Gastronomical San Juan – At the Beach!

Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, the surfing capital of the Northern Philippines. It is known for its quality waves suitable for surfing as well as swimming. For non-surfers Urbiztondo is also known for its food strip and night life.

It was weekend so I went to San Juan with my bestfriend/ “kambal”, Alex, and my boyfriend, Prince. San Juan is a 1 1/2 to 2 hour- drive away from Baguio via bus. It was a weekend  so almost all the resort were fully booked, good thing we found this place called “The Little Surfmaid Resort”, It is quite a decent beach front hotel in Urbiztondo. Their single room with balcony is priced at P2900, it has 2 couches, a bed, a cable TV, a cabinet, a fridge, and a balcony.

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The resort

The main attraction is the beach, we walked around from one place to the other and took pictures, of course. The wind was calming and the view was spectacular despite the scorching heat from the sun.

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Walking around

After walking around, we just had to see the sunset, before heading back to the resort and changing into our swim suits.

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with love

With all the stress at work, this place would really give you the break you’ve been longing for. It’s  a place that would remind you to have fun and enjoy life.

Of course aside from the beach, food is one reason for this trip, So the lakwatsa continues..

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Gastronomical San Juan – Geifsis Greek Grill

Geifsis greek grill, it is a greek inspired restobar located in San Juan, La Union and opened its doors last 2013. They serve authentic greek food with the perfect view of the beach. The place is greek themed as well, even the servers are dressed like the greeks.

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This place is the first stop of our gastronomical adventure in San Juan, I have to say as soon as I arrived here I was already impressed by the ambiance. I ordered their Pork Ribs, P300 and Alex ordered their Chicken Kebab, P220 (i think). Yup, the food is quite pricey but if you are into Greek flavors the price is definitely worth it.

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The place

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The food

So for those who like to experience the taste of Greece, come and visit Geifsis Greek Grill, It will be worth the price.

And the lakwatsa continues…

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Gastronomical San Juan – El Union Coffee

El Union Coffee is a coffee place in San Juan, La Union, they offer their own blend of coffee and comfort food at its finest. Open from 7 a.m to 10 pm, you can smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from a far.

Their coffee is perfect for a surfer’s morning routine before hitting the waves at the beach. Their menu offers caffeine and non caffeine drinks with a couple of deserts to come with it. img_0123

Since I don’t love coffee as much as my companion, I ordered the Horchata, which is simply rice milk with vanilla, almond and cinnamon.We also ordered their grilled cheese and their indoor smores. The food was just incredible, perfect comfort food, with the cheese stretching  out with every bite and the marshmallow just melting in your mouth. LOL! #foodporn.

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yup, #foodporn

Looking for a chill spot after a long day at the beach? This is the perfect place for you!

and yup, the lakwatsa continues…

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Gastronomical San Juan – Mad Monkeys

Mad Monkeys is a small burger stall located in Urbiztondo, San Juan. It is famous for its different takes on burger. The place offers good food, open space, and good music as well. img_0346img_0347

We ordered the S.O.S burger and the Smoked BBQ burger, both of the burgers are flavored differently. The S.O.S burger is on the onion flavored side, it has regular patty, onion sauce and onion rings. The Smoked BBQ burger has bacon, special BBQ sauce and a regular patty.

The food may not be the most photogenic food and it may be the messiest thing to eat but the taste is a party in you mouth. With regards to pricing, it maybe on the pricier side but again with the flavors and the chill vibes, it is definitely worth the money.

 

And once again, the lakwatsa continues…

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Gastronomical San Juan – Choka

Finally, the last food joint we visited, CHOKA, it is one of the newest food joint in San Juan. It is an American themed food spot, that serves the all american comfort food, from ribs to fries, from hot wings to burgers, they have it all. So if you’re craving for American comfort food that’s flavorful and come in massive servings, this is the place to go.

Well, we were supposed to go to Surf Shack but the place is still closed, so we headed to Choka instead. What captured my attention aside from the food are the paintings on the wall, although I’m not an artsy kind of person, I was impressed with this simple paintings.

