La Union and side-trips to Vigan & Laoag
La Union is the next town after Pangasinan.
I often remember as I passed by these towns, that I really never gave it a thought that going further I will realized how equally beautiful the northern part of the country is. I have ventured on the sweet mangoes and puto Calasiao of Pangasinan, had gone barefooted in their beaches, hopped on the hundred islands as a little girl, basked in the sun on a foggy morning in Baguio. I thought that was it. My focus was in the Vismin area. I am so enthralled by Vismin! This brought me to discover that I was somehow misled in a way. Both ends has a lot to offer and as I reached one place after another, my list keeps getting longer and longer.
Going out of the country, which I have set aside first (due to budget constraints) and primarily due to to this itch to set foot first to places in the Philippines (81 provinces) that are still unknown to me (Obsessive/ compulsive). I was even informed of a Santorini inspired resort in La Union (ongoing construction during the time when we visited), a church inside a cave in Tuguegarao, the lighthouse in Capones, the beaches in Baler is also enticing though not a priority and pine trees of Zambales on queue among many others.
I also discovered the advantages of traveling by land, that you can pull-over and stop for a while to take souvenir photos or just enjoy some corners. Drop by some attractive spots here and there, say a prayer on some old churches, check out some stuff from ambulant vendors and those lined up in the street sides. And the best part of which is try some enticing restaurants for the first time when our stomachs are aching for munch time.
After, La Union, since our goal is to comb region 1 and 2 by land. Of course we didn’t dare to skip enjoying the beauty of Vigan.
We fancied the windmills with that innocuous puppy,
Bangui bay…approaching dusk…
and Patapat viaduct.
That one activity you must not miss. Is to try out the famous Vigan longaniza which we can’t get enough of. Longganiza for breakfast,
longganiza for lunch and longganiza for dinner. ahaha!
Well, we had “bagnet” in one of our dinners for a change. It’s an Ilocano specialty dish made of deep-fried pork belly, with its’ skin so crisp and tasty. Its’ flavor was due to the long process it had been cooked, after marinating the pork belly, it’ll be deep fried twice after letting it cool, refrigerate and deep – fry for the last time. And the empanada too..
Ilocos was such a gifted place. We haven’t visited the white rocks because as I’ve said before, the road there is a road less traveled unless you have planned it or if you have all the time in the world. Ours is very limited.
By the way the hotels in La Union was a riddle to me. As we hop from one hotel to another for an overnight stay, most of their names are with Bali hai, Aloha nui or some Hawaiian words in it. I found out from one of the staff that a number of Americans from Hawaii have settled for good in La Union finding it irresistible.
Had I not visited La Union, I am still innocent of that story maybe until this very day. It was such a fulfilling discovery. The long hours of travel from region 1 and 2 had been more exciting even if it’s so exhausting. Not only because I captured a rainbow along the way but because of the beautiful sceneries that we encountered and the people we’ve met in each town. I am topping this off with this restaurant that we found serving my all time favorite. A slice of blueberry cheesecake. (–,)
Next stop? Isabela… =)