Tuesday, January 16, 2007

La Union Surfing - Of Pleasure and Pain: Didi's Christening

Me and Didi --- from the word "dilaw" (yellow)

Yes, last weekend was a mixture of pleasure and pain. Pleasure because there's just nothing like being by the beach or being smothered by waves; and pain because after 2 days of sun bathing, surfing, skimboarding and body boarding, all my muscles and sun burnt skin are hurting like hell. This is what I get for not exercising regularly. I promise, next month, I'll take boxing lessons like Peter or maybe I'll do kickboxing and yoga on video to save money, time and effort of going to the gym. So when we go surfing again, my body will be in better condition. That's a thought huh?!

Peter and Didi
Anyway, at around 1:00am Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, me, my brother Mac and my friends Mer, Peachie and Vina with her boyfriend Francis, met up at 7-11 near Quezon Ave. MRT station. While waiting for the rest of our troop, we bought some stuff for the long travel like food and water (and cigarettes for the smokers...tsk,tsk...bad,hehe). We also watched Smallville Season 6 on our Nextbase portable DVD player while some of us smoked outside. Soon, we were all complete and by 2:00am, we were on our way, watching the video, chatting, laughing and eventually dozing off. By 7:00am, we were already at the resort! Whew! Peter drove like a madman! Hehehe.
* SAN JUAN SURF RESORT - 0727200340; surfer@surf.com.ph; 238 Bgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan 2514*
For live wave update, check their website here.
Breakfast at a nearby Carenderia along the main road
Naturally, our rooms weren't ready yet coz checkout time for guests is at 11:30am. We were all feeling tired and hungry from the long drive but since we were scrimping our money, we went outside and had breakfast at a nearby canteen that sells cheap but palatable breakfasts. Their whole fried Bangus is only P35.00 and their yummy tocino is only P50. Couple it with rice, egg and coffee ---- voila! Complete Pinoy Breakfast for less than a hundred pesos! Cool! San Juan Surf Resort also sells yummy food. It's just that they're priced at a foreign rate and we were on a tight budget.
Echo, Peach, Mer, Me and Mac
After breakfast, we immediately hit the beach. I checked out the water and boy! Was it ever so cold! I put on my rash guard and took my brand new body board to see if I can handle the big waves. It was so much fun! I played for a while as I waited for the others to check out the beach area as well. Echo (our instructor-turned-friend) met with us at the beach. He encouraged me to try our new surfboard. He noticed that it was made by FIVEFORTY (Lui's company) and commented that some of the boards they made weren't that durable. I pointed out that we are aware of that. The board Lui made for us however is a first of its kind shaped in the Philippines. It's made of 4th generation epoxy rather than fiberglass so it is a lot stronger and durable. Add to that the fact that it is A LOT LIGHTER than most surfboards of the same size. Anyway, only time will tell. So we better play with it as much as we can.
Me and my brother about to test the waters with our surf/bodyboards
I tried it for the first time and damn! It felt so good! I didn't get to stand as much as I can coz of the huge swells and neck-breaking *closeouts (*a series of waves that breaks all at once across the entire face; waves that can't be ridden). But it was refreshing, somewhat scary and fun at the same time! Whew!
Mac while body boarding
Mer while skimboarding
Peter getting better with the skimboard

Me trying my luck with a standing position since I always skimboard lying down...
The rest of the time, I let my other friends surf with our board, with Echo's supervision of course. Mer was able to stand up a couple of times and Peachie started to get the hang of it. Vina and Francis were spending A LOT of QUALITY TIME in their room and we can't blame them. They're new lovebirds! Wait til about 5 years down the line...hehehe. The rest of the time, Mac and I were playing with the body board and skim board while Peter rested in our room. He drove for almost six hours straight anyway! So we gave him a break. He woke up a little after noon and played with his surfboard as the rest of us just sunbathed.
Peter & Mer catching a wave with Didi...

More tired than hungry, I went to our room. I took a bath and laid down on our bed. Mer was with me the whole time, telling me stuff about her life when everything just went dark and I dozed off. They woke me up after 2 1/2 hours in time for more surfing and some more beach romping . I contemplated on whether to continue with my sleep because the bed just felt so soft and comfy. But then again, why else did I come to La Union if not to surf, right? So I dragged my lazy butt off our bed, changed into my bikinis and rash guard and off I went surfing again! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Trying to catch a few more waves just before sunset...

In the evening, we went to Halo-halo de Iloko, our fave dinner place in town. It was a first for Mer, Mac and Francis. As usual, the food was delicioso and the Halo-halo was scrumptious even without the ice cream (P50.00 only). Oh, did I mention that San Juan had a blackout from 7am-7pm? Thus, no ice cream for our halu-halo. Anyway, back to the restaurant... I noticed they were selling vinegar from Ilocos for P50.00 each. I bought two. One for us, one for my folks back home. The night was spent eating and exchanging stories. We were all hilarious! Especially with Vina around who never fails to amuse all of us with her horny and wild antics! (Mana sa akin! Hahaha!)

Me, Peter, Mer, Mac, Francis, Peachie, Vina
After dinner, we dropped by the pagoda overlooking the city and spent a few minutes just enjoying the view and each other's company. When we headed back to the resort, Vina and Francis went to their room (as usual) while the six of us (Echo included) found a spot near the beach, listened to some music, danced and chatted the night away. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1vNjmYUJb4
A short clip of my ride.
The next day was very exciting (and scary) for me. Echo encouraged me to study how to paddle on my own. He brought his own surfboard and together, we braved the humongous waves and closeouts in the open sea. My gosh! It was soooo exhilirating! My arms were heavy from the constant paddling and my heart was pounding like crazy! He even taught me how to be thrown off the board, float on my own in the middle of the deep waters as waves were crashing over me while maintaining my presence of mind so I can immediately gather my leash , grab hold of the tail of the board and get back on it again! Wow!!! It's super crazy!!! I wasn't able to catch a wave because of the series of closeouts that I conquered but that's ok. The point was to learn how to paddle at sea, crossing all those huge waves in order to join a line up. (Sorry for the slightly technical terms. Just use context clues and you'll get my drift.)

Anyway, I was DEAD TIRED afterwards. I was half panicking thinking that it would be THE END for me. But I made it. I need to practice more though. It also gives me more reason to exercise and have workout regularly so next time I go out to surf, I won't be as easily tired and defeated by the waves.
Feeling like beach models...hehehe.

Bathing under the sun...
1...2...3.... JUMP!!!
The rest of the time was spent posing for pictures and simply having fun. We checked out around 2:30 pm and had late lunch at QT Sizzling Grill in San Fernando. They serve pinoy food at really cheap prices. You should try it!
@ QT Sizzling Grill
Come 7:30 pm, we reached Gerona town proper in Tarlac and stopped at ISDAAN for dinner. I never get tired of that place. It always feels so foreign to me, like we're somewhere in Bali because of its humongous structures of Buddhas, gods and Botero-like beings.
Here fishy, fishy....
The Pagoda on top and the monkeys below...
We arrived at QC a little after midnight. In spite of our bodies aching and our minds dazed from the trip, we know we'll never get tired of going to La Union. 'Til our next surfing trip!

For things to do when visiting La Union, here's an awesome list of La Union Things to Do.

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