Last September 2015, me and our friends went to the Northern part of Luzon, ILOCANDIA! *confetti on the side* It was my first time to travel without my parents so this must be a memorable trip for me. Our flight going to Manila was delayed so supposed to be it’s 11 pm and change to 2 am. I know what’s your reaction when you experience this. And so we arrive 3am at NAIA, then directly rode to our van because it was already in the departure area waiting for us so we started the 10 hours long ride. Of course, we have also stopped overs in case we want to eat and go to the comfort room. This must be the longest and the most stress land travel I ever had. Because of the delayed flight, we couldn’t follow on what is on our itinerary so my friends and our guide decided if we passed by place which was on our itinerary, we’ll just stop by.
After many hours traveled, when we reached the Ilocos Norte arch some of us jumped of happiness, then we reached also by Paoay Church. It’s 6 pm when we arrived at SM City Laoag. We realized that it’s our time to eat our dinner so we bought food and we’ll just eat in our hotel in Pagudpud.
Another one hour ride, I woke up because I heard some of our friends were frightened because we were lost. We never know that it’s creepy to travel on the evening in Pagudpud. There was no lamp post, especially going to our hotel. We didn’t know that our hotel is also a secluded place. I’m also scared because all we can see outside our van was trees and hanging vines. Creepy isn’t it? Good thing, our guide and the driver were very positive, then there they saw a small signage “Villa del Nico this way” and there was a stranger stand by. Our guide asked him about our hotel, so he told us that he’s one of the caretakers of the hotel. He’s just waiting for us. Finally! Thank you, good Lord!
Villa Del Nico actually is like a rest house turned into a resort. When we arrived here it’s so very quiet to think we arrived here at 9pm and we were so hungry. We directly prepared our food and eat our dinner, then took a bath and sleep. Their air conditioner was useless while some of their air coolers were not working well. The caretakers were so accommodating when they prepared for our breakfast. They also recooked our leftovers when we arrived there. Thanks Ate and Kuya!
Then the DAY 2 begins, it was very a long long day. We had so many places we’ve been. We had so many activities done. First, we went to Patapat Viaduct, then to Bantay Abot Cave then stopped over to Hannah’s Beach Resort at Blue Lagoon we didn’t take a dip on the beach because it was so hot and we’re also lazy to change clothes , Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and lastly to the ever famous Bangui Windmills. We went to those places for just 5 hours. You can identify that you’re in Pagudpud because of the windmills scattered anywhere. There were so plenty windmills around.
After we ate our lunch, we directly went to Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. Inside the Former President Marcos’ mausoleum, you can’t bring phone, gadgets or cameras to take a picture of his remains. There were three guards inside and we have to be silent as we entered there. At first, it’s kind a creepy because of the instrumental music played then it’s also cold inside. Then we also entered to their museum. We seen the memorabilias of Marcos couple. From their shoes, to their favorite “butong pakwan” (dried watermelon seeds) until to their vehicle plates.
The best activity during our Day 2 in Ilocandia was, the 4×4 Riding and Sand boarding at Paoay Sand Duuuunes! Yay! It was so fun and challenging, challenging that it made you crazy. The jeep sometimes will stop on the edge and then the Kuyang Driver will step on the gas so hard and drive you down.
When we head to our hotel in Vigan, we went to Calle Crisologo. They said that it is best to visit the streets during night time than during the day. There were some ancestral house that were converted into coffee shops, restaurants and disco club.
Last day of our Ilocandia Adventure, we woke up early and ate our breakfast. First we went to Pagburnayan Pottery Making, then to Hidden Garden I bought a fortune plant for my mom :), and lastly to Baluarte. It made myself back to my childhood days when I had my first visit at Cebu Zoo. I was amazed of their talented animals. We also took a selfie with their famous dinosaur figures.
The long drives, butt hurts and back pains were all worth it. Ilocos offers a lot of varieties. It was so fun, thrilling and breathtaking. I was so amazed how people preserved the atmosphere, yet some of it ruined the vintage feel of the place. Thank you so much NSE Travel and Tours for helping and guiding us during our Ilocos Tour. From our accommodations, to our van and to how you managed to handle some circumstances. Kudos to Kuya Charles and Kuyang Driver!
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