Puraw-a-Darat: Poro Point, ELYU

I am glad that some things never change. (Okay, they may have changed but not very significant). Over the weekend (actually, it is still weekend while I am doing this piece), I went to re-visit a place I have been to 9 years ago.  It is a beach in La Union that remains to be relatively unknown to a lot of people. You see, when you say La Union or ELYU, most travelers, tourists, and even locals would storm their way to San Juan (for surfing and beach bumming), San Gabriel for a Tangadan waterfall getaway, or Luna for an artsy day at the Bahay na Bato Art Gallery.

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La Union is not really the best province to visit if you are after white sand dotted beaches and crystal clear waters for snorkeling. Nonetheless, this small Northern Luzon province have some little secrets. One place I have featured last time was Immuki Island of Balaoan. This time, I am introducing the not so familiar White Beach (or locally called “Puraw-a-Darat which literally means white sand) of Poro Point in San Fernando City, La Union. ♥

So how does one get here?

1. Get off the National Hi-Way in Brgy. Paringao, Bauang, La Union. (This is the most common jump-off point, and the one I have tried on two occasions).
2. Choose any of the many beach resorts lining the area. (eg. Coconut Grove, China Sea Resort, Bali Hai etc.) I have tried China Sea Beach resort way back 2009. And just this weekend, we went to try Coconut Grove Resort. Ask about their boat rental going to White Beach aka Puraw-a-Darat.

A small outrigger boat costs around 600-800php for a 2-hour stay at the beach. We haggled and got it for 700php. If you wish to stay there longer, you inform your boatman, but an additional fee needs to be paid. The boats are really small, with which it can only accommodate a maximum of 5 people plus the boatman. I am not just sure if there are bigger ones since all boats I saw were of the same size.

They also offer snorkel rental for 100php/ piece. (Which I think is pretty pricey). When we were already approaching the island, our boatman offered the snorkel gears again, but at half the price. (So kelangang lang munang magpababebe sa una para makadiscount pa. hahaha).

Going to the cliff and the hidden white sand beach of Poro Point takes about 20-30 mins depending on the waves. I find the experience not for the faint-hearted as the waves can be quite big and nauseating. Once you pass by the famed Thunderbird Resort, and you see a white lighthouse – you are already near.

The beach isn’t really a long stretch but is enough for a few group of people. It features some rock formations, pebble and coralline rock sand, and a clear water for swimming and snorkeling. The best part is a short walk up the cliff (which is generally an off-limits area), so one can only stay the edge part. This elevated part gives a really lovely view of the beach.

So in summary, the jump off to this place is the town of Bauang but the beach is actually part of Poro Point in San Fernando City. So the next time you want to be in the beach, try to check this place, and you might be surprised that you would find yourself having the entire area to yourself.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy!

LA UNION: Immuki Island of Balaoan

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who do not believe in magic will never find it... — Roald Dahl

Still tired from the seemingly endless travels I had for the past months, I was keen on staying at home until the year ends. Whenever someone asks me if I would want to join them climb a mountain or visit some place, I would almost always end up saying “next time” (despite my yearning to go on a climb or go bum around a beach).

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On the last day of the year 2017, I woke up wanting to cap off my year by exploring one more place. So the dilemma was choosing which nearby area to see. I thought of going to Atok (in Benguet) but I was afraid transportation would be a problem since its a holiday, and the town is not frequented by many public vehicles. I even considered doing a Mt. Pigingan climb in nearby Itogon (also in Benguet). However, I have read that a day hike would be quite tiresome.

And then I remember this conversation I had with a friend during the Lantern Parade here in Baguio about a place in La Union that is relatively new to the public eye. It’s called Immuki Island in the coastal town of Balaoan. My mom is from La Union, and I never knew about any island in her province, so I was surprised to learn about this place. I googled to seek more information about the it, and all I was presented with was a short description of the island at Balaoan’s official website. The other website is pretty scary to open because my laptop prompted me that there are some security issues if I continue opening it.

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So, despite the very little information about the place, I made a last minute decision to go and see the island for myself. Without any expectations, I hopped on a Vigan-bound bus and off I went to Elyu. Since it is in the town of Balaoan, automatically, I thought the best jump off would be its town plaza. To which later on, I’d realize, Bacnotan, a neighboring town, is a better jump off.

