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..

For more of Gastronomical San Juan:

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…

 

 

Back in Time: Trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Christmas vacation is almost over so the family decided to have our last hoorah at Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Vigan is a fourth class city located at the western coast of the Philippines. The Chinese used to call the place “Bee Gan” which mean beautiful shore, the Spaniards during that time interchanged the”b” and “v” sounds thus calling the place “Vigan”. Vigan is place full of history and is known for having a couple of old buildings around it.

At around 12 am we left Baguio through Naguilian Road. It was a smooth ride, no traffic, no trucks and whatsoever. After more than 4 hours we arrived at Candon City, we decided to stop at the town proper and rest for a while.

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Candon Cathedral

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buying pasalubong

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the sister

of course we took some pictures and decided to continue with our trip, after an hour we arrived at the town proper of Vigan, it was almost 5 am and it was drizzling so we went to McDonald’s to have our early breakfast.

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Vigan! finally

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at McDonald’s

After breakfast we went to visit Vigan’s cathedral and said our prayer and of course our wishes since it is our first time visiting the church.

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the cathedral

and our lakwatsa continues…

Read more on our Ilocos Sur trip:

Back in Time: Baluarte ni Chavit

A 10-15 minute ride away from Calle Crisologo is a zoo that is located inside the house property of Gov. Chavit Singson. The place has no entrance fee as the governor’s  tribute to the people. The entrance had a big baluarte sign, a big man-made lake with fishes and statues of dinosaurs.

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happy faces

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smiling for the camera

It has a couple of animals roaming around and some were in cages, of course.

At the very top you would see the Safari Gallery where you would see the animals that were hunted and mummified by the governor.

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mom and dad

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mummified elephant

that was basically what we did in Baluarte, our lakwatsa continues..

Read more on our Ilocos Sur trip:

Back in Time: Bantay Bell Tower

Lastly, Bantay bell tower. Bantay Bell Tower is a watch tower that was built in 1592. It was built to guard the region from pirate attacks during the Spanish colonial era, also the reason why it was called “Bantay” (to guard). It is a 3-storey tower made of red brick walls and has a couple of bells at the top floor.

It is 5 minute ride away from Calle Crisologo just across the highway. We arrived there and looked for a parking spot. Just at the entrance tourist should register their name and they would ask for some donations.

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picture picture

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going up!

The tower was amazing, it was well preserved. Tourists would often take pictures at its grounds and some would prefer to climb to the top. It was an easy way up to the second floor with its cemented stairs but to climb the 3rd floor you would be walking through a wooden, steep staircase. At the 3rd floor are a couple of bells and amazingly its wooden floors. It was a good view at the top, seeing parts of Ilocos region.

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at the entrance

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enjoying the view

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one more

The descent was a little harder but not a big problem. My sister got cramps after walking down the tower’s staircases. LOL! Again, We took pictures and enjoyed the view.

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before we go, one last glance

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yep!

After visiting the place we headed home. ‘Til the next Lakwatsa!

Read more on our Ilocos Sur trip:

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 😀