Tag Archives: Ilocos

The Ilocos Tour… (Part 2)


Continue on to our Ilocos Tour, featuring Laoag… (see also Part 1)…
After our tour guide showed us some east side of Laoag, we went back to town proper to see the St William Cathedral, the Sinking Bell Tower, The Capitol and the Museum and of course, the Heritage Paoay Church….

The Sinking Bell Tower (not accessible to public)

The Cathedral

My Travelling Feet @ Laoag Museum

Marcos Mueseum @ Batac… already closed when we get there :<

My favorite Paoay Catherdral… breath-taking, amazing!
(pardon the feet, I really cant help but get this shot even i’ll have to lie-down there)

one more time… my best postcard shot!

That’s only our (half) DAY 1… full-pack DIY “heritage” tour!
Love it!

The Ilocos Tour! (Part 1)


It finally happened – September 24-27… the great Ilocos Adventure with my Papi, and tagging along the typhoon Pedring… (the storm is really trying to keep us out of here, the last time we’ve tried August 27, the storm Mina cancelled our flight going there..)

Anyway, nothing will dampen our enthusiasm to make the most out of this tour… I have reviewed my list of to do’s and to visit (see here) and we’ve done it with few rains and slippery roads with it, but that’s adventure!

First day: Laoag
We checked-in at Balay de Blas (I made a reservation right after the cancelled tour last august) got a lovely suite!

We ate at Saramsam (owned by Mr Blas) and tried their famous Bagnet, Vigan Longanisa and Poque-Poque (we were curious with the name)

We started our tour by taking an unofficial, untrained tour guide (lesson no 1, dont just assume that every tricycle driver can take you to a tour of their city! – but well that’s adventure #1 too). Anyway, Marlon is so gracious and told me really that it is his first time (I hope he has a blog and write about this experience too). Just the same, we accomplished what we have to see in half-day tour of Laoag… just a bungled itinerary and long journey in his tini-wini tricycle (ahhh sakit likod namin)…

First stop: Sta Monica church (lovely, old, eerie…)

Ferdinand Marcos’ Birthplace:

there are more…for our day 1… (to be continued)

Today… A Good Actor on Stage…



I will live as all good actors do when they are on stage –
only in the moment.
I cannot perform at my best today by regretting my previous act’s mistakes
or worrying about the scene to come.

Syquia Mansion, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Sept 25, 2011

Today Series 5/22

Ilocandia Tour Postponed by Typhoon Mina


We were so excited for this tour… but Mina got in the way

The flight was postponed, and any attempt to go by land would be impossible because of flooded areas. in towns going there. But good thing we didn’t push our a way (even on the next flight on Sunday), because Ilocos was too flooded too. Haay, it was a mess back there at the airport (angry pips because of inefficient, arrogant Cebu Pacific staff – well I don’t want to dwell on that, it doesn’t worth a blog from me), we ended our business there at around 12 noon na.

We were so hungry that we decided to turn our “bad trip” to “food trip” so we headed to Vikings for a hearthy lunch! “eat-all-you-can- drink-all-you can” treat! wheeew! (so sorry for the indulgence in this time of calamity…)

Planning for Ilocandia Tour


Can’t decide yet about our itinerary for the Laoag-Vigan-Pagudpud Tour with Papi… geographically its quite difficult because we’ll arrive at Laoag Airport via Cebu Pacific (I got the P25 one-way promo fare last Feb 25!)… and Laoag is between Vigan (for historical tour) and Pagudpud (for nature adventure)… We’ll have 4 days/3night… but the 4th day quite useless because our flight back is 12pm. I’ve been scoring the web and got too many possibilities. Plus, have to consider that this is a long holiday weekend (Aug 27-30)… and expect a lot of people in vacation and fully booked pensionne house.

