The advertisement of Department of Tourism says: It’s more fun in the Philippines. Indeed, it’s true.
After Seasielle have been sun-kissed by Palawan, Ilocos gave her a time machine to travel back in time.
Last June 9-11 (where it was a long weekend in Philippines), seasielle and her family (Mama and older sister) went to Ilocos. They joined a tour composed of fourteen people, which was really inappropriate since it was an eight-hour drive (a long drive). Arranged by Costa Travel and Tour, and King and Joy, (definitely don’t book through this agencies since it was all about money for them) the tour was almost-perfect except that Seasielle’s mama and sister had to seat on an uncomfortable place throughout the entire journey, and they had to interact with their rude companions.
Left Eton, Quezon City at around 9:15 in the evening to travel to Vigan.
Had three to four stop-overs.
Day 1: Vigan
Lacked of sleep caused discomfort to Seasielle and her family that’s why when they arrived at Calle Crisologo around 4:45 in the morning, they were in a bad mood, but they went down the van to explore the said place during dawn. It was whimsical during the said time since the quantality can be felt clothing the history of Calle Crisologo. Spanish structure of houses is very significant in this one. The people living in those infrastructure never replaced the way it was built.
After Calle Crisologo, they went to eat breakfast at Hidden Garden. Because of exhaustion from lacked of sleep, they did not roam the said place. For the food, it was a not-a-good-one.
Up next: Baluarte.
Seasielle’s mother and sister went down just to capture photos (entrance and souvenir shop only). Mr. Sunshine was not welcoming during that time.
Bantay Bell Tower was the next attraction they’ve visited. They did not dare climbed the stairs because the scorching heat of the sun was really uninviting. They’ve just tried trick shots from the said place.
After that, the whole group travelled going to Marcos Mausoleum, and Malacañang of the North.
All of them (Seasielle and her companions) did not go down to Marcos Mausoleum since they were not interested. For the said attraction, one must pay Php 30 per person for the maintenance of it.
Malacañang of the North was the old house where the Marcos’ family grew up and lived for many years. It was a resemblance of power, elegance, and olden days. Entrance fee: Php 30.
After the visit to the said place, it was now time to pay tribute and respect to Paoay Church, which is more than hundred of years old already. Upon their arrival there, it was under renovation so the interior of it was not a photo friendly one; but outside, it was still magnificent, and Mr. Sunshine was really reliable that time since it was scorching hot: Picture Perfect for an Instagram worthy post.
Next attraction (second to the last for Day 1): Sand Dunes.
Apparently since no one in the group got a proper sleep, they all bid the opportunity to try 4×4 jeeps a farewell. Also, it was expensive for that extreme activity since you will just untidy yourself in the swirling ground of sands.
Finally, last stop: Sinking Bell Tower.
For this one, the whole group went down (not for the photo opportunity of the said place), but for the grocery store, and food establishments near it. They all bought food, and supplies for two more days of adventure.
After they had bought all their needed supplies, the whole group now travelled going to their hotel. They stayed in Vybe Hotel (3days). Upon entering their hotel room (which was a clean, and comfortable one), they wasted no time to clean-up, and went instantly to sleep.
Day 2: Pagudpud
Waking up as early as 6:00am, it was really a wondrous one to have a goodnight sleep for Seasielles’ group. After some “me-time,” they immediately went to the dining hall to eat their breakfast. Honest to goodness, it was quite fine, and the dining area was a clean one. Past 8:00 in the morning, the whole group departed the parking area of Vybe Hotel to travel going to Pagudpud.
First Stop: Cafe Bojeadora Lighthouse.
From the parking area, you can walk going uphill, or you can ride a tricycle which costs Php 20-30. The view was spectacular once you’ve reached the top (but not the highest point yet). This was a better start for something new in store.
Next: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.
This left Seasielle, her mother, and her sister in awed. This was actually their favorite amongst the rest since this was pure “Nature Love.” Nothing in this place was not extraordinary. In fact, one of FPJ’s (a popular actor in the Philippines) movie was filmed in this place. All Seasielle can say: The white scenery is as pure as one’s soul.
Third Stop: Bangui Windmills.
This was an effective source of energy especially within the premises since it was near the beach front, and Mr. Wind-blower is a frequent visitor in the said area. Also, a good photo opportunity for those Instagram fanatics.
Next Attraction: Patapat Viaduct.
This was just a quick stop where you can see the view of South China Sea, and the mountain going to Cagayan. Nothing worth-it in this one.
Second to the last for Day 2: Bantay Abot Cave.
Before you can reach the said destination, you have to go down to too many flight of stairs, then walked through the sea of rocks(which was quite sharp, and a bit smooth), and finally, climbed another flight of rocks. The prized: One-of-kind view in one destination. Meaning, Mr. Sea, Mr. Mountain, and Mr. Half-Cave in one place. A good one for pictures.
Finally, last stop: Blue Lagoon.
Here, nothing is quite out-of-the-box experience, except for the zipline (which Seasielle tried, and left her quite scared since it was already quite in the afternoon, and the wind is against the flow of the said zipline. But according to her, it was definitely one of the best. A must-try activity there). Aside from that, all you can do is just spend your day in the beach.
After such a fulfilling day 2, the whole group went back to their hotel, and spend the rest of the night in their rooms. (Some actually roamed the city, and capture some worth-it photos.)
*Note: for the Cafe Bojeadora Lighthouse, there’s an entrance fee.
In Kapurpurawan, you can ride a horse (if you don’t want to walk under the scorching heat of the sun) going to the said Rock Formation, which costs Php 100 back and forth. Finally, in Blue Lagoon, your group have to chip-in for a cottage rental.
Day 3: Time to Bid-Farewell to Ilocos
After the wake-up call at around 6 in the morning, the whole group went to eat their breakfast in the hotel dining room. Then, they immediately left Vybe Hotel.
Before heading back to Manila, they travelled back to Calle Crisogo to buy souvenirs. Afterwards, they had a stop-over at Vitalis Villa (which required an entrance fee of around Php 200 per person). A big No-No for you will just see replicas of Santorini in Greece. So, the whole group instantly left the said premises, and travelled back going to Manila.
Overall: It is really More Fun in the Philippines. Lots of Spectacular, and Breathtaking sceneries assembles by Nature, and made by Man can be seen in this country.