The hot sun and sand, the cool water and awesome consistent waves of San Juan, La Union is my favorite destination in the whole of Luzon! Even if it is 5 hours away from my home in Manila, Philippines, I would gladly leave at 1AM to catch waves early in the morning and then leave after dinner to get enough sleep before work the next day! (OK, so I’ll probably have someone else drive)
I have brought different cameras and different films for this location and it just a great location to shoot because people really come here and have a lot of fun! When you live in the city and you go to the beach where all you can do is to relax, chill out in the beach and swim or surf, it’s inevitable to get bad vibes!
As soon as we arrive in Urbiztondo, we get down our cars and head off to the beach before settling in our room! Of course the whole time we were travelling, we were praying for good waves. A few days before we plan the trip, we go to “Magic Seaweed”:http://magicseaweed.com/ to see the swell height. If it’s a color other than dark blue, there’s a good chance that waves will be high!
Usually, waves are consistent in San Juan. The peak season starts on October and ends in February. I personally have never been there during those months since I am still a newbie. The best time to come out to the beach is from 6am-11am and 2pm-5pm. You can have breakfast or lunch during the downtime, maybe even a few drinks! Most of the time, we just sit in the beach and enjoy the sun!
We were very lucky since waves were pretty high and fast after a week of calm and flat waters. Even the locals were excited to go out and play with their boards! If I hadn’t talked to my instructor that I was going to be there, I probably wouldn’t have gotten hold of him while I was there! I always try and get in the water to take pictures of surfers since the water is pretty shallow. (And besides, I wouldn’t mind if my Holga gets a little wet!)
Of course, surfing wouldn’t be complete without taking pictures after surfing. It’s the time that your smile almost literally spells: STOKED!!!!!! I always enjoy bringing my friends who have never surfed before and let them have this liberating experience! I always enjoy taking pictures of people and surf boards.
My favorite joint to eat in is called The Sea Nymph. It looks like a sari-sari (convenience) store but you can order really good food with huge servings for sharing at affordable prices! They serve pasta and rice dishes for P100-200 per plate. This is also my favorite spot to hang out and to take pictures when the sun and the sand are just too hot to handle! (As you can see in the pictures featuring my favorite view and bench)
These are different views of the beach. If you would like to find out more about San Juan La Union, you can check out its most popular resort, the “San Juan Surf Resort”: http://www.sanjuansurfresort.com/