Day 99: La Union

99/100 - We watched new shops open one after the other in the past couple of months, and along with it we witnessed how the national highway grew two more lanes, marking the end of a dusty year of road construction. Everyday, we see new deliveries of wood and cement for more homestays-turned-hostels, new walls splashed with fresh hues, as more front yards turn into food joints and surf stores. 

We are in the midst of what seems like an overdue growth spurt. We arrived when La Union was ripe for these developments; done in the name of local tourism, and dreamed through the gaze of an enviously cool surf lifestyle.

We see more faces making semi-permanent appearances as more people get swept off their feet by the first surf lesson or the first glimpse of the trademark sunset. And we feel the pulse of the place quickening, as if everything around us was getting ready to burst.

So we hold our breaths and realize that we are teetering on the threshold of another pivotal year. The La Union we know is a gift from all who've lived here before us: those who have left, those no longer with us, and throughout the monumental changes, we owe it to those who've stayed. 

It never occurred to me that we would ever write a page in the history of this place. So now I am straining to catch all the details: how the days shuffle from flat to windy to epic, how the crowds come and go in waves, how children here grow with the distinct mark of countryside courage, and how everyday grows more beloved with every new friend made. 

We've seen La Union filled to the brim with people. And there are days when it feels like we have Elyu all to ourselves. In between those days is a story, a heartbeat, a memory waiting to be crowned in the history books as one of the best damn days of your life. With a promise like that, how can anyone live another day half-hearted?

We will come and go like the crowds before us, and this place will give as much as it will take. Some say there is no more soul here, but soul is meant to be found by anyone seeking it. It is here, as certain as another sunset, and as long as good people stay to make the place.