Northbound—–> Ilocos Norte…


Northbound: Ilocos Norte…
The Ilocos region for me (and for a lot I’m sure) is such a lovely site to behold. I became a witness that the Northern part of the Philippines is as interesting as the Southern part of it. This side of the country boasts their own list of “must see” travel destinations. The most heard of which is the Ilocos region.
We can’t wait for this trip. As usual, my travel buddy is in charge of the itinerary. I trust her with all my heart, besides, travelling is her turf.  She can never go wrong when it comes to planning a trip. The day before our flight was my flight to Manila from General Santos City. I just came from an assignment. I’m still tired though I don’t mind since my boss got me used to airport hopping specifically in the Vismin area wherein there are times we’ve had three flights in a day. Yet I am particularly excited with this trip since it is my first time to set foot in the Ilocos region.
This is one part of the Philippines that I seldom visit. The last one was Baguio, and I was still a college student then. I’ve been looking forward to this for the last few months and I can’t believe this is it.  I’ll be touring around the Ilocos region. Yipeee!
The airport of Laoag has an “old feel” already. It is themed, with orange brick walls, floors are of Vigan tiles and handcrafted  stuff you will find in all corners.

Airport

laoag
Asked the driver to pull-over so we can capture a photo of the welcome arch. (–,)
Our first stop in Laoag was in Saramsam. It’s a very famous restaurant in Laoag and we had our lunch there. Something came up then and still like I always say, my soul buddy is as good in handling tough times.

saramsam

We decided to proceed to our next stop. The Ilocos museum. Its like visiting the past, their way of life and allowed us to compare them with the present.

ilocos museum

ilocos museum 1

Or what was carried on. Philippine history is one of the most interesting subjects there could ever be. Not because I am a Filipino. The country is rich in interesting details from it’s past.  I had goosebumps while climbing up the stairs. With the squeaking sound beneath the tongue and groove steps. As a Filipino, it is but imperative that aside from the teachings we learn from the schools, we have to go out of our way to learn some on our own and discover things by ourselves.

bed

We have the whole day to conquer Laoag, out of excitement, we even asked the driver to pull over so we can take a picture of the arch that welcomes visitors
like us setting our feet to their grounds for the first time. There is a certain pride
with the place. I don’t know if it’s because the hometown of our former president which is one of the most stalwart leader of our country. or it could come from the innate beauty of the place or perhaps the friendliness of the people not to be excluded. There’s so much to see.
We were then brought to Paoay church. From afar, you will already admire its architecture and upon getting near, you will admire more the details and the way it was being preserved or taken cared of.

paoay

paoay 2
A work of art…
The tiled floor reflecting the many centuries and I imagine people going in n out, weddings dancing in my mind, families hearing Sunday mass, then like a click, I got back to present in admiring the beauty of the church’s interior and exterior as well. No doubt why this church in particular is very famous and had been a heritage site.
paoay 4
Century old tiles…

paoay 3

paoay 5
I especially like the swirls. Telling me that even in those times, this specific symbol has been utilized for aesthetic purposes.
paoay 7
Doors are great subjects for photography…=)
We also visited the Ilocandia.
ilo 1
Hallways too…
ilo 2
And some unique art pieces like this huge chime…
After which, is something different. Something more adventurous. We were brought to the Sand dunes.

sd 1

sd2
Strike a pose! (–,)
Some movies were shot here actually. Much as we want to stay longer, and rever on the beauty of sun setting before us, which left us awestruck. As I haven’t reveled in the sunsets wonder in a long while, and like a finale, we had to call it a day. Tomorrow is another.
sd3
Feels good to be like kids again especially with my soul sis!
sd 4
Capturing the sun is heavenly…
The following day, after dipping in Pagudpud, which is tagged as the Boracay of the north. It’s an artist’s landscape because the beach’s background are the windmills of Bangui.

pag 1

pag 2

pag 3

We began combing the town starting from the rock formations, the windmills and the lighthouse. All things that fascinates me. I am so high above the clouds. Here’s Bantay Abot cave.

ba 1

ba 2

ba 3

ba 5

ba 4

I thought the highlight of the day is me choosing between the windmills and the lighthouse. With my travel buddy? There’s more.
Bangui 1
I palpitated seeing them. This is the only place which I wanted to see here in Ilocos. And the lighthouse…
Bangui 2
But then, just like I’ve mentioned, my soul buddy was able to track all the beautiful places Ilocos has to offer…
bangui 3
The windmills at Bangui bay standing proud and mighty…
There’s Kapurpuruwan… The immaculately white rock formation which took us an hour to trek its rocky road.

