Last week was incredibly fun because I spent it with my friends from Poveda! It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been friends for more than a decade (grade school still feels like yesterday after all), but the trip was such a nice way for all of us to reconnect and catch up with each other. We planned the trip a month back because one of our kabarkadas (who migrated to Las Vegas) came home with her boyfriend to visit.
We left Manila and drove up north at about 6am. With all the stopovers we made, it took us about five hours to get to Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel in San Juan, La Union. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to stay there because I was told it didn’t have air-conditioning and the bathroom was shared. But upon arriving and seeing our bahay kubo, it got me looking forward to our trip! I told myself that it’s not everyday I’m able to experience this (it brought back fond memories of our barkada camping in the small field of our school), and I was more than willing to embrace everything. The hostel had a nice artsy feel that made me feel very at home.
We had lunch in Flotsam and Jetsam (I heard their food is really good but when we got there, most of the items we wanted were sold out already) before heading out to surf. I’ll give the breakdown of expenses later so you guys have an idea of how much to shell out. Surfing, as expected, was super fun! It was my second time to surf ever, and I got so kilig that the instructor told me he was impressed with my sense of balance. He even said my skills seemed more advanced, so instead of letting me surf forward, he taught me how to wall. I expected to get really tired, but the waves weren’t as strong and they were much steadier compared to the first time I went surfing in Real, Quezon two years ago. I had more than enough energy to agree to go trekking the following day.
After surfing, we had merienda in Moonleaf then headed back to Flotsam and Jetsam to rest. We brought along a few board games, and things got a little competitive! What I like about Flotsam and Jetsam is how chill it is. You can just lounge around with a drink in hand, and not think about anything else.
That night, we had dinner in Surf Shack. The food was delicious! I had their mozzarella sticks, and most of us shared two flavors of pizza: Beef Tapa and Seafood. Their tenders would have been yummy too, but I found it a little spicy. We continued our board games and shared a few drinks in Flotsam before getting ready for bed. Even though there was no air-conditioning, the night was cool and we were each given tiny electric fans to place right beside our beds. I was sound asleep in no time. By the way, their bathrooms are really clean and well-maintained, too!
The next day, we woke up before 9am to get ready for our trek to Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union. Breakfast was free care of Flotsam. I had cereals, a toast, a glass of orange juice, and a cup of brewed coffee. Even though I wasn’t tired from surfing the previous day, I was a bit hesitant to do the trek because I had a feeling it was going to be exhausting (and it was). But the 45-minute trek to the falls was worth it (even though I cramped at the last part).
I experienced cliff-diving for the second time in my life (the first was in Boracay when I was maybe 12 or 13). The cliff was about 14 feet high. I was so scared, I actually felt my heart beating in my throat! But I kept telling myself it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance so instead of chickening out, I shut down my brain and took that leap.
For a two-day stay, I was expecting to spend over Php 3,500 but to my surprise, I spent less! Here’s the breakdown:
- Overnight in Flotsam and Jetsam – Php 680
- Contribution for Toll and Gas (Day 1) – Php 270
- Surfing Board Rental (for an hour) with Instructor – Php 400
- Food and Drinks (Day 1) – Php 720
- Trekking (with Guide) – Php 300
- Raft Rental – Php 20
- Contribution for Tip to Our Guide – Php 50
- Food and Drinks (Day 2) – Php 470
- Contribution for Toll and Gas (Day 2) – Php 100
TOTAL: Php 3,010
Of course, this can go even cheaper if you spend less on food and drinks and if there’s more of you to chip in for toll and gas (we were only 7). I had so much fun that I’m definitely going back to stay in Flotsam and Jetsam again. To book a reservation or check out their rates, visit their website here.
Some photos are care of Russel Guion, Glecille Salonga, and Blossom Villafuerte.
An Overnight in La Union