La Union or Elyu, is an Afam’s paradise! What’s an Afam? To you peeps who are soooo not into the program lol, A.F.A.M. means ‘A Foreigner Assigned in Manila’ or expat.
Everywhere we went, we were met with foreigners basking under the glaring sun while tayong mga Asians naman take cover & shield ourselves with lotsa SPF hehe. In flip-flops & sando, the Afams walked the streets of Elyu day & night, ready to party even under extreme heat & humidity. I think they’re sick of the cold back home which is why they are soaking up the Philippine heat with gusto. Happy for them. Yun nga lang, alam nyo na kung sino at ano ang madalas kasama ng mga Afam.. @_@ So proceed with caution.
The 3 days that we spent outdoors, I was a sweating piglet. The provincial, outdoor life is really not for me. But since the Goppets were enjoying life & nature, I just followed along, but with less amusement. Oo na, I’m a certified KJ.
Because my family thrives on adventure, they decided we’d explore the city come mealtimes instead of just eating at the resort. I was actually excited to have lunch at Flotsam & Jetsam since Ate showed me photos of the place & food. Super Instagram worthy kaya hindi ko na ininda ang grabeng init at lagatak ng pawis ko. At least pwede ko sabihing.. maasim MAY ASIM PA AKO! ;))
Day 1 Lunch: Flotsam & Jetsam
12500 MacArthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, 2514, Philippines +63 917 8021328
Set along San Juan Beach, Flotsam & Jetsam is actually a laid-back artist beach hostel with a colorful complex of buildings featuring bamboo, thatched roofs and whole trees.
Hipsters would surely love this artsy-fartsy place. Every nook & cranny is a photographer’s delight so make sure you bring your hi-def cameras. <3 Looking as fit & fab as this model helps in making the photo look great too! ;)
This hostel is all about low key & self-service. Don’t expect pampering & service de luxe from the very limited staff. Even the water for drinking you have to get for yourself.
Pay as you order at the counter & dine al fresco. I’m pretty sure this place comes alive at night.
You can’t eat at Flotsam & Jetsam and not try their signature drink. Got the Flotjet Jeff Ortega signature drink STAY 270 php which is rum & coconut based. It cooled me off, but the rum warmed the pit of my belly at the same time. Wrong choice if you want to cool off. Get a shake instead, lol. Btw, Jeff Ortega is a popular surf entrepreneurs in the north, currently making great waves in the surf ‘biz in La Union.
The girls loved the food at Flotsam & Jetsam because high fiber red rice was served with every meal in lieu of the standard white rice. Feeling healthy kuno even with the fatty bagnet, lol. As you can see, cats (& dogs) are welcome in & around the dining area. Something that foreigners actually welcome, but a no-no in our Philippine culture. This cat, the owners’ pet actually, kept jumping up on our table, sniffing our food, and we had to shoo him off periodically. This is SO not FDA approved hmp. Napaka-unhygienic please. @_@
Overall, we liked the food. Especially the presentation –hindi mukhang pang-probinsya. Price is a bit high though for a hostel, but since they use red rice which costs more, pwede na rin siguro. What we ate: Seared tuna 320, Holy crab wendelle 320, Crisp pork belly 260, Fried chicken padang 270, Sally’s burger steak 250, Hangover noodles 190, Pulled pork nachos with cassava 230.
Made a quick stopover at Halo Halo de Iloko for Elyu’s famous halo-halo for dessert. Did. Not. Disappoint. Highly recommended, and sure to beat the year-round Philippine hot & humid weather. Make sure to call ahead & reserve though as it’s ALWAYS full, any time of the day.
Day 1 Meryenda : Halo Halo de Iloko
Zandueta St, San Fernando, La Union (072) 700 2030 ; 0919 388 31245 ; 0917 852 7919 (open from 9 am – 9 pm)
Halo Halo de Iloko sits in an old house-turned-restaurant. The place is eclectic & interesting, I’m really glad Ate googled places to eat in advance so we were able to schedule the ones we wanted to visit accordingly. Minsan may silbi rin ang pagka-OC nya haha. ;)
At 4 pm, the place was still so very busy. We had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. Would have preferred the air-conditioned area, but beggars can’t be choosers right? Kung saan may available, just be thankful for the table.
Not to be missed, this Buco Halo Halo 185 php. All the standard ingredients like tapioca, nata de coco, coconut strips, red beans, ube halaya (candied purple yam), yema, bits of cheese & ice cream among many things is there, but what sets it apart from other halo-halo is the mountain rice that tastes like “pulvoron” with hints of chewy pinipig that they add to the mix. I super loved it! Each serving costs PHP 70.00 to 185.00 depending on the size.
Also must try since you’re already there, this Pritong Halo-Halo 150 php (turon with other stuff mixed in) for variety.
For dinner on our first day, we went Mexican at Olas Banditos. Elyu is teeming with restos but just don’t expect fancy ones. It’s al fresco just about everywhere so make sure you bring plenty of change of clothing as you will really sweat. And insect/mosquito repellant. Lots & lots of it. Not complaining (okay maybe a bit, teehee), just saying. :P
Day 1 Dinner : Olas Banditos
National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union 0977 859 0064 (11 am – 11 pm)
Even at night, Olas Banditos is hard to miss. A Mexican skull in a sombrero behind a cross of surfboards is painted on its outer wall, under a huge sign board bearing the restaurant’s name. It’s just a few minutes away from our resort & we just walked going there, armed with umbrellas borrowed from the front desk as it rained the whole day.
The open-air resto is decorated with street-style art and sends off a relaxed vibe that’s meant to have guests eat, sit back, drink, and stay a while.
The menu covers everything Mexican, from breakfast burritos to deep-fried flautas. The burritos are heavyweight and do not scrimp on ingredients, I’m happy to note. The tortillas and nachos are all made in-house, including sauces and condiments.
Busog lusog. Great choice kiddos! \m/ And ya know when the kids are full & happy, they break into a dance like this hahaha..
Okay, Day 1 over. I thought I could squish in all 3 days here but I am mistaken. Food trip for Days 2 & 3 at Elyu up next. U hope you’re still with me hehe. :-*