Friday, March 23, 2018

Stoked in ELYU : La Union, The Ultimate Beach Vibe

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As I was browsing my Facebook account one evening, my attention was caught by an interesting photo that appeared on my wall. In the photo, my friend was sitting in a surf board in the middle of the blue ocean waiting for a perfect wave to conquer. I got easily mesmerized by his photo then I realized that I really wanted to try surfing for a very long time. But, where? Where can I find a place to try surfing and experience the ultimate beach vibe? I searched online for some answers then I stumble upon a blog about La Union or "Elyu" (a popular term among surfing communities). Since I was in Ilocos Norte during that time, I decided to go to La Union before I went back to Manila. [Read: Foodspotting in Elyu]

Elyu is not just a place for wave warriors it is also an ideal getaway for those who wants to relax and have fun.

La Union is a well-known surfing destination in the Philippines. Local and foreign tourists are captivated by the wildness of its waves and the always-summer aura of the place.

I arrived in La Union at around 6 in the morning. I was too early and I was surprised when the guy from the hostel told me that they were accepting guest at around 1 in the afternoon. Since, I don’t want to waste my time, I decided to stay in the shore and I just let the time passed as I watched hundreds of waves racing to kiss the shore. As the sun started to rise and as the horizon turned blue I was stunned by the calmness of the place. When the sunlight hits the ocean it created a sea of stars glistening in the hot morning sun. The beauty was just irresistible and on that moment I knew that my trip to this place is something unforgettable. I enjoyed watching surfers sitting on their surf boards scanning the ocean for a perfect wave to ride on. The children’s laughter while playing in the shore was a soothing music to my ear. It is one of those memorable moments where you can just relax, reflect on the beautiful things in life and just get totally lost by the present moment. 

The relaxing vibe in the Surfers Villa.

La Union offers an extraordinary beach vibe. The chillaxing environment was tempting and the laid-back lifestyle was very inviting. For me, it was like a hipster paradise. Reggae music was playing in the background, surfers dancing through the rhythm of the waves and the artsy environment will give you the feeling of an ultimate summer vibe. It was never a dull moment in La Union. The locals are happy and it’s a place without strangers. There’s no rich or poor traveler in Elyu, everyone was invited to the party; a party where everyone is free to express and a party where everyone celebrates the beauty of being alive. It was a great escape from a toxic and tiring life in the city, it’s a romantic destination for lovers who wants to savor there eternal love and a wonderful place for friends to glorify the promise of lasting friendship. For me, La Union embodies the ultimate beach vibe.

Surfer board can be rented for Php 400 including the fee for instructor for an hour.

It’s time for me to try surfing and I was extremely excited. I rented a surf board for Php400 including the instructor fee for an hour. My knees were trembling because of fear but at the same time I felt pure ecstasy. The feeling was surreal, I felt like I was a child again, it was like buying my first toy for the first time and playing with it until I get the feeling of total satisfaction. I continue to paddle and tried my best to balance and to stand on the board and when the moment came it was like a dream. A dream exploding throughout the galaxies that attracts positive energies in the whole universe. It was a moment of total bliss and satisfaction.I was stoked. As John McCarthy says “surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven.”

Stoked in Elyu.
In just a 4 to 5 hours drive from Manila you can experience the bohemian/rustic vibe of La Union. Instead of just visiting the place, try to immerse yourself to the surroundings. Be a local, meet different people and just let the waves wash your sorrows.

The artsy and hipster vibe in The Circle Hostel.

GETTING THERE:

  • Buses such as Partas , Viron Transportation and Dominion bus have daily trips to La Union. Ride a bus bound to Vigan or Laoag then tell the conductor to drop you off in Urbiztondo. The fare is around Php 425. Travel time is 4 to 5 hours. Visit Partas bus terminal in Cubao and Pasay.  Dominion Bus terminals is located in New York St. Quezon City while Viron Transporation is located in Sampaloc Manila. 
  • Another option is board a bus going to San Fernando, La Union. From the bus terminal, ride a tricycle going to Urbiztondo. 
WHERE TO STAY:

La Union also offers cheap and artsy hostels and transient houses for backpackers and budget travelers. [Read: P&M Final Option Resort Review]

The Circle Hostel 
Mobile: 0917 505 4329
They have Bunk beds for Php 550 per night. Also they have hammocks for Php 450 per night. Book online now!

Flotsam Jetsam Beach Hostel
Mobile: 0917 802 1328
A beach front hostel and cafe bar that offers bohemian vibe and delicious food.
Their rooms ranges from Php 600 to 3000 a night.

Vessel Hostel
Website: https://vesselhostel.com/
Rate is Php 980 per night in an air-conditioned room with complimentary breakfast.  


About the author:
Edss Tolentino works as a Visual Merchandiser in a retail Brand. He is an aspiring Travel writer, an adventure junkie and the seeker of the unknown. His goal is to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world.

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