VIP: Vigan, Ilocos (Laoag), Pagudpod. Among the 3 we visited, I think I liked our stint in Laoag the best.
On our way to Laoag from Pagudpod, we had brief stopovers at the Patapat Viaduct, Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse before checking in our hotel..
Ilocos Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region. Its capital is Laoag City. Ilocos Norte is noted for being the birthplace of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who led an authoritarian rule over the country during the latter half of his incumbency. The Marcoses enjoy a modicum of popularity in the province. Ilocos Norte is also known as a northern tourist destination, being the location of Fort Ilocandia, an upper class hotel and beach resort famous among expatriates, and Pagudpud.
The Patapat Viaduct is elevated 31 meters over sea level. It is a concrete coastal bridge 1.3 km long & connects the Maharlika Highway from Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley. The viaduct was completed and opened in October 1986. It rises along the town’s coastal mountains & is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.
The Bangui Windmills is a wind farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. It uses 20 units of 70-metre (230 ft) high Vestas V82 1.65 MW wind turbines, arranged on a single row stretching along a nine-kilometer shoreline off Bangui Bay, facing the West Philippine Sea. All 20 turbines run a graceful arc reflecting the shoreline of Bangui Bay, facing the West Philippine Sea.
Arguably one of the most iconic places in Ilocos Norte, the Bangui Wind Farm has been synonymous with the region since it was commissioned in 2005.
Operated by the NorthWind Power Development Corporation, the Bangui Wind Farm was born out of a study done in 1996. 20 years later, the Bangui Wind Farm is still standing strong, providing 50% or 33 megawatts of Ilocos Norte’s electricity.
Finally got this VIP trip off our bucket list. For 3 years, Kap had been planning to visit Ilocos, now it’s finally a reality for him. ;)
The Kapurpurawan is a rock formation which is literally very white in color taken from its Ilocano root word puraw. Different shapes of the rocks can be seen such as the iconic head, cradle and the resting dragon. Formed by a geological deposition of minerals, this is a sedimentary rock formed by sedimentation, where minerals and organic particles settle and accumulate or it precipitates from a solution. The rocks were carved out by surrounding sandstone by both mechanical and chemical weathering. This one is said to be the HEAD (of course, unimaginative me, I can’t see how it’s a head. ;P
Kap: Sweetheart mag-kabayo ka na kaya.
Me: Where is it ba going, diba just there?? Me: (after 20 minutes walking & still not getting “just there”) Asan na ba ang mga kabayo?
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. This 66-foot-tall (20 m) octagonal stone tower also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. The lighthouse was first lit on March 30, 1892 and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador. After over 100 years, it still functions & serves ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.
High above, you’ll catch a view of the West Philippine Sea. Inside the lighthouse museum (10 pesos entrance fee per person), you’ll see some rooms where they display the miniature of the lighthouse itself and some literature on the history of the structure.
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse was declared a National Historical Landmark on August 13, 2004 and a National Cultural Treasure on June 20, 2005 by the Philippine Government. Cheap tricycle rides uphill (50 pesos per trip) are a welcome option for the infirm and the lazy (definitely me!) ;))
Maybe because it was just us 5, no pressure. Ya gotta admit, when with people other than family, you tend to put your best foot forward & try to be your most pleasant, lalo na tayong mga Pinoy. Pakikisama is a general trait in our country. So even if you’re hella tired, not feeling well, or just plain not in the mood to socialize, you still have to put up a brave front & paste on your brightest smile.
Si Kap, mahilig sa group outings. He likes to join families in vacations, kahit na hindi magkakailala, pagsasamahin nya, which I find really awkward. The giblings & I, we like low key & relaxing vacays. We like to be able to eat only when we want to. –yun bangwalang call time, walanghintayan, walang expectations. We want to go where we want to without having to wait for the rest (which you gotta admit, takes a while especially in a big group & becomes chaotic) or getting everyone’s consensus on where to go or where to eat or what to do. Ubos ang oras, pati na ang pasensya. :P
Or maybe, because Laoag is sorta a city. Time & again, I keep saying I’m not a resort kind of girl. Ayaw ko talaga ng mga nature-looking accommodations with lotsa creepy crawlies looming about, so Fort Ilocandia, no matter how old & outdated it may be, is a major upgrade for me, lol.
Kap booked 2 rooms in Fort Ilocandia for us. He was able to get a promo (from September 1 – December 20, 2017 only) of 6,999/room for our 3 days/2 nights stay in a standard room. Add a bit and you can avail of a Deluxe Room for only 8,999.00 for 3 days/2 nights stay. Of course, Kap being Kap, we stayed in the SRO – Standard Rooms Only! :P
It is a HUGE hotel. Getting to our room from the entrance takes about 15 minutes, that’s how BIG it is. Also, it reminds me of Paref Woodrose because of the red bricks & structure.
Fort Ilocandia is the only 5-star deluxe resort hotel in northern Philippines sprawling over 77 hectares of land with a 2 kilo-meter sandy beach facing the South China Sea. It is located in the heart of the city of Laoag and the province of Ilocos Norte. The resort is a complete service complex resort hotel & a mere 10 minutes drive from the Laoag International Airport.
Fort Ilocandia has a total of 290 guest bedrooms ranging from the standard room to the most revered presidential suite (with en suite living & dining rooms, jacuzzi & sauna, library). Each room offers a scenic view of either the resort gardens or the swimming pool. Across each other, the kids & I enjoyed both views.
Room package is inclusive of breakfast buffet (not impressive, but considering they charge 499 php only/person, huwag nang magreklamo, lels). Additional 1,200 per night is charged for extra person/bed in excess of the standard & acceptable double occupancy.)
For dinner, a reader recommended we try La Preciosa for it’s one of a kind Carrot Cake. We went to check, liked what we saw, and decided to have dinner there. Thank you Zianne for your kind recommendation! :-*
Rizal Street, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (077) 773 1162 | +63.77.773.2159
More ilocano dishes for dinner at La Preciosa – home of salted egg bagnet & (reputably the best ever) CARROT CAKE!
Apparently -based on her photo on the wall, Aling Presing (Preciosa Palma) & I have the same favorite past time. Eating, hehe!
Of course, a whole carrot cake for dessert to honor Zianne who was so gracious to share with us her find. Small 350 php.
While waiting for our food, we munched on these mushroom cruncharon & chichacorn (only by Aling Presing). We had a hoot recounting how koya henna artist f’d up my tattoo. Buti nalang at hindi yan permanent, hay naku! Still, I had to walk around with it for 3 weeks looking so silly! ;))
What we ordered: Bagnet bacon 195, Salted Egg Bagnet with KBL (kamatis, bagoong, lazuna) 195, Crispy dinardaraan (dinuguan cooked crispy & dry) 185, Pancit lusay (with longganisa & ilocos bagoong) 88, Fish kilawen 195 & Puqui puqui (tortang talong with tomato & onions) 165.
Our 3-day Laoag trip is just too long, siniksik & sinulit talaga ni Kap ng lakwatcha. I gotta break it in 2 parts -my apologies. Our Malacañang of the North & Paoay Church visits, as well as our exciting sand dunes adventure, up next!