la union 6

We  took a family vacation over the Halloween long weekend, and headed up to the northern part of Luzon (our region in the Philippines) to the small beach town of San Juan, in the city of La Union. It’s well-known in Asia as a premiere destination for surfers, which is the very reason why my family heads up here regularly. (Well, it’s more because of my younger brothers, who actually surf! I’m content to take in the views, wade in the calmer waters, and collect sea shells during our sojourns here.)

The photo above was taken during our second morning there, when the kids (my own, and those of my brothers’) had woken up bright and early, thanks to the crisp, clean sea air and the slow, stress-free vibe of the provincial town.

Getting away from the big city is always good for me. Prior to this trip, I was coming off a hectic ride, work-wise. We’d just concluded a big event for the work-at-home mom community here in Manila (which you can read about here, the WAHMderful Weekend). I had a string of blog coaching and website clients to take care of. To top it off, I was conducting a string of blogging workshops, which I love doing, but they always leave me mind-weary by the end.

Gasp. Sigh.

By October the 31st, I wasn’t expecting to trick or treat. We packed up early in the morning and headed north on the highway, straight for the beach, away from the city, away from the routine of work-work-work. I left my laptop locked away at home, not intending to blog at all, or check emails, or do anything remotely related to my life online.

It felt good. It always feels good to disconnect!

I can totally get behind what Thoreau said:

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Of course, I kept the memories alive through Instagram (@dainty_mom), which is the only way I “kept in touch”, so to speak. But really, the snaps were all of me, for us, for my family members:


Seaside views from one of the hostels.


A romp in the sand; my brother in the background with his daughter; my son re-discovering the joy of sandcastles.


My brother’s new coffee place by the beach; my husband and son getting some rays by the coffee shop.


Me and Vito, chilling out by the shore. How I miss the sound of the waves!

This past weekend reminded me to celebrate the fact that we can disconnect: disconnect from work, so that we can work on nurturing our most important relationships and reserves; disconnect from technology so that we can enjoy the gifts the world has to offer; disconnect from routine, so that our bodies and souls can be refreshed.

It’s so important to switch off and just escape! I know I should plan more of these for our family, as we get so easily distracted by the noise of the city, both figuratively and literally. I could hear my soul better, once I shut myself off from the rest of the obligations (and once I opened myself fully to the obligation to relax with family.)

How about you? How was your Halloween weekend? Did you go anywhere with the family? Or after reading, do you need to take some time off with the family and just “be” in nature?

This is an original post by Martine de Luna for World Moms Blog. Martine is a Blog Mentor/Coach for women who want to build blissful online homes. Work with her at, or follow her motherhood musings at

Photo by Martine de Luna

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Martine de Luna (Philippines)

Martine is a work-at-home Mom and passionate blogger. A former expat kid, she has a soft spot for international efforts, like WMB. While she's not blogging, she's busy making words awesome for her clients, who avail of her marketing writing, website writing, and blog consulting services. Martine now resides in busy, sunny Manila, the Philippines, with her husband, Ton, and toddler son, Vito Sebastian. You can find her blogging at

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