kap 1

kap 2
Too much sun, too much fun. We weren’t able to keep up with the heat…we borrowed that red umbrella…(–,)
kap 3
I have one shot of this with my buddy on it. It was one of my favorite picture of hers. I have to ask permission from her first, if I could post it here. (–,)
kap 4
While watching her on top, I was resting here, and she took this shot.
At that time, it was a spot that can be referred to as the “Road less traveled” . As I’ve seen a lot of visits done in Ilocos, none of them showed this place. I told you my soul sis is best at itineraries. She’s full of surprises! I am already happy with the spots we’re eyeing but then I didn’t know she discovered more places which made this travel extra special.
We stopped over at Patapat viaduct for a souvenir shot. This was a project of the former President Marcos.
pat 2
Patapat via-duct -Elevated 31 meters over sea level, concrete coastal bridge connecting the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It rises along the town’s coastal mountains, which is the starting point of the Cordillera Mountain Range that snakes through Northern Luzon. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.
pat 1
Crystal clear and clean water. This is where we saw the prancing flying fishes.

pat 3

Our last stop was the lighthouse. I am breathless.
bojador 1
There are two staircase to reach the lighthouse. It was half past 6pm when we came. The door to go inside the lighthouse was closed already. =(
bojador 2
T’was windy at that time..(–,)

bojador 3

bojador 4

After tasting the sweetness of history recalled in each corner, we ready ourselves on our way to Ilocos Sur.
Vigan-here we come…. (–,)
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beautsantua

-An only daughter. A mother of an 18 year old son. Passionate with so many things. A lover of life itself. First of which is to write. Then, sing (I specifically love the stage), read, cook, travel & take beautiful pictures (photography) and scrap booking, all of which are my own way of coping with life's challenges. Friends usually associate me with the color violet. I love this color so much! Though, I love pink, red, teal, orange, yellow, blue as well! Coffee is my water and my happy food is cheesecake topped w/ blueberries, yogurt, sansrival and cream puff. I mastered fettuccine carbonara because that is one of my favorite food as well, along w/ broccoli, prawns and mushrooms. Secretly, I love "Stitch" - that grinning indigo pup. =) Seriously, I dream to become a philanthropist (starting off by providing shelter to street children in our country) and a famous author someday. I'm just waiting for God's time for my first book to be published.- It took me years to decide to blog, more so to write and have it out in the open. As I used to write even when I was a teenager, and I just keep them on file. It was my outlet. Approaching the year they say where life begins, or If I may say, the sweeter life. It was a year full of emotions. As I lost my father a year before and I guess in one way or another, the unfathomable sadness prompted me to pour them out in my writings and share them to the world, hoping it might lighten the heaviness of my heart. I live now with my son and mother, as a mother and as a daughter (as a friend and a sister), this has made me be ready to finally do what I am meant to do. Even If there's a lot that I wanted to do. This came first, like a first love that occupied a special place in my heart. It's a looong process, tiring, frustrating, exciting. The best part? is the happiness it brings. Even if things around seems all so wrong. It's like having my own place under the sun. My own safe and happy rainbowed world. At times, there's guilt as well, for I strongly believe, writing (like singing) is a talent God has gifted us. We ought to use it and maximize it, in our littlest way, share it to mankind, for His glory. I just had a few distractions over the years and to realize that it is never too late to be who we ought to be, I have this very strong feeling, now is the time. All my life, I have decided on things that made me happy, this is one of those. I may never be a winner of those best blogs that have been awarded to talented writers/ bloggers and I don't mind, there are strikes of being envious, but according to my father, there are two kinds of being envy. There's envy that is so negative, it'll hamper you from doing good and there's an envy that makes you happy for them, or seeing yourself in their shoes, I think, the kind of envy in me, is the latter. Like celebrities who missed an Oscar, while the film was watched by the whole world, she/he did not mind, it's like knowing what counts best, and it's the capacity to share your talents to anyone who wants to receive it, without asking anything in return. Expressing what's in my heart and mind on every occasion (which happens to be daily) and being happy about it is like a prize already. Happy reading!(--,)

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