Baler, Aurora. We arrived there a little past 7 AM after leaving Cubao at 2:30 AM. It wasn’t such a tiring bus ride as our little group – me, Titus, Kenneth and Julie were on-board the executive coach of the Joy Bus line.
As soon as we left Manila and reached NLEX, my companions have settled in to a comfortable sleep. I was unable to snatch a nap the whole ride which has become my usual during long bus trip, could be excitement, too many thoughts running on my head and whathaveyous but I did close my eyes here and there.
For bus trip schedules to/ from Baler and Manila: Genesis Joy Bus
I love mountain vistas so when dawn broke and sun light starts to flicker in, I gathered the yellow gold curtains draped on the vacant seat on my left. From time to time I also scooped the curtains at Titus’ side to peek at the surrounding, careful not to wake him up.
Without preamble the morning brought a lovely surprise – a serene lake flanked by a distant mountain range. The water looks so calm and it shimmers and glow where sun’s light kiss it. The whole place looks utterly beautiful as it readies itself to welcome the new day.
My brain was urging myself to rummage through my bag and get the camera pronto but somehow my hands won’t cooperate and I just sat there staring into that loveliness. This place and this moment made me so glad we ventured someplace new, this was my first time to Baler and it started wonderfully.
A little of me wished I did take that camera and snap a few pics so I can share the place with you but a big part of me was glad I didn’t. For those couple of minutes when the bus trod the narrow pathway on that early morning, I wanted to be ‘present’, really present to live the moment, a camera would have been a distraction.
On our way back to Manila I made sure to watch out for this lake. I told Titus the place must be around an hour and a half away from Baler, so he mustn’t nap yet so he can see this amazing lake in the midst of the mountains I was talking about. Poor hubby was left with no choice but to keep his peepers open until we passed by this place hehe.
And there it was.
The place looks a bit different at high noon versus seeing it at the break of dawn but it still looks lovely.
CANILI – DIAYO DAMS & RESERVOIR
It turned out this place is called the Canili and Diayo Dams and Reservoirs and you can find this at the outskirts of Maria Aurora town. So am not sure now if I can still think of this as a lake? But it sure looks like a lake to me hehe.
Let me try to check Wikipedia (sorry if I have to take short cuts *grins )
The four-decade Canili and Diayo dams are a tributary of the Pantabangan Dam that irrigates more than a hundred thousand hectares of farmlands in Central Luzon specifically in the provinces of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Bulacan.
The special pathway gives you an unhampered view of the dam and the mountains that lies yonder.
The Wikipedia article further states that “the dams are situated in the deep canyons of the Canili and Diayo rivers in the Baler-Aurora basin. The confluence of the two rivers is about 800 meters downstream of the Canili damsite where it forms the Cabatangan River, which flows east to the town of Baler and empties into the Philippines Sea.”
So there is the handy facts and background guys. =)
The four of us were seated on the first row for our bus ride from Baler to Manila, which gave us a great advantage of seeing the road ahead of us. When we entered the vicinity of this dam (hah! I am starting to call it a dam now, lol), the road narrows down into one lane and the lane is bounded on each side by cemented blocks. A vehicle doesn’t have much room to maneuver; it has to follow the very narrow pathway.
The bus rolled slowly through this long stretch, a good thing as finally I was able to snapped some decent pics of Canili and Diayo dams reservoir. When we were more than halfway through, a vehicle queue at the other end becomes visible. They were waiting for our bus to exit the path so in turn they can cross the dam.
I did not see any man waving “go” and “stop” flags like they do in other rural places when suddenly a multiple lanes road converge into a single lane. There was also no traffic control signal that I can see, but mayhap traffic control is not a big issue here, after all the Aurora – Nueva Ecija road is not a busy one.
For those of you who will make the trip the Baler, if you can please watch out for this dam and see, really see. Its beauty might inspire you like it did me 🙂
Want to see the Balete Tree in Maria Aurora? 🙂