(Eighth of the La Union Series)

Surfing is the heart and soul of La Union. People from all walks of life—the beach lovers, the sports buff, the celebrities, the locals, the travel bugs, the adventurous at heart, or simply the curious—commune at the beaches of Urbiztondo in the town of San Juan, to live a different kind of fun.

San Juan is the primary surf beach in La Union. The beachfront has many affordable resorts, bars, restaurants, shops and surf schools where board rental is also available. The best waves are from October until March. In December and January, the beach becomes crowded for surfing events which are attended by local and foreign surfers from all over the globe.

First time? Not a big deal. Get a local for your surf instructor. If you’re not that lucky to bump into the popular Luke Landrigan who runs the San Juan Surf School, get Ate Helen or Christian. They have good reputation among experienced surfers.

Surfing is physically demanding. It needs balance or the ride will be cut short and will not be enjoyable. It needs strength and speed to be able to paddle and race with the waves. It may be intimidating for the beginner, but that’s not a reason to back off. Mind you, even a hobbit who’s a non-swimmer and non-surfer was able to make it. All that was needed was an adventurous spirit, the desire to succeed at something new.

* Board rental and instructor’s fee: P400 per hour
** Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare.

Part I: Not Just Surfing
Part II: Journey to the North
Part III: Welcome to the Farm
Part IV: A Legacy
Part V: The Porch Life
Part VI: Aside from Grapes
Part VII: Sunset in San Juan


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.