PLACES: LA UNION.
THERE'S MORE TO "ELYU" THAN IT'S SURF REDISCOVER LA UNION AS A DESTINATION FOR HIP RESTAURANT AND HOSPITALITY DESIGN, DYNAMIC BEACHSIDE ARCHITECTURE, AND A DEEPLY CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Rediscover this province up north, which bustles with art, design, good food, and great surf.
La Union is not just another sleepy town tourists pass through en route to Baguio. It probably once was— and still is, during certain seasons of the year—until the town of San Juan revealed a secret: the swells on the shores facing the West Philippine Sea proved to be an ideal playground for surfers.
In the early ’80s, Japanese surfer Kazuo “Aki” Akinaga visited the province and eventually settled there. Soon, he started teaching locals how to ride the waves. Decades later, the province became one of the go-to places for surfers—professionals and enthusiasts alike.
But you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy La Union (or “Elyu,” as it is fondly referred to). The province offers more than just getting stoked. Art galleries and design studios are sprouting one by one. Dining places dot the roadside, while beautifully designed hostels and resorts offer a respite from a full day out in the sun.
And while La Union can get pretty busy on holidays, it still manages to keep its unhurried vibe, and this is something creatures of the urban jungle need once in a while. So read on and get stoked about “Elyu.” —Sunshine Selga Funa