Baler, Aurora

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Downtown (Poblacion)
Downtown (Poblacion)
Official seal of Baler
Location within the Aurora province
Location within the Aurora province
Baler is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 15°45′30″N 121°33′45″E / 15.75833°N 121.5625°E / 15.75833; 121.5625Coordinates: 15°45′30″N 121°33′45″E / 15.75833°N 121.5625°E / 15.75833; 121.5625
Country Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Province Aurora
District Lone District
Founded 19 August 1609
Barangays 13 (see Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Nelianto C. Bihasa (LDP)
 • Vice Mayor Karen G. Angara-Ularan (LDP)
 • Total 92.55 km2 (35.73 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 39,562
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Voter(2016)[4] 22,535
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3200
IDD:area code +63 (0)42
Income class 3rd class
PSGC 037701000

Baler, officially the Municipality of Baler (Filipino: Bayan ng Baler; Ilocano: Ili ti Baler), is a municipality in the province of Aurora in the Central Luzon (Region III) of the Philippines, serving as the provincial capital. The population was 39,562 at the 2015 census.[3] In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 22,535 registered voters.[4]

Baler is located 231 kilometres (144 mi) north-east of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicle. It is host to spectacular geographic formations and is situated on a vast plain at the south end of Baler Bay, a contiguous segment of the Philippine Sea.

It became the capital of Aurora on 14 June 1951 under Republic Act No. 648[5] signed by President Elpidio R. Quirino. It remained the seat of government of Aurora on 21 November 1978 under Batas Pambansa Blg. 7[6] signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

It was identified by Google in 2009 as topping the list of beach destinations in the Philippines.[7] It was described by Yahoo! Southeast Asia in March 2013 as one of the "top surf spots" in the Philippines.[8] Nine-feet waves serve as its main tourist asset, attracting hundreds of surfers during the surfing season from September to February.


Spanish colonial period[edit]

Filipino troops of Colonel Tecson in Baler (May 1899)

In 1609, seven Franciscan missionaries, led by Fray Blas Palomino, founded the settlement of Baler, which was later converted into a pueblo (town) by the Augustinians and the Recollects in 1658. Due to scarcity of religious missionaries, the Franciscans again took over the administration of the settlement in 1703.

On 27 December 1735, a great storm came and a huge wave called tromba marina devastated the old town settlement, then located in Barrio Sabang. Among the survivors were the Angaras, Bijasas, Bitongs, Lumasacs, Carrascos, and Pobletes who swam toward the nearby Ermita Hill.[9][not in citation given] A new community sprang into what is now the Poblacion of Baler, leaving "Kinagunasan," the place of devastation.

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Church

On 27 June 1898, 15 days after the Philippine Independence was proclaimed, 54 Spanish soldiers of the Baler garrison, under the command of Captain Enrique de las Morenas y Fossi, made the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa church their barracks. When de las Morenas died on 22 November 1898, Lieutenant Saturnino Martín Cerezo replaced him. On 2 June 1899, the last Spanish garrison in the Philippines surrendered after the Siege of Baler, effectively ending over 300 years of Spanish rule in the country.[10]

American colonial period[edit]

In 1901, the Americans incorporated the town into the province of Tayabas (later named Quezon province). Before the Americans came, Baler was under the district of El Príncipe.

The Comedia de Baler of Aurora mounted its first production in 1927. It was supported by then President Manuel Luis Quezon and enjoyed the collaboration of artists Fortunato Esoreña and Alejandro Ferreras and arnis expert Antonino Ramos. Still alive until today, it features a group of colorfully attired performers using authentic weapons, like swords and knives, in their plays.

