Photowalk and Wandering in San Juan, La Union

When I feel my stress level is reaching its boiling point, traveling becomes a STAT order. And luckily, La Union is just 1 to 1 1/2 hours away from Baguio. Hence, equipped with a camera and a little cash, I proceeded with no itinerary in mind.

To be honest, I haven’t figured out whether I should head back home in the afternoon or stay in San Juan for the night.

So I took a passenger SUV bound for Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. The trip would pass through Bauang and going northward to San Fernando City, San Juan, Bacnotan, etc. SUV fare from Baguio to San Juan is Php 100.

At last, touchdown San Juan. I saw the public market so it’s my cue to get off.

San Juan Public Market - San Juan, La Union

San Juan Public Market

 

I continued walking and I reached the municipal building.

San Juan Municipal Hall - San Juan, La Union

San Juan Municipal Hall

 

Oh look! An old house just along the highway.

old houses in san juan, la union

 

Crossing the street, an old Catholic church is seated, St. John the Baptist Parish.

St. John the Baptist Parish - San Juan, La Union

 

And here is the memorial wall notably of Captain Candonino Gaerlan, a Filipino war hero.

Captain Candonino Gaerlan

 

The weather is warm so it’s about time to get some ice cream (“sor-BEH-tess”, in Filipino). No, it’s not on a cone rather I prefer an ice cream sandwich.

filipino street ice cream

 

filipino ice cream sandwich

 

I felt like I am completely detached to the world as I continued walking. I don’t mind if I look like I’m lost or a stranded tourist. Later that afternoon, I found myself in a local eatery (“ka-RIN-der-yah”, in Filipino) where I had my early dinner. After the hearty meal, I became too lazy to head back to San Fernando, where bus terminals bound for Baguio are located. I think I need another day of rest (or wandering).

And so I found Puerto de San Juan to stay for the night.

All of the staff in Puerto de San Juan are nice and helpful. I noticed that this beach resort/hotel in San Juan is undergoing intense renovation and is under a new management. I have heard and read that PSJ was once a high-end resort. Now, the people in PSJ are working to bring back the resort to its former glory. Nevertheless, with the renovations done, overall, PSJ is outstanding.

The theme park is said to be opening soon. Once it does, I will be back here.

Hotel in San Juan, La Union - Puerto de San Juan

The main hotel building

 
Puerto de San Juan Beach Resort Hotel

The iconic arch of Puerto de San Juan

 

My room before I turned in

 

My night shots

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The next day, I was thinking of a new itinerary. San Juan is dubbed as the Surfing Capital of Northern Philippines. So, I headed to Point Break, the famous surfing spot. While Puerto de San Juan is in Ili Sur (Poblacion), Point Break is in Urbiztondo. Walking along the shore towards Point Break is about 20 to 30 minutes. Not bad for testing your leg power.

 

Me and my light-capturing contraption: Shots fired! Shots fired!

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surfing lessons in san juan, la union

 

beach volleyball

 

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coconut juice vendor

 

The sky is getting dim and unfortunately, I have to head back to Baguio. As I was walking back to PSJ, San Juan showed its magnificent sunset.

sunset in san juan, la union

 

These I learned: San Juan is a good quick fix should I lack Vitamin Sea and La Union is a great place to explore. I wasn’t able to see Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel; Bahay na Bato and the old Spanish watch tower, both in Luna; or other interesting attractions in San Fernando City. But I. Will. Be Back.

 

Life’s a beach!


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