Sunday, April 25, 2010

i heart Ilocos DAY 3: rest of Ilocos Norte

14. february. 2010

We have an early morning start; it's a whole day tour. Laoag, Paoay and Batac, here we come!

one last glimpse of Pagudpud's shore

Sand Dunes

Seeing the sand dunes is like being transported to another place, somewhere in Middle East. All we can see are sands, fine gray sands. Living in a tropical country such as ours I cannot imagine we have something like this in the Philippines! And because of its unique terrain, as Kuya Nath told us, several movies were shot here like the Panday series of FPJ and Bong Revilla; and also a Tom Cruise movie. (no kidding!) I just forgot the title though.

Fort Ilocandia

This is a Marcos family owned casino-resort hotel. We made a brief stop here to take photos on the facade and up to the lobby.

Paoay Church

A visit to Ilocos would not be complete without seeing a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, Paoay Church. Like most Ilocos churches, Paoay's bell tower is not connected to the church. It also serves as an observation post of the Katipuneros during WW2. We enjoyed taking photos (infront of the church); from jumping shots to continuous/burst shots, to class picture-in-the-bleachers type shots that we all got tired and hungry. And right across the church there's a restaurant, so dropped by and have our lunch there.

a UNESCO World Heritage Church

And we couldn't resist ordering the heart-stopping bagnet. I'm not really a fan of lechon kawali, but the bagnet they serve is delicious that I became a convert. Now, I'm craving for bagnet. I haven't eaten bagnet since I came from Ilocos.

Batac Empanada

It's not you usual empanada. What makes this empanada different aside from the color; are the ingredients, it is made from bean (mongo) sprouts, fresh eggs and bits of Ilocos longganisa. We bought an empanada, and Steph devoured it. :)

Marcos Museum / Mausoleum

It is prohibited to take photos inside the mausoleum. Marcos looks like a wax figure encased in a glass coffin. Is it possible for a human not to decay? Well, I guess to you gotta see it for yourself. hehe!

Laoag Town Proper

As we reached Laoag's Town Proper, our guide, Kuya Nath was kind enough to accompany us to Laoag public market to buy bagnet and chichacorn for pasalubong. We also had a short detour to Ilocos Norte's City Hall. After buying all the needed pasalubong, Kuya Nath dropped us off at Partas terminal. Boarded Partas bus going to Vigan by 430pm. An hour and half later we’re in Vigan Town Proper.

on our way to Vigan

Grandpa’s Inn
Upon check-in we found out that they only reserve only 1 room for us despite Bogart confirming it twice to them that we are booking 2 rooms. The Front Desk Officer was helpful enough and was able to resolve the problem. I think the owner was there (as I recognized her face on the picture gallery hanged at the lobby) but offered no help. Good thing, the rest of the staff are helpful and friendly that made our stay pleasant. The rooms are quite creepy though.

Colonial Houses
Our first glimpse at the Spanish Colonial Houses. It’s like being transported to another time. I can imagine the Spaniards and the Illustrados riding caruajes along these streets. Even scenes from Noli Me Tangere would popped on my mind.

Running shots? Don’t we ever get tired? I don’t think so. Hehe!

Dinner time
Exhausted from all those places visited and activities done (that includes the running shots on almost every tourist spot we went to), it’s time to re-energize. Dinnertime! It was Valentines Day and Chinese New Year, incidentally last year same date 14Feb the 5 of us were together at Clark for the Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. We were thinking of doing this a yearly thing, traveling together. Hmmm… not a bad idea. : Let's do this again next year?!

Huling Hirit
Back at the hotel, we had this brilliant idea to do teleserye shots. I don’t where we get our energy but we still have enough to goof around, and even to change clothes, for costumes kuno. Effort kung effort!
the cast

Dona Vi got sick and her faithful servant Bambi was the one who took care of her. Ryk, Dona Vi's daughter visited her ailing mom to see her for the last time. Dona Vi passed away,and the faithful servant was thrown off the mansion by the evil children of Dona Vi. But before Bambi left, she got even and splashed water in G's face while Ryk try to defend her sister and Stefano prays that the fighting ends.

Monday, April 12, 2010

i heart ilocos DAY 2: tour of the south

13. feb.2010
Started our second day by swimming since our tour of the south will commence after lunch.

Pagudpud's sand (Saud Beach) is not as powdery in texture as Boracay's but still the sand is fine and white. The waves that day were strong maybe because it rained earlier that morning, but it didn't stop us from swimming. None of us are good swimmers so as a safety precaution we just stayed near the shore. And aside from strong waves , there are also sudden 'drops' in the sand, so be extra careful and alert.

big waves

group jumping shot

after an hour or 2 of swimming,its time for our tour.

let the tour of the south begin...

the girls

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

The lighthouse is believed to be the highest lighthouse in the Philippines. We went up the lighthouse. Steph, Vina and I climb up to the top but didn't stayed long ( maybe just for 1 minute, then we got down), it was scary because the wind was so strong. We were afraid we're gonna be blown away and be carried off to South China Sea. hehe!

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Puraw in Ilokano dialect means white; kapurpurawan when translated in Tagalog means Kaputi-putian. A bit of walking is required to view these amazing rock formations. From afar, I can see that these unbelievable rock structures are impressive . but when I saw it up-close, I was awed by its beauty. These rock formation are a stunner. I do hope the local government of Ilocos would take good care of these natural wonder.

a real stunner

having fun

awesome wonder

enjoying God's wonderful creation

Bangui Windmills

We enjoyed the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation so much that we didn't notice the time. It's nearly sunset and we might not be able to see the windmills. Thankfully, we made it just in time to take pictures before it becomes completely dark. Our guide said that, the windmills faces the South China Sea from where the wind blows; it provides the much needed power requirement of Ilocos Norte.

just before sunset

before darkness envelopes the place


To capped our awesome adventure that day, we had a hearty dinner at Emohruo RestoBar. The food was great and really affordable.

Emohruo (our home) read backwards

steph solb

gone fast!

as evidenced in the photos above, the barbecue platter was a hit! and Steph was bondat! :D

What a way of storing up energy for our Day3 tour. hehe! Laoag, Paoay and Batac tour, up next!