A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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I was invited by some high school friends to spend November's three-day weekend/holiday out of town. We always try to get together for vacation every year since 2013 (I think), particularly during the summer. But since everyone is so busy with their careers, we almost reach the end of this year without going in one trip together. We agreed to spend time together and experience surfing this year, though. I am not familiar with tourist destinations and rest and recreation activities, so I let them organize everything.


So, we started our itinerary from the Partas Transportation Company, Inc. in Sampaloc, Manila. Our time of departure is at 10:30pm, but we left the station at exactly 10:45 to give time for latecomers to catch up. We travelled for six to seven hours (including stop-overs). We reached San Juan, La Union before 5am, but we were dropped off at the wrong location, so we have to walk around 15-20 minutes to reach our resort lodging.


We stayed at Sebay Surf Central Resort, dubbed "The Premier Surf Resort of the North", the place offers beach activities and accommodations at very affordable prices.


Given that we arrived at Sebay too early, we just paid for the early check-in charge of Php500. There were six of us, and we got a four-bedroom suite at a price of Php4500.





The room is pretty decent and worth it for its price. I did not expect too much but I am up for the affordability and convenience during the stay. The beds are enough for two, and the room is not cramped for six people moving around to and from the toilet or hopping from one bed to another.

Luckily for us, our room is a bit decorated, with a surfboard on the slanted ceiling, some framed surfing photos hanged and a surfing painting on the wall. The inverter air conditioning is pretty okay and keeps the room cool without making us feel freezing. Nipa rooms and bigger rooms with double-decked beds are also available but we were not able to book for any of those.


Meals at Sebay are available at their bar which is located by the beach. We opted for the most affordable "silog" meals, which range from Php150 and up. Buffet serving is available while juice and liquors are also served at the bar.


THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP: SURFING
Me in one of my gazillion times of trial. Hehe. :)
Sebay Surf Resort offers an hour of surfing lessons and surfboard rentals at a low price (Php200 for the tutorial/instructor and Php200 for the surfboard), and when given a discount. Since all of us were newbies in surfing, we agreed to undergo a short surfing basic tutorial with the native surfers in the place. Afterward, we went straight into the area of the beach that has the great slew of waves.


With Kent, my surfing instructor (Thanks for your patience in teaching me how to surf! :))
We were given an hour to try it out, with each of us being assisted by our instructors. I failed big time at first, haha! But focus and patience paid off and I was able to stand in balance on the surfboard over the waves (Keya, pahiram nung pictures!). At this time of the year, many local and foreign tourists march their way to this part of the La Union due to the great waves and wind condition appropriate for surfing. On the other hand, you'll never know if you'd bump into one celebrity enjoying the waves as much as you do (Hi, Don Allado!).

We did not explore other activities available like kayaking, frisbee, beach volleyball, and beach soccer, skimboarding, boogyboarding. as we enjoyed the beach waves and were frustrated to learn to surf. These amenities are available for checked-in guests, though at a rate of Php 100 per hour.


We spent an hour learning surfing, and it was so tiring! Body pain would not occur yet upon getting out of the water, but it will eventually sink in your muscles after an hour or so. We had lunch a little later than 12 pm. The lunch was nothing special, as the menu is just the lutong-bahay common dishes we can have in karinderyas in the metro, but hey what's important is we get to eat after a tiring session of a battle against the surfboard and the beach waves. PG mode: ON.


Tiredness kept me from getting into the water again for the rest of the day and even on the following day. So I just walked in the sands during the afternoon. The beach waves were better at this time of the day. They were stronger and higher, thanks to the strong winds that hit the water towards the shoreline. And there were more people having their surfing lessons, although I'd rather see less because accidents happen just like what happened to a friend (Kwek, pagaling ka. Gusto mo eyeshadow? Charot!).


We slept through the afternoon and just woke up for dinner. We got out of the resort and walked around to see where we could get some pocket-friendly meals. We stopped by Surf Shack first, and my friends saw Jericho Rosales and some of his company having their dinner inside. The place was full so we hopped to nearby restos. There were no fast-food restaurants in the area, and we were not sure if delivery is allowed, so we just decided to eat at an old place near Sand Box, where Filipino foods were served. We got ourselves rice, a huge bowl of bulalo, a plate of roasted tuna belly, roasted eggplant with tomatoes and shrimp paste and dinakdakan, a version of sisig according to my companions.


Despite just surfing, the whole Saturday was so tiring that after dinner, we just chose to stay inside the room and lie in bed until we snoozed off. Early the next day, my friends decided to spend time at the beach again and try surfing one more time before we check out at 12 pm. While I, on the other hand, stayed sitting on the sands, looking after their stuff. haha!


I think this is one of the most affordable out of town trip I ever had. If you only spend for the basics of the trip (bus fare, surfing, food), and not too finicky with food, will not buy pasalubongs and spend for extra expenses, Php3000 will be enough for the entire weekend getaway trip.


Php 300-400 - bus fare from Manila to La Union

Php 350-400 - surfing activity (discounted)
Php 150-200 - breakfast, lunch, dinner
Php 800-850 - resort accommodation per person for 1.5 days
Php (500-600) - bus fare from La Union to Manila

For those who want to give surfing in La Union a try without shelling out too much for the experience, I took a price list from the Sebay Surf Resort reception. You may also check the Sebay Surf Central website to get a glimpse of their amenities and book your room reservation.




I hope you enjoy too as much as we did! (All photo credits goes to @keayoj)


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