for the kalat (we ate butong pakwan  so we had to make sure we don't make a mess of the bus).

I learned the necessity of a barf bag after our trip to Palawan. I was not yet prepared, and my kid woke up from his sleep and in one second I was covered in ... It was his first time to do this. We had to give him an instant bath on the side of the road.

3. Sunscreen

Bring tons of sunscreen! Enough said.

How I felt in my mind?
How I actually felt because of the heat!
Buti maraming sunblock!

4. Baon

I know the price of commodities would be higher in Baler since it's a tourist spot, so I brought packets of iced tea, saved some mineral water bottles from the bus ride, and mixed some iced tea so we did not have to buy all the time. Hubby was friendly enough to ask the store attendants in the lodge we stayed in if we could store our mineral bottles there (wala kasing ref yung room namin), and we'd just refill some bottles when we eat out, so at least, we were able to save on the drinks.

5. Portable Mini Fan

Waiting inside the bus terminal can be pure agony.  It was hot, it was midnight, and it was stinky. Good thing, there are lots of portable mini fans everywhere. They're lightweight and can last for an hour or so. Atty. Marianne gave me a portable fan from Baclaran and I've been bringing it anywhere ever since.

6. Face Mask

It makes travelling less smelly. It also helps my little boy with the odd smell of vehicles.
Not the pampapaganda face mask, though you can buy one too when you're relaxing under the stars. There are so many face masks with so many cute designs being sold on the streets. Buy one for yourself at P35.00 each.

He originally has a Baymax mask (try saying that ten times)
but we lost it somewhere
7. Books

Gadgets are fine, but books are better. For our trip, the little boy requested that we buy a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

While waiting for our time to go to the terminal

While waiting at the terminal

8. Check itinerary

When planning your vacation, make sure that it's age appropriate for your kids. Don't plan something that you aren't sure if your kid will be allowed to participate in it. For example, hubby and I went scuba-diving a few years back. Since the kid was too young at that time, we didn't scuba dive at the same time so the kid would not be left alone.

Some adventure trips can be scary or too hard for kids. For example, the 2-5 minute trek to Diguisit Falls in Baler may be okay for a 9-year old, but it would be hard for those who are six years old and below.  The trek to Ditumabo Falls in San Luis, Aurora may only be 30-35 minutes, but some rocks are slippery and may be a little "rough" for some kids. I saw a woman carrying a toddler all the way back from the falls. It was not only very hard, but it was actually dangerous!   I did not do my advance research on these two falls that we visited so I was really surprised with the trek. Good thing, the little boy enjoyed his trek so much.

the 45-degree incline to Diguisit Falls
the trek to Ditumabo Falls (Mother Falls)

9. Watch kid all the time

The surfs are up in Baler! And I mean they were crashing through the people. Two beachgoers at the time we were there got twisted knees while battling with the waves.  Partida, hindi sila nag-surf. The waves are really powerful and they scared me (me!!! a swimmer!!) The waves can really drown a person. My eyes were on my kid the entire time, even if I wasn't swimming on our last day (I got sick!boo!).  The waves are also wilder as they near the shore because of the rip and the current. They caused many shorts to drop and many tops to go over-the-top.

The waves can come crashing down your head. They are that high. So please, please, please, watch over your kids.

I had very little time to prepare for our vacation, less than a week, actually. So I know I forgot to do/pack a lot of things. But because of the things I just mentioned, the five-hour trip from Cubao to Baler and back was uneventful and our vacation was truly fun without spending too much.


The little boy's first attempt to surf. He got better and better after a few tries:


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