Posts Tagged ‘Ilocos Norte’

This year’s Holy Week vacation, I brought along Cris and our friends (Tina and Timmy) back to my hometown – Ilocos Norte. I took them to places my family usually visit when I am home or if we have visitors over. Most of the places we visited are at most 10 minutes away from home, including the small mountain/hill that we climbed to get a sweeping view of the newly-erected windmills in our town. I also took them to the infamous Paoay Church and Malacañang of the North. Please watch the video below – though Youtube butchered the video quality. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Have you ever been to Ilocos Norte? What is your favorite tourist spot to visit there?

Lately I’ve noticed that afternoons are a little bit hotter than usual. Armpits get a little more sweaty (hehe) and ice-cold drinks are more than welcome any time of the day. Summer is almost here!

Since moving to Manila, summer for me meant going home to my beloved province and relishing what little time I have left to spend with my family before classes (or work) start again. We would always make time to go to the beach, and a trip to the beach always merits a drive to the famous Patapat Viaduct.

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This long and winding bridge is in the northernmost tip of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. It is the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines and it is awesome! Hahaha

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What we usually do is drive up to the bridge after a day of lounging at a nearby beach. Sunsets are very pretty here especially when spent with family (cue collective awwwwww).

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There’s nothing much to see actually – just what seems to be an endless amount of black rocks and seawater in different shades of blue. Sometimes, a shipwreck might decorate the shores (before the locals butcher the beauty up and sell the spare parts in junk shops).

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If you’re quite lucky, you might chance upon a weirdo in the middle of the road. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite LOL.

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Other places you might wanna check out in Ilocos:

1. Agua Grande

2. Bantay Abot

3. Blue Lagoon

4. Playa Tropical Resort

5. Others

 

 

Happy New Year, everyone! 🙂 I hope you had a grand time during the holiday, however way you spent it. As for me, I went home and spent two full weeks with my family. It was two weeks filled with bonding, movies, and a lot of food.

The new year gives us a chance to start anew. Hence, me trying to revive my blog… AGAIN! LOL

I plan to do weekly recaps by showing you pictures of how my day went. It might get boring when work gets busy but I will try to stick with it as much as I can. So here goes! 🙂

 

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January 1: Welcomed the New Year with a simple feast shared with my family. I spent all day at home playing with the pets, watching movies with my folks and feeding relatives that come over. I also decided to quit soda (yes, again!). And may I just say that all our pets are so lambing! Except for Uno who’s such a total bitch, of course.

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January 2: Decided to finally get a driver’s learner’s permit. I knew I needed some pictures taken so I prettified myself up just to be disappointed with the photo quality LOL. It was so damn low-res haha! Went on a road trip to eat some (or maybe lots) of barbecue and take pictures of the sunset by the beach. Too bad Mama was not able to join us coz she was still stuck at work.

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January 3: My Ilocos trip comes to an end. Before heading back to Manila, I got my nails done because nail art is so damn cheap in the province! And look how pretty my nails are! Never mind the sausage fingers LOL. And a final parting shot of the town welcome sign as I was waiting for my bus to pick me up.

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January 4: Back to Manila. My day was filled with sleep, hair colors and garlic breath LOL. Only shot I got to take was that of Rockwell from the bedroom window. image

 

January 5: Fixed my room and finally got to hang up my fairy lights. So pretty!!! My room smelled so clean and I slept so well that night. image

 

January 6: Back to reality, back to work. Which also means back to taking mirror pictures in the bathroom and elevators. I had to work overtime for a bit and was quite surprised to see the 11th floor hallway to be so empty. Seems like most of the people decided to start their year right and leave early. Good for them! 🙂image

 

January 7: I have a habit of overusing the newest shoes that I have (hence the picture of my feet). When I got to work, I realized that I shouldn’t be using those shoes that much because I initially bought them for choir performance purposes so I then changed into my trusty wedges. Wedges are also much easier to walk on and I needed to run some errands, so good decision after all. Left work early to have dinner with Vlad and Gian at Infinitea (Thanks for the treat Vlad!). And I finally got my pasalubong from Dubai. The stuffed dates and baklava are all so yummy. Thanks Denver! 🙂image

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How did the first week of your 2014 go?

 

I wanted to share with you a few pictures from a very short stopover at Agua Grande on our way to another tourist spot (this is after going to Blue Lagoon and Bantay Abot Cave).

