Tuesday Thoughtsy: Happy Thoughts, Happy Thoughts, Happy Thoughts

‘When every day seems the same, that is because people have stopped noticing the good things that appear in their lives every time the sun crosses the sky’ – The Alchemist

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San Fernando, La Union. Sunrise, Beach, Beach Buddies, Beer, Skimboarding.

LU Hang-over: Surfing 101 for Beginner Surfer Like Me

Disclaimer: I am no surfer so the tips written here are purely based on my beginner ‘surfer’ experience.

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October is one of the surfing seasons in the Philippines and not being a fan of surfing (before), when a friend invited me to the 7th La Union Surfing Break Festival (Oct. 26-28), I said yes, mainly because I haven’t been there yet – ever – and I’ve been wanting to for the longest time, and it’s a beach and I need a break from work and I want to spend it with friends. In short, surfing wasn’t really my priority or my purpose of going there. So, I packed the usual beach outfit.

Lesson No 1: Familiarize yourself with Rashguard

Since my mindset is on beach mode, I packed maxi dresses and casual dresses  on a tote bag. When I saw my friends, they are carrying backpacks.

When we get there in La Union, it’s very laidback. Guys are just wearing shirts and board shorts while girls are wearing just shorts and sleeveless or tank tops or shirts. Good thing, I really am more comfortable wearing the same thing while traveling so I almost passed on this one (except for the scarf around my neck).

In the beach area, you’ll see a warning sign that the beach is not for swimming. You can hardly see someone wearing just two-piece. In fact, I never saw one the whole time we were there, except at night, at the resort’s pool area, when we were all just chillaxing.  So, for you to really enjoy the place and to share that wonderful experience with your friends, decide that you will try surfing.

And when you’re ready to ‘play’, rashguard is a must have for girls while some guys prefer just wearing their board shorts. Rash what? Yeah.

Waves can get really pretty playful so to avoid having a nip slip while you’re there trying to catch some waves, you must have a rashguard or anything on top of your two-piece. (P.S. String bikini is acceptable but bandeau is a no-no. Right, Moe? *wink).

Lesson No. 2: Get yourself ‘Some’ Surfing Lesson

Five minutes of land lesson:

And before you know it, your instructor’s already attaching the surfboard’s leash to your leg and you two are already heading where the waves at. Whoah! (P.S. Ask him to carry the board for you, trust me, it’s heavy.)

Lesson No. 3: Play!

‘Laro’. This is the term they all use when they are referring to the act of surfing.  You’ll often hear them say ‘Kailan ka maglalaro?’ or ‘Nakapaglaro ka na?’ . I was honestly wondering if the term actually meant playing with the waves. Oh well.

Lesson No. 4: Ride

So, before you play, you must also know how to ride. Here’s a very inspiring and helpful tip for girls from one of the surfers of First Wave: Riding a surfboard is like riding a boyfriend. You have to be rough at first. Once you get your spot, then you can go slow and just be smooth. Meaty, huh?

Lesson No. 5: Breast Out!

Literally! (if you’re not wearing the proper surfing outfit). But, practically speaking, this is how you will manage not to be washed out by the waves coming at you while you’re paddling your way to the waves. But, if it’s a really big wave, let your instructor maneuver you to the same direction where the waves are going and just hold tightly to your board while he tilts your surf board upward so you will stay in your place while the waves hit.

Lesson No. 6: Ready … Stand!

When your instructor tells you to get ready, expect the push in five seconds and when your glide is getting faster and faster, all you need to think of is to stand (or just try to) and just let the waves do the works. Sounds easy? Nooooo. It took me more than an hour before I can manage to stand.

Lesson No. 7: Prepare to be Stoked.

A hundred times of getting washed out is nothing once you get to actually experience what it really meant to actually play with the waves. Trust me, it’s ‘solid’ and ‘steady’, if you know what I mean J Bonus in this experience aside from meeting new friends and ‘playmates’, are the surfing jargons you’ll learn as you go through the whole thing. So, what are you waiting for? Save P3,500 (with buffer already) and you’re good for a 3-day 2-night surfing sesh in LU. Want to know other details? Ask me. Love, Rikki.

