Luna: Pebble Beach of La Union

Colorful pebbles of Luna

Colorful pebbles (Luna, La Union)

When we went to the Municipality of Luna, La Union, we noticed that most of the townsfolk there were busy sorting pebbles inside their garages and placing the carefully handpicked ones to a plastic bag with Japanese characters on it. We asked some local and she said the shiny stones came from the Pebble Beach. The bags with stones collected and sorted will then be traded for export.

When we got to the pebble beach, we saw a shoreline full of pebbles, the Baluarte Watch Tower, and a lot of locals doing pebble picking. According to the Luna’s folklore, the Lady of Namacpacan (Namacpacan was the former name of Luna, Ilocano for “one who feeds”), a wooden image of Virgin Mary brought to the town in 1871, blessed the town with heavenly gifts in form of limitless pebbles.

Panghilod, anyone?

Panghilod, anyone? (Luna, La Union)

Contrary to this so-called “infinite” supply of pebbles, I still have this feeling of looming scarcity will certainly come to the beach if the rampant extracting of colored stones continues. The placing of onshore barrier, the deformation of the old tower caused by its base’s erosion, and the surfacing of brown soil are what I can say the indications of an extraction of natural resources nearing its climax.

I can’t blame the townspeople for utilizing the blessing of the sea as their source of living, but I hope there’s moderation and most of them shift to eco-tourism to preserve the area.

Even children are doing pebble picking for a living

Even children are doing pebble picking for a living (Luna, La Union)

From Luna town proper, go to Valdez Street near St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish. There’s another road there going to the Pebble Beach. There are some sacks of pebbles along that road for sale.

Fine weather for pebble picking

Fine weather for pebble picking (Luna, La Union)

A woman busy picking pebbles

A woman busy picking pebbles (Luna, La Union)

These collected stones will be sorted again

These collected stones will be sorted again (Luna, La Union)



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  6. DAY 2 LUNA RUINS, OCCALO 80 NG FALLS 07:00 Breakfast 08:00 Bus ride to Balaoan (P30), tricycle ride to Luna (P10) 08:45 Explore Luna Pebble Beach and Ruins 10:00 Tricycle to Occalong Falls (P200 for ride and waiting time) 11:30 Occalong Falls (P10 entrance fee) 12:30 Lunch (your choice of resto, P200) 14:00 Tricycle to Ma-cho Temple 14:30 Ma-cho Temple 17:00 Rest 19:00 Dinner at Surf Shack (P300-P400) DAY 3 SURF AGAIN 07:00 Breakfast 08:00 Surfing, swimming, relaxing 10:00 El Union Coffee (P200) 11:00 Pack up 12:00 Check out

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