(Not) Surfing in La Union

25 Jan

The title’s a bit surprising, isn’t it? It seems like this combination of words don’t belong in one sentence, no?

When people speak of La Union, the first activity that pops in their mind is surfing. They can’t be blamed though as people from the Philippines and tourists from other parts of the world travel specifically to La Union to catch the waves. And again, because of my inability to stay afloat and swim, I decided not to try this sport. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a blast in this awesome place.

My college friends, who are mostly from my organization UP Lingua Franca, were itching to get away from Manila and forget all our troubles and woes in the big city. Also, I personally have not gone on an out-of-town trip with them after we graduated from college – most of us graduated at about the same time. The farthest we’ve been together was Pansol, Laguna, which isn’t really far from me since I live in the south.

So last year, Gia and I organized a La Union weekend getaway. We were the main organizers of this trip, with all the decision-making and discussions done on Facebook. It was a bit difficult to set a meeting with them as our schedules often clashed and we were all busy with work and school.

Gia and I at Jollibee, *trying* to check her students' essays. (Photo by Robs)

But we were able to put everything together, with Gia in charge of accommodations  while I figured out the transportation. When everything was all set, seven of us blocked off May 14 and 15 on our calendars  for the first ever (unofficial) LF out-of-town trip. 🙂

The long, (winding) road

Meeting time was at 10pm at one of the Jollibee brances in Cubao, as the bus terminal we were going to was in that particular area. We had planned to meet up at the station a little before 4am, but I suggested that we meet earlier because I lived in the far south and didn’t want to commute to Cubao at 2am. If you live in Manila and have experienced at least getting your phone or any valuable snatched from you or being held up with a sharp object for it, then you would understand my fears.

I left the house a little before 10pm, and thankfully there were still airconditioned buses bound for Cubao. The ride took about 30 minutes, and it was one of the most interesting ones I’ve had. The driver must’ve been a huge fan of The Bee Gees because karaoke versions of their hits were on loop the whole ride. Even with earphones on, I can still hear How Deep is Your Love and Emotions pretty clearly.

I got to the Jollibee branch safely, with the help of the nice roaming security guards in the Araneta center area. Met up with the others and we waited ’till about 3:30 before heading off to the terminal.

We actually got confused as there were several terminals in the area we went to the wrong one! It was partly my fault too, since I was in charge of figuring out our transportation and the lady who I spoke with on the phone gave me the incorrect address. But it was all good as an FX was on standby to take us to the correct terminal.

We got to the Partas bus terminal with enough time to purchase tickets and board the 4am bus. The bus left about 4:30 as it waited for more passengers to fill up the empty seats.

The ride took about 7 hours, with two stop-overs. I was asleep almost the whole ride as I went straight to the bus station after going home from work. I guess all of us were dead tired too as my friends were sleeping almost the whole time as well.

Finally!

We got to Urbiztondo in San Juan a little before lunch. Before checking in at San Juan Surf Resort, we had lunch at a nearby eatery (my apologies, I forgot where we had lunch at -_-).

We then proceeded to check-in our rooms at the resort. Checking in was a breeze and it only took a matter of minutes. The rooms we had booked were the basic airconditioned rooms. Drew, David, Robs and Trisha stayed in one, while Gia, Adrian (Gia’s boyfriend) and I stayed in another.

David, Drew, Trisha and Robs

Because Gia and I were itching to dive into the water, we just set our bags down took out our swimsuits, changed and headed to the beachfront. The others wanted to rest and freshen up for a while.

One of my best friends, Gia 🙂

We lounged around at the resort’s restaurant for a while since the heat seemed to be unbearable (and it actually was). I was able to really bond with Gia again and get to know Adrian as well.

The view from where we were seated was absolutely gorgeous. I felt really peaceful, just looking out and seeing the waves crash to the shore and the sparkling white sand. Not to mention there were pretty interesting-looking people on the beach too!

About an hour later, our other companions went out of the room and met us here. We then all dashed to the beach – dashed because the sand was really painful to walk on.

We had a blast during that afternoon!

San Juan Surf Resort

We didn't get to hang out at this area. It was too hot!