This is our 2nd trip, hubby and mommy, without the kids. And we want it to be special with lots of surprises. I actually don’t want to “plan” this trip, but when I “peeked” in the net for the places to go, I found out that there are TOO MANY… and I think 4 days are not enough… So now, i realized that I must have an itinerary to maximize this adventure! Pero nakakahilo, which comes first? Have to include these in my to do’s here and there:

    1. For one, I like to be booked at Balay de BLas, and eat at their resto, Saramsam! (i’ve seen great blog-review of this place)
    2. I also want to meet Kuya Arnel, the nice tour guide, I’ve also read a blogger’s story about him
    3. Try to meet another blog-famous Tita Cathy of Cathy’s Homestay at Saud Beach.
    4. I should not forget also to take pictures of “historical plaque” and old doors of old places and churches for my pic collection.
    5. I should be reminded to bring 2 cameras, para may pictures naman ako.
    6. Have to check the lighthouses!
    7. Picture-taking at the windmills to be sent to my in-laws in London. She can’t believe we have something like that here.
    8. Travel Light. Shorts and shirts. No gadgets. One book. Just powdered juices and peanuts.
    9. Budget should be less than 7000. No credit card please…
    10. Itinerary. Finalize tomorrow!

Update: have done all in the above list except the Lighthouse… the weather and time did not permit us…. but nevertheleaa, TAGUMPAY (success)!!! see story here.

“Been There”: Local Version


After reading several travel blogs from around the globe and read their nice praises and adoration about how beautiful is our dear country, it made me felt a tinge of guilt for not seeing more of it. So, instead of my daydream to go to Sentosa, I directed my plans to go to Palawan or Bohol… (another daydream? 🙂 )….

Well, to soothe my “guilt,” I am taking inventory of places of great interest I’ve been in the Philippines… (not in particular order and much specific…please bear with me)

1. Cebu City (my first experience of domestic flight)
2. Magellan’s Cross, Cebu City
3. Cebu White Sands Resort, Maribago Mactan
4. Sto Nino Basilica, Cebu
5. Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro (my first ferry ride)
6. Tanawin Bay Resort, Puero Galera, Mindoro (our honeymoon)
7. Tamaraw Falls, Mindoro
8. Camp John Hay, Baguio City
9. Mines View, Baguio and other city tourist spots (been here several times)
10. Mt Data Hotel, Bauko, Mt. Province (honeymoon again)
11. Intramuros Walled City, Manila
12. San Agustin Basilica, Intramuros
13. Manila Cathedral, Intramuros
14. Villa Escudero, San Pablo, Laguna
15. Batangas Beach (twice, same place, with HS friends then with SGV friends), Batangas City
16. Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan

17. Candon, Ilocos Sur
18. Candon Church, Ilocos Sur
19. A beach house in Ilocos Sur (allegedly owned by C.Singson)
20. A beach house in La Union
21. Fontana Leisure and Waterparks, Clarkfield Pampanga
22. Nayong Filipino, Clarkfield Pampanga
23. Expo Filipino, Clarkfield Pampanga
24. Zoobic Safari, Subic
25. Tree Top Adventure, Subic
26. Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay
27. Tagaytay Picnic Grove
26. Manaoag Church, Manaoag, Pangasinan
28. Club Balai Isabel, Talisay Batangas
29. Ace Water Spa, Quezon City
30. Fireworks Olympic, MOA
31. Star City, Pasay (the rides and the ballet shows!)
32. Microtel Inn Boracay, Aklan
33. Crown Regency Hotel, Boracay, Aklan
34. Stations 1, 2, 3, 4 and the Mall, Boracay (see pics here)
35. Ocean Adventure, Subic (most recent)
36. Mt. Samat Shrine, Bataan (most recent)

I know there are several more, like churches, museums and zoos that i have to rake my brain a bit more to remember (and no need to count malls, nearby resorts, parks and dining experiences….). Well, after this exercise I am relieved that i have not taken our “home” for granted after all…. 🙂

See also my other “Been There” page