Luna: Pebble Beach of 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.
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.
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.