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

Real Living (Philippines) - - Real Living -

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

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