Way back 2011, I had an opportunity to witness the beauty of Ilocos. It is divided into two provinces, Ilocos Norte (The North) and Ilocos Sur (The South). From Manila, it will take you 16 hours at most to reach Pagudpud (via land transportation), located in Ilocos Norte, where we slept for 2 nights. Ilocos was really blessed that it’s worth it to travel that far.

VIGAN

Our first destination is in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. We stopped over to take our lunch. Of course, we have to try Ilocos’ pride ~ Bagnet,  a deep fried crispy pork belly dish famous in Ilocos.

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After satisfying our hungry tummies, we went for a walk in the old city of Vigan. I can’t say it was well-maintained but the Spanish aura is still there and I hope will remain. Not that I’m a fan of the Spanish invasion but I love the architecture.

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After an hour or two, we decided to leave and head to our next destination. At least 3 hours from Vigan, we finally arrived in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Since it was almost a day spent mostly on the road, we’ve decided to just chill on the rest house we stayed in.

PAGUDPUD

On the next day, after breakfast, we planned our trip and decided to have our first stop at Paoay Church. Look at the structure, asombroso!

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They say the mass here is in Ilocano but we never had the chance to hear it though.

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And look, just outside the church, one will stumble upon this beautiful facade.

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Afterwards, we headed to the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.

Then, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.

The scenery was breath-taking. Though, before reaching the rock formation, you have to pass through a muddy field so get ready to soak your slippers and shoes. By the way, I recommend you to bring one comfy slippers/step-in and one shoes (running or basketball shoes will do). It’s always better to be prepared.

Our next destination is at Bangui Windmills. I used to believe that people can swim in the beach near the windmills but only then did I realize that just dippin’ in the water is actually not advisable. The waves are too big (the surfing type). I’m just not sure if swimming is officially prohibited but don’t swim okay? It might be too dangerous.

Please excuse my jumpshot though! \m/

After visiting 4 destinations in the morning, we went to a public beach and ate our packed lunch. We only paid for the cottage. Our cottage is overlooking the waters of the Blue Lagoon. Upon witnessing its beauty, one can really say that it is the Boracay of the North.

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We spent an hour or two to swim and collect seashells and then we headed to our next destination, Paoay Sand Dunes. I didn’t get the chance to experience the ATV ride and the sand boarding though because it was so hot. I chose to stay with the others while waiting for 4 of our friends who tried those two exciting activities. The ATV ride and sand boarding activities costs Php 500 per head.

We had our last destination in another public beach, still in Pagudpud. We waited for the sunset before heading back to the rest house.

On our last day, we decided to trek. We passed through the Patapat Viaduct.

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We happened to see a little cave on our way to Kabigan Falls. See the scenic beauty on the photo below. It’s like you’re about to step into another world.

We took pictures and finally headed to our last destination, Kabigan Falls. We trek our way to this hidden falls. It took us an hour to reach the place. When we arrived, we swam for another hour. The water, as expected, was ice-cold. We took pictures again. And here’s my indian-sit selfie shot, tee-hee!

Going back took us 45 minutes or less. We drove back to the rest house and prepared our things. 3 days and 2 nights is not enough. We may have been to many tourists spots but I recommend to at least spend one week to really enjoy Ilocos. It’s a region you might not want to miss in your bucket lists.

On our way to Manila, I told myself, “I want to travel more.” So I want to thank this opportunity that I had another dream unleashed.

Thank you for reading and hope to inspire you to travel more, like I do!

Danica★

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