LA UNION, Philippines – In what may be a small victory in favor of work-life balance, a new coworking space has set up shop in a surf town in La Union, putting a reliable workplace within reach of many of the area’s beaches.
Studio22 opened in San Juan, La Union, last March 22, giving La Union’s locals, transplants, and passersby a shared office space with high-speed Wi-Fi, a coffee/tea/juice station, and spacious desks with power sockets, among other things.
Located in Urbiztondo, near the town’s border with San Fernando, Studio22 is in front of a surfing beach, and also a 5-minute jeepney or tricycle ride away from San Juan’s main surfing area, so those who want to catch some waves in between getting their work done can easily do so – especially with Studio22’s shower rooms and lockers.
The office also has a conference room for rent, big enough to fit about 10 people, and equipped with a smart TV.
Photo by Amanda Lago/Rappler
At first glance, the space looks like your run-of-the-mill coworking space with its plain white and brick walls, wood-and-metal furniture, and modern decor.
But as founder Renz Quiros said, he designed the space to be more than the typical shared workplace. Because of its location – that is, in a town rising on the tourist radar – Studio22 also offers packages that include accommodations and activities, a one-stop shop, if you will, for digital nomads making their way to La Union. Renz calls it “co-living.”
Studio22 is partnered with Camp Avenue – a campsite that also offers private huts – to provide accommodation for those who need it. It also partnered with San Juan Surf Resort to provide surf lessons for those who want to master the sport during their stay.
The studio has also partnered with Choka, a San Juan favorite that has created special dishes for Studio22 visitors, and delivers to the space for those who order.
The space itself lends itself to all kinds of crafts, too. As Renz said, the interiors were designed to be flexible, so aside from those who work mostly out of their laptops, Studio22 can also be a creative space for photographers, videographers, and artists.
Photo by Amanda Lago/Rappler
“Studio22’s edge is that it can be anything. It’s so flexible, you can put up anything. It’s like a blank canvas. It can be an event space, it can be a workshop area,” Renz said.
Of course, at its most basic, it is, quite simply, a place to work. A desk can be rented out by the hour (P60 with a cup of coffee/tea/juice, and P100 for unlimited coffee/tea/juice), or the day (P500, with unlimited beverages, and locker use).
Whether you’re in La Union as a digital nomad on an extended stay, or a weekender who has a work emergency to deal with, it’s a comfort to know that there is a nearby space like Studio22 that provides all the basic necessities of a modern professional. Like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter, it can be whatever you need it to be.
After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.