No Collars in La Union

Thirty seasons on and Survivor is still going strong. For its 30th season, Survivor: Worlds Apart, three tribes divided by social class - white collar, blue collar, and no collar - are pitted against each other to determine who will play the best social, physical, and psychological game to earn the title of Sole Survivor and the one million dollars prize money that comes with it.

Career-wise, I belong in the white collar category. I need an administrative and office setting in order to work productively. I cannot work from home (the bed and TV would be too tempting!) and neither can I pack my proverbial briefcase up and shift to freelancing because I don't think I am wired for that. Kudos to those who are their own bosses and who are able to work under their own terms!

Now even though I'm white collar-ing it up in the workplace, I still need a break every once in a while. A week ago, I shed my collar, so to speak, and went to La Union with my friends Alex, Anne, and Kira for a rendezvous that involved a lot of surfing (for them) and laying on the sand (for me).


Because my friends wanted the waves to themselves, we left Manila Saturday night and got there at 2 o'clock Sunday morning. We stayed in Circle Hostel which is just a five minute stroll from the beach. It was my first time to go there although you might remember I got to go to their "branch" in Zambales last year. It has the same cheerful and free-spirited vibe but it's maintained better, the toilet and bath area is cleaner, and I also appreciated not having to go up four levels to get to my bunk bed. 




Plus points for the swings and the tree house, too.

We stayed there until Tuesday so we pretty much had the place to ourselves and just a handful of foreign tourists. La Union is a famous spot for surfing so there are more tourists and foreigners here than in Zambales. Because Circle Hostel believes that it's a place where "there are no strangers," we befriended a few!



Most of them, like Doris, Adrien, and Esme, have been in the Philippines for quite a while, backpacking around our country's top destinations. I was embarrassed to admit they've been in more places here than I have, and that should be rectified!

My girls playing cards while Adrien serenades us
It was fun talking to them and sharing travel experiences with one another. Our folks tell us you shouldn't talk to strangers, but when you're in a place like the Circle Hostel, doing so will close you off interesting anecdotes to learn from.

The main reason why Kira organized this trip was to go surfing ever since she caught the bug. They bargained (a lot!) and tried to convince me to try it too but I was set on just swimming and laying on the sand. I know how to swim but I am not particularly a sporty person and I don't think a surfboard, the waves, and I would mesh well.

Anne opted to hang out in the hostel so I was left a third wheel to #KirAlex2015
Blue on blue
How can you look at that and not think the beach can fix everything?
Tankini c/o Sassa Activewear, available in Robinsons Department Stores
I was perfectly content seeing them have fun in the water


while I stayed on the shore taking selfies acting as their photographer while working on my tan.


Good job, us!
Time seems to crawl more slowly when you're away from busy and fast-paced Manila. For all the napping, eating, beach-ing, and lounging around that we did, I even got to finish reading two books! Still, all good things must come to an end and before we knew it, it was already time to go.

And just because I couldn't help but compare, I liked the Circle Hostel in La Union better than the one in Zambales. I didn't mind paying a higher fee because I also liked the La Union beach more. Just prepare extra money though because the food in eateries and restaurants around the area is also more expensive. 


When it comes to my job I'm a true-blue white collar, but I cannot deny how nice it was to kick back and be a no collar even just for a weekend and not mind anything aside from where we would eat next and what time we would go to the beach. It was one of the most rejuvenating out-of-town trips I've had and it definitely restored my mind and prepared me for the three events we had the same week.


The success of any trip hugely depends on the company you keep. I'll always be thankful for my girls! Read Alex's account of our La Union trip here, and Kira's here

Also, never forget: feeling the sand between your toes is one of the best feelings in the world. ♡

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