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I have been to Agua Grande a couple of times as a little kid. The oldies would take me with my cousins on a picnic and we could easily spend a day just frolicking around the river. Agua Grande is actually an estuary – a point where the river and sea meets. Cool, right? 🙂

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Agua Grande translates to dakkel a danum in Ilocano. It is actually a mini hydro-electric power plant built during the Marcos regime to supply electricity to the residents of Pagudpud. I am not sure though if it is still fully functional to this day.

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Stay tuned for two more Ilocos Norte tourist spots! 🙂

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Bantay is the Ilocano term for mountain, and abot translates to hole. In direct translation, Bantay Abot could mean ‘mountain with a hole’. However, it’s not really a mountain, LOL. There’s actually no cave there, too. I think this makes my title very misleading haha! (*scratches head*) But to my defense, that’s really how the locals call it. :p

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After a very relaxing afternoon at Blue Lagoon, we decided to check out Bantay Abot which we saw earlier on the way to the beach. To reach the mountain (or more like a hill), we had to go from the road down a very steep path with uneven steps. The path leading to the hole can be menacing too – one wrong step and you could slip and crack your head open in one of the sharp, jagged rocks. So mind your footing! 🙂

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I was taken by the beauty of this wall of rock. The colors are so pretty and you can clearly see the difference of textures of the lower part (where the waves hit it) from the upper part (still jagged and pretty much untouched). For easier walking, stay close to the walls because the flat stones in the middle area are very deceiving. They can be very slippery due to moss.

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We climbed up through the hole and were greeted by this. From inside the hole, we had a clear view of the waters of Blue Lagoon. It was also colder in that part I guess mainly because of the trapped air in the concave created by the walls of rocks. You can also hear the echoing sound of waves crashing to the shore. So serene…

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The hole is purely natural though I don’t know exactly how it was created. Some say it might have been due to an earthquake way back. Others claim that strong waves that battered the mountain/hill eventually created a hole.

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These last two shots were snapped on our way back up to the road. Mountain + clouds + sea = perfect. ♥♥♥

I just came back to the Metro from attending my sister’s high school graduation in Ilocos. Separation anxiety is hitting me big time so I guess I should just blog about the places I got to visit for the very short time that I had to spend with my family.

I touched down at Laoag International Airport late Saturday afternoon, no thanks to Cebu Pacific Air’s perennial delayed flights. Hay naku, what’s new. That day was put to waste because of a delayed flight. Tsk. So anyway… On Sunday, my mom finally brought out the lobsters that were frozen for a long time (coz they were waiting for me to come home, sweet! ♥♥♥), and decided to go out of the house and spend the day at the beach.

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We drove for more than an hour to get to Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud. I have been to Pagudpud many times over the years but I’ve never really been to Blue Lagoon before. We always used to go to Saud, mainly because it is relatively nearer from where we live. Driving further up north was worth it, though.

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The weather was so nice that day. One thing I love about being in the province is that it was still very breezy despite the sun being all out Mr. Bright. We rented out a small hut where we could feast on our lunch. After filling up on lobster and watermelon (yum yum yum!), the oldies settled down for siesta time. The young ones, including me lol, opted to bake under the sun.

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The best part is that we felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. Apart from our group, there were only a few others who were around that area. I guess most tourists were drawn to the more famous and much more crowded nearby resort – Hannah’s. I especially loved watching those three kids play around the water.

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The water at Blue Lagoon is so mesmerizing. The varying depth of the sea resulted to a beautiful mix of blue hues. The clean, white sand provides a perfect base for all the blue colors. One needs to be wary when getting in the water, though. It might be scary for non-swimmers because the waves could pull you in farther into the sea really fast and this could be disastrous because the sea bed dips low so suddenly.

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The waves are so strong I actually saw this girl lose her bikini top. LOL. And I might have seen a few too many buttcracks that day. O_O

Two other tourist spots to visit will be featured in my next entries. Stay tuned!

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I joined the Weekly Photo Challenge for WordPress to help motivate myself to take more pictures, and share them with  the world. This week’s theme is DREAMING.

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That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
 
 
 
* Photos taken at Playa Tropical Resort Hotel (Currimao, Ilocos Norte)
 
 
 

You can view other Weekly Challenge posts here: Weekly Photo Challenge