TreeHouse Tavern at NorMi2’s Resort, La Union

This cutesy TreeHouse Tavern inside NorMi2’s Resort that you can see from the beach holds a wonderful surprise once you set foot on the inside.

The place is perfectly small enough for that intimate kwentuhan or kulitan session with your friends while eating dinner or while sipping your favorite Jack (Rachel’s favorite) or Vodka or San Mig Apple and every corner is interesting enough to realize that this place is every inch a work of art. Perfect for a night out with that authentic beach and hippie feel.

You see, one doesn’t always have to be always big or loud to be great *wink

Sol Y Mar Beach Resort in Iloilo is Love!

When one goes to Iloilo, the highlight is almost always the food and the night life. One can never get enough of all the food this place has to offer and one can also never get enough of all the dancing and partying and clubbing this place, particularly the Smallville complex, has to give.

But Iloilo, beyond its booming Metro and commercial feel, is first and foremost the City of Love.

For some, they see Iloilo just as a ‘gateway’ to Boracay or to Guimaras or to other romantic places in the Panay Island. But not known to many, just minutes away from the city proper hides a very surprising escape that they might actually think of considering spending a day or two at the Sol Y Mar beach resort and spare themselves with the usual beach experience and just have a refreshing escape instead.

Yes, Iloilo has its own beach resorts, too, and Sol y Mar is the perfect place to experience relaxation and serenity as if having a vacation house by the beach of your own. For business people who frequent Iloilo City, this place is ideal also as a welcome change from the usual hotel accommodations they usually get.

Although, Sol Y Mar is branded as a family beach resort this has also been a favorite hangout place for barkadahans and also an ideal place for romantic or cozy evenings by the beach. I first came to this place last year when I was given a surprise monthsary celebration and true to the intention of the occasion, the place is already a surprise itself, which made the overnight stay a 3-day 2-night vacation instead!

So what makes a refreshing escape?

1. A room that makes you not want to go out anymore!

The first room that we had was the Standard Deluxe but when we found out that each room has its own special and captivating design and feel, we immediately transfered to this Standard Deluxe with Dipping Pool on our second day and the room is to blame why we extended for another day.

The colors of the room are so vibrant and are so relaxing you can just stare at those forever.Plus, this bed is literally in front of a wide glass door that gives one a panoramic view outside. And of course, the way it looks at night. Lovely.

2. A place that gives you a reason to go out of that exquisitely lavishing room.

Now, this is what I’m talking about.

The Dipping Pool just outside the Standard Deluxe Room

 Who would miss this? A dip on that pool with a beer … perfect. Plus, see that nipa house  on the right side? That’s their gym. Gym on a beach? Why not.

A closer look

 They also have a ‘lumpiga’ area in one corner where we ate our breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks. But if you’re not into sitting on the floor (or pillow) while eating, they also have table and chairs on the other side.

3. The memory of the place is enough for you to feel so revived and so alive once more!

I can only think of happy thoughts whenever I think of Sol y Mar. From the time we came in up to the moment we left, everything is so special.

The food:  They serve food so you don’t have to worry not having something to eat while you’re there. And their food – flavorful, not the typical resort food! But, it’s better of course if you would also bring your own chips and other kutkutin because there is no store near the place and you might get hungry at night – you know, for instant gutom emergency.

The accommodation: Superb. They not only also serve food but they serve everything with a smile. The staff are very courteous as well as the owners who happen to be there also one morning when we were there. They treat their guests accordingly. The place is also well-kept or well taken care of – it was being cleaned every morning.

The beach:  Who would not fall in love with the beach? The sand is not white, of course, but the beach is perfect as it is no matter what color of its sand is. Oh, and of course, the person or people that you share that beach and the memories of that beach with, now that’s what really matter.

Feeling so refreshed already?

Check out their site and fall in love: http://solymariloilo.com/ Love, Rikki.