A few weeks ago, Julia, the OFS that writes my newsletters, took a vacation to visit her in-laws’ province in La Union.

It’s been years since I last visited Luna, La Union. When I last visited almost 10 years ago, it was a sleepy town where the only place worth visiting was the “Baluarte” (Bailwick), a Spanish-era stone watchtower, and the town plaza, where everything is.

Even if you’ve never been to Luna, you may have seen a piece of it, as the town’s claim to fame, Luna Pebbles, are used in everything from jewelry to furniture and other decorative items. If you’ve ever seen or bought or been in a Zen garden, chances are those smooth, round, rocks are from Luna.

For the most part, it’s still a sleepy town. It still gets too dark if you want to go out after sunset. Most stores still close by 7PM. But now it has a 7-Eleven, a few more tourist attractions, and more restaurants if you’re not in the mood to cook the fresh seafood bought from the market.

The Baluarte, which used to be in ruins, was rebuilt and made more tourist-friendly. There are restaurants where we could eat by the shore. The shoreline was opened up so people could walk on the pebbles.

If you live in a town full of rocks, you start finding fun and more creative uses for it. One of the places we enjoyed the most during our time there was the “Bahay na Bato” (Rock House). They didn’t just build a house with it; they created a resort that featured these rocks. There was a museum that showcased the everyday items the locals used throughout history. You can stroll through the garden surrounded by sculptures made of driftwood and rock.

Walking around the place was both relaxing and exhausting. Relaxing because the place was really peaceful and serene. Exhausting because nobody told me that walking on rocks meant sinking into them, like walking through mud but drier and harder.

Another big change I noticed in Luna is the improved internet connection. My mobile internet wouldn’t even work the last time we were there! Now, if I were to stay there for months, I would have been able to work. And who wouldn’t want to stay with a view like this?

Do you know any interesting things about your OFS hometown? Have you asked them about it? Let me know!