Embracing the Waves

This travel with Power Rangers is long overdue. It took us two freaking years of planning before something materialized. It’s not because we are picky with the places we want to visit, it’s simply because our busy schedules won’t meet. Imagine how happy we are (especially Tina), when FINALLY we are having a trip together, albeit not with JL, still a milestone for this group.

A busy, full of activities day one.
We first had dinner at Chili’s at SM Megamall as a post birthday treat of Tina and Beejay. JL, Monique and Angus came. Little Allie (Monique’s baby girl) also dropped by. The food and company is great. We laughed, eat and laughed some more over the silliest of things and of course we can’t avoid talking about books and the book club when you are with this group. It was a reunion of some sort for Mae and Beejay who haven’t seen each other for a year. After dinner we stayed at CBTL to wait for midnight but later on decided to stay at Beejay’s place. What made that little impromptu detour memorable is that no one ever thought that Tina and Mae would step foot in his house again.

Chilis

Dinner at Chili’s. (c) Atty. Monique

Beejay's

Going up. (c) TIna

We went to Partas Terminal past midnight and boarded the bus going to Vigan at around 2AM. The travel is for 6 hours so it’s more convenient to travel at night or early in the morning so you can sleep during the trip, just remember to wake up when you’re nearing your stop because you might miss it if you oversleep. We arrived at Sebay Surf Central at 8 in the morning; however, the hotel’s check in time is still at 2PM. We want to eat breakfast, get ready for the beach and start the vacation immediately so we paid the early check in fee for Php500. Ranee arrived in time for breakfast. She’s the only one who didn’t travel with us because she’s coming from Pangasinan which is just a few hours away from La Union. We ate at Fat’s Bar ‘N Grill, a beachside restaurant where all of us ordered Longsilog when we knew that it’s Vigan’s Longganisa. After we filled our tummies, even if it’s just a few hours before 12 noon, on to the beach! Who cares about sun burn? We need to feel the beach ASAP!

We had lunch at Urbiztondo Grill House where they serve home cooked Filipino meals. If you don’t want to go far away to eat, this place is good since it’s just a few minutes walk across the resort. They serve mostly Ilocano dishes so you should try some of the viands that you can only find here. Of course, pinakbet is a must. Every town up north has their own version of cooking pinakbet so if you’ll travel to different towns in Region 1, always include that in your to-eat-meals. We had tea after that at MoonLeaf Tea House a few blocks from where we ate. We enjoyed goofing around the café and then took some awesome solo shots and spent an hour talking about nonsense. Tsismisan [1] is something that we will never ever grow tired of. We are enjoying a few hours of doing nothing because after that we’ll go surfing. Why go to a surfing central if you’ll not try it, right? It’s the first time I surfed and I tell you, I fell in love.

Mind you, an hour of surfing is equivalent to a couple of hours in the gym. It was fun, exciting and difficult the first time you do it. You’ll fall trying to balance yourself on the board numerous times, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll feel frustrated at one point, but the feeling when you are already riding the waves? Ah, it’s worth all the pain and effort. We had dinner at Sea Nymph Café, a nearby food place from the resort; it’s also a beachside café. After that we went to El Union for some coffee and a serious chat. We all fell in love with El Union’s s’mores. You should not miss this one if you visit San Juan, La Union. It’s a chocolate haven, I promise you. We spent a few hours at the beach, too bad bonfires are not allowed, listening to good random music while nursing a beer and talking of what we want in the next five years.

***

A subdued, ready to go home day two.
I spent the morning walking along the beach, barefoot, savoring the morning breeze while the sun isn’t fully up yet.  The calming sound of the waves hitting the shore clears your mind and makes you enjoy the beauty in front of you. I tend to over think yet that feels like, I can’t think at all. I had coffee with Mae and even if we don’t want to hit the beach because of body pains from yesterday’s surfing, we can’t say no to Tina. We spent the rest of the morning in the waters, trying to survive the angry waves while letting out all the #hugot lines about waves we can think of.

We had brunch at Gefseis Greek Grill and went home at 12 in the afternoon. It was another 6 hours spent sleeping on the bus.

The last time I step foot on a beach was in 2011 with the book club friends in Alabat Island, Quezon Province. I wasn’t even considering coming to this trip. I’m glad I came. It was the breather I was looking for weeks before this trip and finally feeling sand beneath my feet and the waves after 4 years.

Travel Details:
Here’s a simple breakdown my expenses for the trip:

Launion

*because it took me a while to document this trip, the expenses are approximate (near the total price though. I think I still have a hundred something remaining when we came back. The money I brought was exactly Php 3500.*

Aaron, Mae, Beejay, Ranee, Alona & Tina
Sebay Surf Central, Urbiztondo, La Union
March 28-29, 2015

Restaurants:
Fat’s Bar ‘N Grill
Urbiztondo Grill House
MoonLeaf Tea House
Sea Nymph Café
El Union
Gefseis Greek Grill

* All images in this post are owned and edited by Alona unless otherwise stated.
You may view the images in high resolution here.