Food · Travel

let me tEL YU all about it (la union blog)

My friends and I decided to go to La union for the long weekend (September 1-4). 

Itinerary:

Day1

  • 4am meet up at shell sucat
  • 6am breakfast at NLEX
  • 11:45am arrival at san juan surf resort
  • 12noon lunch at coast call
  • 2pm – 5pm siesta time
  • 5pm dinner at tagpuan
  • 7pm coffee at the coffee library

Day2

  • 7am surfing
  • 9:30am breakfast at coast call
  • 11am ate smoothie bowls at makai bowls at flotsam and jetsam
  • 1pm tried out el union coffee
  • 2pm-5pm siesta
  • 6pm dinner at surf shack

Day3

  • 9am breakfast at coast call
  • 9:30-11:00am chill at the beach and taking photos
  • 12:00noon lunch at seawadeeka
  • 1pm pasalubong shopping
  • 2-4:30pm siesta time
  • 5:15pm mass at st. William
  • 7pm dinner at magellan’s restaurant and lounge
  • 8pm merienda snack at mad monkeys and tagpuan

Day4

  • 8am Aqua firma (yoga)  at beach hub (2nd floor el union coffee)
  • 10:00am brunch at coast call
  • 12noon checkout
  • 8:30pm arrival in paranaque

Pre-planning:

We scanned for a nice cozy place with the following criteria: 

  • Nice bathroom 
  • Windows
  • Wifi
  • Breakfast

We picked San Juan Surf Resort because it had all of the criteria.

We had to call them because they do not have online booking and they take time in replying to email.

The room costed around 4600+ pesos. 50% down payment was given and they responded with an email. Remaining balance will be paid upon arrival at the hotel.

Hotel:

San Juan Surf Resort


Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union,

Philippines 2514

 

Resort Contact Details:

Email – sanjuansurf@yahoo.com.ph

Facebook Page – San Juan Surf Resort

Call us to book:

(+63) 917-887-5470

(+63) (072) 687-9990

What to do upon arrival:

Check in, pay remaining balance and settle down.

The staff are accomodating and are very helpful. They suggested restaurants for us to try and were very courteous and polite.

Travel

We were lucky enough to have a car. We started traveling at around 4am (from sucat, paranaque). You can pick wherever route you want to take but we took c5 and was in NLEX at around 5:30am to 6am. 

We had breakfast there before continuing the trip. We arrived at the hotel around 11:30am.
Total travel time (with breakfast and one stop over): 7 hours

Total breakdown of fees:

  • Gas: 1580 pesos (back and forth)
  • Toll (total): 1114 pesos

Day 1

We ate in the in house restaurant: coastal call since it was raining. Here’s a copy of the menu.


They had big servings and it tasted good. I personally tried their beef tapa.


It tasted pretty standard. It had the sweet salty taste of the marinated beef, the onions weren’t as sweet but still blended well with the beef. It needed a little work to chew. The eggs were organic and tasted good. The serving was enough for one person.

My friend also ordered cheeseburger, tomato & basil pasta and quesadillas 



Although I wasn’t able to take photos of the pasta, I highly recommend them. They have big servings and they did not skimp on the ingredients. Their carbonara was creamy and the garlic bread was crunchy. 


Their mexican pizza is also a must try! It looks pretty simple, pizza topped with cheese, beef and onions. It could be a little spicy at the end but nothing you can’t handle. 

We rested a little bit before looking for a restaurant for dinner.


Our place was strategically placed along the street with lots of food (even the ones recommended in other food articles) olas banditos looked promising with affordable mexican food.


Mad monkeys, also raved about in the internet looked nice but had very limited seats and since it rained, the tables are wet and it was a little pricey.


We wanted to try giefsis but it already closed down so we decided to head to Tagpuan for dinner.


This self-service Filipino food place serves comfort food in large servings enough to fill those endless pits we call stomach.


The price is affordable. However, there are only limited tables and chairs and there’s a lot of mosquitoes so don’t forget to put on insect repellent.

This place boasts in having self service with witty signs to remind you to clean as you go.


Here’s a snap of what we ate:


Bagnet, chix adobo and pares they are all good in their own way. The classic “lutong bahay” which makes your tummy happy.

We chilled and rested for a little bit in coffee library.


It was a cute chill place where people stay to rest and bond with friends. Their coffee is one of a kind and is worth the try. 


Here are some of what we tried


I tried their chocolate affogato. The coffee was too strong for me but it worked well with the ice cream. It lessened the bitterness of the coffee.


Caphe sua chua (coffee with yoghurt)


Caphe sua da (iced milk coffee)


Iced mocha


It’s a good place to hangout. I wish they had board games to pass the time but I recommend this place for your down time in Elyu.

Day 2

Woke up around 6am to check the waves and one of the instructors told me that the waves were good (although it’s big for beginners, figured that out after trying).

Fee: since our hotel also offered lessons, we opted to surf there. It was 400 pesos for an hour lesson with an instructor and equipment. If you want the board only, it’s for 200 pesos.

