The date : October 10, 2010 (10/10/10). The place : Pagudpud. The memory- he proposed to be my boyfriend in the sweetest way I could only imagine (well..almost haha) 🙂 I’m kinda reminiscing here so forgive me it’s just because Ilocos has a very special place in both our hearts.
We went to this trip together with some of our closest workmates in Philippine Airlines. Thanks to our PAL trip passes we booked the next flight, plotted our leaves and off we went. We were blessed with a good weather while touring the provinces even if it’s the rainy season. Given that we had only few days to enjoy the trip we all had fun! Lasting memories were made with good friends and the then new Boyfriend <3
Your itinerary will definitely get packed if you want to see the ‘major’attractions in a 3D2N trip of Ilocos. Don’t worry, you won’t really mind the long drive to get anywhere in the province because hey, it’s Ilocos! The history are well alive in this place combined with stunning landscapes and crystal blue seas not to mention Bagnet! Allow me to share with you some of the tourist spots we visited.
Laoag – Vigan – Pagudpud – Laoag
Laoag, Ilocos Norte
We took a an afternoon flight on our first day and we arrived at Laoag Internatonal Airport in time for dinner. Our tour guide Kuya Glenn took us to this famous restaurant “La Preciosa”. The first floor of the building is a bakeshop and the restaurant is on the 2nd floor. The food did not disappoint (the boyfriend LOVED their bagnet and he wants to come back for it sometime in the near future) and the price of the food was also very affordable. If ever you find yourself to be in Laoag, please go ahead and have a meal here, for sure you won’t regret it – after all this restaurant has a 4* rating in Trip Advisor.
We really can not go anywhere after dinner so we decided to just call it a day and take some rest as some of us came from work before our flight. So there goes Day 1.
Baluarte ni Chavit Singson
‘Ooooh a zoo!’ – the kid inside me screamed when we got to this spot. Governor Chavit Singson’s Baluarte is a home to some friendly wild animals that you can feed and pet. The highlight for me were the tigers – so powerful looking those creatures too bad they needed to be caged.
A trip to this part of the city will surely take you back in time. This attraction is described in Vigan.ph website as:
The major attraction of Vigan is its mestizo district which is filled with Spanish-style houses that evoke a bygone era when its people lived prosperously because of the Manila-Acapulco maritime trade. For visitors who want to experience being transported back to this period in Philippine Spanish colonial time, a walk or a calesa ride through Vigan’s Calle Crisologo or Mena Crisologo Street is a must. The tour will take visitors more than a couple of hours and will cost around half a thousand pesos. You will be guided through four blocks of cobblestone streets lined with heritage houses of the families of the Filipino-Chinese traders who rose to prominence during that time of vigorous trading in abel cloth, indigo, gold, tobacco and other goods that were transported to Vigan from all over the North.
After this, we had lunch at the Hidden Garden, Lilong and Lilang coffee shop – an eco tourism inspired restaurant. FYI, they served one of the best watermelon shake we ever had 🙂
Bantay Church and Bell tower
We visited this small town called Bantay. The famous landmark here is the Bantay Church and Bell Tower. You’ll be amazed at the architectural detail of the church and belfry which would remind us of Spanish architecture.
The church is also known as The Saint Augustine Church and was declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is a good example of a Baroque church and you can’t help but admire it’s architecture especially it’s facade. Your tour in Ilocos would be incomplete if you won’t pay this historical church a visit.
Afterwards we dropped by Marcos Mausoleum and we were told we can’t take any pictures, too bad.
Pagudpud, Ilcoos Norte
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Haha! Forgive our ‘Teleserye’ pose (i miss this bunch of people! Hi guys! 🙂 ) I fell in love with Cape Bojeador Lighthouse maybe because we caught the sunset here and the view is spectacular and I have this thing with bricks, I don’t know why.
Bangui Wind Farm
Boy, these things are HUGE! As per wikipedia, all these turbines “describes a graceful arc reflecting the shoreline of Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine sea”. It’s amazing just thinking how each of these can generate electricity. So proud for having a fascinating site utilizing renewable energy resources to reduce greenhouse effect that causes global warming. *thumbs up*
Dusking sky in the Bangui bay and Bangui windmills ended our jampacked Day 2. 🙂
Waking up to this view? Yes please. 🙂
Patapat Viaduct, Pagudpud
This is known as the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines and also one of the major tourist spot in Ilocos. You would definitely want to stop in the middle of the road and take a jumpshot with this view (just don’t jump off the bridge!).
Bantay Abot Cave
The highlight of our trip as this is where he ‘almost proposed’ to be my boyfriend *kilig* (can’t believe it’s been 5 years already!). Bantay is Ilokano for “mountain” and Abot is “hole” and there’s this rock formation called Timmangtang Rock not very far from Bantay Abot. Timmangtang Rock is said to be part of Bantay Abot Caves. The Timmangtang Rock is the male rock and the Bantay Abot Cave is the female, hence they’re called Lover’s Rock. We took a LOT of photos in Bantay Abot cave as it has such a picturesque view.
Afterwards we went to see the Blue Lagoon also known as Maira-Ira beach. It is a stretch of white sand and the turquoise clear water was so inviting however the midday sun was so harsh. It’s just past lunchtime so we just decided to take a few photos and have our lunch overlooking the beach. Then we ventured on the long drive back to Laoag for our last stop before hitting the airport.
Fort Ilocandia Resort, Laoag
Our last stop and this means more PHOTOS! (and brick walls!)
A 3D2N trip to Ilocos is very well worth it. Best to come here with family and friends and enjoy all that Ilocos has to offer – from its rich historical culture, good food and hospitable people. Nevermind the long drive to different provinces – just look forward to all the experiences and memories to be made here. While you’re at it , do look after the cleanliness of these places. We all want to preserve these amazing spots for our children and children’s children right? 🙂
We were not able to experience Paoay Sand Dunes adventure so we will definitely be back! Have you visited Ilocos? What’s your most memorable memory in Ilocos? Do share! 🙂
Postscript: Should you require a tour of Ilocos and looking to book an affordable package, you may contact Mr. Glenn Tolentino (click on the link).
Sending you cat hugs from across the web. Till next time! 🙂
**photos taken by the boyfriend and friends.