La Union: Spontaneous Sunday Surfing

They say jokes are half-meant. I say that is true. Case in point, June 3, Sunday.

It started after surfing in Bagasbas last May 12-13 (blog post here). Chino and I were joking about doing this more often. Week after week, we always jokingly invited the group to go surfing “next weekend”. This went on for 3 weeks but excuses were always there – other commitments, etc. Until finally, we explored the option of going to La Union for a day trip. I had a seminar to attend to last June 2, which I already paid for, so I can’t bail on that. So Sunday, June 3, was the only day available.

There was no clear plan throughout the week prior. Maybe everyone thought this was a joke, which it was, at first. All we knew was that we will go there in the morning, surf and go home in the evening.

Surprisingly, plans began to materialize Saturday night. It was only up to Chino, Yza and me to come up with plans since everyone else passed. They were either out of the country during that weekend or “pagod”.

Although plans were in place, it never felt real yet until the next day when I woke up at 4:30AM on a Sunday. By that time, I began to feel like this was really happening. I wouldn’t wake up at 4:30AM on a Sunday if I didn’t want this to push through (my alarm clock didn’t even go off, I woke up out of pure excitement. haha!).

Left the house around 6:00AM, fueled up, picked up Chino in Quezon City, then we headed for NLEX.

Now, it’s real!

You know what else is real? Getting caught in SCTEX for over-speeding. =( Now, I know!


After 1.5 years of no traffic violations, I couldn’t believe this happened. The good citizen in me, knowing I’m the one at fault, accepted my citation ticket with a smile. I just have to figure out now how to retrieve my driver’s license at LTO’s Main Office in East Ave., QC on a weekday.

EDIT: I got my license back ~72 hours after. Read about my LTO journey here.

We reached Tarlac a little bit before 8AM, had Jollibee for breakfast, then spent 4 more hours on the road until we arrived in La Union.

We had lunch at Midway Grille (again!). Yza and I never had a La Union trip without eating there. Haha. Chino had the Spicy Baby Back Ribs (P199). I had the Grilled Porkchop (P129). Yza had the American Slam (P139), image below.

midway grille american slam

It was drizzling throughout the drive to La Union but it was when we were having lunch when the rain really poured. We were wondering if we can surf. Maybe the rain’s too hard for surfing. What if there were no waves. Maybe we’ll just go to Macho Temple (after watching Bogart The Explorer’s episode on La Union surfing here). A lot of maybes, a lot of what-ifs.

We arrived at San Juan Surf Resort around 1:30PM.

san juan surf resort

We just literally stood along the shoreline for almost an hour analyzing if the waves were enough to maximize the 1-hour surfboard rental (P200) and surf instructor (P200).

After an hour, the waves got stronger (a bit) and a number of people started to surf already. So we decided to go.

Yza was our photographer and the one tasked to guard our bags. She didn’t want to swim nor surf since she was saving her outfits for a Boracay trip with her family the week after. So it was only me and Chino.

Paid the fees. Changed to our surfing outfit. Skipped the orientation (because we felt that we already knew everything..haha!). Then, Surfed!!!

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Small talk with instructors while waiting for waves…

la union surfing

Synchronized surfing…

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Sometimes we fail…

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…and collide…

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But we see to it that we get up and try again…

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Special thanks to our instructors, Kuya Jeff and Kuya Joel.

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Joel was also my first surf instructor when I was here in La Union a year ago to try surfing for the first time (blog post here). After this session, I have decided that next time I’ll go surfing, I’ll try without an instructor. If I can pull that off, Joel will be my last surf instructor as well. Bittersweet!

We stayed a couple more hours in San Juan Surf Resort to rest before washing up and heading back to Manila.

la union surfing

We left San Juan around 6PM, passed by San Fernando to hear mass, had a quick dinner at Chowking and back on the road around 8:20PM. The night drive was a bit faster, just 5 hours, got home at 1:30AM.

It was a very tiring and jam-packed weekend for me: a total of only 8 hours sleep for the whole weekend (Fri night = 3 hours, Sat night = 5 hours), a whole-day mentally-draining seminar on Saturday, 12 hours worth of driving on Sunday and the effects of surfing to the body. Next time, I need to think twice again about a day trip to La Union or any place more than 6 hours away from Manila. Or not! Haha!

La Union is approximately 5-6 hours from Manila, maybe 7 hours if you get caught in traffic in the busy areas of Tarlac and Pangasinan. If you are crazy enough, like us, to plan a day trip to La Union, make sure you consider the travel time so you can maximize your stay there.

If you want to spend the night there instead (which is the ideal thing to do), below are the room rates in San Juan Surf Resort as of June 3, 2012 (there are other resorts in the area but I don’t have their flyers).

san juan surf resort room rates

Next up, Baler!



  1. Trips to La Union are always Krazy! 

  2. No. 1 Fan (Surf Guru)June 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Let's GO! That's just a right turn instead of a left one.

  3. wow, i took a lot of good pics for your story! na put together gyud nimo. nice one yelie!:D 

  4. I'm here in the Philippines for a business trip. But I've always wanted to surf. They say I should try surfing in La Union, Baler or Siargao. What's the best month to surf? I want to try riding huge swells!

  5. They say the waves are at its best in La Union and Baler during November. A lot of surf events happen during this month. I'm not sure about Siargao though since it's in the southern part of the country (as compared to La Union and Baler in the northern part of the country [Luzon]) so the schedule might be different.

    Enjoy the Philippines! Hope you'll be able to find time to surf. :)

  6. Lake Tahoe boat rentals is accessible to skiers because of the lake's top-of-the-line boats offered by the resorts. While there are few rental boats in the city, Sunnyside Marina offers the largest amount of space and most clients. To go outside, you have to be here. The Sunnyside Marina, for instance, is well known due to its popularity with frequent skiers.