Probably my most frequented beach spot would be all the way at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Based from my experience, it’s a 6 to 7 hour travel from Manila if you leave at around 9pm or when the traffic is not that heavy (EDIT: Since most buses use TPLEX, travel time got cut from 6 hours to 4). I commute going there via Partas Trans Co. There are two terminals that I know of, one at Pasay and another in Aurora, Cubao. Just tell the guy at the ticket booth that you’re heading to San Juan, La Union, that’s either a bus headed for Vigan and Abra. A bus ride going to San Juan, La Union would cost you around P650—depending if it’s a deluxe or a first class bus. There would be pit stops that would give you enough time to go to the comfort room, buy a snack, a smoke break, and stretch.
When I’m in La Union, I would always stay at the San Juan Surf Resort—my home away from home. It’s a resort that I’m already really comfortable and I feel safe in because it’s owned by one of my good friends Luke Landrigan. The staff and crew of the resort are very nice and welcoming, as well as the surf instructors of the San Juan Surf Camp—the surf school established by Luke.
The resort has been newly renovated. It has an additional building with new rooms where the new restaurant, Coast Call Kitchen and Bar is situated. The restaurant serves both Pinoy and international dishes. I love that they use wheat bread for their toast and some of their sandwiches. Oh, when you’re there, order their banana, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream smoothie called After Surf, it’s sooo good!
There’s also a surf shop inside the resort so just in case you forgot your board shorts, slippers, swim wear, rash guard, sunscreen—the shop offers a bunch of beach necessities for you.
Every time I’m at the resort, I always stay at my usual cave. I’m a low maintenance traveler. Put me in a room with a fan, a clean bed, my own bathroom with running water, and flushing toilet then I’m good, and they have that at the resort. But for those of you traveling with your family or with a bunch of friends, their new and spacious rooms are perfect for you.
So for those of you wondering why I subject myself to be confined in a bus for hours to go to La Union, here’s my answer. It’s always worth the travel and stay. I find my quiet time harmoniously enjoying the sound of the waves. I get a charge out of practicing how to surf—the rush it brings to my mind, body, and soul. I love how I can actually read a book while getting kissed by the sun and tickled by the sand. It’s lovely in San Juan, La Union—it’s my heart’s home.
To know more about the San Juan Surf Resort, visit their website at http://www.sanjuansurfresort.ph/.