Off to swim (wade). Confession: This was the first time I wore a two-piece swimsuit in public. (Hello, body issues. haha)

We just kept swimming for hours. Gia and Adrian took surfing lessons late in the afternoon, but I wasn’t able to take their pictures because I was in our room already, freshening up.

For dinner, we headed to Angel & Marie’s Surfer’s Retreat Restaurant, which is a cozy little eatery just in front of the resort.

(Note: Will be posting photos of our meals + the restaurant. I still have to grab them from Drew :D)

The price is just right for the quality of the food served. It was really good! And it certainly was filling, after a long bus ride and swim in the afternoon. After dinner, we headed back to the resort to get some items we had brought in Manila (Read: Tequila) and headed to the beach for some night bonding under the stars. It was really nice to lie down on the beach and have interesting conversations with people again. There was even a group of people with Bongo drums playing reggae-like music in the background.  It felt like we were in college all over again, minus the stress of university life.

We even saw a shooting star! That was the first time I ever saw one and if I had blinked at the wrong time, I would’ve missed it. And of course I made a wish (which hasn’t come true yet. *wink* I’m not telling!). 🙂

We left the beach with happy hearts and a slight buzz (haha cheesy).

Still did not surf

We were up early the next day to maximize the time we had left at La Union. We went to the restaurant to avail of the resort’s free breakfast. Yes, there’s free breakfast when you book certain rooms at San Juan Surf Resort! I ordered a rice meal since I was surprisingly famished when I woke up. We quickly went to our rooms and changed into our swimwear for a few more hours of swimming.

San Juan beach. Played with this photo a bit in Adobe Lightroom 🙂

It was really hot.

Getting wiped out! (sort of)

Tattooed girls 🙂

Thank you Adrian for taking our photos 😀

And because Gia and Adrian had too much fun surfing, they decided to do it again on our last day.

Awesome surfer kid

I sat on the shore and took pictures.

Gia surfing like a pro (great job for a first-timer! :D) That's Adrian climbing on the board behind her.

We were joking that this guy was on his way to China. 😛 Look at that back though!

People taking surfing lessons

I have a thing for guys with tattoos #noshame 😀 Also, I want his lens!

I saw an area at the other end of the beach with lots of rocks. I wanted to try and capture a photo of the water splashing against a rock. I was however scared of either 1. falling down, 2. Lulu taking a dip in the water. Here’s the result of my attempts:

This was a lucky shot. I had feared for Lulu while I was on those rocks.

We took one final dip and headed back to the room to fix our things and get ready to leave. I honestly did not want to go home and just stay on this beach. But sadly, there’s work and school we had to go back to in the city.

We checked out at about 11am and had lunch at a nearby carinderia. I remembered the meal was delicious and affordable! Home-cooked meals are always the best in my world. 🙂

We then waited along the highway for a bus going to Cubao. It was scorching hot and there weren’t a lot of buses around. Because we were waiting too long, we had settled on riding any bus we saw and asked to be dropped off the Partas terminal. From there, we waited some more for a bus to arrive. There were so many people waiting at the terminal too, so we had settled on flagging any bus, for as long as it was airconditioned and was bound for Cubao.

Finally, after hours of waiting, we managed to hop onto one. Most of us drifted off to sleep during the 7hr+ ride. As soon as we got off Cubao, David and I headed to the nearby Jollibee branch to eat dinner. We then waited along EDSA to ride a bus home.

This trip was a very memorable one for several reasons. First, this was my first out-of-town trip in Luzon that involved a really long bus ride. Second, this was Lulu’s first out-of-town trip as well. Third, this was the first out-of-town trip I had with my lovely orgmates.:)

I promise to come back and the next time I do, I’ll definitely hop on a board and *attempt* to ride the waves. 🙂

***

All photos taken by Lulu and owned by this blog, unless stated otherwise. 🙂

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4 Responses to “(Not) Surfing in La Union”

  1. chyng January 25, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    well i think you still had a blast in la union though you didnt try surfing. nextime try mo na. it’s fun! hehe
    and congrats on your 1st 2-pc exposure. yihaa!

    • ramblinglittlegirl January 25, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Hi Chyng! I did, I did! Fun manood ng mga nagsusurf, pero nainggit parin ako ng kaunti. Pag natuloy kami ng mga friends ko sa Baler, ittry ko na 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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