Wednesday 3 August 2011

Road trip : Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pagudpod, Cagayan Valley and Banaue Rice Terraces

That was the road trip which Tatay used to talk about since three years ago. I can't believe happened!

The first stop was at The Church of Manaog in Pangasinan. The place was not the same as it was when we visited ten years ago. It was actually far better than it was before.

We continued the road trip up north to Ilocos Sur. It was something like a pilgrimage, as we visited few numbers of churches around the province. My Tatay is a big fan of the late Fernando Poe Jr and he was really exhilarated seeing those churches seen in FPJ’s movies back in the 70’s. The last stop for that day was at Vigan. It was a dose of nostalgia. We went to what they called “the heritage”. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ilocos Sur where you can find houses built by the Spaniards in their Era. We also headed to Baluarte, a mini zoo owned by Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson. We then had dinner at Café Leona and tried the famous Ilocano cuisine. Ilocos’ pinakbet, bagnet and longganisa plus the famous sukang Iloko were the best!

We checked-in at Green R Hotel (special thanks to Ate Junalyn for referring us to this one). Around 8.00pm, we were supposed to enjoy the City’s night life but unfortunately the rain poured. We just decided to meet  Ate Junalyn and her family. It was really great seeing them around!

It was early morning the following day when we again started our road trip going to Pagudpud. As Ate Junalyn said, we also have to see the Kapurpurawan White Rock Formation in Ilocos Norte. The place was mesmerizing. It was really a great experience for me and my family. On our way, we also passed by the Marcos’ ancestral house, tried the famous Ilocos Empanada, and paid a visit to the Malacañang of the North. We also passed by the Paoay Sand Dunes, Paoay Church and The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse at Burgos. On our way we indulged our eyes in the beauty of the province. The bucolic view was amazing! There were mountains every where and it was like a huge painting around us.

We arrived at Pagudpud nearly 5;00 pm, but quite disappointed of what was there. The place was good but maybe because we’ve already seen the magnificence of Boracay, that’s why we didn’t appreciate the place. So instead of staying there, we just continued the trip to Cagayan Valley, had dinner, looked for an affordable hotel to stay at and rested in Hotel Carmelita located at the city of Tuguegarao.

We checked out early morning and hit the road off to the Our Lady of Piat Church. After the visit, we continued the road trip going to the Ifugao Province to see the Banaue Rice Terraces. The view was awesome, though numbers of houses were already built on it. After hours of travel, we headed back to Manila.

It was just a three-day road trip, and I never thought we’ve gone that far! I am really looking forward to another one, hopefully three months from now!

"Like a box of crayons each of us unique, but when we are together the picture is complete."

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