Upon arrival at the Balaoan town plaza, I asked around how to get to Immuki. I asked a tricycle driver if he could take me there. He first suggested that I go back to Bacnotan town and take a jeepney instead, as it will be cheaper. However, I decided to just take the tricycle, haggle a bit and off we went to Immuki. The road we took was familiar to me since it’s the very same road that goes to Luna town proper. If one intends to visit Balai na Bato, Namacpacan Church, Luna’s baluarte, and even Occalong Falls, it is actually the same route. Though I haven’t visited Darigayos Beach yet, I have learned from this trip that Darigayos is actually near Immuki.

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In about 30 minutes, we arrived at Paraoir’s barangay hall. I asked my tryke driver if he could wait for me since I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get a ride back to the town plaza, but he was very assuring that jeepneys and tricycles ply the area frequently.

So, I did register at the barangay hall. You won’t be asked for any entrance fee nor any fees for that matter. From the barangay hall, just follow the signs that say “Immuki Island.” A narrow path will lead you to the coast, where you will pass by locals who have small stalls, where one can rent slippers and where people can buy some snacks and beverages.

A bit of “Immuki’s history”: Immuki is a word which was derived from the name of a sea creature called sea slugs, that can thrive only on the dead corals. Sea slugs in the local dialect (specifically Pangasinense) is termed “babao” or “bao”. If you translate that into English, it pertains to the female genitalia. And the Ilocano word for female genitalia is “uki’. So it may come across vulgar if you are an Ilocano. However, since then, the word “Immuki” has been associated with the island not only because of these slugs BUT also because of the shape of the main lagoon that resembles like the orifice of a female genital.

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Alright, much of that shocking history (it is to me because I am Ilocano, and that I wish they’d re-name it soon, hahaha). So I made my way to explore the place. There was no love at first sight feeling when I gazed at that piece of scattered land off the shores of mainland Paraoir. For one, it doesn’t look like an island to me. It seems that the place is just coral-like rocks scattered with some mangroves in between. I decided not to go to the central lagoon where most people were headed to. I walked my way to the southern part of the coast. Honestly, I was surprised that the seashore is made up of ivory sand mixed with shells and white pebbles.

From a distance, the rocky shoreline caught my attention. It looks like some of those landscapes I have seen in some parts of Keflavik in Iceland this year. I was drawn to come closer, and I was delighted to see that there were several stream-looking crevices in between these rocky portions. I am not good at choosing what better geophysical terms, but I hope the photos you will get to see in this post would help you out, my readers. Hahaha. The water from the sea goes into these crevices, creating some natural pools that are shallow and are surprisingly clear and inviting. I imagined, if only I can photograph this area from a high place or if only I have a drone, these narrow opening or fissures would look like a “penis” or ‘buto” (that is why, locals would naughtily call this place at times, “Bimmuto Island”.

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My fascination grew as I walk around the place. I was the only one exploring it. I guess that most of the people are having a great time at the main lagoon. There were also some parts that have mangroves (which I hope will grow in number in the coming years). Caution when walking around this area, since the coral rocks are sharp. I decided to walk my way to the main lagoon. (Yes, it is possible to walk your way). As I walk, I passed by more narrow crevices with super clear water to which at this point, I already am very eager to take a dip. Also, the sighting of people became more evident.

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I finally reached the “star of the island” – an emerald/ turquoise crystal clear, saline water that appears to me as a natural pool. It is enclosed by some rocks of varying sizes and a few vegetation. It was a delight to see, and the people swimming seem to be having a great time. I took some more photos before decided to finally make a quick dip as the sun was so scorching. There was even an area where one could go for a dive since the depth is relatively safe for such an activity.

At 3 pm, I decided to go back to the mainland. One may opt to walk (wade through water (it is just knee high), or ride a “balsa” that will cost you, Php10/ person. I also had a quick snack at a local store before hailing a jeepney that goes to San Fernando City. So there.

