My Philippines: Visiting the north - experience La Union and Baguio

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) - Itching for a quick break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Take a road trip to the north - to a getaway waiting for you.

If you're looking for an adventure, drop by La Union, just about 270 kilometers, or fours hours away from Manila. The province is famous for its beaches, the waves, and surfing scene.

Kiddo Cosio, owner of El Union Coffee in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, gives us a closer look at what's in store for visitors of this sun-lovers' paradise.

"Lots of different kinds of people connect with La Union in their own way…you can see this in the different kinds of establishments that have come up here…. Up and down the coast, you'll see resorts," Cosio said, as both foreigners and local travelers visit the province for its well-established surfing enterprise.

Cosio also met with highly-acclaimed surfing champions Jeff dela Torre and Daisy Valdez, who gave their insights on being successful on the longboard or shortboard.

What persuades travelers to return to La Union is the hospitality of the tight-knit community, Cosio said.

"There's bluer water elsewhere, there's whiter sand, but the community here is really special," he said.

The San Juan Cove is home to the best waves in the province, while the Sebay Surf Central and the San Juan Surf School are the go-to places to learn the challenging water sport.

Food in the province also does not disappoint. There are classic mouthwatering meals with delightful twists, like gourmet tuyo pizza and tinapa pasta, which are sure to tickle everyone's taste buds.


Just about two hours from La Union, make the climb up to the cooler climes of Baguio City.

Singer, nurse, and Baguio native Ingrid Payaket gives us a tour of the "Summer Capital of the Philippines," where culture, sights, and nature converge.

"The place is always evolving, and aside from that, this is a place that we can all call home," Payaket said.

Veering away from the traditional tourist spots, Payaket recommends Mount Costa, a collection of 24 different gardens in La Trinidad and only a jeepney ride away from the city, which showcases the rich greenery and flora of Baguio.

The city is also the first in the Philippines to be included in the UNESCO Creative City Network, which honors 116 cities in the world including Montreal, Shanghai, Nagasaki, and Melbourne, for the communities' creativity that promotes sustainable development.

We also take a look at Cafe Yagam in Felipe Street, and Kamiseta Hotel in Ignacio Villamor Street, both in Barangay Lualhati. The two are seemingly polar opposites in their intricately designed interiors and offerings, but are both must-visit destinations.

Payaket also suggests a trip to the Baguio Craft Brewery on 120 Marcos Highway-the quintissential home of the Lagud, or strawberry craft beer-where good food, good booze, and good company always deliver.


So, with our quick guide into the north, have you made up your mind? There's always the option to visit both La Union and Baguio and experience what the north has to offer.

Continue your trip to:

Leaderboard - Batangas / Pampanga

Leaderboard - Cebu / Albay

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