I’ve been stalking Flotsam and Jetsam for a few years now, since I have discovered surfing in both Baler and San Juan, La Union. First I followed Jericho Rosales, then Luke Landrigan, Buji, Nikki, Lui, Coast Thru Life and very recently, the hostel’s co-founder and Walk The Earth storyteller and traveler – Joncy Sumulong.
I marveled at the colors, admired the unique bond and togetherness the visitors seem to have with the owners, and wished to one day experience the culture.
I missed watching Luke Landrigan’s surf film “Archipelago” which screened in Makati due to work schedule and I swore to myself that I wouldn’t miss Flotsam and Jetsam the movie.
So anyway, Mary and I involved ourselves in a long email tread to finally get ourselves booked at Flotsam. Clue: They’re fully booked on weekends, but the good news is they’re expanding – which is really awesome.
The vibe in Flotsam is that everybody knows everybody. It’s very hard not to smile when you’re there. Well, not to mention that when we checked in on the logbook, I found that Ms. World Megan Young, her sister Lauren and actor Mikael Daez are in the house.
And then Carla Humphries walked past us in a very unassuming manner. She’s a mainstay there, I guess, with all the 12 days they had to shoot the movie. (I’m not sharing their candid photos here – I didn’t have permission to take and post them)
There were colors anywhere I looked. Each corner is an instagram photo waiting to be captured. There were bean bags, hammocks, bamboo huts, lanterns, musical instruments, surf boards, shirtless men and well, ladies in their swimsuits.
When night came, every couple, every “tropa” settled in and chose their own corners, be it the kubo slash concert area, the mats with bean bags, candle-lit tables, the coffee shop, bar, resto. Pretty much anywhere is a good place to settle in, watch the stars, listen to the waves, read a book, have a long conversation, forget your troubles, take a shot or two and be swept away, abducted even.
Flotsam and Jetsam has a bar, a resto, and a coffee shop. We would love to see some addition to the menu when we get back there but El Union’s (the coffee shop) white skittle cookie (that’s not the actual name – but when you ask for the cookie – there’d be 2 options. I chose the white one) was the one that stole the show.
I am not much of a drinker but would love to try out their signature alcoholic mixes the next time we go there. I wanted to try the mocktails but changed my mind and switched to coffee instead.
The shophouse dorm has 8 spaces, 4 double-decker beds, each with its own fan, locker (padlocks provided), light, a privacy curtain, towel, pillow and blanket. All for PhP 880 on weekends and PhP 780 on weekdays. If you’re a group of 8, you can rent the entire place or get the kubo dormhouse (PhP 780 weekends, PhP 680 weekdays) with the same provisions, only it’s made of bamboo – which I think makes it more fresh and breezy. Both types of accommodation come with free breakfast of bread, cereals, coffee or tea, juice, and fruits.
They have one suite (that’s fit for a queen) which was booked at the time we were there – but they’re building more soon. Judging from the photos on the website, it sure is worth the PhP 3200, with free breakfast for 2, and PhP 680 per additional guest.
The place is filled with blown-up printed photos of Walk the Earth’s journey to Iceland, Turkey, India, Sagada, and all others. It also brims with a kind of music that makes your forget what you’re escaping from, from the city.
Sunsets, as always, are astonishing and have left Mary and I open-mouthed. That’s what La Union is known for. But the hues sunrise brings is also worth admiring. It wasn’t surf season yet, which was not bad at all because then we got to beach-bum all we wanted minus the violent waves.
I felt like a true artist while there. Everything I saw was beautiful for me. But, while it’s very tempting to just be taking pictures all day, we both savored what the place had to offer.
So hey, don’t waste your day there just instagramming about the magical place. Live it. Breathe it. Experience Flotsam and Jetsam like no other resort. And I promise you. You’ll find yourself sooner than later, wanting to come back for more.
For more information, please visit their website at http://flotsamandjetsamhostel.com/
This is not a paid advertisement (but a cookie or the famed Jeff Ortega 5-minute drink on the house would also be appreciated. Lol).
The next blog will feature San Fernando City’s Halo Halo de Iloko Balay. Stay tuned!