How to Reach Immuki Island, Brgy. Paraoir, Balaoan, La Union:
1. If you are coming from Manila, or Baguio (or anyplace south of San Fernando City in La Union), you have the following options.
* Drop by San Fernando (La Union), and take a jeepney that is bound for Darigayos, Luna. (just tell the driver to drop you off Brgy. Paraoir). Travel time may take around 45 minutes to an hour. Fare is around Php35.
* You can also drop by Bacnotan town plaza, from there, take a jeep that is bound for Darigayos, Luna or rent a tricycle. Travel time would be around 20-30 minutes.
2. If you are coming from the northern part of La Union or Ilocos, drop by Balaoan town plaza, take a tricycle to Brgy. Paraoir. Travel time is approximately 20-30 minutes. (My tryke driver asked me to pay Php150 one way).

***Please note that there are no resorts within the area. Please BE RESPONSIBLE enough to not throw your trashes. Respect nature and the people you share this place with.

Other places of interest that are near Immuki (in case you want to see more) are the following: Balai nga Bato, Baluarte and Pebble Beach, Darigayos Beach, Occalong Falls, Lady of Namacpacan Church (all in the town of Luna), Tangadan and Kapandagan Falls in San Gabriel, and of course, Urbiz Surfing Town and the new Camp Avenue camping site both in San Juan.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJUAN.

The Story of a SURFvivor

Buzzy Trent (a pioneer of big wave surfing) once said, “Waves are not measured in feet and inches, they are measured in increments of fear…

I wrote this blog in my Multiply account about 8 years ago, then published it in my TravBuddy account 5 years back, and now I am finally reposting (with some updates) it here in my WordPress. This entry is about my 1st surfing experience, and how I survived it.  DSC_0359

During my childhood years, I used to have this uncanny fear of water (any bodies of water for that matter). But despite the alarm, I also had these series of dreams where I’d go SCUBA diving, snorkeling and surfing. I didn’t even know how to swim, and is really afraid of the thought of drowning but there goes that yearning to be adventurous on and under water. Weird and ironic isn’t it?

Fast-forward: Some peculiar years later, I found myself marveling at the sport’s illusory unfussiness as I paddle out to the sea and grasping at the sides of a surfboard, the sea rolling underneath my tummy like a hyperacidic stomach.

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I had my first taste of riding a surf board way back 2009. La Union, a province in close proximity to my place, is home to one of the Philippines’ surf spot. So one weekend, a few of my friends and I planned on a weekend getaway before the start of another grueling semester (we study and work in a university). The more pressing questions that time were – “What to do? and Where to go?” And the thought of trying to do some surfing was one of the immediate things that came to my mind. (Yes it was yet another out-of-the blue idea of Lester)… Since we can’t afford to travel far distance just to surf because of several reasons (ie time, physical fatigue it may bring about and finances), we opted for the nearest and possibly the cheapest – SAN JUAN, LA UNION! (Claimed to be the surfing capital of the north).

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During the one hour ride to SJ, I wondered how I’d fair with my 1st surfing experience. There’s no arguing that the water activity seems fun. BUT, I was quite anxious because I personally have issues on standing (moreso balancing) atop a moving object. (You now when you are born with “talipes equinovarus” or clubfoot, things like this can come as a challenge). I also had doubts about my learning curve and the ability of my lanky body to carry me against the current.

We arrived at the Se-bay Surf Central in San Juan, La Union at about 8:30 in the morning. I wasn’t sure still if I wanted to try it out or just watch my companions fall off from their boards. (Cetrin, the only lady in our group was certain she won’t be surfing. She nonchalantly said she’ll just watch us fall off from our boards. (You know friends can be really this supportive. Haha). A few more minutes of contemplating, we finally worked up the nerve to sign up for a one-hour surf lesson (Php400/hour for a surf board and an instructor). After all, this is what prompted us to get out of Baguio that weekend.

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Before going into the water, our surf instructors taught us the basics like the right way to lie on the board, how to and when to paddle out, stand up, and the like. Well, theoretically speaking, I was able to learn how to surf in ten minutes or less, but knowing is half the battle. And the battle involved far greater difficulties than just learning to conquer the waves. We were asked if we were ready and we all said “yes” dishonestly. The thought of drowning of crashing into the waves and drowning started to cloud my thought. But recalling what my instructor told me, that my leash would save me in case that happens, my spirit was momentarily uplifted.

