Tuesday, August 9, 2011

San Juan, La Union: Newborn Meets Beach

My stomach lurched as the driver-gone-kamikaze did a suicidal overtake while speeding through a sharp curve. As if the zigzagging Naguilian Road was not enough to make me woozy. Such terrible decision boarding that aircon bus from Baguio to La Union. Closed windows always make me feel suffocated.

Luna's first time to wriggle her toes in the sand.

I gasped for fresh, salty air as we stepped off the bus an hour later. Though nauseous, my body tingled in delight as my skin felt the sun's scorching rays. We've just been residing in Baguio City for a couple of weeks, and already, we were dying to head anywhere out of the Philippines' freezing mountainous region.

It was November last year, one of them 'long weekends' which I was totally unaware of and which explained the fully booked beachfront hotels. Though Urbiztondo, San Juan is a six-hour drive from Manila, it remains a fave of weekending beginner surfers and quite popular for family holidays as well.

A signage made of surfboard, almost iconic.

While my sister's surf mode was on, my hubby and I were just looking forward to a laid-back celebration of our first wedding anniversary by the beach. However, it can never really be as 'laid-back' as we wanted it to be because we were traveling with our two-month old newborn. But at least, we were with two other people who lent us a hand. My sister (who's still slightly scared of such task) and Tina, whom we were to meet at Sebay Surf Central.

Our bed's cool headboard.

Because Tina arrived earlier than us, she was able to reserve a room at that resort. We found her seated at Sebay's restaurant that has an unobstructed view of the sea. Sleepless and jaded from her lone trip, she managed to smile and offered her arms for our daughter Luna. She then led us to the reception where we picked up one of the resort's staff who ushered us to our room.

Our air-conditioned room with a rate of P1,500 didn't seem spacious since four adults plus a baby were sharing it. There was one double bed and a bunk bed, with pristine sheets. The bathroom was spotless. Wi-Fi's available, though in our room we had a weak, intermittent signal. The room had a telly too.

We left Tina who was lazing in her bed to recuperate and headed off to a carinderia (a small eatery), obviously for cheaper food. Meals served in beachfront restos start at P100 per person, an amount we still weren't willing to shell out for lunch even if we were feeling celebratory. The carinderia's just across the resort, off MacArthur Highway.

Refresher on the basics. Sister's second time to surf.

After lunch, we did not waste time idling and stripped down to our swimwear (rash guard for some of us) faster than you could say 'surf's up'. Sebay Surf Central's got its own surf instructors, my sis and Tina booked one for that day and the next. While they busied themselves with surf lessons, we were attacked by girls shrieking "Oh my gosh sooo cute the baby!"... Which pretty much went on the whole duration of our afternoon beach stroll. And until sunset.

Awesome mother and child shot! Thanks sis.

There was an event by the way that weekend, called Flow: SurfYogaSamba, which was hosted in San Juan Surf Resort just beside ours. Title's straightforward so I assume there's no need to elaborate. The samba thing took place by the shore at dusk, and everyone was free to watch and even encouraged to sway their hips to the pumping beats of the drum circle.

I myself danced too, with a camera in my right hand, and a newborn in my left arm. Time and again, I say how we are encumbered by lugging Luna to our trips, but it's definitely more darn hard to leave her behind. Celebrating our first anniversary with her made us feel complete, plus the fact that it was her first time to be on the beach made the occasion extra special.

Trip's Nitty Gritty:

How to get to La Union from Baguio: Air-conditioned buses to Ilocos from Baguio are stationed along Governor Pack Road near SM. Fare is more or less P200. If you're like me who prefers non-AC buses, the terminal for such is near the public market, along Shagem Street. Ask the conductor to drop you off Sebay.


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Astrid said...
August 11, 2011 at 10:59 AM

That is indeed an awesome mother and child shot! Looks like your daughter is in for an adventure in her early years :D

tina said...
August 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM

That is so nice gay! I can still remember my sons first time at the beach he won't step at the grayish sand because he thinks it's dirty! :)

I wish I could wear a swimsuit after 2 months of giving birth but up to now... I can't!! Envious! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Astrid, yeah! And since she won't remember this experience of hers, I got heaps of photos and videos to show her when she's older.

Axel said...
August 11, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Wow!! When was this?? I didn't know there was such a festival in San Juan..

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Tina, so cute your baby! Well, Luna was too young to know what she was doing so no reluctance whatsoever there. Haha!

Markyramone said...
August 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

wiggle it Luna. Surf soon when you grow up and be a better surfer than mum.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Axel, it ain't really a festival. It's some sponsored event which I think happens more than once a year.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Marky, bet she will be. I'm such a wuss for surfing.

Reyapeh said...
August 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Your baby is super cute, I wish I could there someday. The place looks really relaxing.

noel jose said...
August 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

lovely shots ma'am gay. and your daughter's so lucky for having things about her documented on photos and vids. makes me wish there were camcorders and digicams when i was that young.

lakwatsera de primera said...
August 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Such a lucky baby, now she's wriggling her feet on Aussie beaches and soon back in the cradle of California's sand, way to go Luna!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Thanks Reyapeh!

Noel, wish my parents had a camcorder too! Would have been cool to show my kiddie vids to Luna.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Claire, hopefully it's still summer when we get there!

Anonymous said...
August 11, 2011 at 2:52 PM

ganda ng weather...
very inviting

Seair said...
August 11, 2011 at 8:40 PM

awww...a happy anniversary to you and your hubby! family getaways, no matter how tiring it is with small children are always the best :)

AJ said...
August 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Baby Luna has been to more places than I have in my 40+ years. Can you adopt me, Wander Woman?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 11, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Sure AJ, but can you please take care of your little sis for me?

renevic | palaboy said...
August 12, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I want to try surfing.

*ang cute, mommy and baby discovering the world :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 12, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Renevic, me too. Lol. Scared to drink lots of salt water.

Malditang "Kura"cha said...
August 13, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Kung nandyan ako, I maybe one of the girls you were talking about. hahah! Ilayo mo si Luna, ite-take home ko siya promise. hihihi! I miss having a baby at home. =(

Inggit mode is ON. Magsusurf tlaga ko next year. =) Thanks for sharing!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Hahaha! Sige, itatali ko si Luna sa 'kin baka maagaw!

Ed said...
August 15, 2011 at 1:02 AM

waaa. la union, matagal ko na tong gustong puntahan for the surfing. gusto kong matuto uli! haha. mabuti pa si Luna, pwede swap kami muna? hahaha

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 15, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Haha! Ed, you are back in Cebu right? Visit La Union when you revisit Luzon.

Richard said...
August 16, 2011 at 1:00 AM

wow! i love the mother and child shot! for sure, luna will be the first lady surfer champion... :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 16, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Haha! Hope so, Richard :)

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