Friday, 30 October 2015

The 10th La Union Surfing Break (San Juan, La Union)

10th La Union Surfing Break

Balbo balance board
surfboards on display
The La Union Surfing Break, the biggest annual surfing event by volume in the Philippines, is now on its 10th edition. Among the other well-known surf sites in the country, the beach cove of Urbiztondo, San Juan in La Union is the most accessible for sun and surf worshipers coming from Metro Manila, turning it into one hot summer getaway. 
In the past 9 years, the event was a huge success beyond expectations and, despite the addition of three more hotels this year, experience has, in the past, shown that a large chunk of attendees of the surfing break cannot be accommodated in San Juan-based hotels, necessitating tourists to consider nearby hotels in San Fernando.
Urbiztondo Beach

The La Union Surfing Break, a project of the Department of Tourism and the La Union Information and Tourism Office, is all about surfing.  It was first conceptualized and launched in 2006 and, over the past decade, it has significantly altered the lives of locals in San Juan.  It aims to educate and expose surfing to the general public through proper teaching methods. From five surf instructors, before the first surfing break, the number spiked to 110 instructors as of latest count. Each instructor earns PHP400 per hour per client.  The event’s target markets are students from Metro Manila, Baguio City and other Northern Luzon provinces.
Street dancing competition

This year’s event, held from October 30 to November 1, expects at least 3,000 to 4,000 people a day celebrating and riding the famous waves of San Juan.  The three-day event’s festivities kicked off, in a festive atmosphere, on the morning of October 30 with a street dancing competition, followed on the same day by a surfboard design contest and surf clinics. Sandcastle building contest and a sundown fun run will form the schedule of October 31.

On November 1, organizers will prepare a trick or treat costume contest for both adults and kids, henna tattoo design contest, and face and body painting contest. The closing ceremony and much awaited beach party and fireworks display will be held in the evening, starting at 8 PM. The event will also feature photography contests, surf board design contest, fun  art exhibit, surfing competitions, beach volleyball tournaments, and zumba sessions. Admission to the La Union Surfing Break is free.

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