The surf instructors then led us to the sea (The West Philippine Sea and its seemingly glorious waves) and told us to get on the board so we could start fighting the current and find a nice spot to catch a wave. I did so, trying to keep my eyes focused on the horizon ahead so I wouldn’t get giddy. What I saw was enough to make me want to start paddling toward the opposite direction: wave after wave of water that looked big enough to carry me off to the sea. To experienced (and professional) surfers, I’m sure the waves that day were absolutely nothing (as in nothing!!!), but I’ve never had to swim against waves like that in my life. True, I was relatively safe because my surfboard kept me afloat (and my leg is tied with a leash), but that didn’t keep me from being gradually more frightened with every wave that hit me. I was having difficulty catching my breath, and I was so anxious I’d fall off my board and get yanked out by the undertow. (By now you realize, my readers, how cowardice have been eating me up then).

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We were getting too far from the shore for my relief, so I asked my instructor if it was really that necessary to keep swimming out (I do not know how to swim FYI – okay I already mentioned that earlier). My heart sank when he said yes, but he speedily added that the nearer we are to the shore, the more unsafe it is because the waves come about too closely to each other. After what seemed like infinity, we finally stopped battling the waves and stayed at spot where “surfable” waves came less frequently.

I soon discovered that my instincts got in the way of learning to surf. And by “instincts” I mean I was just purely too afraid to let go of my surfboard. The instructor would give the surfboard a thrust when a wave came by, then tells me when to stand up. I was able to stand up, but only for a fleeting second. It was then that he must have realized that I was one of his worst (if not the worst) student ever. It certainly took a lot of effort going back to the same spot after the waves carried me closer to the shore. Meaning — I had to go paddle against the current again. I started to feel weary, especially my arms – I was too tired to paddle back properly, and I was too scared to do anything but hold on for my dear life.

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I did make a number of attempts to plunk up and surf, but I’d either be daydreaming and hear the instructor shout “TAYO!” (STAND) too late, or I’d be arguing with myself as to whether or not I should stand up. After half an hour I finally got sick of being the only one who haven’t quite learned how to surf. (My friends Monte and Sir Mak during those times were already enjoying themselves on top of their surfboards). The next time a wave comes, I told myself, I will stop doubting myself, stop asking questions, and just stand the fuck up like I’m supposed to.

And I did it! I eventually did it! I finally got up and rode a wave! Sure, I must have looked like a total idiot, especially since my total ride was interposed by a very strident “WHOAAAAAAAAAAAA!” But as soon as I found the nerve to get up, it occurred to me that surfing itself can actually be pretty easy. The wave just picks you up and takes you for a ride, and you don’t have to do anything but stand there and try not to fall. The whole thing must have lasted maybe five seconds or so, and it was right when I thought, “Oh shit, I’m falling… I’m falling…!” that I lost my balance and landed rather awkwardly into the water.

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I went back to try out again, just to make sure that I could already balance and stay on top of the board and prove Cetrin (who has been bugging me as to why I can’t stand) that my first successful balance and ride weren’t luck at all! And YES! I did it again. That is when I realized that it was just a matter of determination and concentration. “I was able to do so because I believed in myself and I wanted to make it happen”.

I was in the middle of experiencing the adrenaline rush of surfing when my instructor told me it was time. I wanted to extend my time but we had to leave now… But anyhow, I definitely would want to come back to La Union and do surfing again and be less wimpy about riding a wave.

Note: As of this writing, I have been going back to San Juan for several times now and my surfing has improved. Also, I am proud to say that I have surfed in some of the most notable surfing spots in the country like Baler in Aurora, Bagasbas in Camarines Norte, Guiuan in Eastern Samar, Cloud 9 in the world-renowned Siargao Island, and the most recent one is in Puraran, Catanduanes.

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With these experiences, I am beyond proud to say that I am a SURFvivor! Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

 

Luna’s Bahay na Bato (La Union, PH)

At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.” – Warsan Shire

Through the years, I have developed this special interest over art galleries of different kinds. What has lured me the most are those that showcases wood and stone craftsmanship. So when my nomadic feet led me to my mom’s home province, I decided to check out myself this house made of stones in the seaside town of Luna in La Union.

