YES! (Philippines) - - Hello! -

The town of Baler in Aurora prov­ince is known pri­mar­ily for two things: its rich sense of his­tory, and its vi­brant surf­ing com­mu­nity on Sa­bang Beach. Re­sorts and es­tab­lish­ments line the beach area, from which vis­i­tors can see the roar­ing waves car­ry­ing count­less surfers back to shore.

But if re­lax­ation is the goal, trav­el­ers should look in the di­rec­tion of Baler’s best-kept surf­ing se­cret—barangay Reserva. Lo­cated just a few min­utes away from Sa­bang, Reserva is idyl­lic, with few surfers and even fewer re­sorts. But there are big plans for this place.

“That’s why it’s called Reserva, be­cause it is re­served to be the next thing,” Sam Pinto tells YES! one dreamy af­ter­noon. Here, with the open sea only a few steps away, the ac­tress has de­cided to put up a busi­ness ven­ture and build a sec­ond home: L’Sirene Bou­tique Re­sort.

Pro­nounced “le seren,” the re­sort’s name comes from the French words for “the mer­maid” ( la sirena in Span­ish, ang sirena in Filipino), Sam’s fa­vorite mytho­log­i­cal crea­ture. That’s why the re­sort is chock-full of mer­maid-re­lated decor, such as tail-shaped blan­kets, co­ral mo­tifs, and seashell lamps. The re­sort, which opened just last year, has since brought in tourists—and with them, more at­ten­tion—to this lesser-known part of Baler.

In­cred­u­lous as it may sound, L’Sirene was born of Sam’s free spirit, not through a con­crete plan. “I just wanted, like, a small prop­erty with my own lit­tle beach house,” the ac­tress says. “Kasi nga, I fell in love with surf­ing and then Baler. I love it so much.”

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