This afternoon, I went to the beach with my nephew because it wasn’t raining. Every afternoon when it isn’t raining, I would take him there for a walk. It’s a good excuse for me to take a break from the shop and also to catch the sunset. Today the main reason I wanted to go to the beach was to see what’s happening at the beach. If there wasn’t a pandemic, today would have been a very busy day for Urbiztondo again because of the La Union Surfing Break.
What is La Union Surfing Break?
La Union Surfing Break is an annual surfing event in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. It was conceptualized and launched in 2006 with the goal of educating and exposing surfing to the general public through proper teaching methods. It is timed during the semestral break, during the last weekend of October. The target market of the event was students from Baguio, Manila, and other Northern Luzon cities. This annual surfing event has been very successful and made La Union a very popular adventure destination not only to students but to tourists of all ages from all parts of the country.
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La Union Surfing Break in the Previous Years
Every year, the Saturday night of the surfing break is the busiest day for Urbiztodondo. Accommodation establishments are fully booked. Some tourists even camp at the beach because they have nowhere to stay. Restaurants are full. Cars are parked on both sides of the highway. People are on the streets until the wee hours of the morning, many of them drunk. It is a good day for all business establishments.
There used to be a concert/party on the beach too. There were stalls on the beach selling food, drinks, clothes, and souvenir items.
It is also the busiest and best day of the year in our convenience store. We extend our shop hour until 2:00 am to accommodate customers. It is the day when we have the highest sales in one day.
We moved and I started my business here in Urbiztondo, San Juan in 2014. I wasn’t always here during surfing break because I used to work in Manila. The most memorable surfing break for me was in 2018. A transformer blew up at around 5:00 in the afternoon probably because of overloading. Our block didn’t have electricity from that time until around midnight. But even with the situation, our beer got sold out. We had to close at 11:00 PM that night. But we had amazing sales.
La Union Surfing Break This Year
To ensure the safety of everyone, La Union Surfing Break is on break this year. When we went to the beach this afternoon, no one’s surfing because it isn’t safe. A typhoon is expected to arrive and the waves are really big. There aren’t too many people at the beach too. There aren’t too many tourists yet because as of the moment, La Union is only open to tourists from Region 1 and Baguio City.
Hopefully, things get better in the coming months. I know all of us are dying to get out and be able to travel again, without worrying about catching the virus.