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The town of Luna is famed for the abundant supplies of pebble stones that come in different shapes and sizes (and even color). The locals have made a livelihood out of these stones by hand-picking and classifying them before they are sold. So, it isn’t much a surprise to see houses made of these natural resources. One particular house that has attracted both locals and visitors is “Bahay na Bato”.

I have heard (and seen photos) of this house during my years of teaching way back in Baguio. This house was built as a family rest house. I later learned that it is actually a property of one of my student’s family. Because of the undeniable and superb art works the house showcases, the mayor of Luna saw the likelihood of this property as a tourism attraction drawer. The mayor was able to convince the owner and now, the house turned art gallery, I open for public visit.

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“Bahay na Bato” as it is simply called, displays a magnum opus of various stone carvings by Mr.  Von Kim (a Korean national), who was tasked to create the numerous art pieces inside and outside the Bahay na Bato grounds. Aside from the carved stones, one would also be mesmerized by the various wooden crafts. I also like the fact that there are trees within the premises.

The house per se is a 2-storey construction with which the ground floor has 2 private rooms. The flooring is made of palm-sized pebble stones – such a delight to the eyes. The first floor also serve as a reception area where a mini-store is also put up. The 2nd floor have different display items like lamps, kitchen utensils, and more wood art pieces. The thing I like the most is that it has a stunning panoramic view of beach.

Outside the house, more carved stone and wood artifacts can be seen – from animal formed stones to some naughty carvings that will make you grin. I also saw a set of clay pot display. And by the way, there is also a small pool near the lawn area.

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How to Reach Bahay na Bato:

Ride a bus bound for Vigabn, Abra or Laoag. Inform the driver that you be dropped off the town of Balaoan. Bus stop is usually infornt of the Balaoan church. Walk your way to a 711 store that is near the Balaoan municipal hall. There are tricycle bound for Luna. Fare is Php10/person. Once in Luna, take another tricycle ride to Brgy. Nalvo Norte. Just tell the driver you are going to Bahay na Bato. Fare is also Php10.00. If you are coming from San Fernando in La Union, there are direct jeepneys from San Fernando City to Luna.

“Bahay na Bato” collects P20 entrance fee for adults, while kids below four years old are admitted for free. It is open from 6am to 8pm daily. It is located in Brgy. Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Bauang Grapes Farm (La Union, PH)

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” – Masanobu Fukuoka

La Union is often equated to surfing. Most people visiting the smallest province of Ilocos Region come to try the waves of San Juan. But what most tourists do not know is that La Union is also home to locally grown grapes. These grape farms have been considered as added potential tourist attraction of the province in recent years.

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I have tried picking fresh strawberries from the fields of La Trinidad since I have lived in Baguio for a number of years. And because I have been to Sagada on several occasions, I have also experienced picking oranges at the Rock Inn Orange Orchard. So when an opportunity to go to Bauang, La Union to see for myself the grape farms the town boasts, I instantly grabbed it.

Dubbed as the Fruit Basket of the North, Bauang is said to be the birthplace of the grapes industry in the Philippines. The industry may ave started more than 30 years ago but only in recent years that the grape farms of this coastal town have gained popularity. There are 2 well-known grape farms in this town, both located in Brgy. Urayong – Lomboy Farm and Gapuz Farm. (Although I have learned from my visit that there are other family owned farms starting to grow their grapes).

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These grape farms are open to visitors who are eager to see real grapes and pick them first-hand. After a brief introduction as to how the grapes industry started in Bauang, a staff of Lomboy Farm showed me the grape vines. The grape vines were about 6 feet high. Different varieties of grapes are said to be grown by Lomboy Farm, and they come in different colors — green, violet/purple to red. They also grow other fruits like guapple, dragonfruit and even papaya.

