La Union overnight

If it were up to me, I would’ve stayed longer. But my friends had reasons, so, overnight it is. It didn’t help that our hired driver/tour guide arrived late, so it took precious time off our itinerary.

We got to La Union at around lunch time, so we went straight to Kabsat, a pub/restaurant in San Juan. We chose to go up the second floor and was greeted by the breathtaking view of the beach. There are no walls — just the calming view of a mountain on the right, glistening soft sand below, and sparkling blue water in front draped in cloudy skies.

Second floor of Kabsat

After lunch, we made our way to Luna to go sightseeing for some of La Union’s popular tourist spots. I had wanted to go straight to the beach and stay there until I turn into a prune. There’s plenty of time to go sightseeing the following day, on our way back home, I thought. This is why I wanted to spend at least two days and not overnight, but like a child deprived of her cotton candy, I just had to begrudgingly tag along.

Memory now fails me as to which one came first when we got to Luna. There was the 400-something year old Baluarte Watch Tower, which seemed to have been buried halfway in sandy soil. Apparently, it was destroyed by calamities in the past, and was restored to what it is now.

Taken inside the watch tower.

We also passed by the Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan. We spent a couple of minutes inside for a brief prayer and lit some votive candles. We then went to Bahay Na Bato — a compound with stone carvings, with a variety of stones and colored pebbles spread across the pathways. They made it difficult to walk on, which should merit a few extra calories shed for the effort.

Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan
See the stones? That’s the flooring.
Mga echoserang palaka. Nothing to see here.

Finally, we decided to go back to the beach! But first, the Paraoir man-made forest. Now, this one, I’m interested in. I wanted to go down and explore what’s inside, take photos, and just take in the fleeting quietude. But no! Again, I was outnumbered and managed to take one crappy video clip (screenshot below).

Did I say we’re finally hitting the beach? Yeah, it was already 4 in the afternoon, and we stayed for only about an hour and a half. I took a quick dip in the water, took some photos and videos, a quick shower, and secretly sulked all the way back to our resting place for the night.

Golden girls playing beach volleyball. It’s a sad sight.
La Union’s beaches are absolutely worth the long trip from Manila.

On our way back home, we passed by some pottery vendors by the roadside. One of my friends bought a banga (clay water container) for P750. I think she got ripped off, but people are really trying to recover from pandemic losses, so it’s okay, I guess.

Next, we went to buy some dried fish to bring home to our families. Last stop was the Gapuz Grapes Farm in Bauang. I didn’t pick grapes like the others (hello, diabetes!), but I did buy bottles of mangosteen and blueberry juices. They were gooooooood!

Palayok is rice. Life.

A weary corporate slave can definitely use a place like La Union. But when you do go there, give yourself a break and stay there longer. Three days, at least. It’s that revitalizing.


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