LA UNION | Sunrise at San Juan’s Kahuna Beach Resort | Lakad Pilipinas

Us who likes cameras like sunrise and sunsets. Unlike the former, sunrises are harder to shoot since you have to wake up earlier than normal and lumber through the dark all by your lonesome self. The Lakbay Norte 3 caravan rolled into San Juan, La Union the night before and we got to have our very first beach front; finally a chance to shoot a sunrise.
With only three hours of sleep due to an almost all-night chat session with the guys (good thing there were no beers involved or I would probably be unable to wake up for the sunrise, or was that a bad thing?), I woke up to my quacking alarm and proceeded to the still dark beach of La Union.

I’ve never been to La Union and I really don’t know what to expect of their beaches. I knew they have good waves here, strong enough for surfing in fact. But what I was really looking for were rock formations along the shore that would be good for a bit of landscape photography.
Alas, it looked like they have none of those. All I saw were sand and sand and sand. The beach of San Juan may not have the white sands of the more famous beaches in the country but it is pretty fine in itself.

With no foregrounds to anchor my photos, I contented myself with surfboards, lifeguard towers and the crashing waves.
Mornings at San Juan are quiet affairs; with only surfers, locals and a few stray dogs walking along its sandy banks, the only sounds were the wind accompanied by the booming waves. The dark sky soon turned into magentas and the sun rose; time for breakfast.
The Lakbay Norte team soon started filling the Kahuna Beach Resort’s dining area which has a direct and very open view of the beach. Nothing beats a steaming traditional tapsilog meal with vinegar right in front of the beach.

While waiting for my breakfast to be served, I spotted some rocks in the distance using my telephoto lens. Goodness, it’s what I’ve been looking for all morning!
I ran off with my cameras after I made a quick meal of my tapsilog. Braving barking dogs and splashing waves, I tried to do a quick shoot before we were all herded back into the Lakbay Norte bus.

I wasn’t really pleased with the end result but I at least know where to go at the ungodly morning hours for a sunrise shoot the next time I drop by San Juan.

    Kahuna Beach Resort
    MacArthur Highway
    San Juan, La Union
    Telephone: (072) 607 1410
    GPS Coordinates: 16.65811,120.321576 | Click to view location on Google Maps


Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, May 1, 2012


  1. The last shot is perfectly fine... wow you've been to a lot of places in the north with Lakbay Norte group.

  2. Beautiful place! and you shoot really nice! I love your photos <3 and yay to the lakbay norte group! youve been to a lot of places already! wow! kudos!

  3. Ian
    Thanks! The Lakbay Norte tour was fantastic!

    Wander Shugah
    Thank you! As of last count, I've been to 41 out of the country's 80 provinces. :)

  4. alam mo ok pa rin ang shoot mo kahit terrible weather at walang texture sa sky. sa thunderbird poro point if only you had the chance to walk by the seashore during the day, may mga small rock formations d'un eh.

  5. Karl
    Sayang nga we were unable to stay overnight sa thunderbird, that would've been the best!