I was handed in a clipper and a basket as I started picking my grapes. I asked which ones should I pick and was advised to choose the red colored fruits. I was also given a few pieces to taste. By the way, a kilo of grapes was worth P250 – P300. I have to admit, I was all smiles while picking. Never did I thought I’d be doing this activity here in our country. J

How To Reach the Grape Farms:

Hop on a La Union or Vigan or Laoag bound bus (like Dominion, Partas, Viron). Fare would be around Php350 – 400. Inform the driver that you be dropped off at Brgy. Urayong with the Bauang Arch as the main landmark. Travel time is 5 to 6 hours. Once in Urayong, you notice that there are several fruitstand selling various produce. You can ask the vendors where Lomboy or Gapuz Farm is. Both farms are within walking distance from the arch.

And so, the next time you plan your surfing spree in la Union, consider stopping by the grape farms of Bauang. (Note: Before you plan on a visit, check out if it is grapes season. You may visit the FB page of either Lomboy Farm or Gapuz Farm for more information).

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Tangadan Falls (La Union, PH)

“Behind the waterfall of love you’ll find me, hiding in a barrel.” — Jarod Kintz

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When you ask someone what should one do when in La Union, most often than not, that person will tell you to go to San Juan and surf. True enough, surfing at this coastal town is indeed the “it” thing to do in the Ilocandia’s smallest province. But, just like what I have mentioned in my previous “ElYu” blogs, there is more to La Union other than surfing.

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Slowly making abuzz among local travelers is LU’s well-kept secret (no more). A 40-plus feet picturesque and cascading waterfalls called Tangadan in the quiet and laidback town of San Gabriel. I, myself, have heard of this from a friend who hails from La Union.

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This natural beauty is located 3.5 kilometers from the boundary barangays of Duplas and Dagup in San Gabriel. Before trekking my way to this waterfall, I actually haven’t read anything that speaks about walking through some really luscious grounds and some bouldering and some knee-deep wading/river trekking. So there you go my friends, take that as part of the “expectation check”. So even before you decide to swim or jump off the pretty cliffs of Tangadan, make sure you are ready to get damp. Going to the waterfalls may take you an hour or so depending oin how muddy the terrain is and how good you are in maneuvering along the river banks. Nonetheless, once you reach the waterfalls, you will be mesmerized just like us.

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How To Reach Tangadan Falls:

From Manila, ride a Vigan or Laoag bound bus then inform the driver to drop you off at the San Juan municipal hall. In front of San Juan’s municipal Hall, there are jeepneys going to San Gabriel (this will take around 15-20 minutes). Once I San Gabriel, ride a tricycle going to the jump-off of Tangadan. Local guides are waiting there. If it is your first time to go to the waterfalls, I suggest that you take with you a local guide as the trail can be quite confusing.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Let’s Eat: Olives (La Union, PH)

We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are. — Adelle Davis

If you find yourself wandering in the Ilocandia, include a visit at the world-class Thunderbird Resorts and dine at Olives Restaurant.  Thunderbird Resorts, a luxury resort in the heart of San Fernando, La Union is a Mediterranean inspired place. Being an all-inclusive resort, it houses 2 restaurants – Olives and Vegas Cafe.

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Olives Restaurant is the only restaurant in the main resort area, the other one requires several meters of walking to the casino area. Olives is a fine dining restaurant that offering mainly Mediterranean cuisine. The place is clean and really elegant. It makes your stay and dining experience relaxed, and blithe. You could either stay at the balcony or enjoy the sight of the sea, the greenery and the sky within the air-conditioned area.  The staff, on the other hand, is very helpful and quick in attending with all our needs.

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Olives is also known for their wood fire oven pizza, specially their Ilocano pizza (unfortunately we did not try this, so the next time I am here, I will definitely go for this one). Upon ordering, the food takes at about 30 minutes to be served. An appetizer (pita bread) was given while waiting. Nonetheless, the view from the outside is enough to make the waiting bearable.

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Here are photos of some of the food we tried. Over-all they taste really good despite being pricier. I particularly like the poached pear and home-made ice cream that I ordered.

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Olives Restaurant
Address: Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point, VOA Compound, Pennsylvania Avenue, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63.72.888.7777 Local: 7015
Website: http://www.thunderbird-asia.com/resorts/poro-point/restaurants-bars
Budget: PHP500 to 1500/person

Operating Hours: 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM

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More of Thunderbird Resort at https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/thunderbird-resort/

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust.

