Living In San Fernando, La Union

I've lived here in Bauang (and the Philippines, for that matter) for just three months now, but have neither seen nor heard of troubles for expats here in La Union. I go by jeepney into San Fernando (just 15 minutes) to do banking and do some shopping. It's very seldom that I see any “foreigners” at all while I am there. I suspect that when Wallace was still activated there were more GIs in town.

There are several universities and hospitals in town and a large mall is opening up this weekend. Just north of the city is the town of San Juan, a surfing area. Bauang, just south of the city is sometimes referred to as a tourist area. The main tourist area is actually in the northern several miles, principally in the barangay of Paringao, which is where I'm living now. This area reminds me of Malibu in Southern California. Driving up the coast here one sees the coastal range on the right and on the left is a relatively narrow strip of coastland. It in this area of coastland that one sees the resorts and also some private development.

My rental is on a narrow lane of perhaps 100 yards between the highway and the beach. I'm right on the highway so it's a bit noisy at times, but, still, it is just a short walk to the beach where my bangka is parked. I pay P8, 000 (about $145) for a comfortable 2-bedroom house. By contrast, an equivalent house in central Bauang rents for P2,500 (about $45). So, it's just in what you want your surroundings to be and how much you want to pay.