Three Days in Ilocos
Have you checked our Philippine holidays proclaimed for this year? We’ve got a lot of long weekends this 2012 and that means a lot of chance to travel, it could be overnight or 3 days and 2 nights. That might sounds short period for some to chill and to explore but there are ways for us to enjoy those travel days.
One proof that I fully enjoyed a trip for 3 days and 2 nights is when I traveled to some provinces in Ilocos region.
How to go to Ilocos?
Ilocos can be reached by bus or by plane. Two major buses that ply from Metro Manila to Laoag are Partas Bus and Florida Bus. Travel time takes about 10 hours or so. But if the long road trip isn’t good for you, you can travel by air via Cebu Pacific or AirPhil Express. Travel time takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes.
We got a promo fare when we went to Ilocos, our ticket is from Manila to Laoag.
Our flight was delayed so we arrived at Laoag Airport pretty late, 3:00 PM. We were already behind our itinerary. From airport we looked for a tricycle that took us to Laoag Town proper. Estimated fare each is PHP 50.00. Since it was already late for us to go to Sand Dunes of Laoag we just toured around town. The spots were pretty close from each other so there was no need to hire for a vehicle.
Our first stop was the St. Williams Cathedral, then just outside the church area is the Sinking Bell Tower. Then we walked towards the Museum of Ilocos Norte, it’s just across the street and a few blocks away from Ilocos Norte Capitol. The Tobacco Monopoly Monument is just behing the museum.
After the short tour around Laoag, we looked for a grocery store to buy food and stuff we needed for our trip. One of the famous supermarkets here in Laoag is the Sister’s.
We didn’t spend overnight in Laoag. We went to Vigan afterwards. To get there we rode a tricycle from the town proper going to the bus terminal. We rode Partas Bus with Cubao/Pasay signboard. This bus will pass by Vigan. Bus fare is PHP 121.00 each with 2 hours travel time.
It was already past 8:00 PM when we arrived in Vigan. One word that describes Vigan for me is classic! The place is very historical. One shouldn’t miss how Vigan looks like at night.
After we witnessed how Calle Crisologo looked like at night we went to our lodging at Casa Teofila. I opted Casa Teofila (contact: 722.2682) because of it’s affordable rates. The room is usual, nice and cheap. It has A/C, cable TV and toilet and bath. It’s good for 3 persons and cost PHP 850.00. You can take a tricycle from the Plaza Burgos going to Casa Teofila.
We woke up early on our second day to tour around Vigan. From our lodging, we rode a tricyle to Baluarte. Travel time was 20 minutes. It was a zoo owned by Governor Chavit. The admission is free. We were amazed how Baluarte looks like. The field was huge. There are ducks, deer, horses and ostrich in the field. You can also ride a horse for free.
By the way, there is no regular tricycle from Baluarte. So we waited until a tricycle came. We asked the driver to take us to Calle Crisologo but the driver suggested if we want to go to Hidden Garden, so we agreed. It was 20 minutes ride from Baluarte to Hidden Garden. Also, there’s no entrance fee here. They also have restaurant inside if you want to dine in for breakfast or lunch. We’re still full from our breakfast so we just ordered Vigan Empanada.
We went to Calle Crisologo afterwards. We walked along the street and looked for souvenirs and stuff.
When in Vigan it’s a must try to eat at Kusina Felecitas in Grandpa’s Inn. It was already 11:00 AM so we went back to our lodging. We checked out and moved on to our next destination, Pagudpud.
From our lodging is 20 minutes tricycle ride going to Partas Bus Terminal near the market. For us to get to Pagudpud, we went back to Laoag. When we arrived in Laoag, we rode a tricycle from Partas Bus Terminal to bus terminal going to Pagudpud. Then we rode another bus going to Pagudpud.
I asked the bus conductor to drop us in Burgos where the Cafe Bojeador Lighthouse was. Mang Arnel (0918.6890723), our driver/tour guide in Pagudpod instructed me that we need to drop at Burgos, wherein the tour will start. The fare to Burgos is PHP 55.00 with 1 1/2 hour travel time. If you’re going to do a Southbound Pagudpud tour first, it’s advisable to alight at Burgos because the town proper is quite far from the Cafe Bojeador Lighthouse.
The Southbound Tour costs us PHP 600.00 (a tricycle can fit 3 persons utmost). The places included on this tour are; Cafe Bojeador Lighthouse, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Bangui Windmills Viewing Deck and Bangui Windmills and some stops on the road.
After the tour, Mang Arnel took us to our lodging in Polaris Beach Resort (Me-An/0919.3078803). The resort is located at the end side of Saud beach. The room is good for 4 persons and cost us PHP 1,500. The room doesn’t have TV and hot shower.
We woke up early again on our day 3 and checked out the beach. It was our last day in Ilocos but we still had another tour to do before we end our 3 days trip.
Mang Arnel fetched us at around 9:00 AM for the Northbound Tour. It costs us another PHP 600.00 for this tour. The places included on this tour are; Kabigan Falls, Patapat Viaduct, Agua Grande, Paraiso ni Anton, Timangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, Dos Hermanos Island and Blue Lagoon.
We had our lunch in one of paluto area in Blue Lagoon beach. We explored the beach while waiting for our food to be cooked.
It was good that the weather was fine. I like the beach here, I love the waves (not too wavy compared to Saud Beach). Not the beach with the finest sand I’ve been to but the place was very relaxing, maybe because we’re the only tourist around. Before we ended our trip, we asked Mang Arnel to take us to Kapuluan Vista just to check it out. Then we went back to Polaris Beach Resort. We washed, fixed our things and checked out from the resort. The resort didn’t charge us for the excess time. Then Mang Arnel took us to the bus station going to Laoag.
We arrived in Laoag at 6:30 PM. Our flight was still in the late evening so we still have time to try some local restaurants in Laoag. We had our dinner at Saramsam Cafe. They offer local and traditional dish with a twist. After dinner, we then took a tricycle going to the airport.
Our flight was delayed and we arrived in Metro Manila at around 12:00 AM.
Definitely we had fun on our 3 days trip. We were able to visit a lot of places in a short pan of time; historic structures, restaurants, beach and more.
We spent more or less PHP 4,000 each for this trip excluding round trip airfare.