Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ilocos Tour: Day 1 & 2 - Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Our tour bus
Ilocos Tour

This is another late post ;-)

We were in the Philippines last June 2014 for my husband's family reunion and the highlight of our vacation was the Ilocos Tour.  Neither my family nor my husband's family is from Ilocos.  Every time we visit Philippines we would always go to one of the Hot Springs Resort in Laguna, I got bored and suggested to my husband to try different places.  Last 2012 we went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan (aside from Laguna) and we were planning to go and try Coron, Palawan this year but my sisters-in-law suggested Ilocos so they can come with us too along with their families since this tour is a bit cheaper than Palawan.  It's pretty hard to plan this tour since my husband's family is big ;-) he has 7 siblings, fortunately we succeed ;-) despite tight budgets.

We planned this tour 3 months prior to our arrival with my sisters-in-law through Facebook group messenger, this was actually part of their reunion's main agenda.  We reserved the tour package for 32 people from "My Travelicious Travel and Tours" which includes the bus, tour package (3 days 2 nights), tour guide, entrance fees for 20 people and lodging which we rented a 4 bedroom house with swimming pool at Pearl Patio.

Our meeting place was in Paranaque City (Metro Manila),  and we left there around 10pm of June 18 and arrived Laoag past 7am, June 19. We slept the entire trip, I just felt that I needed to, since the bus driver was driving too fast in a narrow winding road ;-)  lucky we can't see the road and I was so tired and exhausted.  After our breakfast at Señorita Dulce we headed straight to our rental house and brought our luggages and other stuff inside.  We ate lunch at Mario's restaurant and went to our first day trip, Malacanang of the North, we met our tour guide,  "Anch" and he's a very nice guy, he survived the craziness (but fun) of our family/clan . We tour the mansion and took some group pictures.    

Day 1- June 19, 2014

Late Philippine President Marcos' Mansion,  Malacanang of the North
Inside the mansion, panoramic view taken from my iPhone

From the mansion we went to Marcos' Mausoleum in Batac City, where I saw late President Marcos' body still laying in an enclosed glass coffin, the room temperature is kept low to preserve his embalmed body. After 25 years since his death, his remain still on public display.  The museum is adjacent to Mausoleum which shows the memorabilia of the late president.  

Marcos Museum

From the museum we walked to Batac's empanada market.  We had some empanadas for our snack and bought some gifts from souvenir shops.

Welcome Sign for taking picture

Empanada, famous snack in Batac
While we were at Paoay Church area, it was too hot I can't stand the heat,  so I just took some pictures outside and went back to our bus.  We also went to Sta. Monica park and passed Sta. Monica church but the rain was pouring hard, it's pretty ironic that it was sunny when we were at Paoay church.  We missed some places in our itinerary (including the sinking bell tower) due to the heavy rain and we ended up shopping at the grocery store in downtown or town capitol to prepare and cook for our dinner. 

Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte- one of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, completed 1710
Paoay Church Tower
Sta. Monica Church, Batac, Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol- back view of the monument
Front View of the Monument ;-) taken when I was inside the bus

Day 2- June 20, 2014

Our second day, the first trip was Cape Bojeador Light house,  located in Burgos Ilocos Norte,  it was established during the Spanish colonial period and its first lit was March 30, 1892.  During our visit, the tower was undergoing construction so we were not allowed to enter that area.

View from the light house overlooking West Philippine Sea

Cape Bojeador Light House

View of Cape Bojeador Light house

When we reached Kapurpurawan Rock formation, the sun was not cooperating (for taking pictures, it's ok though hehehe), lucky I was wearing my hat and used my sarong to cover my shoulder, it was too bright, hot and exhausting but we survived the walk, my hubby got sunburned though.  There's an option to ride the horse but we chose not to, it's worth to see the rock formation and the windmills, I love the stunning view.   While we were walking under the sun, thirsty and tired all my sisters/brothers-in-law were having fun staying under the shade buying some souvenir stuffs, they didn't bother to follow us, well actually they didn't want to get dark ;-)

On the Way to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, you can ride a horse and pay for a minimal amount of 35Pesos ( I think)

Windmills at Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos Ilocos Norte

Saw this statue while walking to the rock formation, maybe there's a legend behind it, our tour guide probably mentioned it but I was not paying attention ;-)

Another view of the windmills 

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos Ilocos Norte

Stunning Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

My nephews 

Riding a Horse is an option to get faster to the Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

We had some fun taking pictures at the Bangui Windmills, taking some jump shots, group pictures or group selfie ;-) And after that we headed to Pagudpud at Villa del Mar Resort where we had our lunch, while watching the ocean view. 
Bangui Windmills

Bangui Windmills

Bangui- this photo was taken when I was on the bus already 

We ended our day trip at the Pagudpud beach, we were supposed to go to some other places in our itinerary but our nephews and nieces wanted to stay longer at the beach, while us the adults were enjoying the company of my brother-in-law who just came from Canada and was late to ride with us in our bus tour.  He had a lot stories to tell us and to catch up with our stories too.  Since I live in Florida and close to the beach I didn't bother to swim,  watching the kids make me feel happy and contented that they're really enjoying this trip.

Pagudpud Beach

Pagudpud Beach



Here's our itinerary:

Day 1: Laoag City Tour

Malacanang of the North
Marcos Maoseleum/Musem
Batac Empanada
Paoay Church
Sta. Monica Church
Ilocos Norte Capitol

Day 2: Pagudpud Tour

Cape Bojeador Light House
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Bangui Windmills
Pagudpud Beach

If you want to check "My Travelicious Travel and Tours" for tour package, check their website:

**Next post, our third day adventure, Sand Dunes and Vigan Tour


Photo Cache said...

that rock is wildly popular with pinoys nowadays; i often see it in other peoples facebook or blog post.

i'm also doing some backlog post.
Worth a Thousand Words

Missy said...

Photo Cache- thanks for dropping by, yes Ilocos is very popular now to OFWs and balikbayans ;-)

bertN said...

Thanks for sharing with us your Ilocos Tour. I'll try to squeeze enough time to do this when I visit Pinas.

Beth said...

Wow, you've been to a lot of places in the North! We didn't go to the Mansion, the Lighthouse, and Paoay!!! I like the Kapurpurawan Rock formation pics! I should have taken more pics and came closer. Hayz. Not much time kasi. :(

Anyway, I like all the pics here talaga. :)

PS: So was the North tour worth it? Okay din naman siya kasi nakarating na din naman kayo sa Palawan before.

Missy said...

BertN- yes you should try to visit Ilocos, you've been to al to of places in the US and Europe so try Philippines now hehehe

Missy said...

Beth- the North tour was fun, different adventure, it's more on historical sites. I will post later our Sand Dune adventure and Vigan tour