Weekend Escape : Visiting the Grapes Capital of the Philippines

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I was struck knowing there is a grape plantation in the Philippines. It got me even more excited knowing that the grape farm and grape picking is located in La Union, where at first I’ve known only that La Union – perhaps due to the geographic location –  is only best for its surfing culture owing ultimate list of beautiful beaches.

It was surreal. Parang nasa Canada lang 🙂

Summer is the best time to harvest grapes in La Union. So if you’re planning a late summer vacation to the beach, you can also stop and pick-your-own grapes. At the farm, the vines are around 6 feet tall, so kung matangkad ka, abot kamay mo lang yung mga grapes, but in this pic, I tried to swallow some of them.

Another blogger told that grapes has long been grown in La Union, but according to her it wasn’t until photos and articles of Bauang, La Union Grape Farms have gone viral in 2016 that this local secret was revealed to the world. Isn’t it awesome?

For many Filipinos, this is surprising since we thought that grapes can only be grown in places with cold weather. It was sunny and warm when we reached Bauang, La Union, that is why it is a good place to plant grapes.

Also, it is believed that La Union’s grape farm started by Avelino Lomboy who owns Lomboy Grape Farm.  He started planting in the 70’s as a hobby and since then, it has grown into a large business.  He shared his knowledge in viticulture to other families  in Bauang and eventually, family-owned grape farms mushroomed in La Union.

However, according to a Facebook post by Gapuz Grape Farm, Alfonso Aromin was one of the first grape growers in La Union, Aromin’s Vineyard reportedly established in 1971.

I am more than excited than the little man 🙂
Must-try. Grape picking in LU 🙂
Farm fresh to you my dear.
I found my loves under the vines.

Among an array of grape vineyards in La Union, we decided to visit th Gapuz Farm with their pick-and-pay scheme, where visitors are allowed to experience first-hand grape picking during in-season months. Gapuz Farms offers free entrance and an opportunity to learn how to cut the stems of the grapes properly. Guests are charged a minimum of Php 300 per kilogram of grapes. In addition, although we were not told by the management that Gapuz offers a boodle fight package for groups of 10, amounting to Php 1,500 inclusive of a farm tour and a generous spread of food and grape bunches.

To get there, hop on a bus bound for La Union, Vigan or Laoag, and get off at Brgy. Urayong. Travel time will take around five to six hours and will cost around Php 350-400. If riding a private vehicle, pass by TPLEX to cut down travel time by half.

Accommodation to Grape Farm tours usually happen on a first-come-first-served basis. Keep in mind to always check both Bauang-based farms’ Facebook pages to be informed of whether or not grapes are in-season.

Review: Where to stay in Ajman

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When it comes to extraordinary bucket-list destinations, a weekend’s worth getaway in Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman is definitely in top 5 hotels of all time.

We’d arrived on time and were greeted with a nice one bedroom suite offering ample space for a family, and with all manner of in-room complimentaries ensuring a warm welcome for us all.

In a world full of wonderful things, it never ceases to excite me every time I check into a high-end hotel with family. It means a lot  when you can make it a priority for yourself, and your family to spend quality time together as it helps kids build stronger family bonds and is good for our own emotional health. I know I am blessed – I had a very secure childhood. I grew up with a very loving and supportive – dependable parents and I wanted my kids to be blessed as well. So much to that ;), redirecting my thoughts….

Located on Ajman Corniche, Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman overlooks Ajman Beach and scenic view of the Arabian Gulf. The hotel features a private beach, an indoor pool and a gym. Our suite is equipped with a flat TV, a wardrobe and tea/coffee making facilities and a balcony overlooking the sea and a kitchenette.

There are two restaurants, an indoor pool, a fitness center as well as a business center. Among the many recreational facilities, there is a private beach, spa treatment facilities, a steam room and a sauna.

We had our breakfast buffet at the hotel’s King’s Grill featuring tasty international and traditional dishes. I began my meal with the succulent slices variety of ham and fresh salad with these garnishes from cheese, veggies to olives.

In addition to offering excellent dining options, it should also be noted that the hotel is well-positioned for a wide variety of places of interest as it is near many fresh seafood restaurants, as well as many chain restaurants including Hardee’s, KFC and Subway.

If this has stir your appetite, you might like to consider the hotel for a short, relaxing getaway. Stays include a superb breakfast, free WiFi internet access and complimentary use of the indoor pool, sauna and gym.

Disclaimer: Our stay at  Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman was complimentary, as a gesture of goodwill, I have written this blog.

 Another hotel review on the way, guess where this is? 🙂