Japanese occupation[edit]

In 1942, Japanese troops entered Baler, where they made the Baler Elementary School building as their garrison under the command of a certain Captain Hattori. The general headquarters and camp base of the Philippine Commonwealth Army from 3 January 1942 to 30 June 1946 and the Philippine Constabulary from 28 October 1944 to 30 June 1946 were stationed in Baler. In 1945, Filipino and American troops landed in Baler, including Filipino troops of the 3rd Infantry Division, the 5th Infantry Division, the 51st Infantry Division, and the 52nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the 5th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary, the local recognized guerrilla unit, and the American troops of the 6th Infantry Division of the United States Army. The retreating Japanese troops destroyed the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Church in Baler.[citation needed]

Post-war period[edit]

On 14 June 1951, by virtue of Republic Act No. 648, Baler became the capital town of the sub-province (and later, province) of Aurora.[11]

In 1956, the barrio of Dingalan was converted into a municipal district within Baler and later became a town in its right.[12]


Baler is located at 15°45′30″N 121°33′45″E / 15.75833°N 121.5625°E / 15.75833; 121.5625.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the municipality has a land area of 92.55 square kilometres (35.73 sq mi)[2] constituting 2.94% of the 3,147.32-square-kilometre- (1,215.19 sq mi) total area of Aurora.


Baler is politically subdivided into 13 barangays.[13]

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a.
2015[3] 2010[14]
037701001 Barangay I (Poblacion) 1.5% 587 717 −3.74%
037701002 Barangay II (Poblacion) 0.8% 312 374 −3.39%
037701003 Barangay III (Poblacion) 0.9% 357 434 −3.65%
037701004 Barangay IV (Poblacion) 0.9% 363 389 −1.31%
037701005 Barangay V (Poblacion) 4.3% 1,718 1,662 0.63%
037701006 Buhangin 13.4% 5,310 5,057 0.93%
037701007 Calabuanan 9.8% 3,895 3,221 3.68%
037701008 Obligacion 3.1% 1,215 1,135 1.31%
037701009 Pingit 14.9% 5,913 4,989 3.29%
037701010 Reserva 11.6% 4,580 4,064 2.30%
037701011 Sabang 12.2% 4,833 4,829 0.02%
037701012 Suclayin 16.0% 6,341 5,923 1.31%
037701013 Zabali 10.5% 4,138 3,216 4.92%
Total 39,562 36,010 1.81%


Population census of Baler
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 2,417 —    
1918 3,413 +2.33%
1939 11,887 +6.12%
1948 17,182 +4.18%
1960 10,350 −4.14%
1970 14,632 +3.52%
1975 16,046 +1.87%
1980 18,349 +2.72%
1990 24,689 +3.01%
1995 26,919 +1.63%
2000 29,923 +2.29%
2007 34,492 +1.98%
2010 36,010 +1.58%
2015 39,562 +1.81%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][14][15][16]

In the 2015 census, Baler had a population of 39,562.[3] The population density was 430 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,100/sq mi).

In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 22,535 registered voters.[4]

Notable people[edit]


Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Aurora". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Census of Population (2015). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "2016 National and Local Elections Statistics". Commission on Elections. 2016. 
  5. ^ "Republic Act No. 648 - An Act Creating The Subprovince Of Aurora, Which Shall Comprise The Municipalities Of Baler, Casiguran, Dipaculao And Maria Aurora, Province Of Quezon". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. 14 June 1951. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Batas Pambansa Blg. 7 - An Act Separating the Sub-Province of Aurora from the Province of Quezon and Establishing It as an Independent Province". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. 21 November 1978. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  7. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "Google searches reveal top tourist spots". Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Labrador, Chinggay (28 March 2013). "Get stoked at these top surf spots". Yahoo! News Philippines. Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  9. ^ GOVPH. "National Historical Commission of the Philippines - "A Filipino society with citizens informed of their history, who love their country and are proud of their cultural heritage."". Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Hernandez, Miguel. "The Last Action of the Spanish American War: The Siege of Baler". The Spanish American War Centennial Website. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Republic Act No. 648; An Act Creating the Subprovince of Aurora, Which Shall Comprise the Municipalities of Baler, Casiguran, Dipaculao and Maria Aurora, Province of Quezon". 14 June 1951. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Republic Act No. 1536; An Act Creating the Municipal District of Dingalan in the Municipality of Baler, Subprovince of Aurora, Province of Quezon". 16 June 1956. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Municipal: Baler, Aurora". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Province of Aurora". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 

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