My colleagues turned friends decided to turn our three-day weekend into a trip to Paolo’s, one of my friends, hometown of Ilocos. We rode a 12-hour bus to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and was picked up by Paolo’s dad to visit their home in Ilocos Sur before we went back to Manila. Here are some of the things we did and saw.
Swimming and relaxing at Saud beach. The beach front was so vast and there were hardly any people in sight! This was a time when traveling and “squad goals” and visiting places was a real treat and not just and activity to tick off bucket lists and to be able to post photos on social media.
Visited Maira-ira Beach (also known as the Blue Lagoon) in Pagudpud. The huge waves at this place disappointed us because it had been touted as the Boracay of the north (there was a time everything was ‘the next Boracay’ or the ‘Boracay of xxx’) but the water was not calm and it was very windy; totally different from the beach afternoon we had in Saud. After that, we drove to see the Patapat viaduct, one of the longest bridges in the Philippines.
We then visited the Bangui windmills, which is what the area is famous for. The Philippines is not really big on green energy and this was one of the projects of the late Pres. Marcos that made him really popular in the north. We actually also visited his mausoleum in Batac, where his refrigerated dead body was kept by his wife awaiting burial in Manila (taking photos were not allowed).
We also climbed up the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse and checked out the Ilocandia hotel, a famous hotel in Ilocos. We wanted to see the Kapurpurawan rock formation as well but we took the wrong road and ended up on a lookout point instead.
On the last day we visited the Paoay Church in Paoay Ilocos Norte, a Baroque church built in 1694 by Augustinian friars, pretended to make some clay pots in one of the local potteries, and visited Vigan, famous for its street that still had cobblestones and old colonial buildings and looked like what the Philippines had been during the time of the Spaniards.