We ordered buffalo wings, ribs and cheese fries, also ordered drinks, lemon cucumber juice and brewed coffee, when the food came we were shocked with the amount of serving that was on the plate, it was huge. LOL! Flavors were great, super worth it. After all that food, I was super full, satisfied and ready to go.img_0451

And this is where the lakwatsa for this day ends, ’til the next lakwatsa.

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A Day at Tangadan Falls

The famous Tangadan Falls, a hidden gem located at San Gabriel, La Union, the town just after the famous surfing area of San Juan. A place for trekking, cliff diving and of course swimming.

It was a holiday and since my birthday is coming up we decided to go on a short trip to Tangadan Falls. We woke up early at around 3am and headed to San Gabriel La Union at 4 in the morning. From Baguio through Naguilian Road it is a 2-3 hour drive via private car.

We reached the parking area, well actually  front yards of the the people living near the starting point of the hike, at around 7am. It took us this long because we had a couple of stops, eating breakfast and buying water for our trek.  They charged us 50 pesos as parking fee. Also people around would be asking you if you already have a guide. We actually went with our 2nd cousin who lives near the area, so we didn’t need a guide. Not sure about how much they would charge people, but I think they charge per person. By the way they don’t require people to have tour guides, if you want to go and follow your heart, lol! go! But i recommend getting one since the river can be quite confusing. The route started with a short walk through the fields.

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Just starting the hike

Then the long walk through and across the rivers started. It was a fun trek, going up and down large boulders, jumping from one rock to the other, crossing rivers and walking through very narrow paths (one wrong step and you’re in the water, LOL). It is a very hot place so if you’re planning to go here prepare your skin with a lot of sunblock and a lot of cover. hahaha!

After sometime walking you would reach a forest area, it has a couple of small trees more of bamboos and bushes.

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Blurred, ’cause my dad’s eyes were getting wet with his own sweat. LOL!

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One of a kind swing

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Into the woods

 

Then you’ll reach the diving area, it’s quite breathtaking you’ll feel that the hike is worth it.

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Tired and Hot

But then it is not yet the end of the long hike, Eventually you’ll find yourself near the river again.

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A short rest for the breathless

A little bit more hike and you’ll reach the breathtaking Tangadan Falls. The hike would last  up to 1-2 hours depending on your group’s speed and also on how many stops you make just to take pictures. haha! Near the falls you would see a couple of bamboo huts, they will cost you 400 pesos if you get one, but just like us you can just place your bags in one place and it wouldn’t get lost. LOL! The waterfalls is really beautiful, I think it is 40 ft fall from the top. Tourists are not allowed to cliff dive in this area because it is quite dangerous. You can hire one of the bamboo rafts to go under the waterfalls and have a back massage, hehe! They charged us 200 pesos for an hour but I think it also depends on the number of people. Also for people like me who doesn’t know how to swim you can hire life vests for 50 pesos.

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Taking it in

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Bamboo Rafts floating around

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To the Waterfalls!

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with the siblings

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more….

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and another..

By the way, the rocks submerged in the water are very slippery so be careful! We swam around the area for awhile before we decided to eat merienda. And then we swam some more and decided to leave.

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Fooling around in our life vests 😀

I just wish that the local government would try to preserve the area, because people are already building a lot of bamboo huts near the falls and it defeats the purpose of hiking and being one with nature. haha! ano daw?!

But nevertheless the place was really worth the long hike, it was a breathtaking place to go to and I recommend that thrill seekers and nature lovers go there! It is a very beautiful place!

Here’s a short clip taken with Xiaomi Yi action camera:

That’s it guys! ‘Til the next lakwatsa…

 

 

Basilica of Our Lady of Charity at Night

We went to visit our grandparents at Sto. Tomas, La Union. On our way home we passed through Agoo, La Union and found this beauty.

The basilica of our lady of charity also known as Agoo basilica is found just in front of Agoo’s municipal hall. The original church was actually destroyed by a couple of earthquakes which paved the way for demolition and reconstruction of a new church which is the one standing at present day.

We decided to stop on our way to Baguio just to take pictures of the church. It was very eye catching because of its lights. At first I was only taking pictures near it, but since we were unable to capture the whole basilica we crossed the street for a better view.

Here are the photos:

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boke

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at its entrance

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favorite pic! photo overlay 😀

After taking pictures, we continued with our trip back to Baguio

’til the next lakwatsa 😀