Day One in Ilocos

It was my first time in Ilocos. It was historical and surprising. Though Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpod are 2 hours away from each, it was worth visited. We only had 3 days spent on these places yet it was an amazing trip.

From Manila to Laoag

Me, Mara and Vane departed Manila at 1:00 PM. The flight was a bit delayed but there’s nothing to worry since we only had few activities on our first day.

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At 2:30 PM, we arrived at Laoag International Airport. As we checked out from the airport there are numerous tricycle drivers that offer trip from airport to the city proper, as well as Laoag City tour. You may avail of their service but the best thing to do is to have a research first and have a contact ahead of time. And that’s what we did. Me-An of Polaris Beach Resort helped me on how it cost if we travel from here and there in Ilocos, so we already had an idea of what would be our expenses.

Moving on, we rode a tricycle going to Laoag City proper. It cost PHP 170.00 for the three of us (I’m not good with haggling). The travel time was 20 minutes. By the way, tricycle in Ilocos is small and can only fit 3 passengers.

Laoag Side Trip

The driver dropped us in St. William’s Cathedral. From here, we started our side trip.

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The church looks nothing special, I guess I haven’t explored the church that much since I’m already bit tired (I still came from my shift and been awake for almost 20 hours). Afterwards, just outside the church was the Sinking Bell tower.

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From there, we crossed the street and we found a plaza. And here’s my photo taken there.
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Facing in front of the plaza is the Ilocos Note Capitol.

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Moving on, just a 5 minutes walk from the plaza is the Ilocos Norte Museum, located at Gen. Luna corner Llanes Streets. Entrance fee is PHP 30.00. It was hot inside, maybe because of the bulbs. It was nice to see how an old house inside looks like. The things, the room and the place which created insights of how Filipino lived before.

“The museum was primarily designed to instill a sense of pride for the roots of the young Ilocanos, Yapayaos, Itnegs and other citizens of the province. It aims to create, among both the young and old, a feeling of belonging for their ancient homeland. By imbuing the Ilocanos and their provincemates with a more intimate knowledge of their ancestry and legacy, they will grow in a awareness and take pride in their local culture. The symbol of the Museo, a many-rayed sun, is taken from one of the finials at the back of the 9th century church of San Nicolas.”  – http://www.museoilocosnorte.com

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Afterwards, we’ve decided to go to a grocery store for us to buy foods and things we needed for our trip to Vigan and Pagudpud. We have no idea if where’s the nearest grocery store was so we walked until we reached this street with business establishments. From there, we haven’t seen any grocery store yet until I saw this woman who has a grocery bag on her hand. We asked her and she lead us to Ilocos Norte’s mini-mall, Sisters. 🙂

The grocery store is just along the street.

It was already 4:00 PM, and I’m already famished. I haven’t taken my lunch yet. We wanted something local nearby but we can’t found any, so we ended up eating in Jollibee. I even took a picture with Jollibee as if there’s none here. 🙂

From Laoag City to Vigan

Afterwards, we rode a tricycle (just outside the Jollibee) going to the bus terminal (with buses going to Vigan). But the driver brought us on this small terminal with ordinary buses only, so we asked the driver to take us to the one with air-conditioned bus because we want a comfty seat. As we go along, a Partas Bus passed on our way, and so I remembered that Partas bus has air condition bus going to Vigan, so I asked the driver to take us to the Partas bus terminal. The common 10 minutes travel time from the city proper to bus terminal, became 30 minutes for us because of going in and out of the terminals.

When we reached the Partas Terminal, we sat and relaxed first since the next bus will still arrive at 06:00 PM. The bus fare costs PHP 121.00 each.

At 5:45 PM, a bus arrived going to Cubao, so we ignored it. However, we noticed kami na lang nasa bench, so I asked the man from the cashier if what time does the bus going to Vigan will arrive. Then he said that it was the bus going to Cubao. So we panicked a bit, took our things then boarded the bus. Buti na lang di pa umaalis yung bus. But someone taken my bus seat… Grrr! I was really annoyed. The bus conductor told me na sa dulo na lang ako umupo para di na magkagulo but I was really pissed.

At 8:30 PM, we arrived at Vigan. The travel time from Laoag to Vigan was 2 1/2 hours.

 Trip Tips:

  • There are tricycles available outside Laoag International airport that offer Laoag tour and going to Laoag city proper.
  • Some historical sites in Laoag are walking distance away from each so there’s no need to take a vehicle.
  • Other sites to visit:
    • Tobacco Monopoly Monument
    • St. Monica Church in Sarrat
    • La Paz Sand Dunes
    • Mausoleum of Marcos in Batac
    • Paoay Church
    • Malacañang of the North
  • Sisters is the mini-mall of Laoag City.
  • If you want a comfortable seat and air-conditioned bus going to Vigan City, you may take the Partas Bus. It doesn’t mean that the bus should have exactly Vigan signboard as buses to Manila pass by Vigan. Buses to Vigan are hourly but to be safe, assume that the latest bus to Vigan is 6:00 PM.

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