BE AMAZED BY THE BEAUTY OF ILOCOS IN JUST TWO DAYS
January 1, 1970
by Lea Gantalao
It was a bucket list checked for me and my friends when we visited Ilocos, Philippines last October 17-18, 2016. To travel any where in the world is one of our friendship goals, it was actually our first travel together after college days, we planned about it months before our travel and did book a plane ticket to Manila from Zamboanga and back home as early as March 15, 2016, when there were still seat sales on a specific airline that only cost us 1,183.00 php each. Yes, it is much cheaper as expected. So, when you want to spend less for plane tickets, great timing is a must.
Prior to our travel, we did our research about the place, visited different blogs and also asked opinions from people who have been there for a suggested itineraries, accommodations and transfers. We even discussed about booking on a travel agency for a more hassle free trip in Ilocos but we ended up going on our own. We called it “Dora-Dora” from the famous animated series Dora the Explorer. Made our own itineraries and researched a lot. We decided to visit Pagudpud on our first day, spend the night in Laoag and continue with our trip the following day in Laoag, Paoay and Vigan. Yes, a two day trip is already enough to be amazed by the beauty of Ilocos but if you can stay for a few more days, it is much better.
HOW TO REACH ILOCOS
October 16, 2016, around 4:45 PM we arrived at the Bus Terminal of Florida which is located in Cubao, Quezon City and luckily, the last trip going to Pagudpud will depart at 5:30 PM. It was a long ride, it took us almost 11 hours to reach Pagudpud and the fare is 700.00php. We arrived at Pagudpud around 4:00 in the morning, it was too early to begin our Dora-Dora. We did not know what to do that early because tehre were still no restaurants open where we can stay and wait until sunrise. Fortunately, where the bus stops, there were two tricycle drivers who suggested that we can stay in their municipal beach located in Brgy. Saud. We had no other choice but to agree with them since we really don’t know the place. with no idea what going to happen ahead of us we just gave our 100% trust to them. It was still dark when we arrived at their municipal beach, we stayed in one of the cottage and had random talks til’ sunrise. We are amazed when we got to see the beauty of their beach, for Saud beach is known for its white sand. From a far we already glimpse the windmills, which personally what I am looking forward to see in Ilocos and it never fails to amaze me.
PLACES TO VISIT IN PAGUDPUD
6 AM, the start of our adventure, we rented the same tricycle to tour us around Pagudpud. They already have a prepared itinerary which match ours as well. The tricycle rental cost us 1,200.00 php per tricy which can accommodate 2-3 person, that’s for the South Part alone and 300.00 php for the North. A total of 1,500.00 php for the entire day trip.
We had our breakfast at Hannah’s Resto and we were really satisfied with their sumptuous food especially the Bagnet.
Just a few meters away from Hannah’s, our first destination is located along the coastline North of blue lagoon.
What a perfect view, it was along and winding road.
There’s a fee of 150.00 php for the tour guide and it’s a 30 minutes walk to reach the falls. But effort was worth it when we got to see the beauty of nature plus the cold and clean water that you can’t resist to dip your feet in the water.
Here it is, my favorite part in our Pagudpud trip. There’s really something with windmills that I’m falling in love with and I can’t explain what. By the way,make sure to have your ponytails on if you’re not ready to have that messy beach hair. We also had our lunch here and the food was really great, the taste feels like we’re home.
A few minutes walk to reach the rock formation, if you want some thrill you can also ride a horse. Such a great place to have some photo shoots, especially for prenups.
…and down to our last destination in Pagudpud, it is located in the northwestern-most point of Luzon. Yes, we’re at the peak.
And that’s the end of our Pagudpud Adventure. It was already 5 PM when we were able to travel to Loaog via bus, it’s approximately 2 hours ride and the fare is 60 pesos each. Spent the night in one of the hotels in Laoag, slept early for it was a long and tiring but fun day. we had our breakfast at the hotel and checked out at 8 in the morning . We again rented a tricycle which cost us 600.00 php per tricy for a half day tour.
PLACES TO VISIT IN LAOAG, PAOAY AND VIGAN
Our first destination in Laoag, it is also known as St. William’s Cathedral.
Just a few meters away from the Cathedral, it is one of the famous landmarks in Laoag.
A must try adventure in Paoay that you shouldn’t miss. We really had fun here, the 4×4 experience was extreme plus we’re really satisfied with the photos taken by their personnel, they’re really like a pro. This is the most unforgettable experience in our entire trip.
Located along the shores of Paoay lake, it is the rest house of the Marcos family.
Also known as St. Augustine Church. Down to our last stop in Paoay, it is one of the famous and historic Church in the Philippines.
Finished our Laoag and Paoay tour around noon time, rode a bus to Vigan and it took us almost 2 hours to reach the city and the fare is 80.00 php. Before starting tour in Vigan, we had our lunch first in one of the fast food chains there.
Our Vigan trip would never be complete without riding the kalesa. It took us 1 hour and 30 minutes to tour around Vigan. The rate is 150.00 php per hour.
There is no entrance fee here but you can donate any amount of money. This is located right beside the St. Augustine Church.
It is now the new art center of Ilocos Sur.
Before heading back to Manila, we finally walked along the famous Calle in Vigan. You can see old structures here that will remind you about the history. We bought our souvenirs here, like shirts, key chains, bags, wallets and other souvenir items.
…and that’s the end of our Day 2 in Ilocos.
We then went to the bus terminal of Partas and rode a bus back to Manila. The fare is 630.00 php. It’s never good bye but it’s see you soon. Ilocos will forever be a place worth coming back.
Plan your trip to Ilocos now, I promise you it will all be worth it. 🙂
’til my next travel…