I Wasn’t Expecting This – Palanan, Isabela Trip Page 2


I like physical activity so climbing the stairs, although it was tiring, was fun for me. So was the plane ride, and the boat ride. But I didn’t expect this kind of reward.

When we reached the top of the staircase, what met us was breathtaking. So, this is what’s on the other side?

The path on the left is the trail to the staircase. The edge of the grass lawn goes downward. The field and the mountains you see afar are on the other side of the river.

I felt like I was Poh of Kung Fu Panda after climbing that high wall (although my tiredness may be way less). After that last step, it’s like I just pulled the curtains to a different world.

“Hello lovely village. Thank you for the invitation to be here.”

The first thing that you’ll notice is the breathtaking view of the river, the fields and the mountains behind you. Then moving forward, there’s the basketball court (very Filipino!) and the village houses.





After a couple of steps from the basketball court, we get to our abode. Boy, it’s big. This is where they have their guests stay. I feel like royalty. Aren’t we supposed to be suffering when we’re on outreach?

Our abode for 1 week (for some of us 2)
View front of our “house”
Dining area
Dining area view at the back of the building
More view from our “backyard” (Some morning fog)
Sometimes we get visitors. The lone turkey in the village. No we’re not going to cook it! She’s part of the family! (Then again, maybe not!)
Our backyard view. Using DSLR cam.
One night, when the sunset was showffing off


We kind of panicked and grabbed our phones and tried to “capture” the sky while the scenery lasted.


Duane, our leader. Chillin’ one afternoon.


Laundry dries on one side of the house.
The boys set up hammocks up front 😉 Neat!
You can dine outside too…


So yeah, now that we’re all set up! We’ll go around the village next.



Beach Appétit: My Serene Date With The Baby Waves

So I think I owe it to everybody to let us know than my friends and I went “surfing” the other other week on the still beach waters of San Juan, La Union, a surf site that is located five hours from where I live. It was not surf season. The sea was more quiet than an infinity pool. I wasn’t kidding when I said the beach was “still.” :)))

Did I know how to surf? And I didn’t tell you? No. I don’t know how to surf! I held a surf board for the first time and we had an instant connection which later translated to feelings of me wanting to sleep on it. (Because there were no waves to surf on it.) So I think I am coming back to LU (La Union) in November during surf season, after I learn to swim better and perhaps try some surf lessons at a nearby club where they have a pool for surfing.

Paddling anyone?

Since I cannot sleep on the surf board all day… (It is not practical. Why would I rent them just to sleep on them?) I tried some paddling tricks. Well, maybe not tricks — just.. paddling. Haha! Boring. But apparently my arms did not get bored. They ached the whole night after that.

I also tried the paddle board and it I had the most serene bonding time with the sea. I learned to welcome baby waves and learned to let them teach me how to let the board control me instead of the other way around. I love you baby waves, don’t let your mama scare me when I come back.




By the way, this is what it looks like to paddle board. (How I wish someone had taken a photo of me looking something like this!)

Image via Caribbean Paddling
Image via Caribbean Paddling

Jane’s subduing the paddle board. Shhhh… she’s concentrating…

via www.janeodulio.com
via http://www.janeodulio.com

Vanni headed out to the waters earlier than the rest of us on day 2 and conquered a boat for two on her own!

My friend Vanni kayaking for the first time ALL BY HERSELF!
My friend Vanni kayaking for the first time ALL BY HERSELF!


Seafood by the ocean

Nothing beats Filipino seafood dishes — some grilled squid, liempo (pork), and eggplant — while in front row seats with the ocean on infinity screen. (Why do I keep saying “infinity”?)

front row seats
front row seats
Seafood Platter @ Sebay Surf Central LU


A bit more classy breakfast. Still with the best view.

@ Kahuna Beach Resort for breakfast
@ Kahuna Beach Resort for breakfast


Kahuna Beach Club
Kahuna Beach Club view

Rocking chair nap

At the “house” we stayed at, this is my favorite chair. It rocks. I mean, it literally rocks back and forth. Hihi. It has super plush cushion it instantly lulls you to sleep, that is if you are not talking to someone like another guest in the house, which happened to me so I did not fall asleep. I was insomniac the whole day after spending the night there. We only spent one night by the way. 🙂

We found this beautiful house that rents out rooms and it was the perfect homey place to crash in. Jump out of the gate, roll down the path and you are on the beach in less than 60 seconds. And yes, the house was really beautiful — spacious interiors, cozy native furniture, laid back couches, classy bathroom, sunny balcony, and good air-conditioned bedrooms.


Rocking Me Chair - My fave spot in the house
My fave chair and spot in the house

It was something to whet our appetite for the ocean. One of my friends stayed a few more days after the two of us left the afternoon of our second day. Well then, goodbye baby waves. Let’s get together sometime November. 😉


Group Selfie!

Photo by Vanni via Selfie Pod!
Photo by Vanni via Selfie Pod!

Some helpful notes:

From Cubao Partas Bus Terminal, take a trip to Laoag and tell get off at San Juan, La Union. Trips are scheduled every hour.

Going back, take a tricycle to the bus terminal. Get a chance passenger number and wait for a bus traveling to Cubao or Pasay. You may or may not get a seat going back to Manila.

Overnight stay: P500/person/night (approx. US$12)

Long board rental: P200/hour ($4.50)

Paddle board rental: P200/hour

Kayak rental: P400/hour for 1 to 2 persons ($9)

Surf Lesson: P400/hour (P350 if you are staying at a hotel that offers lessons.)

Food: P150 to P350 per head depending on where you eat