Last February, the husband had work in La Union and needed to stay there for a week. Because we had no yaya, I couldn’t imagine being left alone with a giddy baby for seven days. So off we all went to LU! I’m glad we were able to travel and sort of go on a vacation before our country enforced strict quarantine. It will be a while before any of us will be able to do this again–but I’m posting photos and short stories here because they’re happy memories and for future reference!
Where We Stayed
While most tourists would prefer to stay in San Juan, La Union–the country’s surfing capital–we had to book a hotel in San Fernando since Enzo’s job was there. We stayed at Sunset Bay Hotel, a beachside resort near the Airport Road. It’s a three-star “budget” resort so we didn’t expect anything fancy. The hotel surprised us, however, with its friendly service, clean facilities, and breathtaking views!
Their beachfront al fresco restaurant serves a wide array of dishes (from pasta to burgers and Filipino meals), with huge servings. They were surprisingly delicious too! We enjoyed our daily breakfasts here with the boy, who learned to eat pancakes and french toasts.
They also have a small infinity pool, which Lucas loved. It was his first swimming pool experience!
We had previously stayed at Aureo Resort, which is just a couple of meters away. While Aureo has more modern amenities, I truly recommend Sunset Bay if you’re on a strict budget or traveling with a large group. We stayed at their standard room, which comes with its own patio. Just a tip: bring an insect repellant lotion or spray to ward off pesky mosquitoes!
Where to Go/Eat in La Union
For a yaya-less mom like me, surfing was out of the equation. I conceded that I won’t be able to do that, at least until Lucas learns how to confidently walk and entertain himself. For now, all we could do was explore new restaurants and sight-see. We also didn’t have much time, because Enzo was mostly at his job site. During his breaks, we were able to go to San Juan, which is about 10 minutes away.
If you only had a day to explore San Juan, I recommend you go to The Great Northwest Philippine Travel Stop and Viewing Deck. It’s right smack in the middle of resorts, right in front of the great LU beach. There’s ample parking and hip restos. We had merienda at El Union Coffee and had the most amazing cheese sandwich and ricotta toast.
We wanted to try other food stalls, but we were so full and we can’t stay long. If you’re coming here, please don’t for the love of you miss trying Coco Mama. It’s a small shack that sells coconut ice cream. You can have it with other fruits, but the coconut base is the star. It was soooooo good I’m actually craving for it now!
A few meters away, we discovered Coast Call Kitchen and Bar. It’s a restaurant within the famous San Juan Surf Resort. It serves fusion cuisine that’s really, really tasty! We had their ginormous burger, milkshake, and longganisa pasta. That one’s a winner!
Ah ELYU, it’s been a while, old friend! The first time I came here was when I was a new college grad, to learn how to surf with my friends. La Union was so different then. There were no resorts, no restaurants, and no crowds. While I certainly miss my youth, I’m happy to see a different LU today. I can’t wait for Lucas to grow a bit older so he can appreciate the surf!
P.S.: How are you holding up, mamas? Stay safe and healthy!