This sem break, hit the road by taking some tips from Young STARís guide to road trips.

MANILA, OCTOBER 21, 2013 (PHILSTAR) EXISTENTIAL BLABBER By Kara Ortiga - From La Union to Sagada, weíve got you covered.

In La Union, the sea is a playground. Vacations are for oldies. Leave the opulence of sipping piŮa coladas by your private villa to people who actually earned the money to spend it.

When youíre young, you donít want a vacation anyway: you want to travel. Thereís a difference, you see. Vacations are made for basking. Itís a rest for the mind, body and soul, a respite for overworked businessmen and tired executives.

Travels are stressful, adventurous, risky, and the purpose is a self-fulfillment and schooling unlike any other.

Traveling is not about the selfie at the beach, but the journey to get to that beach to take one damn good-looking selfie.

Itís about the uncertainty of what happens next, the thrill of the moment, of reaching out to strangers for directions, hopping on different buses, and knowing that in the end you go home with one epic story.

Since sem break is around the corner, here are some easy road trip destinations worth visiting, for travel, and not necessarily for vacation.

La Union

What: One of the surfing capitals of the Philippines. The community of which is already thriving with as many wannabe surfers as actual talented surfers. But never mind, because the vibe is all about the love for a ride on the waves. Here, the only thing worse than a wannabe surfer, is one who wonít even try. Plan your trip on Oct. 24 to 27 for the La Union Soul Surf Music Festival ó a three-day music festival and pro surf competition featuring international DJs RAC and Classixx and local DJs bands. An event that celebrates what the local surfing culture is all about.

Listen to: Tear by Blackbird Blackbird, who is actually Filipino (based in San Francisco) and whose EP is entitled ďBoracay Planet.Ē This lyric-less beat is lazy, a dreamy mix of folk and electronica. Perfect for sitting on the seaside, almost nostalgic, like the surreal nature that is La Union.

How to get there: Take the Partas bus from Cubao station bound for Laoag, but tell the conductor to drop you off at the highway of Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. You can get down near the infamous San Juan surf school put up by Luke Landrigan.


What: Up in the Cordilleras and farther away from Baguio, Sagada is a quaint town. Choose your own adventure with their list of tourist sites: from a truly death-defying spelunking adventure in the caves (seriously you need to be physically fit for this), to a more laid-back trip to see the sunrise at Kiltepan. Have their delicious mountain tea to warm up on chilly nights, or swig some beers at the reggae bar along the major road. Hand-carry home the famous lemon pie.

Listen to: Soak it Up by Houses. Low and upbeat, for waking up in a cabin with a view of pine trees and the smell of a light mist.

How to get there: Take a bus from Manila to Baguio, Victory Liner buses leave hourly. In Baguio, go to the Dangwa Bus Station, which is a hub for connecting transportation. Take a public bus that will bring you to Sagada.

Zambales coves

What: Now this is a gem. The coves of Zambales remain undeveloped, so itís all yours: the white-sand beach, seawater that glitters under the sunlight, as well as the lush pine forests deep in the cove. Even better is the boat ride to the cove, a view of lush green mountains sitting on the cobalt blue of the water. The more popular tourist destination is Anawangin cove, but if you want a little bit more privacy, head further down to Nagsasa. Just remember itís a camping destination, so youíre on your own for food, water and shelter. Itís far from the natural comforts of home, but imagine falling asleep in the sand under the stars, and waking up to the sound of the water crashing near your feet.

Listen to: Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells. Itís bubblegum-indie-pop that makes perfect sounds for a cruise under the sun with your hands in the air, the wind blowing your hair, and the taste of saltwater on your skin.

How to get there: Take a Victory Liner bus bound for Iba, Zambales, but tell the conductor to drop you off at the San Antonio municipal hall. Once you get down, there will be tricycles nearby. Hop on one and ask them to take you to Pundaquit. Pundaquit is a small beach that is the jump-off point for boats to the various Zambales coves. Hire a boatman, and he will take you to paradise.


What: This one is a bit ambitious, to try conquering the whole of Region 1. But what you get at the end is one amazing northern adventure. Sandboarding down the dunes in Laoag, sun bathing at Pagudpud beach, standing under the massive Bangui windmills, walking through the cobblestone streets of Vigan and eating their empanadas, and being in awe of the majestic Kapurpurawan rock formations. I tell you, itís one hell of a trip, but so beautiful too. All you need is a little spontaneity, and a lot of jumping from one bus to another.

Listen to: Young Blood by The Naked and the Famous. Because coursing through Ilocos feels like youth at its prime. Of hitching buses in the middle of highways, and the naivety of never realizing that such beautiful places existed.

How to get there: Take a Partas bus in Cubao bound for Laoag. The rest is up to your liking.

Puerto Galera

What: It is no Bora, but it also isnít a plane ride away. Puerto Galera is an easy choice if youíre looking for a decent beach thatís not far from Manila, a quick getaway from the city. Opt for the Talipanan beach instead of the more populated White Beach. Talipanan is to fresh fruit shakes and authentic Italian pizzas, while White Beach is to San Mig Lights and late-night karaoke. Choose your poison.

Listen to: Boss (Ryan Hemsworth Remix) by Tinashe. A sultry rhythm and blue remixed into a subtle indie-electronic piece. Itís sexy and fun for some beach party.

How to get there: Take a JAM liner bus at Buendia station bound for the Batangas Pier. Once at the pier, purchase a ticket from one of their outrigger boats. The boats land at the different beaches in Puerto Galera, so make sure you know which beach you are staying on.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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