The Magic found at Liwa

So, the adventure continues.. this time to Liw-Liwa in Zambales.  AAAAAAAAAH….. The Magical Liwa. The very same spot where I learned how to surf.



While most of the Manila crowd went to Sinulog to party, I went back to my “surf” birthplace, Liw-liwa last weekend to watch Indio-I perform live at The Circle Hostel (and also to surf!) It’s been a looooong time since I stepped into the waters of Liwa (2007 was the first and last time) but I remember it’s crazy currents and it’s beautiful waves.

Lance and I, missing one weekender short, left Manila sober and pumped up for the weekend at 2 am. His awesome driving skills managed to bring us to Z-land at around 5:30 am. We arrived at the hostel and saw that only Ziggie and Tito Ricky were the ones there (and also Paco, by the sound of his thunderous snores) Upon checking in The Hostel, we were able to get the nicest bunks and decided to doze off for a few hours before surfing.  We were then awakened by the sunlight and the sound of the people chatting.. Now.. let the good times roll.

Upon unloading our boards from the car, we were greeted by warm and familiar faces of the Manila surf scene. Every one was excited to be back in Liwa because those who went before us already gave the people some good news… Z-land had awesome waves. After a quick breakfast at Mommy Phoebe’s, Lance and I carried our boards to the beach. Along the beach, people were finding their own spots to tan, to wax their boards, to have celebratory drinks or to stretch those tight muscles before paddling out.

With our boards fully waxed, we surveyed the beach break in order to know where to paddle out. Lance being the advance surfer, paddled faster to go to the line up while I tried to stay on the inside for the mean time so that I can practice (and get over my fear) my paddling without making a fool of myself. I told myself that this time, no one should push me. True enough, with some courage and stamina because of a good night’s sleep, I caught two good waves just before lunch time.

After a quick lunch of Bagnet at Mommy Phoebe’s, Lance and I went up to the common area of the hostel to have a nap. We agreed to go back into the water at 3pm. Since the common area was a public area, there were a lot of people that were chattering and drinking. So after a few minutes, I went downstairs to the hammock area to stay beside my friend Nobs to have a quick chat with her. While we were hanging out, Indio-i was doing their soundcheck. This very moment stuck in my head because in the middle of my conversation with Nobs (about love!), Vic started singing Diwata and it wasn’t only like a couple of lines, it was the entire song. Nobs and I became quiet to listen to the music and after the “soundcheck” I told her “because of that, I can’t sleep anymore! Time to go back to the beach.”

I woke up Lance and told him that it was already 3 pm. Time to head back into the water. Grabbing our boards, we bumped into a couple of other surfers who told us that there’s going to be a yoga sessions at 3 pm (but after a few minutes, when they found out that the waves were good, the yoga session got cancelled.. Cancelled due to a good surf!)



The afternoon session even brought bigger waves and stronger currents. Wiping out is part of the surf scene and I was always a victim of it. I haven’t even started paddling out, I already got smacked on the face by my board. So I just decided that the afternoon is well spent with a bottle of beer and some serenading by the men of Indio-i (they were shooting their music video at that time at the beach and luckily, Lance and I became part of the music video). The afternoon session brought about the crazy side of the Manila surf scene. Endless chatter, drinking beer by the bonfire, fooling around (“The Circle Hostel should have Circle elves.. and they should wear elf Hats”-Soler,2013) added joy and made everyone pumped up.

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(Photo credits to The Circle Hostel for these photos)


As night fell upon us, everyone started preparing for the Indio-I set while listening to Miko’s acoustic set. He played an awesome version of “Who’s gonna save the world tonight” and “Don’t you worry child”. The bonfire and the free beer provided by the Circle gave warmth to everyone. Indio-i on the other hand pumped up everyone with their awesome set. They played Diwata, Di Mo Lang Alam, Blue Lights, Malungkot na Masaya and 12 other songs. We ended the night with the music mixes of PawFlava, while other people still partied at the beach. It was an awesome night cap for everyone who went to Liwa.


(photo credit to the Circle Hostel for this photo on Facebook)DSC_0891 DSC_0897 DSC_0911

The next morning, quite hungover from the night before, Lance and I grabbed breakfast while the others at the Circle packed to go to Camara island. Deciding to stay at Liwa, Lance and I grabbed our boards and went back to the beach. The waves were smaller and the current was not as strong so a lot of the beginners paddled out. Again, I caught a wave on my own( but had to stop because there was a beginner who might get injured) After lunch, we hung out at the chill room with the surfers who stayed behind. By 5 pm, we packed our bags (and boards!) and headed back to Manila.

Hearing the thunderous sound of the waves made it hard to say goodbye. But we had to go back to the city. So we packed also the memories and the friendships that we formed in Liwa as we packed our stuff.  The weekend spent at my surf “birthplace” was indeed one for the books. (Lance was a happy camper because of his surprise shots and being able to use his short board, Finally!)

