The Trio in La Union

It’s been three years since I last went back to La Union (it was the trip that helped me launch this blog), and last June 10, I decided to go and get some R & R before I hustle for OJT and more mature roles (more of that in another post).

Originally, I was supposed to take my co-workers to La Union but due to unwanted circumstances, that didn’t push through. Luckily, I had Sam and GD to come travel with me. At first, it felt a bit unbelievable for the three of us since we’ve been planning to take a trip for so long, and now, even if it was on short notice, natuloy rin kami! 

I couldn’t wish for more, I was too happy to be spending time with some of the people that mattered the most to me.

Weather forecasts told us that we’d have to expect localized thunderstorms in the Northern part of Luzon, so we were really anxious that we may not have the chance to go to the beach. However, when we got to Pandan Beach, it was sunny and the waves were calm enough. It was as if everything went according to plan.


It felt so nice to be back there, thinking that things were a lot more different than they used to be from the last time. Last June, everything was a blur– senior year was coming up, my OJT loomed, my career is taking off in ways I never have imagined, and being in La Union with my closest family and friends felt like a reward.

Photo by Sam Somera

The trip was filled with road trips  and discoveries, as it was like rekindling an old flame. I never knew that in such a short span of time, La Union would progress this much and it would be better known now more than ever. La Union has been my secret gem, because it was a bit unheard of and low key. But looking at it now, La Union has bloomed, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We explored Luna’s famed “Bahay na Bato”, a place filled with wonderfully-made rocks and rock sculptures by a Korean artist commissioned by the place’s owners. Everything was literally rock, and each work of art was unique and meaningful. I didn’t know that much could be done with simple rocks we usually find just hanging around the shores, but these rocks sure are an exception.

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We also went to the local weavers of Bangar. The local weaving of “Inabel” fabrics that are turned into table runners, place mats and blankets are usually exported to different parts of the country and even abroad. Most of the local weavers in Bangar have carried the tradition of Inabel weaving and they are passing it on to the younger generation to preserve the rich, skillful and intricate art of Inabel– one that is genuinely and proudly Ilocano.

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And, of course, who would forget about the great food I always *LOVE* to come home to every time I’m in #elyu? The infamous tupig, the fresh AF seafood (of course, at Bacnotan’s Riverfarm Restaurant), and many, many more. A trip to La Union definitely isn’t complete without eating to my heart’s delight

Though I may not know when’s going to be the next time I’m gonna travel up north, one thing’s for sure– this trip is definitely one for the books. It may have been just a 3 days, 2 nights getaway, but everything that I’ve done and discovered definitely would linger in my head more than it should.

‘Til the next!

-Marla 🙂




Take Me Back to La Union


It’s been 2-3 days since I last posted here, and I can remember that I have an obligatory blog post right after my La Union trip. So, here it goes.

Each year my family goes to La Union every once in a while or at least once a year for different family events, most especially the All Saints and All Souls Day. It’s the time of the year to commemorate our dead loved ones and the memories we’ve shared with them when they were here with us. Being so, our family were able to spend quality time together within the 2-3 [or more, in some cases] days of our stay. It is a bit hard to narrate all of the happenings in one lengthy paragraph, so I might as well give you a rundown.

30th of October: Departure date. All packed, prepped and ready to go! It was an exhausting 6-7 hour drive from Manila, but once we got there, it was all worth it. We took a stopover at the municipality of Agoo, La Union the province’s oldest municipality. I really like it when we pass through the area, because it is really a heritage feast for the eyes. What I really marveled at [ever since I was a kid was Agoo’s Church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity. Like OLA Church (the church I talked about on my past blog post), the Basilica boasts a unique Catholic heritage and exceptional aesthetic appeal.


Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, Agoo, La Union

31st of October: It was the day for some R & R. Early in the morning, me and my cousin went swimming on the beautiful shores of Paratong Beach (we fondly call it Pandan) in Bacnotan, La Union. Our entire family grew up spending time together by this beach. It was high tide, so we really enjoyed swimming! Here are some snapshots:




(photos taken with a Nikon D3200) 

1st of November: Today’s the day when people swarm the cemeteries in order to remember their dead loved ones. First thing in the morning we prepared to stay for a short while at the cemeteries to bond together, light a candle by the graves and have really meaningful talks. Soon after, me and my cousins went resort-hopping. It was really great to be inside the best resorts in La Union. First stop was at Kahuna Resort, located at the municipality of San Juan, the surfing capital of the North. I mean it– the waves are really high and surf-legit! Just last October 24-27, the 8th La Union Surfing Break: Soul Surf happened right at this resort, and too bad we weren’t able to come.


Got stoked in La Union! [Disclaimer: I really was, but unfortunately I haven’t experienced surfing yet. 😦 ] 


The sea is the classroom and the waves are the teachers here at the San Juan Surf School. 


Kahuna Resort (with my Ate looking over haha!)


Surfing students braving the big waves at the San Juan Surf School. 

Right after Kahuna, we went straight to Thunderbird Resorts at Poro Point, City of San Fernando. This place really resembles Santorini, Greece!!!!


Santorini feels! 


Just within San Fernando, is another place to treat your taste buds. It’s at the famous Halo Halo de Iloko. All the food they serve and most especially their Halo Halo is simply to die for!!!!

This Halo Halo is really delectable and delicious! 


I can say that my La Union trip was really worthwhile and memorable [and I’m still hungover]. It was a great way to end my semestral break and go back to school anew. I hope that I can still post more blog-worthy stuff as the 2nd sem [and all the busy school work days] starts on November 4.  ‘Til the next post! xx