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La Union Surfing Invitational/Surfing Festival


La Union, another great tourist spot in the Philippines, is located 237 kms. north of Manila and 57 kms. Northwest of Baguio City. It is accessible by land, air and sea. Known to be a product of carving from the nine towns of Pangasinan, three of Ilocos Sur and the villages of the Eastern Pais del Igorotes in the Cordillera, it was formally created in 1854 of April 18 upon issuance of a Royal Decree by Queen Isabela of Spain. Thus, its name signifies unity of towns out of various provinces. In 1572, there was progress in the area as it engaged in gold trading, which became the means of livelihood for the Japanese and Chinese merchants who settled there.  This was witnessed by the Spanish colonizers who arrived in La Union in the same year.

Following this event was the conversion of the residents into Christianity by the Augustinians, known  as the first missionaries who started a town along the coast. Soon after, the transformation of the region into a Spanish colonizers’ base came next when they started an exploitation of the gold mines in the uplands. A brave man, under the name of Andres Malong from Pangasinan, came to rescue by trying to snatch La Union from the Spaniards in 1661. Unfortunately, his revolt against the Spaniards was unsuccessful when he was later defeated in Agoo. By 1700s, majority of the Ilocano immigrants considered the region as a place to stay as they discovered its potential source for greener pastures.

La Union is still young compared to the older provinces such as Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, Cebu and Cavite, but it is considered a progressing and developing province.

It started originally with only 12 towns, but now La Union has grown fast totaling in 19 municipalities and a city. This growth included the additional eight towns such as Santol, San Gabriel, Bagulin, Burgos, Pugo, Tubao, Rosario and Sudipen. The network of modern infrastructures is believed to be the great contributor to its present progressive condition in agriculture, commerce, and industry.

La Union was declared as one of the archipelago’s 12 regional industrial centres by the national leadership  in the late 1990s.


Festival in La Union

Along with its history came the celebration of the different festivals that were famous not only to the Filipino people, but most especially to the tourists/foreigners.

LA UNION SURFING INVITATIONAL / SURFING FESTIVAL was conceptualized in 2006 for the purpose of education and exposure of surfing to the public by means of applying proper teaching methods. It was traditionally held during semestral break to accommodate its target market who are mostly students from Manila, Baguio, and other cities in Northern Luzon. The other three well-known surf sites in the Philippines  are Siargao in Surigao del Norte, Baler in Aurora, and Daet in Camarines Sur. When compared to accessibility from Mega Manila, La Union stands out among the three of them.


For further inquiries and information, please refer to the details below:

Contact Details:

La Union Provincial Information and Tourism Office – (072) 888.2797
Department of Tourism Region I – (072) 888.2098
Email: /


How to get there:

  • By land – Starting at Manila, take the NLEX going north, then SCTEX. Exit at the last point of SCTEX in Tarlac. Then take the MacArthur Highway from there on, going to La-union. Estimated travel time: 4-5 hours
  • BY AIR(San Fernando City Airport)
    • Asian Spirit – Route Frequency ETD ETA

                                  Manila-San Fernando Mon 8:00 AM 9:10 AM

                                  Fri 3:00 PM 4:10 PM

                                  San Fernando-Manila Mon 9:30 AM 10:40 AM

                                  Fri 4:30 PM 5:40 PM


  • For bookings in La Union: Sea & Sky Travel & Tours

                                                     Tel. # (+63 72) 7004165

                                                     San Fernando City Airport

                                                     Tel. # (+63 72) 2425638


Getting Around La Union

To get around La Union, one can take Jeepneys and mini-buses with fixed routes at a minimal fare. Tricycles (motorcycles with sidecars) are commonly used in reaching remote areas and suburbs.


  • Jeepney.  This is a customized army jeep which was left by the Americans during the Second World War. Resized, remodeled, and shined, this multipurpose vehicle is can accommodate from 20 to 30 passengers which takes them to other municipalities and cities in La Union. It is also a famous symbol for the Philippines, known for its artistic designs, colors and horn sounds.

  • Tricycle.  These local taxis are widely available around the province. For just a minimal cost, you can reach nearby destinations or even hire them further as you please. Basically, the minimum fare per passenger is PhP 8.00.

  • Mini-bus.  If you want to reach a nearby town a little bit faster than the jeepney, then take the minibus. Most are not air-conditioned (although there are already some which are) since various cargoes especially market goods and almost all people from all walks of life ride on them.

  • Rent-a-van.  If you wish to drive on your own in exploring La Union, there is good list of accredited van or car owners which offer car rental services. The option of hiring a driver (probably the vehicle owner at that) is also available. Please inquire at the La Union Tourism Information Center for more details.


Where to stay: San Juan, La Union Hotels/Resorts



Address: Ili Sur San Juan La Union
Contact No.: (6375) 720-0255



Address: Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Contact No.: (6372) 720 – 0340



Address: Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Contact No.: (6372) 888-4075



Address: Ili Norte, San Juan, La Union
Contact No.: (6372) 888-6110



Address: Paringao, Bauang, La Union
Tel. No.: (6372) 242-5643


Where to go at night:



Address:  San Fernando, La Union (near Partas Station)
Short description: Party-goers often flock the place because of their in house bands. The place have been a venue for music laban. One of the best place for sound tripping. Beer and Hard Liquors are served.


Address:  Poro, San Fernando, La Union
Short description: For those who doesn’t want to have a drink but wants to go out for excitement, this place is for you. Try your luck on either cards or the slot machines. Free beers and snacks for players.



Address: San Fernando, La Union
Short description: This is another place you cant miss to go at. They boast their good bands playing everyday. The floor area is big ideal for barkada dance tripping. Beers are served.



Address:  Poro, San Fernando, La Union
Short description: Gimmick place with a band. Dance area is big ideal for their waitresses to have a dance intermission.




Author: Joan Mirrar

Article Modification by: Roanne Santos

Note: Article was modified due to date-related details that are no longer applicable at the present time.



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