I am and will always be a fan of beaches. The sound of waves crashing the shore, the feel of sand beneath my feet, the touch of sunlight on my skin are all calming and relaxing for me. But visiting one is not simply because I’m passing time, for a vacation, leisure, or so. It has been my safe haven for years. It has been my refuge, taking away my problems and clearing my thoughts. Most importantly, it has been a healing friend whenever my heart aches and my life fail. To put it simply, it acquired the role of a supporter no matter what state I am in.
So here I am back at La Union for the third time. La Union is a province located in the Ilocos region of the Philippines. It is known for its Agritourism sector as they have a promising future in the field of Agriculture and Tourism. But what they really take pride of is being the “Surfing Capital of the North” and I personally agree to this. Amongst all of the beaches I have visited, this by far is my favorite. Let me tell you why.
What to do in La Union?
To wait for the wave, ride along it, be swept to shore, and paddle back to the deep sea is so exhausting that I always forget how exhausted I am from Manila problems and toxicity. But more than the exhaustion, satisfaction tops my emotion every time I surf.
|w/ instructor||w/o instructor (board rental)|
La Union is comprised of a lot of beaches in different municipalities. I personally choose staying in what people deemed as the Siargao of La Union, the Urbiztondo Beach in San Juan. You may however visit the other beaches listed below.
|Pasay||Victory Liner||+63 2 833 5019|
|Cubao||Victory Liner||+63 2 727 4688|
|Dominion||+63 2 727 2350|
|Viron||+63 2 726 7409|
|Manila||Viron||+63 2 731 8620|
Getting around La Union is fairly easy. Jeepneys and buses pass along McArthur highway all day. You can take it a minimal fare. Alternatively, you can hire tricycles- these are most accessible- to travel around town. Motorbikes can also be rented in San Fernando.
Where to stay?
I am definitely visiting for the experience, so I never spend a huge amount on accommodation. Lodging in Elyu varies so below is a list grouped according to your budget.
|Thunderbird Resorts and Casino||check to see availability and rates|
|Aureo Resort||check to see availability and rates|
|Kahuna Beach Resort||check to see availability and rates|
|Villa Estrella||check to see availability and rates|
|Little Surfmaid||check to see availability and rates|
|Costa Villa||check to see availability and rates|
|Circle Hostel||check to see availability and rates|
|Hotel Mikka||check to see availability and rates|
Where else to go?
1. Ma-cho Temple
Located in San Fernando City, a Taoist temple with Chinese interiors can be found. Its attractions include Majestic Five Door Gate, Bamboo Garden, the Liang Thing Pagoda, 2 circular pools or ponds and the golden emblem of a dragon, the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower.
2. Tangadan Falls
La Union is more than just surfing. Situated in the town of San Gabriel, 20-mins travel from San Juan (Urbiztondo), lies the Tangadan Falls. To get there, you can ride a jeepney from San Juan and ask to be dropped at San Gabriel. From there you may (1) hire a motorbike to bring you to the falls or (2) trek your way there. That is an hour or so walk.
Tour guide fee: 500/5 people
3. Baluarte/ Leaning Tower of Luna
This is a 400-year old watchtower located in the city of Luna. It has been used as a lookout during the pre-Spanish times and was destroyed heavily by Typhoon Lando in 2015. It was restored 2 years after. What I like most about this place is there is a nearby carinderia, offering halo-halo served in a cute coconut husk. After traveling under the sun, you’ll definitely have one.