There are no Strangers at the Circle Hostel

It was an epic blogger event that was 6 months in the making and it finally happened.  I managed to assemble a star studded cast of bloggers from different niches in this epic getaway to The Circle Hostel, La Union.  It was actually my first time to backpack and it was an awesome experience.  

We left McDonalds, Katipunan around 10 PM Friday as Circle Hostel's social media manager Rafael Oca picked us up and arrived around 3:30 AM Saturday.  It was a long trip but I have to applaud Rafa's excellent choice of music that got me awake as it included Backstreet Boys, Linkin Park and Justin Bieber(!). 

You can bring your own padlocks so you can use their lockers to keep your stuff.  When staying here, you can opt for the bunk bed for P400 only per night.  It comes with a built in mosquito net and privacy curtains.  Another option is their awesome hammocks at only P300 per night.  If you don't want to spend the night here then a day trip would cost you P150.  All rates are inclusive of hot/cold showers, clean toilets and complimentary breakfast for the overnight ones.

You can bring your own towels or rent from the front desk at only P40.  They also have a first aid kit in case of any injuries to the guests. 

This is the tambayan of the hostel where guests can just chill while enjoying the high speed Internet.  There is also a basket that is connected from there to the front desk so when someone wants beer or anything else, it can be put in the basket.  That's really creative!  I actually fell asleep here last Saturday night then woke up chilling around 3:30 AM.  It was a cool experience no pun intended.

When we got to the beach, all of us went to surf.  It was great seeing everyone enjoy surfing as most of them did it for the first time.  We all paid P200 per hour for the instructor.  When me and my instructor reached the climax of our lesson, he told me..

"We need a bigger board"

What's this? Jaws?

The sand was so hot that it would be a big mistake to leave behind your slippers. There is nothing like chilling at the beach as it is a very relaxing experience.

We had an afternoon tea over at Moonleaf which was franchised by A. Magsaysay.  The milk tea shop is barely a month old and it has already attracted travelers and locals to buy milk tea while chilling at the beach.  It is perfect for the hot weather.  We were also treated to wonderful cookies and cupcakes.  The owner explained to us that they also let the locals sell their handmade crafts there for no extra charge.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I really like the milk tea at Moonleaf.  It did not take long for us to finish our milk tea and the place also has high speed Internet.  The interiors was also beautifully designed.

We ate at numerous restaurants during our stay including the highly recommended Gefseis Greek Grill.  It was too bad I forgot to bring my camera when we ate there though.  However, this liempo from Arby's is worth coming back for.  It is only 210 pesos and it had enough for 6 people. 


I really lived their tag line as I met a bunch of cool new people at the hostel.  It was great to meet people from all walks of life who all have one common interest and that is to travel.

Here are the awesome people I met there:

Cassandra and Alexa

Both girls are Canadians.  Cassandra told us that she found out Filipinos are friendly and funny.  I had a nice joke too when she joined us for dinner and asked me if I wanted some of her vegetables.  I told her "Yeah, I was just waiting for you to ask me.  What took you so long?"  That got a good laugh out of everyone.

Rafael, Sabs, Marla and Peter

Betelgeuse, Grace and Tatiana

ER, Paul and Pleia

There is painting equipment at the hostel for guests to bring out their inner artistic selves.  The trip was a big success and everyone had a lot of fun.  I have to really thank Raf Dionisio for having us and for Raf Oca for taking us from Manila to La Union last Friday then back to Manila on Sunday.  There were a lot of cool memories during the road trip too since each trip was for about 6 hours.  In fact, there was one time where we asked directions to a group of traffic enforcers heading back to Manila.  In a hilarious turn of events, one of them pointed to the right while the other pointed to the left.

Umm, where do we REALLY go? 

In another unforgettable moment, Rafa accidentally hit a bird while speeding in the highway then said "I just hit a bird.  Second time in my life".  After that, I started to sing Parokya ni Edgar's "Don't touch my Birdie".

Resist temptation?

Rafa and me posing with a star studded cast of bloggers: (L-R) Gay, Christine, Sam, Rhea, RD and Kat

Looking for a place to stay at San Juan, La Union that is both nice and affordable?  Book now at the Circle Hostel.

The Circle Hostel
Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
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Instagram: @thecirclehostel
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How to get to Circle Hostel, La Union?