Tuddingan Falls (La Union, PH)

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius

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The Province of La Union maybe the smallest in terms of land area from the 4 provinces of Ilocos Regione but it is as blessed as its neighboring provinces in terms of natural wonders. Besides being frequented for its “surfable” waves in the towns of San Juan and Bacnotan, the province has several majestic waterfalls.

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One particular waterfalls that is pretty easy and accessible is Tuddingan Falls in the Municipality of Naguilian. Formerly called Burayok Falls, the falls is just about seven kilometers away from the town proper.

People who intend to visit this natural wonder, have the frill of walking on a 700-meter cemented pathway with grills up to the hill overlooking the waterfall. The path is lined with some forest trees and shrubs, the sound of animals and flowing water that will surely make a relaxing breather during the short hike.

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Tuddingan Falls is a simple place for nature lovers. This 70-feet waterfalls is made picturesque because of the beautifully layered rock strata from which it flows down to a catch-basin that is ideal for swimming.

The best time to visit the falls is between the months of July to December.

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How to get there: 
From Manila take any bus going to any of these north-western Luzon places namely: Laoag City, Vigan City, Candon City, Abra and La Union. Inform the driver/conductor that you be dropped at the Bauang town plaza.

Then, ride a jeepney or mini-bus at the waiting shed some few meters away eastwards near the public Library. At Naguilian Town proper, take a tricycle or jeepney bound for the town of Bagulin, which is about 6 Kilometers away from the town proper of Naguilian. The jump-off point is at Barangay Tuddingan (just after a bridge) and from there, walk your way to the falls.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be a wanderlust. Take it easy ebriwan. Roamulofied out…

Thunderbird Resort (San Fernando, La Union, PH)

Be an explorer. The universe is filled with wonder and magical things.
— Flavia

Greece is definitely an ideal place to be lost if I were to venture into that side of the world. But that seems to be a far-fetched reality for now. Good thing, my mom’s province offers a piece of the Greek vibe in La Union.

Radically situated in a prosaic cliff of Poro Point Freeport Zone and overlooking the West Philippine Sea, Thunderbird Resort is more than a lavish relaxation facility.  The Mediterranean-inspired architecture evident from its facade to its interior, the hotel services and amenities are definitely at same level with international standards. This 65-hectare property also offers a stylish and ambient atmosphere of an international casino, a golf course and the tranquillity of an exquisite seaside.

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Momentous events like a quixotic wedding to a company team building or maybe just a family outing, this resort would be more than perfect. Indeed, this place is an ideal venue for an invigorating and exciting break away.

So why do I consider Thunderbird a staycation delight? Because of their large rooms with very comfortable beds, spacious bathroom, a veranda with an awesome view, a restaurant that offers delectable food and my favourite? Very scenic sunset!

***Olives Restaurant is the only restaurant in the main resort. It is strategically located with a view of the sea, the verdant grassy landscape of the hotel (and the sunset). The ambiance of which is really relaxing. They offer a wide variety of food from Mediterranean cuisine to Ilocano dishes.

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Features of Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point

Facilities
24-hour front desk 24-hour room service bar
business center car park casino
coffee shop concierge facilities for disabled guests
family room laundry service newspapers
restaurant room service safety deposit boxes
Sports and Recreation
garden golf course (on site) kids club
massage outdoor pool pool (kids)
private beach
Internet
free Wi-Fi in all rooms
Parking
car park

0PicMonkey Collage

If you opt to do a day tour, rate is at Php 1,000.

Inclusions:

  1. From the Php 1,000 fee, the Php 750 is consumable. You can use it on the Bar or the restaurant.
  2. Use of Facilities – Air-conditioned locker rooms, shower, lockers, towels, use of the pool and the kiddie Pool, swimming at the beach.

How to Get to Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point

  1. By Car (5-6 hour drive via NLEX, TPLEX and SCTEX)
  2. Bus: Hop on any bus bound for La Union or Ilocos and drop by the city of San Fernando (7-8 hours due to stop-over)

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point – La Union
Poro Point Freeport Zone, San Fernando City, La Union
(63-72) 888-7777 (La Union)
(63-2) 886-5555 (Makati Office)
http://www.thunderbird-asia.com/poro.php