By Claire Marie Algarme
Nowadays, just mention the word “La Union” and people will instantly picture the large waves and the thrill-seekers riding them. While it’s true that La Union is the surfing destination in this part of the Philippines, there are other exciting activities to indulge in this province apart from braving the waves.
You can look for adventures inland that will take you to magnificent waterfalls or try your hand doing something different and marvel at the results. Either way, you will enjoy these experiences beyond surfing in La Union whenever you visit this Northern Province in the country.
Pottery making in Taboc, San Juan
Do you want to experience the thrill of making pots and creating your own design? You can enjoy it in Taboc, San Juan, La Union where you get to express your creativity through pottery making. Red Clay Pottery Crafts has set up the Red Clay Pagdamilian, with the last word referring to “clay pottery production area” in the Ilocano language. Who knows, maybe when you get back to your place, you can contemplate on filling your home with your clay creations and set up a business yourself.
Red Clay Pottery Crafts
Address: #14 Mc Arthur Highway, Brgy. Taboc, San Juan, La Union
Contact Information: +63 72 607 0798|+63 929 233 9730
Grape picking at the grape farms around La Union
Picture the vineyards of California, or even Italy or France, for that matter. You don’t have to travel far and burn some money just to see grapes hanging from vines. You’ll find them right here in La Union. The better part is that you get to pick these grapes yourself. You can even spend the night in one of these farms, enjoy its amenities, and have fun picking grapes and other fruits found in their property.
Gapuz Grapes Farms
Address: 78 National Highway, Brgy. Urayong, Bauang, La Union
Contact Information: +63 72 662 0229|+63 977 2923 281
Trek through the Arosip Ecotrail in Bacnotan
The Arosip Ecotrail has become a favorite of trekkers because of the scenery it offers and the challenge that comes with it. More importantly, the trail, which is about a 45-minute hike, leads explorers to the breathtaking Zim-sim-ug Twin Falls, Pad-tok Falls, and Tekdag-aso Falls. First-time travelers are advised to get a guide to help them course through unfamiliar territories. The guide can be availed at the Barangay Arosip Hall, through the help of barangay leaders. And after a few hours of hiking through rocks and rugged terrain, cool yourself off with a refreshing swim in one of the waterfalls in the area.
Brgy. Arosip Tribal Hall
Address: Barangay Arosip, Bacnotan, La Union
Contact Information: +63 72 719 0100 (Bacnotan Municipal Hall)
Learn the art of basi making in Naguilian
“Home of the Original Basi” is Naguilian’s claim to fame. Basi is local wine made from sugarcane. The art of making basi has some historical roots in the country with the Basi Revolt in the early 19th century. It is perceived that Naguilian has perfected the art of basi-making. In fact, it even has a festival solely on enjoying Basi. You have to taste it yourself and even make your own basi. As they say, you’ve never been to Naguilian if you haven’t drunk their basi.
Naguilian Tourism Office
Address: 2nd Floor, Municipal Building, Ortiz, Naguilian, La Union
Contact Information: +63 72 609 1124
Jump off and cliff dive at Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel
Hiking to Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union is one thing. Jumping off a cliff and diving into its pool of waters is another. That is why La Union never runs out of adventure for you to get your heart pumping. It starts with a trek at Baroro River until you get to a point where you can test your courage and throw yourself from a rock down to the water. To get there, from the main town of San Gabriel, ask a tricycle driver to take you to the drop-off point in Brgy. Duplas where you can avail of a guide.
Address: Brgy. Duplas, San Gabriel, La Union
Contact Information: +63 910 878 0521
Be a beekeeper for a day at La Union Honeybee Center in Bacnotan
Bacnotan regards itself as the “Home of Mushrooms, Silk, and Honey”. Sericulture, or silk farming, and fungiculture, or the production of food and products through cultivating mushrooms, are known industries in Bacnotan. But it is beekeeping and honey production that has taken the interests of travelers as they get to know firsthand all about bees and honey at the Honeybee Center. The Center shows visitors how bees are cultivated and how honey is processed and produced. The Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), North La Union Campus is also helping the development of beekeeping, as well as the other industries, in the province.
La Union Honeybee Center
Address: MacArthur Highway, Raois, Bacnotan, La Union
Contact Information: +63 949 453 0034