For me, being a wobbly, far from athletic person, I decided that surfing is not for me but it was fun while it lasted. Patience is key for everything and never panic.


The instructors were helpful and fun to work with. They really know what they’re doing and they are licensed. If anything, go surf in san juan surf resort, in my opinion they have the most trusted surf instructors.
After that we had breakfast at the hotel. Then freshened up and walked around to explore.
We went to flotsam & jetsam next to try out the famous makai bowls.



The place, again, needed more chairs than what they have. It was cozy and chill and a good place to pass the time.


We tried their famous makai bowls in all the flavors. For 200-220 pesos it was worth the bowl. It looked small but it was a good and filling snack.

They have a place to chill with hammocks and I recommend you bring a book when you go here unless you want to sleep, which is also a good idea


They also serve rice meals for lunch and alcoholic drinks if you want to unwind with friends.

We also went to el union coffee to try the infamous smores and grilled cheese sandwich.



The menu consisted of few items but all are well crafted and appetizing that you won’t have regrets whatever your order is.


I tried the grilled cheese with bacon jam which has gooey cheese and is probably one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches that I’ve tried. The bacon jam was sweet and salty enough to blend but not overpower the cheese.


When you first look at the smores you’ll think that it’s small but it’s actually too sweet that you’ll need less than what was served. It’s still A+. If you can, bring your own graham crackers.


We also tried their dirty white iced coffee. It’s too bitter for my liking even with syrup but this is best paired with the smores.

We went to surf shack for dinner and late night drinking while listening to live music.


It was a chill, nice to hangout place with surf/beach-themed decorations. They had photos of la union’s famous places and people.


We tried their burgers and sandwiches.

The sloppy joe had good caramelized onions but it’s messy to eat. 
I ordered their surf shack burger. It’s an off the grill burger with tomato, cheese, lettuce and egg. To be honest, this was disappointing. When it was served to me, I tried to take a few bites but I couldn’t stand it because it felt raw so we had to send it back to the kitchen. When it returned, I felt that it was overcooked and dry already.


What saved the day was their taba ng talangka pasta. It was a little tangy due to the lime but was still creamy and fresh. 


After that we stayed a little longer to listen to the live music. 


The songs were good and you can request songs but if you want a better set list and higher energy I suggest you go to barkadahan (the pub next door).

Day 3
This was our last full day and we opted to be chill. We had breakfast at the hotel (recommend you try their daing na bangus 👍🏻) then head to the beach to pass the time while the boys went surfing.

We had a little photoshoot on the part of the beach with smaller waves. 

Here’s what it looks like at sunset. Unfortunately, I don’t have sunrise photos.

Afterwards we headed to seawadeeka and this small, quaint place serving thai food. This gets a two thumbs up from me.



Again, this place has limited seats so better go here on off peak times. They serve thai food in minimalist but enough servings.

We tried their pad thai and pork satay.


Glass noodles with bits of either pork, chicken or shrimp in their signature thai sauce. This has a manageable spicy-sweet taste to it. The serving is enough for one person.


Pork satay. Two sticks with rice or 3 sticks without rice. The peanut sauce was bomb! I recommend you just order the 3 sticks then pair it with pad thai.

They also serve thai iced tea which was really good as well. 

Then we headed to the gift shop to buy pasalubong before we had our siesta time.

After our nap time, we went to mass at St. William’s 


Unfortunately the hotel told us the wrong schedule and we were a few minutes late but at least we blessed our trip and thanked the Lord for it.

After that we headed to dinner at Magellan’s restaurant & lounge.


This is underrated for the food they are serving. They have good pasta and meals with rice or fries options. However, they do not serve pork.



We tried their pastas, chicken wrap and tuna steak. All ranging from 150-230 pesos. This is a gem for those who want a nice scrumptious meal. (Recommended for dinner)


Alfredo pasta was good! Creamy and you’ll know that they did not skimp on the sauce and ingredients.


The chicken wrap was big.  The sauce was garlicky and creamy and blended well with the wrap and the fries.


The tuna steak was perfectly done. No condiments needed, it was fresh and soft and easy to chew. You can have this with fries or rice 👍🏻


After that my friend tried mad monkeys’ le bleuger. Here he is with the burger.


It had their signature bleu cheese sauce and caramelized onions. I recommend this over surf shack’s burger.

We also had tokwa’t baboy from tagpuan


And capped off the day with ice cream at coast call (it was just selecta ice cream, nothing fancy).

Day 4

For day 4, we decided to have alone time and this is what I did.

I reserved a class beforehand with aquanimous yoga and headed to beach hub (2nd floor el union coffee) before 8am.


I will do a separate blog on this for my geca does yoga series.

After that we just freshened up and had brunch before heading back to manila.

Overall, the weekend refreshed us and it was a great trip. Top recommendations are el union coffee, seawadeeka and tagpuan. Don’t expect too much from flotsam and jetsam other than the makai bowls. You can also try the carenderia part which is cheap and has huge servings but the meals on the restaurant themselves are too pricey in my opinion. 

I wish there was a lot of seats and an ice cream shop around. Would I go back? Yes, definitely.


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