By Car:
Take NLEX until the last exit
Take the SCTEX until Tarlac City
Upon exit make a left.
Go straight until you get to an intersection that has an Abenson and a Mcdonald’s. At that intersection make a right (MacArthur Highway)
Follow the highway through the towns of Gerona, Paniqui, Moncada, Carmen, and Villasis.
When you get to Urdaneta City, pass the city market on your left then a Petron gas station on your right. Turn left on the next intersection (Urdaneta-Manaoag road).
Follow that highway through Manaoag, San Jacinto until you get to San Fabian.
When you get to an intersection with Petron, Goodwill Lumber and Gulf Oil make a right (Quezon Highway)
Follow that highway through Santo Tomas, Agoo, Caba, Bauang, and San Fernando.
Keep following that highway until you get to the town of San, Juan. When you see the San Juan Surf Resort on your left you will see the Urbiztondo Grill on your right, directly after will be an access road on the right leading to The Circle.
By Bus:
From Manila: 
Take a bus bound to Laoag, Vigan, Abra or Ilocos Sur. buses: Genesis, Partas, Dominion, Fariñas, Viron and Florida
Ask the driver to let you down at San Juan Surf Resort, San Fernando, La Union.
When you see the San Juan Surf Resort on your left you will see the Urbiztondo Grill on your right, directly after will be an access road on the right leading to The Circle.
From Clark Airport: 
Take a shuttle to the DAU Bus Station
Transfer to 
a bus bound to Laoag, Vigan, Abra or Ilocos Sur. buses: Genesis, Partas, Dominion, Fariñas, Viron and Florida
Ask the driver to let you down at San Juan Surf Resort, San Fernando, La Union.
When you see the San Juan Surf Resort on your left you will see the Urbiztondo Grill on your right, directly after will be an access road on the right leading to The Circle.

23 (mga) komento:

Unknown ayon kay ...

Nice post Aldous. Can't wait to dip my toes in La Union's sandy beaches too. :-)

Chasing Jayce ayon kay ...

Next time I go there, I'll try to stay at the Circle Hostel. It sounds better than where we stayed at. And I'll try the milk tea place, too. Hehe. =)

Aylin Vedad ayon kay ...

I quite afraid to stay at the hostel because I found it not safe to stay with. But now, hostels are making new image, they're cheap and yet can be better, too! Hoping to stay there.

Franc ayon kay ...

I have to agree on the star studded part and there are no strangers is really a nice catchphrase for Cicle Hostel. I've also seen the reviews by other bloggers of the place.

Unknown ayon kay ...

The place looks so alive and jolly, maybe because of those cheerful colors splattered all around the hostel? Looks like a nice place to stay.

Michael David Oyco ayon kay ...

Nice to know that there are actually bloggers who get together and do something more fun. LOL If time allows me I think I will do that too soon. Thanks for sharing.

Erin Joan ayon kay ...

Nice post! And looks like you had a great experience and I would love to try going here :D

Unknown ayon kay ...

That place seems to be cool and just a piece of advice try to insert a map locating the place and that will be easier for your reader to figure it out and the chance to visit the place will be greater.

Lei ayon kay ...

Seems like its really a nice place.. Want to go back to La Union too!!

FX777222999 ayon kay ...

I think this is the best place to tambay and enjoy the food.

kcl1891 ayon kay ...

Looks like an awesome experience. Proves that having fun need not be expensive. :)

theresa ayon kay ...

Me and some college friends are thinking of getting away this summer. I can suggest La Union then. :)

Roch ayon kay ...

Haha you're really a funny guy with a high dose of humor. I like how you asked her for the veggies. :P

Unknown ayon kay ...

This article ended that doubts of many... the old meaning of hostels are not existing anymore.

Hindi-nagpakilala ayon kay ...

The place looks great. It is good to know that the Philippines is luring more international tourists. It would be economically good.

MaryJane Tauyan ayon kay ...

i guess i saw this already to rhea's blog i think. the place looks very nice my husband would love it. aussie's love open space and no strangers kind of hostel like this x0~

Hindi-nagpakilala ayon kay ...

I honestly never been to La Union. We always pass by though when going to Ilocos I think. But never tried to have a vacatio.. so Sad. hopefully, will have time to visit this place soon.

Teresa Martinez ayon kay ...

You looked like you and the other bloggers had such a great time. Not surprised at all since you've found the perfect place to bond.

Unknown ayon kay ...

Sounds fun! I hope I can visit this place this year together with my friends. :)

Algene ayon kay ...

I've never been to La Union and in case I plan to visit the place someday, I'll consider Circle Hostel. Thanks for sharing how amazing the place is!

Daf Benosa ayon kay ...

OMG I've been to La Union several times but I haven't seen this place! Such a quaint and cute place! :)

Yamito ayon kay ...

This seems to be a good place to check out this summer. The place looks great! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie ayon kay ...

Dami kong tawa sa "Jaws"!

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