Weekend from South to Surf Capital of the North

San Juan, La Union is the Surf Capital of the North with travel time of around four hours from Paranaque (via SCTEx and TPLEx).

Surfing is the core activity but the place is as welcoming to non-surfers too! You can learn to surf or just simply swim with the strong waves. Maybe watch the superb sunset while on the beach. Nourish the fresh rural air and the light traffic route. Why not drool over the food?

The family went to La Union for Hubby’s Birthday and Father’s Day celebration. I should say it was a suited weekend break—timing is just right to enjoy the province and trip is not too tiring for a back-to-reality Monday.

The Hotel

We stayed at Awesome Hotel and for the lack of a better word, our entire stay was apparently…awesome. We seldom find an establishment who would exert an extra effort to make their guests happy. What I appreciate the most is the sincere and warm approach of the Awesome staff in doing their job.


Awesome Hotel is a new luxury 4-storey beach-front resort in the region. It claims to offer a quality accommodation designed to exceed the expectation of even the most discerning Guests (based on experience, we give this claim a thumbs-up).

Our room is called the “Deluxe Sea and Mountain View (Third Floor)” furnished in a mix of classic-modern furnishings and all-white bedding with European style comforters. It has a five-star quality imported orthopedic mattresses, work station, sofa, flat screen, hair dryers, thermos pots, safety vault, vingcard key and a free Wi-Fi. The third level also gives a picturesque view of the sea meets the sky; room rate per night is about Php6,800 to Php7,000 with bread-butter-and-fruits breakfast.


All Guest Rooms (except the Suite) have elevator access. 24-hour security and CCTV throughout the vicinity. The swimming pool has a jacuzzi area; it also has a Splash Bar ready to serve drinks while submerged into the mostly deep water.

Awesome experience

We did not expect the whole-cake birthday surprise for Hubby

We did not expect the whole-cake birthday surprise for Hubby

With such enthusiastic birthday greeting from the Staff

With such enthusiastic birthday greeting from the Staff

Floating in the deep pool

Floating in the deep pool

Engulfed by the waves

Engulfed by the waves

The ocean and skyline just kissed

The ocean and skyline just kissed

Address: #319 Eagle St Montemar Village, Ili Norte, San Juan, La Union

The Food

Since traffic flow is smooth in La Union, exploring for a “good” food won’t eat as much time. And when I say good, it means a must-try and top-notch local restos! Here’s our meal itinerary, take your pick or try it all.

Lunch upon arrival

Halo-Halo de Iloko


Current Home-Resto

Expect to wait long before you can actually get a seat but for all we know and never must doubt—the waiting is worth it. From their tiny home-resto at Zandueta Street, Halo-Halo de Iloko is set to move to a bigger venue at 2017 Brgy. Biday, San Fernando, La Union.

What we’ve tried? Ginettaan nga Halo-Halo/Hot Halo-Halo, Buko Halo-Halo, Emparedados


All smile for the Hot Halo-Halo!

Current address: Zandueta St, San Fernando City, La Union


Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel


Flotsam and Jetsam is a living space celebrating art, music, design, style, and life. Such cozy place to just chill out (surfers or non-surfers alike),  love the dish, and have a fun chat while lounging on the bean bags!


What we’ve tried? Vigan Longganiza Pizza, Vigan Bolognese Pasta, Bailey’s cupcake

What’s more exciting is a movie produced by the Hostel Owners and the shooting of the entire scenes primarily took place at Flotsam.  It will be in cinemas soon! The gist? 1 Surf Town. 8 Love Stories.10 Beautiful Songs.

As the Hostel Owners/Movie Producers define the film: It is a Love Actually style romantic comedy with Begin Again musicality in a surf lifestyle setting.


Address: Manila North Road, San Juan, La Union

Caffeine-Booster Spot

El Union Coffee


Imagine having a coffee by the sea? El Union is currently situated at Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel serving expert-roasted and thoughtfully prepared cup; new beach front store is on the rise real soon! To describe their coffee as ‘very good’ would be an understatement.


Love at first taste

What we’ve tried (about 5x during our weekend stay): Dirty Iced Latte!!!

Current address: Manila North Road, San Juan, La Union

Lunch before departure

Gefseis Greek Grill

gefseis-greek-grill-la-unionGefseis is a greek word means flavor. Nothing fancy with the restaurant but if you wish to pacify the craving for an array of authentic Greek food then this is a bullseye.  Oh, and Gefseis is also set to relocate to a new venue soon. Hoping the next branch would exude a more Greece-inspired ambiance.


What we’ve tried? Pita with Hummus, Kontousouvli (slow roasted pork), Saganaki  (Greek fried cheese)



 Current address: Urbiztondo, 2514 San Juan, La Union

  Weekend Recap

Surf. Waves. Swim. Escape. Relax. Eat. Surf Town. Halo-Halo. Awesome. Flotsam. Movie. Coffee. El Union. Gefseis. San Juan. La Union. We. Shall. Return.

Photo Source: Some of the images are taken via Facebook page, Instagram profile,
and/or from the website of the featured establishments.

You may also read:

One-Week Ilocos Summer Roadtrip

Weekend at Tarlac and Pampanga


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