Baby, JetSet, Go Destination Guide: Aurora

Aurora or commonly referred as the Aurora Province is perhaps, one of the least popular paradises in the Philippines. Due to its distance from the country’s National Capital Region, most parts of Aurora has preserved the natural beauty of its mountains, forests, islands, rivers and lakes, and gorgeous beaches and have been spared from the negative effects of commercialization and urbanization. Aurora is home to several beautiful islands, huge rocks and cliffs shaped by the Pacific, perfect surfing and diving spots, and of the largest mountain range in the Philippines, the Sierra Madre mountain range.

The first explorers that have come to the Philippines are the Spaniards. In 1572, it was the fleet or group of Juan de Salcedo who have moved far to the east reaching Laguna, and then areas of Casiguran and Baler. After which, a Franciscan mission to convert the natives into Catholic Christians was established in 1609. During the Spanish and American occupation in the Philippines, Baler or what is known today as Aurora Province was just a portion of Nueva Ecija and on 1902 of Tayabas (Quezon Province). Former Philippine president Manuel Quezon renamed Baler into Aurora in honor of his wife, and it was only until 1979 that it became an independent or separate province.

With its ideal location and close proximity to the neighboring provinces and ethnic cultures, Aurora enjoys its fair share of diversity in terms of people and cultural heritage. Among the residents include the Tagalogs, there are Ilocanos on the northern part of the province, Kapampangans, and the province’s indigenous tribe of the Dumagats. Relative to the diversity in people and culture, languages also differ from Ilocano, Kapampangan, the native dialects of the Dumagat, but Tagalog or Filipino is still the main language in Aurora. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the people, and tourism is also thriving.

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