Friday, August 8, 2014

In love with Ilocos Norte

Last month, I shared about the various Ilocano food that we tried and enjoyed while on a short vacation in Ilocos Norte in the last days of summer. Now, I'd like to share with you some photos of the places that our family was able to visit in this province in the northern Philippines. I hope these pictures give justice to the natural (as well as man-made) beauty of Ilocos Norte which I came to love next to my home province of Quezon.

In Laoag City (on our way to Pagudpud), we met with our company's Ilocos region bureau chief and she brought us to Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant. Clockwise from bottom left: facade of Saramsam and Balay da Blas Pensionne House; Ilocos Fresh Pancit; Saramsam Pasta; Pinakbet Pizza; and
Salamagui (tamarind) juice.

The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag City, built in year 1612. Apparently, an earthquake caused
 it to sink but I find no clear account of this story. 

       Paoay Church in the municipality of Paoay. Its construction was completed in year 1710.

                                                           Paoay Church, front view

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos town. Bottom right picture shows the view from its top.

Clockwise from left, bottom: The Kapurpurawan rock formation; welcome sign at the entrance to where the rocks are; a sculpture by Ilocano-Ibaloi sculptor Paul Quiano; its description; and the Burgos windmills at sunset, taken from the Bangui windmills site.
                           The postcard-pretty Bangui Windmills at dusk of an overcast day.

At long last, we reach Pagudpud! This picture was taken when we were leaving this town
though, because we arrived around 8 pm and it was already too dark to take pictures.
 This is where we stayed in Pagudpud for 3 days, 2 nights - Maria Exaltacion Lodge 
near Saud Beach.
Lunch the following day was at Kapuluan Vista Resort
Some of what we had for lunch: clockwise from bottom left: Grilled porkchop; Dinuguan with Bagnet; Pancit Bihon; and Menudo.

              After lunch, we had picture-taking at Patapat Bridge, also in Pagudpud. Nice view!

After Patapat Bridge, we spent the whole afternoon at this Pagudpud beach (which name I can't recall, 
though the kids say it's Blue Lagoon), till after we've had dinner. We rented a hut here for P800.

Almost nighttime now. Time to get out of the water and have dinner.

 We ordered food from one of the huts near the beach selling home-cooked meals. This was our "paluto" meal consisting of rice, inihaw na liempo, tortang talong, grilled fish and ensaladang talong. Everything for just 
P1,600 and enough for our group of 14 persons.

On our last day in Ilocos Norte, we left Pagudpud in the morning and had breakfast at the Riverside Empanadaan in Batac town. We had: (clockwise from bottom left): Dinakdakan; my daughter poses with the huge poster of Empa and Nada mascots; the delicious
 Ilocos empanada; Igado.

This was our last stop in Ilocos Norte on our way to Baguio City (which was the last leg of our six-day northern Philippines trip):  the Virgen Milagrosa chapel in Badoc town. Of all the places we visited in Ilocos Norte, this was the one I loved the most because of the very serene and beautiful sea with crystal-clear blue water on a bed of colorful pebbles.
Bottom left: Interiors of the chapel; Top: The chapel by the sea; Bottom right: the oh-so-lovely beach of Badoc
What a blessing from the Lord indeed it was to be able to travel to Ilocos Norte and enjoy its many beautiful places and scrumptious food with the whole family, including my nephews and niece, sisters and our mom plus a cousin who is very close to us. Such a big outing-reunion is hard to come by, considering the costs these days and our busy schedules, and two of my sisters living abroad. Thanks to my Ate who went home from the US for a vacay, as she footed most of the bills. Most importantly, I thank the Lord for my loving and generous family. It's one of my life's greatest blessings.

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