So, Congratulations and Thank you to The Circle Hostel, Zambales, Indio-I, Craig Pulsifer  for the awesome weekend and photos you gave us. Till next time! 🙂

LIVE.LOVE.SURF. Till the next adventure kiddies!


(photo credit to Craig Pulsifer photography for tagging me in this photo on Facebook)

The Circle Hostel, La Union

I am not the backpacker type of person. I usually make sure that before a trip, everything is laid out properly: the accommodations, the flight, where to eat … etc. You know the drill. But last week, I dragged my friend along to attended the Surf and Music Festival in La Union just to give her an a new experience.

When we reached La Union, the first place I thought of to stay in was at The Circle Hostel. I saw it on Facebook and it looked like it was a cool place to stay in, but I was informed  that they were fully booked for the weekend. but we tried our luck. Luckily, there were two hammocks still available so we took the chance and decided to stay here for the next 3 days.


The Circle Hostel’s idea is to provide affordable lodging to a solo traveller or to someone who wants to make new friends. It is a place where positive vibes lingers the area because every one will try to get to know anyone and where they came from. Their motto: THERE ARE NO STRANGERS HERE.


True enough. Since I’m new to travelling alone and my companion, Kash, is no expert either, we felt welcome in this place. We were greeted with warm smiles by everyone. When you sit in the common area, someone will talk to you and ask for your name and offer you the available breakfast on the table. The hot shower was a welcoming feeling as well. You can order FRESHLY BREWED Coffee every morning  and just observe people who came from their morning surf.


Their accommodations are as simple as possible. Everything made out of bamboo and local wood, there are customized hammocks (with mosquito nets) located below the Big House. The Hammocks are very comfortable to sleep in because even though you are zipped in, you can still feel the cool breeze inside.Image

The Big House where the bunk beds are located are separated into the Female Bunks and the Co-ed Bunks. Each bunk bed has a mosquito net, mattress, pillow and bed sheets to provide the traveller a good night’s rest after a whole day of surfing.


The common area is where everyone can congregate and mingle. It has hammocks and throw pillows on the floor. You can charge your cellphone or laptops or any other electronic device there. It’s for free to anyone who wants to jam, play the guitar, mingle with other people, or to just simple sit back and relax.  In fact, I was informed that the night before we arrived, one of my favorite bands, Indio-I played in the hostel for the guests of the place (for free!)


Lockers are also found at the Circle to ensure the safety of the items that the traveller has. You just have to bring your own padlock and key (or they also sell it for Php100.) You can also rent a newly-laundered towel for only Php 20.00. You are also free to express yourself by painting on the surface walls and floors.


This place is a budget traveller’s dream come true. It’s not a backpacker’s nightmare because you will feel safe in this environment. People are friendly and warm but they will still give you your space and privacy. As I have said, I am new to travelling alone and when I set foot in the Hostel, I felt very much at home.

Thank you THE CIRCLE HOSTEL for accommodating us for 3 days. 🙂



— So you’re already at La Union and you don’t know where to stay? Just hop off the bus along the highway. On your right is the San Juan Surf Resort and on your left you will see the sign Oracinek Realty (It’s written in blue). Underneath that signage is the Tarpaulin of The Circle Hostel. You need to walk for like 2 minutes and lo and behold, there’s the Hostel already.. ready to welcome you with open arms!

Few details about the place:

1. HAMMOCKS  (with built in mosquito net) can be rented out for PHP 300/a night per person. The Hammocks are comfortable enough to give you a good night’s sleep. The BUNK BEDS are Php 400/a night. Mosquito nets, as well as a pillow, mattress, sheets are available for the bunk beds.

2. You can rent your Towel here for Php20.00

3. Breakfast (bread and fruit) are available for free.

4. Freshly Brewed Coffee is also served here for Php 50.00

5. You can refill your water bottles here and leave it in their fridge

6. WIFI is free for those who are in need to use their laptops/gadgets (but who need’s wifi at the beach?!)

7. You can charge your phone at the common room area while relaxing or maybe sleeping.

8. Warm water is also available for around Php 20.00

9. Just feel free to relax and be yourself. But of course, keep in mind that there are other people there so be polite and respect them as well by not shouting or parading in your knickers. 🙂

You can email/reserve a slot in the Hostel through these details.


Zambales in the subject head for reservations and availability.
Cell Number: +63917 8611929

La Union in the subject head for reservations and availability.
Cell Number: +63917.832.62.53

for other information email or

Do also check out and LIKE their Facebook page: to know more about them. Check out their photos and their house rules so you’ll know what to do when you get there. 🙂

Enjoy your stay at The Circle Hostel. Happy travels!

**photo credits to Kash Zabala. My travel buddy for this trip. Hope you enjoyed your stay as well as I did.:) **