“ELYU? Ano yun?” haha I thought to myself. Only to find out “L.U” or “ELYU” is the millennial term for La Union. But anyways, hearing those terms gave me an idea to visit San Juan La Union to tick off one of my bucket lists which is learning and try SURFING! Isn’t it exciting? Because for me that made me so excited and happy!
I’ve read a lot from La Union and found out that there are really many things to do in the place and also many beautiful places to explore too. But last Friday and Saturday, I and Kath chosen to just chill on the beach and enjoy learning to surf. We also visited some cute cafes and food bistro in the place. So the whole 2 days were just food trip and beach.
How we got there?
Our starting point is Baguio City. Thursday night Kath arrived in Baguio City and luckily for the first time experienced the famous Session in Bloom. To give you a little background, Session in Bloom is part of the celebration of Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival. The whole street of Session is close during that time for one week. There are many food stalls in the street showcasing different local foods on Session Road so if you are a food lover you’re going to love it. Also, there are many stalls in the street not only displaying foods for sale but different handy crafts, clothes, shoes, bags, home décor and many other stuff. The most favorite scene I want during Session in Bloom is the different gimmicks of the vendors in order to catch buyers.
We stayed a night in Baguio and woke up early in the morning and took the 6am trip via Laoag and dropped at San Fernando La Union the capital city of La Union. Roughly the travel time is about 2 hours from Baguio City for hundred eight pesos (Php 108) one way. After we left our belongings in our accommodation, we headed directly to Urbitztondo, San Juan, La Union the SURFING CAPITAL OF THE NORTH.
If you’re coming from Manila, you could ride in either Cubao or Pasay Bus Station, find any terminal heading to North, you could ride PARTAS TRANSPORT heading to Laoag, Abra or Vigan just tells the conductor to drop you in San Juan La Union.
The experience we had in San Juan was really one of the bests for me. I am really glad I was able to tick off one of my bucket list. We hired a surf coach for two hundred pesos (Php 200) good for one hour and one surf board at another two hundred pesos (Php 200). In the tutorial, the basic moves and guidelines are discuss and teach but the hard thing to do is the balancing.
I guess I really have to practice my balancing skills in order to surf properly, that’s the very thing and a must. It was funny that on my first try I wasn’t able to stand up and balance because I was a sort of afraid that I couldn’t do it and just ended jumping in the surf board lol. On my second attempt, I was able to do it properly YEAY! I was able to do the basic guidelines our coach taught us, stand up from the board, moved first your right leg and place the left leg on the front and viola balance myself.
The sun was really up that time but we continue surfing the whole afternoon until we got hungry. On the next day we still came back and of course tried it on our own without a coach. The thing is in surfing, there are two things you need to master as per my own experience, these are BALANCING and CONFIDENCE.
Where we eat?
In L.U. there are plenty of food bistro even cafes scattered just around San Juan beach area itself. After all the surfing experience we had in San Juan, other thing that I and Kath just loved are FOODS!!! The food marathon in ELYU is great.
On our first day in ELYU, we tried the Sabong Chicken. For only one hundred eighty pesos (Php 180), we had the three (3) sliced of chicken, rice and french fries. And while waiting for the cooked food, luckily we met Cathy Gonzaga sister of Toni Gonzaga (famous actresses and hosts here in Philippines), we grabbed the chance to take some pictures with her, ‘coz we’re fan girls.
For breakfast, I just discovered how delicious and healthy a colorful bowls serve at Makai Bowls. I truly enjoyed the delicious bowl I ordered, it was filled with banana, papaya, beets and acai juice.
We also tried the famous NAK NAK located just outside the beach area of San Juan, in front of El Union Coffee. The place offers delicious meals at affordable prices.
Coffee time ka mo? Well, El Union Coffee never disappointed me. I just love their brewed coffee with milk. It was perfect for me but Kath doesn’t love it lol.
Where we stay?
What I like about booking in Booking.com is that by just typing the place where I’m going and typing the dates of my stay, choosing the most affordable yet good place to stay becomes easy. Typing the details I want, Booking.com will directly give me the list of the hostels, hotels or inns around the place where I am going.
Luckily, I found Nature’s Healing Home as the most affordable and fit to our budget. For 2 nights on our booked dates, we paid one thousand three hundred eighty nine pesos (Php1,389). The place is located in Barangay Bacsil, San Fernando La Union which is 20 minutes ride going to San Juan Surfing Area. Maybe not that close compared to other hostels in the city but we found the place as very refreshing. Actually, Ma’am Precy the owner of the place doesn’t advertise her place with locals; reason also that we found it hard to locate her place. Most of her guests are foreigners mostly are French.
The place also offers Yoga Session with Ma’am Precy, every session is at one hundred fifty pesos (Php 150). Ma’am Precy mostly invited her guest to join with her to gather for dinner, which is for me the best part in the place. I love how Ma’am Precy living a simple and healthy life. In fact she serves only organic and healthy foods to her guest. All our food experiences in her accommodation were all the best. I love vegetable, fruits and organic foods one big reason why I love her accommodation. Love the overlooking view of San Fernando and its lovely sunset in the accommodation too.
So this is all! I hope this journey would help if you want to visit San Juan La Union and I hope you also could enjoy the waves there like we did.