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.


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.


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.


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 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

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.
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…. (–,)