Part I: Mesmerized by the Beauty of Nature – Ultimate Ilocos Tour

“Relationships are like birds, if you grip tight they die, if you hold loosely they fly but if you hold with care, love and respect they remain with you forever.” – Unknown

6991_10202567992553307_540448072_nWe’ve been waiting for March for so long and we thought of having something new in our upcoming 2nd year anniversary and birthday celebration of budz. A plan of ultimate getaway  pop up in our mind — ILOCOS adventure! 🙂 First thing we did was to read some blogs regarding Ilocos tour and afterwards contact possible travel and tour agency that can help us prepare our itinerary.

Since summer is already coming we decided to invite our college friends in this getaway, we thought that they might be interested. However, with their different reasons they weren’t able to join but one of them joined us with his common friends (Kyle).  So we were six in the group. We were combined with another group of friends to complete the tour.

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Disclaimer: I am not going to post group pictures in this blog because of a certain scenario that happened to my friend Kyle.

Day 1: March 14, 2014

Happy 2nd year anniversary! 🙂

We were late in our itinerary because the van we were riding that time went wrong. They were really pissed off to what happened so I was very upset that time because I am the one who organized the getaway. Crossed-fingers and hoping for a fun moments after what happened.

Our first stopped was in Ilocos Sur Bell Tower, we were supposed to be there to witness the sunrise but since we arrived late we weren’t able to see it.  There’s also a Catholic Church before the Bell Tower.

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After visiting the Old Bell Tower, we went to Hidden Garden for our breakfast.  The place was so beautiful and customers are not allowed to smoke as it is surrounded by different plants. (Remember it’s a Garden) The ambiance of the place was so peaceful and quiet that was so perfect for relaxation after a stressful long hours of drive getting into Ilocos.

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After eating we roamed around the vicinity of the place and found nothing else but different plants. You can also buy mini plant there if you want. 🙂

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Next in our itinerary was to visit the Baluarte of Chavit Singson. The place was so big that’s why we weren’t able to see the whole zoo. We were hiding from the sun that was too hot that time. (Killjoy) Hahaha. I am not really a fan of animals so it’s fine with me.  There’s also an on-going construction when we went there so we were not allowed to come in other part of the zoo.

IMG_3750 Dinooooossssaur. 🙂

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If I remember it right, it was my first time to saw a tiger in my entire life. Scaaaary.

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After Baluarte ni Singson, we went to Crisologo Museum. There’s a donation collected upon entering the museum that will be use for the maintenance of it. This is not a compulsory, it is just a way of giving help to them. Crisologo was the Congressman shot in the head by unidentified gunman.  

IMG_3825The place was not air-conditioned nor ventilated so we were sweating a lot. Imagine, we just came from a zoo with a sun that was too hot and entered a museum without any ventilation or air-condition. I actually refused to be photograph there, so budz do the posing most of the time. The place was so old and there were a lot of antiques. We were not permitted to touch any of it. (But we did.) Sorry! 🙂

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Hagardo Verzosa Look. 🙂

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Our Ilocos adventure will not be complete without trying the pottery making. Ilocos is also known for this.  We find it easy to do, however difficult to perfect but as a beginner we did it very well. Hahaha. 🙂

My not so perfect heart shape pot.

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Budz did it very well, look at his pot. Isn’t amazing? Maybe it’s his destiny to be a pot maker. 🙂
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Here are some of the photos taken in Burnayan place. I liked it because it perfectly matched my outfit. 🙂
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We already ate our lunch right after the Burnayan visit. I highly recommend Bagnet as your viand! It seems that this is the only viand I ordered from the start of the tour until the last day.  🙂IMG_3990

We also visited the Mausoleum of Marcos in Batac, however picture taking was strictly prohibited. The body of late President Marcos seems to be a candle human sleeping inside a glass surrounded by a flowers. 

Then the next tourist spot we visited was the old church of Paoay. I find it really astonishing even if it is already old.  I hope that the locals there will maintain the beauty of it.

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There’s a prayer garden beside the old Paoay church.IMG_4055 IMG_4062The day was almost near to end so we decided to start the extreme experience in Ilocos. The La Paz Sand Dunes experience! 🙂 We rode in a 4×4 wheel and tour around the sand. I only saw that kind of adventure in Dubai film of John Lloyd and Claudine if I remember it correctly. Before I forgot, we paid for a 500PHP per person for this activity that was good for 1 hour.  It’s all worth it and I suggest not to skip this to whoever will visit Ilocos. 🙂 Actually, this was the highlight of our Day 1 in Ilocos.

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After lots of shouting during the ride in 4×4 wheel, we tried the sand boarding. Budz was really good at it, (is there anything that he cannot do?????) We are all first timer and in his second attempt he did it great.

My supaaaah hot boyfriend. :p

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We had a video of sand boarding together and  you can hear the other set of the group were clapping. I assumed they were clapping for budz not for me as you can see I do it my way. Hahaha.

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Mission accomplished to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary with something new and extremely hot. IMG_4128IMG_4195IMG_4213Here’s the details of our Day 1 itinerary. Since our arrival in Ilocos was delayed, the timing below was not followed and there were some places also that we were not able to visit.

March 14, 2014  VIGAN/ LAOAG TOUR

  • 05:30am Sunrise Viewing at Bantay Belfry tower
  •         Visit St. Augustine church
  • 06:00am Estimated time of arrival at Vigan
  •         Breakfast at Hidden Garden (on own pax account)
  • 07:00am Proceed to Baluarte
  • 08:00am Visit Crisologo Museum and Burnayan (Pottery making)
  • 09:30am Estimated time of departure Vigan to batac
  • 11:30am Estimated time of arrival at Batac. Visit Marcos Mausoleum
  • 12:00pm Lunch at RAFAELS RESTAURANT (Foodcourt meals, estimated at 100/pax 1rice+3viands+softdrink
  • 01:30pm Proceed to Paoay Church
  • 02:00pm La Paz Sand Dunes
  • OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Php 2500 for 1 hr minimum 4-5persons  (Sand Boarding and 4×4 Ride in La Paz Sand Dunes
  • (03:00pm Malakanyang ti Amianan) visited last day of the tour
  • 04:00pm Sidetrip at Shrinking Bell Tower, Aurora Park and Ilocos Norte Capitol Building
  • 05:45pm Check in at Hotel
  • 07:00pm Dinner at Laoag City

Thank you for reading our Ilocos Trip post! Here’s the link of our Ilocos Part II.  https://winaydapu.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/part-ii-mesmerized-by-the-beauty-of-nature-ultimate-ilocos-tour/

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3 thoughts on “Part I: Mesmerized by the Beauty of Nature – Ultimate Ilocos Tour

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