Because beach trips/musical festivals are always worth remembering especially through the eyes of a non-beach/non-music festival goer.

A few weeks back I took a break and headed off to the beautiful beaches of La Union for the music festival that is SoulSurf.

While I would like to go on about life realizations brought about by the waves and the beautiful surroundings, let me instead take you on the journey that is #SoulSurf and what music festival noobs like myself do on occasions like such.

1. Eat. There are relatively few places to pig out in La Union so when you find one you like (like Kahuna), you eat there twice a day. No kidding. There are also some occasions you’d try other places out and maybe order a buko juice or a buko halo-halo which is 10,000x better than the aforementioned plain buko juice. It also has an umbrella that the plain buko does not. 10,000x better, I said. There are also a bunch of food stalls and brands from Manila just tempting you on the beach for when you get too hungry from partying (which is always). There’s this sausage burger brand that serves reaaally good sausage burgers. (I have yet to track them down here in the city but once I do I’ll let you know.There’s also Jamba Juice. Or a local barbeque stall with the best variations of vinegar sawsawan.



2. Walk. There really is no other way. Oh wait, there’s a trike that I used numerous times especially this one time when the waves swept away my slippers and I had to be carried from the shores to the roads. I didn’t know piggy-back rides could be so painful especially when you’re trying to hold tight onto someone who so desperately wants to let you go. With slippers though, walking’s kind of fun – especially when you get to stop to take scenic outfit shots.



3. Play games like beer pong (c/o Rayban). My friends and I are an extra competitive bunch. For some reason though, we were also an old bunch competing with college kids on ingesting ridiculous amounts of Red Horse. We lost. Not letting anything go, we booked a game the following day, strategized like the competitive bunch that we are and won. Burn, college kids. Burn. Lesson 1: never compete with the young whose Red Horse threshold is sky high. Lesson 2: Never compete with the young at beer pong. Just don’t. Lesson 3: It doesn’t matter if the reason is a really bad aim or just plain old Emily Thorne-Revenge, stop hitting people on the face. (See moment of apology caught on camera below.)



4. Surf. Or pretend surf. Or pretend to want to surf. Guess which one I did. Although in my defense, I really did want to try. It just didn’t seem to happen. I have a way of willing my wants (or non-wants?) onto others.




5. Get a tan. We especially wanted the elusive Golden Glow that one supposedly gets by lathering on Pale Pilsen (yes, it’s that specific). I think it worked. My basis was comparing my dark, dirty-looking, sandal-tan lines from a recent trip to my yellow-y color from La Union. I don’t know how golden it was but at least it didn’t look dirty. Also, it was fun.


6. Did I mention it was a music festival? Go to the concert grounds, nod your head and pretend to know what the international acts are playing even if it’s essentially not your music (it wasn’t Katy Perry) and cheer when everybody else is. A tip I found to be useful: cheer even when no one else is. It makes you look like you’re really enjoying and happy and fun to be around. For the record, I like songs that I can 1) sing to or 2) dance to. This middle ground area that only lets me sway my head for lack of decent bass and a key too weird to sound beautiful to is just strange to me. In my defense, I did recognize that one Ellie Goulding song they played.



7. Have fun. The beautiful thing about #SoulSurf was that it was so unlike Boracay on Labor Day where everyone is sweaty and gross and forced to be cramped in such a small space. In La Union, people weren’t sweaty and there was decent amount of personal space. Or maybe that’s why I couldn’t tell if they were. It was like Boracay in a sense that you kept bumping into people you knew from Manila which was fun. Other things you can do to have fun aside from socialize with people you see weekly at Aracama: get a massage, swim, sleep and other things you can do at a beach.






All in all, I loved the quick break. If you did better, more amazing things there, please do share. Otherwise, I think my trip was pretty solid especially since I actually got to sleep. and rejuvenate. Beautiful.

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Anyway, I’m hoping for more amazing breaks in between routines as a reminder of how beautiful life really is.

My advice: take a deep breath, take a break, book that trip you’ve always wanted to. Throw all worries out the window and thank me later. Also, follow this list when you go to La Union coz lists are fun and I made them with your enjoyably in mind. Or not. (You’ll never know.) But I had a decent time I’m sure you will too.

photos by Paul Mendoza

Special thanks to Smart, Guess and Rayban