If happiness is the goal—and it should be, then adventures should be a priority.” –Richard Branson
The province of La Union has always been regarding as the surfing capital of the Philippines more than anything else. Year after year, this surfing spot attracts both local and foreign tourists—particularly during the months where the waves are said to be at its highest (anywhere between October to March). As La Union is known to be one of the most laidback provinces in the Philippines, many individuals have taken up residence in this Northern Province and left their lives in the city for good. After all, waking up to the sound of the waves and getting to see the sun set every afternoon is the pinnacle of ultimate laidback relaxation insomuch that La Union is widely considered as the city dweller’s favorite weekend retreat. However, this idyllic northern Luzon destination offers so much more than its fair share of La Union beaches. Admittedly, while visiting some of its famous resorts should be included in your travel plans, your itinerary is not constrained solely to beach and surfing activities. La Union has a wealth of activities to offer its visitors—both surfers and non-surfers alike.
This article aims to uncover some of the beautiful secrets of La Union so that by the time you visit, you will have other activities to enjoy aside from swimming and surfing.
- Explore Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel
If you have an affinity for aquatic activities but would like to take a break from the beaches then you should try visiting La Union’s Tangadan Falls. To get there, all you need to do is take a tricycle from San Juan going to the start of its path. Getting to the falls requires a bit of an effort from you so you would need to trek for at least an hour before even getting to the final destination. Keep in mind that you would need the assistance of a guide—especially when it comes to crossing rivers.
- Get up close and personal with honeybees
Have you always dreamt of interacting with bees but are wary of getting stung? Well, in La Union’s Honeybee Center in Bacnotan, you can have a close encounter with these interesting insects without fear of getting stung. Apart from learning how honey production works (and how it became a source of livelihood among locals), they are treated to a short orientation about beekeeping which invariably includes getting to observe bees getting busy in their hives.
- Take Instagram-worthy photos in the Poro Point Lighthouse
Individuals who have a penchant for filling their social media feeds will definitely love visiting the Poro Point Lighthouse and even the old, rundown one beside it. The lighthouse is located in the Poro Point Freeport Zone and blinks twice every ten minutes to signal ferries that there are already in San Fernando, La Union. Getting to the stop approximately takes 96 steps but while the walk is relatively short, the vast expanse you are treated to once you get there is breathtaking. Apart from being afforded a generous view of the beach, you also get to see a large part of the Freeport which all in all, would result to a picturesque backdrop for any photo. However, if you are up for a little history digging then you should definitely checkout the more beguiling lighthouse right beside it. Albeit tinier and more rundown that the Poro Point Lighthouse, this steel lighthouse has a more interesting story. Built during the Spanish occupation, this tiny lighthouse still stands tall up to this day.
- Appreciate Art and Culture
Art enthusiasts should definitely include La Union’s Art Gallery. Known locally as the SIlid ti Adal Ken Laing ti Ga Union Gallery, this is that one place wherein local talent and skills are showcased. Apart from housing the works of local artists, the gallery also puts emphasis on the province’s rich culture. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that this gallery is also the home of AGLAUN (Artists Guild of La Union) who is known to train young artists from art groups such as Guhit Pinas La Union and KARATULA through their various workshops.
- Pay homage to the miraculous Apo Caridad
Regardless of whether you are a devout catholic or not, the miraculous church definitely warrants a visit whenever you are in La Union. Apart from the religious overtones of the church’s history, the church is one of the remaining structures that epitomizes Filipino religious culture. The Parish dates back to the 1500s but its 1800s church structure was destroyed in 1892. Since then, that church has been demolished and was then restored to its current Basilica in 1975. The Basilica houses a 17th-century wooden statue of Our Lady of Charity (also known as Apo Caridad) which has been erected to allude to the series miraculous events in the area.