Last September 24 to 25, our weekend warriors had a getaway like no other in one of the country’s hottest surfing destination spots—La Union. Reef, a surf and lifestyle brand known worldwide, and WWF Philippines brought out multitudes in support of their “Free the Sea” movement. With a slew of events concentrated on responsible travel and riding the waves like a pro, guests were treated to the best out of town adventure they never knew they needed.
The Little Surfmaid Resort served as host to the weekend warriors’ first wave of activities. First, a hefty buffet-style lunch was served to fill everyone’s tummies for the adventures up ahead. Guests were encouraged to put on their responsible travel cap right away, as different trash cans were used for segregation in which guests cleaned up after they ate.
Afterwards, a coastal cleanup commenced. The tidying on the stretch of the Urbiztondo coastline served as an act of raising awareness, to restore and preserve the beauty of San Juan beach. This also served as a mini immersion of sorts as the locals of the city actually clean their beach on a regular basis to express their love for the beautiful landscape of LU. Participants were keen to throw the hassles of their Metro lives away and bring on their A-game for the quest.
Everyone was divided into two groups in which one team picked up biodegradable waste and another handled the non-biodegradable. The fun was brought up a notch as the cleanup played out like a treasure hunt game (i.e. finding the bottles with the REEF logo).
An educational talk facilitated by WWF Philippines followed suit. This time, the goal was to teach everyone about responsible travel and the preservation of nature. The mini-seminar was very much akin to Reef’s brand mantra of “Just Passing Through”. In our travels, after all, we are just passing through which is why extra vigilance is needed to conserve the community.
A trip to the heart of La Union is not complete without a good surf, which is why guests were given the opportunity to learn the sport. Owned by one of LU’s celebrated local surfers, Lemon Dines, SURFSTAR School of Surfing introduced the sport, outlined the basics, and helped everyone reconnect with nature while riding the waves. The guys and gals were in good hands as the clinic gave everyone a chance to be in touch with their inner surfer for free.
As the evening wore on, everyone was in high spirits. Basking in the beach’s afterglow, feeling the cool breeze, and the various activities the day presented made for an ideal weekend. A buffet-style dinner with grilled mains was served to start the night’s festivities. And then, it was time to live it up and celebrate at the Flotsam Jetsam Hotel.
Guests were treated to superb performances from Soundcloud Philippines artists. First up was an acoustic jamming session from Anne Clerigo and Marc Pastor, also known as the duo David and Goliath.
Reef also donated a generous amount of 30,000 pesos to the WWF in the program proper.
Winners from the raffle draw and Snap Shot Elyu, a game where guests were challenged to step up their IG game earlier on in the day, were announced with a plethora of prizes given out.
Then, it was time to party the night away with free-flowing booze and beats from DJ Mickey Geronimo in the background. But it wasn’t over yet. An after-party kept things going for our weekend warriors, as DJ Mccoy Scott and Emcee Kezner got everyone dancing on their feet. The evening was a festive celebration indeed, the perfect way to cap off a great day.
As the weekend warriors bade farewell to the city of La Union the next day, a little bit sun burnt from the previous day’s outing, smiles and bouts of laughter were exchanged. Everyone had new stories to tell at the start of a new week. But more than anything, it was the takeaway that weekend presented and the cause that made more sense now, more than ever—the beauty of restoring and reconnecting with nature.
Reef x WWF: Free the Sea Movement would like to thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: Professional Academy for Culinary Education (PACE), Mrs. Cheffy and Company Food Catering Company, Gardenia Bread, Natures Spring, CDO Food Service, and Doña Maria Quality Rice for always keeping our tummies full, our hotel sponsor The Little Surfmaid Hotel for the gorgeous accommodation, our surf lessons sponsor Surf Star for generously teaching a bunch like us, and Soundcloud Philippines for providing us the OST to a perfect evening.