Surf Capital of the North: Urbiztondo Beach in San Juan, La Union

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Surfing in La Union was said to be established in the late 70′s by a Japanese surfer named Aki Naga. By training local residents to surf, Naga was able to introduce the sport of surfing and provide the people in Urbiztondo a new sense of lifestyle. Slowly more and more locals are picking up the sport and eventually made the art of it something of their own, while quaint surf resorts and businesses opened on the side to tend to all of surfing’s patrons. Since then, the beach has blossomed into a full blown surfing destination welcoming both aspiring and advanced surfers from all over. Today, its popularity has skyrocketed to the point that international industry giant Billabong put up its very own surfing school led by the best La Union locals.

Since the days of the pioneering Japanese man, Urbiztondo has cemented its place as the surfing capital of the northern Philippines.  Simply ask anyone in the city you know where he or she regularly surfs and I’m pretty sure you’ll be getting a consistent answer — San Juan, La Union. From a visitor’s point of view, I think the reason is quite simple.  Urbiztondo is all about surfing and surfing here is a way of life. Here is where you’ll ride your first wave, here is where you’ll improve your wave riding and here is where you want to spend the rest of your surfing days with. It’s home. Locals, regulars, first-timers – you meet them at the lineup today and they’ll probably be back the next day. Or the next week. Or the next month. It doesn’t really matter, they’ll be back for sure. Back to the capital.

Now if you’re planning on taking a trip to Urbiztondo beach, you’ll need to remember that the best time to drop by are between the months of July to October and November to March. These months are considered the beach’s surfing season. Getting there is not a problem, easy as 1, 2, 3. So hurry up and pack your bags. You wouldn’t wanna miss out on one of the best surf spots in the Philippines.

How to get there? Man, don’t forget to read Surfing in La Union: How to Get There

*awesome pictures by Angel Villanueva. view more of his awesome pics at Ely Cresensio’s multiply here here here :)

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SIDHI Goes Surfing in LA UNION

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Bob Marley, Sublime, 311, Save Ferris, No Doubt and The Specials are the biggest influences to this energetic band that elevates the stoke every time they step on stage. They simply just make you dance to reggae and ska. Last June 18 to 19, SIDHI went to the shores of Urbiztondo, La Union for a wedding gig and while at it, the band this time tried to make waves on perhaps a natural extension of their music, surfing. We recently caught up with the band and they were more than happy to share their surf experience.


LS: wassap SIDHI!
Sidhi: waaasap!

LS:  tell us about your recent surf trip. you were there for a wedding gig right?
Abi: “sobrang steady and super saya! tawa lang kami ng tawa chaka surf lang ng surf! bonus lahat! may tugtugan na, may surfing pa!”
Joel: “it’s an extraordinary experience. wedding + surfing. and the locals were very hospitable.”
Jay-r: “happy! enjoy lahat puera lang si pol hahahaha kasi si pol yung photographer namin at that time.”
Pol: “far out”

LS: is this your first time to surf?
Abi: no
Joel: yes
Jay-r: yup
Pol: surf? sabon ba yun? surf ang number 1 hahahaha

LS: First time in La Union?
Jay-r: yup
Abi: no
Joel: no. man it was an extraordinary experience even if we didn’t get to surf
Pol: drunk..

LS: Where did you stay, who were your instructors?
Sidhi: lola nanny’s
Jay-r: jeff
Abi: junior
Pol: neo the dog..
Joel: hindi ko maalala eh, itago nalang natin sha sa pangalang reneh

LS: Do you still remember the instructions given to you?
Sidhi: yes!

LS: What’s the hardest part about surfing?
Jay-r: balancing, right timing sa wave
Joel: turning
Abi: ung pagbubuhat nung board off shore hahaha
Pol: not surfing

LS: What’s the best part of surfing?
Abi: the natural high
Joel: iba yung feeling. Ibang high yung dating
Jay-r: yung nakakatayo ka na
Pol: surfing

LS: How would you describe the feeling?
Abi: happy lang. parang ang simple ng buhay
Joel: proud and happy
Jay-r: masaya
Pol: lonely

LS: Abbey crush mo daw si Luke Landrigan…
Joel: di naman kami nagkakalayo ng katawan eh
Jay-r: oo
Abi: sino bang hindi crush yon?! Nakita mo na ba?!
LS: mas marami kaya akong abs dun, mga 17 sakin.
Pol: crush nga daw ni abi

LS: Syempre di kumpleto experience pag walang basagan. Did you guys get drunk? with the locals?
yes. Yes.
I didn’t
yes with both locals and the wedding people
drunk ba ako nun?

LS: What can you guys say about La Union?
babalik at babalik ka eh. Kahit sobrang layo sulit sha pagdating dun. Yung mga locals ang nakaka buo ng experience dun eh. Yes masarap mag surf pero masmasaya sha dahil sa mga locals.
nice beach clear waters Nice waves. Yung hospitality nung mga tao heartwarming
for me, it was one of my first out of town trip . hindi kasi ako mahilig mag out of town. Depende nalng kung gig . nakakatuwa pa kasi naging part sha ng gig namin. One of my best experiences

LS: Kelan kayo babalik?
sa birthday ni abi
birthday ni abi
birthday ni abi
birthday ko

LS: Thank you guys for sharing your experience. Hopefully one day mag surf trip tayo!
sure basta ba sagot mo eh!
no problem! Sagutin mo lahat! Surfing, board and lodging hahahaha
oo ba! Basta magpainom ka!

*Pictures courtesy of:
Paul Patrick Pantig


Joel: ba’t wala ako!?!

Pol: kasi nasa likod ka ng camera!

with the bride rhea and groom joel. Malinaw na malinaw kung sino yung bride at sino yung groom diba? hahaha

welcome to la union!

joel: first time kong tong nakita tong beach. Pwede!

joel: apparition?!

tito vic and joey

buddy en sol

jay-r makinig ka!

the preparation

first wave ni abi



happy feelings lang pag nagsusurf! ^_^

joel’s first attempt


yeah joel!

jay-r getting it on!


tumitricks si jay-r

si malupit na surfer/instructor junior and abi

jay-r and instructor jeff

pol: surfing?

neo the dog

the way of the board

left and right

surf’s up!

*Pictures courtesy of: Paul Patrick Pantig


SIDHI are:

Joel Abella – drums
Abigail Ortiz – lead vocals
Paul Pantig – guitars
Jay-R Caeg – bass guitar

Gig sked can be found at SIDHI’s facebook:

Fan page:

Sidhi pilipinas:

# for Bookings: 0917-5300692 / 0922-8942355

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