The province was named after President Manuel L. Quezon’s wife, Aurora. Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, was born in Baler. Aurora was first explored by Juan de Salcedo in 1571, when he reached Casiguran and Baler from Laguna. In 1609, a Franciscan mission was founded in Baler. In 1735, Baler was destroyed by a tidal wave from the Pacific Ocean. The surviving inhabitants decided to move to higher ground. In 1814, the village of Binondo was founded away from the coast. Baler was a part of Nueva Ecija until 1902, when it was ceded to Tayabas, the former name of Quezon province. During the commonwealth period, when President Quezon unexpectedly visited Binondo, he named it Aurora in honor of his wife. In 1951, municipalities now comprising the province were organized into Aurora, a sub-province of what had then become Quezon. The municipality of Aurora was changed to Maria Aurora. On August 13, 1979 Aurora became a separate province by virtue of Batas Pambansa No.7.
The climate is characterized by rainfall, which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. Because the province faces the Pacific Ocean, it is regularly battered by typhoons coming from the east.
Beyond the lush forest of the Sierra Madre Mountains lies a splendid land so unbelievably rich and untouched, Aurora Province, otherwise known as the Sanctuary of Nature’s Splendor. The Sierra Madre Mountain range covers a large part of the province of Aurora. In fact, next to the Aurora coastline, this is the place where flora and fauna are most concentrated. Waterfalls, rivers, crystal clear streams of varying sizes are located within, if not adjacent to the area of the Sierra Madre Mountain. Special interest trips such as mountain climbing, safari, bird watching, ecological studies, or simply picnicking could be rolled into one by taking trails recommended by local nature trekkers in the area.
When the northeast monsoon winds blow and the usual tranquil white beaches are transformed into deathtraps by angry waves, it is time to come to Aurora to ride the waves on a surfboard. So come now, hurry up, Aurora is waiting.
President Quezon Memorial Park
Aurora has a total land area of 308,122 hectares. Its main link to the rest of Luzon is a narrow mountain gravel road, twisting across the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges between Baler and the municipality of Bongabon in Nueva Ecija.
Auroracan be reached via two road networks – the Canili-Pantabangan Road and the Baler-Bongabon Road. Genesis Transport with terminals in Manila and Pasay City offers daily morning trips from Manila to Baler. Travel time is approx 8 hours. For those coming from the northern provinces, D Liner buses stationed in Baguio take 8 hours to reach Baler. Buses, jeepneys and private vans stationed in Cabanatuan Central Terminal in Nueva Ecija take two hours to reach the southern-most town of Dingalan, and four hours to reach Baler.
Predominantly Tagalog, in some parts Ilocano. The working population is fluent in both English and Filipino Languages.
Aurora’s basic economy is agricultural; copra and rice are the principal products. Weaving, especially of buntal hats, is an important cottage industry. Fishing production can be increased in Casiguran and Dingalan Bay, but Baler Bay’s is expected to diminish due to over-fishing and sedimentation. Aurora has maintained its forest cover but is under the serious threat from logging. Isolation, inaccessibility and exposure to typhoons have hampered the province’s development.
Picnicking in the valleys of Aurora could be one delightful activity for tourists. One could pick out a nice area in the IFRC Nursery and Falls, where a mantelpiece could be set in between a twin falls, and enjoy sumptuous broiled delights from the sea and fresh tropical fruit. Other mountainous areas are filled with tiny falls, springs, and rivulets where picnics are ideal.
Aurora is composed of eight (8) municipalities with Baler as the provincial capital.