Sun+Surf+Strum: SemBreak 2013 at The Circle Hostel La Union Weekend with Ukulele Manila and Friends

Sun+Surf+Strum: SemBreak 2013 at The Circle Hostel La Union Weekend with Ukulele Manila and Friends


Finding time to escape from the fast-paced life When In Manila is something that I believe we need to do every once in a while in order to ease the stress and exhaustion that is usually brought about by our busy lives in the city. As such, the recent Sun+Surf+Strum: Sembreak 2013 of The Circle Hostel and Ukulele Manila that happened in La Union last November 9-10 was just perfect for us as we chose to slow down and experience good music, friends, arts and waves all at once.

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Sun+Surf+Strum: SemBreak 2013


It wasn’t my first time to stay at The Circle Hostel as I was able to visit their Zambales branch with the When In Manila team before (Read about it here.)

That Zambales trip was really fun, so when I heard about Sun+Surf+Strum: Sembreak 2013, I knew it would be the perfect escape from my Manila loads.


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Fortunately, the weather up North that weekend was perfect. The Circle Hostel’s Raf Dionisio told us that a lot of guests – myself included – were actually thinking about backing out from the event as it was happening on the same weekend as Typhoon Yolanda was predicted to hit the Visayas region. Our drive from Manila to La Union was smooth, though, and we were lucky enough to experience good weather then.

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It was a perfect day at The Circle Hostel La Union. It was nice to spend some free time at the common area to read, listen to music and meet new people — practicing their tagline “there are no strangers”.

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The sunset was best to witness by the beach. It was surreal and sweet.

Photo by Ryan Agsawa


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Group picture with newfound friends at The Circle Hostel

 Photo by Ryan Agsawa


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A La Union trip would never be complete without catching some beginner-friendly waves. So, on Saturday afternoon, I tried skim-boarding with some new friends and on Sunday, I spent the day surfing…

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First time to try skimboarding! Thanks to Kuya Pepito, one of the locals we met there, for the free lesson! 

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Morning Surf at San Juan La Union. Though I haven’t perfected the surfer form, it was still a good Sunday swell!

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My surf buddy Roxy did her perfect headstand position!

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I also met this cool dog named River who can amazingly ride a board and surf!


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Ukulele Manila was part of the main events that weekend at The Circle Hostel La Union. The awesome ambassadors of the group joined us for two days playing their ukeleles around the hostel and giving us free lessons. They were the highlight of that Saturday night as they took the stage and played good music and some familiar songs.

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Ukulele Manila jamming and giving free lessons at the common area

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The performance night of the Ukulele Manila ambassadors

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Ronan and Lester of Ukulele Manila

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Guests at The Circle Hostel enjoying their free drink while witnessing Ukelele Manila’s performance

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Circle Caravan people Guianne, Ryan and Marj enjoying their time at The Circle Hostel La Union while listening to Ukulele Manila’s performance


Reasons Why I love The Circle Hostel La Union on the next page


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