San Juan, La Union

To compromise our last-minute booking for our annual summer outing (we went to El Nido last year), my friends and I booked our stay at Urbiztondo in San Juan, La Union because we wanted to try surfing. Initially, we were planning for Siargao, but unfortunately we weren't able to grab the cheapest fares. So anyway, it has to be La Union then. And preying praying on seeing Luke Landrigan, too. Spoiler alert: I didn't see him.

Where we stayed?

Fatwave Surf Resort

My punong abala friend, Kathy, is always the one in-charge for researching and contacting (in short, mostly everything). She reached out to our Philosophy professor in college, Sir Louie, who's a frequent in San Juan. He suggested Fatwave Resort, where he also stays whenever he visits. We booked two rooms for 6 and 5, breakfast included. We didn't get the beachfront rooms because they were all fully-booked already. We were given the extension room that's around 10-15 minutes walk to the beach, or 5-10 minutes drive.

Fatwave Surf Resort: P9, 560 (two large rooms with 1 queen bed and 4 mattresses per room)

Where we ate?

Grapes Farm

We arrived at La Union around 7 - 8 AM. Only a 5-hour drive from Manila. Since it's still early for check-in (Fatwave requires P500/hour for early check-in), we stopped by a Grapes Farm in Bauang. I was tempted to buy their grapes (they're huge in size!), but since they're not seedless, I just opted for their Grape wine instead. It contained 3% alcohol and tasted more like a grape juice. It's 100% pure and highly recommended!

Grape Wine: P200


After Bauang, we headed to the beach and had our first decent meal of the day at Tagpuan. I ordered Pibimbap, their version of Bibimbap, only there was no meat. It has Kangkong, carrots, togue, kimchi, cucumber, and egg and man, it was so good! I thought it would bore me because I'm used to having meat on my Bibimbap, but no, this is as delicious as the ones you find in malls (e.g., Mr. Kimbob)! Others ordered their best seller, the putok batok Bagnet, which is really juicy, and their Beef Tapa. They're generous on the servings of their rice bowls. Quality-wise, everything looked fresh and presentable!

Pibimbap: P90
Bottled water: P50

Fatwave Surf Resort Restaurant

While trying to kill the time before our check-in, we stayed at Fatwave's beachfront dining area after our sunny photo op. To freshen us up, us girls ordered shakes while the boys had their cold beers. Since our accommodation comes up with a free breakfast, it lessened us the hassle to find food the next morning. Their plated breakfast meal is, eh, okay. As long as there's scrambled egg, I'm good!

Banana Shake: P100

Beach Bum Food Park

We had our dinner at Beach Bum, and luckily, since the boyf visited one week before our getaway because of work, he already knows which food to get! We ordered the gigantic Nachos, T-Bone steak, samu't saring inihaw, and cold drinks. Servings are huge and we shared everything because we all ordered more than what we could finish. #takawtingin Went to Flotsam and Jetsam afterwards to grab drinks, but it was crowded as expected, so we just headed back to Beach Bum.

Dinner: P300-P400 (my estimated share)
Drinks: FREE c/o our generous friend, the planner and reseacher, Kathy :)

El Union Coffee

After we had our plated breakfast on our second day, we headed to El Union Coffee to grab iced coffee. I had Dirty Horchata that is "made with rice milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond essence, and finished off with a shot of espresso for an extra kick." (via LoolooIt's also topped with cinnamon powder that complements the drink.

Dirty Horchata: P150

What we did?


We took surfing lessons from Jonky School of Surfing. It was just a quick overview on the parts of the surf board, the correct position, balance, and how and when to stand on your board. The talk only took around 10 minutes and I wasn't able to absorb everything Kuya Pansit (my trainer) was saying because nangangatog na ako sa kaba! Haha! So anyway, I availed a one hour session. You can opt for 30 minutes lesson as long as you have a partner you can switch with —you're just going to split everything. If you're solo flight, you'll automatically go for an hour which is super sulit! I failed a few times at first and eventually got the hang of it after a number of nakakalokang attempts. There were no big waves that day so it was a really good day for beginners like us. Kuya Pansit said we should visit again in December so we can experience the big waves!

Surfing lesson: P400/hr + P100 tip to Kuya Pansit

In case you're wondering, we just rented a van for our 2-day stay. Gas and toll fees are inclusive except for the driver's meal and accommodation —we just let him stay in the same room with the guys. Hehe. I wish I could reccommend them to you but we had a conflict in terms of payment with them. It was a misunderstanding between the agency and the driver and I was annoyed, lol. Anyway, we arrived home safe and sound, so no worries. :)

Van rental: P11,000
Driver's meal: P600 for 2 days

P.S. Thank you, Ivy and Paula for the photos!

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