San Juan, La Union: Year-ender Splashin’

To start with, I’m glad to end my year by spending quality time near the sea where challenging big waves are inviting to ride and balance with. And once you set foot in the flat board and the tides starts to carry you while maintaining stability that’s the time the sensation of excitement combined with determination and passion will emerge within to strive all over again. Indeed a must do extreme water sports - Surfing. 

Partas Terminal | Holiday Season | Credits to Mae Sicat
I've posted in my previous entry that I’m into training that I have limited time to travel and write. A college friend whose name is Mae invited me for an out of town trip. I've told her I’ll say yes if we’ll go in the beach she agreed right away. I've checked my blog and was privilege that a pro traveler slash blogger followed my amateur site. He’s Sir Jeff Ponce author of the “Bisayang Manlalakbay” and during those time his latest post is about surfing. He gave me a literal bright idea where to go and what to do.

It’s been a long while since I've first try to surf but indeed a memorable one in Baler, Aurora courtesy of Barefoot Travels. Just a week to prepare, Mae and I together with her officemate come up with a weekend getaway in San Juan, La Union where big waves and festival is famous in Luzon.

From Partas Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City we ride a bus with Laoag signage. Same goes with Vigan, Abra and La Union signage they have the same route, just remind the bus conductor you’re bound to Barangay Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. As of December 21, 2013 the fare is 449 pesos. An estimated 7 – 8 hours land travel via SCTEX. Patience Baron

Since it’s holiday season we’ve waited long to buy tickets and departed the bus terminal around 5 o’clock in the morning and reached the “surfing spot” around 1 in the afternoon. As per the write ups of Sir Jeff, he highly recommend “Nano Surf” for excellence service. We walked in the blazing heat of the sun with light brown sands while our eyes pleasures with the balancing act of the surfer under the gigantic waves of San Juan, La Union. I’m so excited to try it again! Thank you Lord for the fair weather

Just in time, I saw the appealing [surfing] board advertisement. We headed directly in the said spot and communicated with the sexy attendant wearing her bikinis and cheerfully answered all our inquiries.

After we ate our gracious lunch in Sebay Restaurant, it’s time for our surfing lessons 1 on 1 [We’ll it’s my second attempt]. Before hand I want to share the kindness of Kuya Nano, the owner of Nano Surf – Board Rental’s and Surf Lesson by giving us a fare deal. 200 pesos for [surf] board rental and another 200 pesos for the 1 on 1 surfing lesson and after an hour he allowed us to use our surfing board for half a day without instructor just in our own to prolong the ecstasy with the big surges of the sea. It cost an additional of 400 pesos but waives it for us. Hey! Thank you!
From Left to Right: Baron, Mae, James, Raena and Rovi | Mae's office mates | Jump in
Listen attentively | Instruction
Though, I have little knowledge about the course we’re taking I listened attentively with the briefing of one of our instructor before doing the act. He energetically discussed the do’s and don’ts, different parts of the board, proper body alignment while waiting for the white water*, correct body posture while balancing in the board and safety measure when disengaging with the board. Well then, let the extreme ride begins 

At first I was over thinking the outcome of my first effort, it’s been a year since I’ve tried surfing and I wanted so badly to perform well while the waves go after me. Kuya Elmer reminds me to wait for his queue when to stand up and do the balancing and he even persuades and motivates me that I have the skills to do “SURFING”. The spirit
Thanks to him, I did well in my first ride. He advised me not to bend my body much just my knees and spread my arms in the air and maneuvers the board naturally and effortlessly. Okay Sir, It’s Noted
Bending my upper body too much

Effortless | Proper posture | Kudos Baron

Preparing to stand up
While me planking in the board, him pushing the [surfing] board against the waves to prepare for my attempts I’ve asked him “when to stand up and what’s my queue if I’ll do it all by myself”.

He instructively answered “Wait for the white water*, paddle and when you feel that the board is moving along with the white water prepare to stand up and do the balancing”.

I thanked him big time for sharing some pointers with me and the short one hour finished. It’s Time

I really wanted to have a stunning photo standing in the board with waves as my background. Shameless Baron asked Kuya Nano and Kuya Elmer to assist me; again they extended their compassion to me. Kuya Nano as my photographer using my camera while Kuya Elmer guiding me in my act. After several attempts Kuya Nano framed wonderful pictures of me enjoying the waves of San Juan, La Union and the sports itself, Surfing.
Enjoying the waves
Almost there
I rested and refresh for a while and headed back in the waves, this time I’m all alone. I've tried to apply all the learning’s I’ve acquired later that day and to be honest it’s tough. My first few shots are failures but I’ve still manage to balance for quite sometimes. I promise myself to come back in La Union to spend longer time to train and adopt the environment. Cooking a plan Soon

We paid our bills, clean and changed clothes and bid farewell to big waves of San Juan, La Union.

Oops. I took the opportunity to have photos with the surfing board and the area.
Let's call it a day | Surfing is over | till next time
Mae’s ex-officemate resides in the area. He toured us in the town proper and treats us BBQ in the banchetto before heading back in Manila. Dead Tired Body

with Kuya Nano
AUTHOR’S NOTE: According to Kuya Nano, September to February is the surfing season of the province and during the month of October, big events and competition is being organized and attended by known surfers, celebrities and tourists/ foreigners alike. As well as Sir Jeff, I extremely recommend Nano Surf be your surfing partner in visiting the said province. They offer worth the money service and fare deal to those willing to learn the water sports. They also have enthusiastic [surfing] instructor and quality board to be used. Feel free to contact Kuya Nano, will leave his number below and experience yourself to be wiped out by the big waves of La Union. Till the next adventure, thank you!

Let's travel together | Sunset
Kuya Nano’s Mobile Number: 09292824394

[Nano Surf]Pricing below for your reference:
1 hour board rental – 200
1 on 1 surfing lesson – 200
Half day board rental – 400

Breakdown of Expense:
Manila – San Juan La Union – 449
Surfing Lesson with board rental – 400
La Union – Cubao – 436

********* other photos*********
Baron | Shadow

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