Last Saturday, Emer, Kiko and I had our long awaited trip to the province of Ilocus. It was initially planned as a Vigan trip but it turned out to be a whole adventure in Region I, the Ilocus region. We started our trip last Saturday, 12:00 AM in Manila (Yup, we had to go to manila because that’s where the bus station to Laoag is). We were supposed to ride the 10 o’clock bus but we missed it by 2 person. Dang! We traveled roughly 600 kilometers — that’s a 10-hour sleep-talk-wander-sleep-talk-wander routine — and believe me your creativity will surely kick in. The fare is PhP 701, and don’t ask me what the hell is that 1 peso for.
Our first destination is Pagudpod which is, by the way, the farthest. It is located at the northernmost region of the Philippines. The travel was very exciting. We had our first stop in Ilocus Sur. One thing I’ve noticed here are the mountains, very dense and bold. The ocean, which beautifully sits next to it, has rough shores. I can’t exactly remember the name of the town, but we enjoyed some of the local delicacies there like Dinakdakan (we suspected that it was a dog meat, but we ate it anyway), Papaitan and Pinakbet. We had our second stop in Vigan but we didn’t get off the bus yet. I’ll have the details about it later. From Vigan, we traveled 2 more hours to get to Laoag, which is also another great City. From Laoag, We traveled another 1 and a half hours to Pagudpod. This is one of the highlights. While the bus is taking a curve the scene slowly unveils us a magnificent, proposal-place-candidate (as Kiko coined it) view. The scene was breathtaking. I’ll try to describe it here but you have to forgive for the details that I’ll miss out. The town is called Bangui. It is situated between 2 mountains, in front is an azure beach. On its shore are windmills, around 100-feet tall, which were perfectly decorated to add more beauty to the view. The windmills supply the town’s electricity. We just can’t get enough of the view.
Next to Bangui is Pagudpod, finally. Pagudpod is a quiet town. Freaky quiet to be honest. It was Sunday afternoon but there were at most 20 people, in the plaza! We still have to take a 15-minute tric (tricycle) to get to the resorts. It’s a long beach so there are plenty of resorts. We’ve visited a few and finally settled to a resort called ‘Apo Idon’ for a P1, 800 overnight. It was a good deal. The room can accommodate 3 – 6 people (hehehe), there’s a pool, it was beachfront hotel, cable is good, and breakfast for is also 4 included. Oh, don’t forget the perks, the cook (hehehe) and the lady beside the pool (hehehe, nice â€˜mer). The foods were also great. We had some Bagnet (pork rinds) and Kare-Kare. The beach was awesome. Pagudpod is branded as ‘Boracay of the north’. Though not white-sanded, it has fine mocha sand. The waves are just fair, not to too rough and not too calm. We really had a good in time there.
We had to leave early the next morning since we still have to get to Laoag and Vigan. Laoag is a typical pinoy city. The Filipino culture is well-defined on the place and people. The major transportations within the city are tric and calesa. Tric will cost 7 pesos per head so it’s very cheap. We made a quick tour in the town and in one of the museum. The museum is called ‘Abel Iloco’; it showcases old Filipino artifacts and tools. It’s very educational.
It was passed lunch when we reach Vigan, one of my favorites in the trip. It was a very poetic experience. The way I see it, Vigan is like Italy (I haven’t been to Italy yet so correct me if I’m wrong). Every wall, every street is full of emotions. Full of stories. Walking along Crisologo St. is very thrilling. It’s like the fifteenth century passing before you. It makes you wanna speak in Spanish, “Muchacho, rapido! rapido!“, hahaha. Also, the Belle Tower of Batac is great. Trivia: this is where Panday pull his sword in the movie. We’ve visited a few more place and head back home.
All in all it was a great experience. If you like traveling I highly recommend it. I’m gonna give Pagudpod 7.5 stars, Laoag also 7.5 and Vigan with 8 stars.
Next: We’re going south! Bohol.