Luna’s Leaning Baluarte & Pebble Beach (La Union, PH)
Whenever I tell someone that I spent my childhood years in the laidback province of La Union, most of the time I’ll be ask what is more to La Union besides surfing. I used to just shrug off my shoulders years back. But if you’ll ask me now, La Union is definitely more than a surfing hub.
While it is true that the smallest province of the Ilocandia has accurately established itself as a surfing destination in the tourism industry, it also boasts off other visit-worthy places. One of which is the town of Luna, named after the Luna brothers.
Luna, a seaside town formerly called Namacpacan, is slowly creeping its way up the tourism board. I have been to Luna on 3 occasions and in all instances, I always visit its Pebble Beach and the beautifully ruined Luna Watchtower called by the locals as Baluarte.
Built by the Spaniards during their halcyon days, the monumental Baluarte was designed as an observatory post for forthcoming danger from the sea. Like a sentinel guarding its subjects, this antique construction had functioned well its use for many years in the past.
Nowadays, the watch tower still erects but is ruined because of worn out base and foundation. It is being supported by concrete posts on its sides. Despite the derelict and seemingly crumbling state, it remains to be beautiful and admired.
What makes its location more worthy of a visit is the fact that it sits in the pebble beaches of Luna. The stone dotted shoreline is a beauty to behold in itself with the azure wavy water as its backdrop. Also, diligent local stone pickers usually spend most of their time quarrying stones despite the heat of the unforgiving sun. I am pretty afraid though that if the rambling collection of the stones continues, it would further cause the erosion of the watchtowers base that could eventually lead to its destruction. I wish that the local government and the people would do something about this and maybe shift to eco-tourism activities as a means of preserving the place.
To cap off your day in Luna, wait for the magical sundown that most of the time happens at this side of the Philippines. Experience La Union sunset as it drifts into the West Philippine Sea. This is truly one of the most mesmerizing and relaxing things to do here.
How to Go to Luna:
From Manila, ride a bus that is Ilocos-bound. Inform the driver that you be dropped at the town of Balaoan. Once in Balaoan center, there are tricycles in front and across the church that is Luna-bound. From Luna town proper, go to Valdez Street near St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish. There’s another road there going to the Pebble Beach.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebr’juan’…