After our day tour in Baguio, we headed straight to the famous tourist destination in the Philippines which was acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the World’s Heritage Site, Vigan. We have not just visited Vigan alone but also Pagudpud and Laoag.
How to get to Ilocos Region from Baguio:
We rode Partas bus going to Laoag. We planned to book a ticket in advance; however they do not accept advance booking. Hence, we went to their bus station after we had our early dinner at SM Baguio. It was raining then and had no available taxi, so we walked from SM to Partas Bus Station. Good thing we left some of our baggages to our dear friends who stayed in Baguio, (Thanks Lena and Robert! 🙂 )
We were shocked upon arriving at Partas bus terminal. The line for passengers going to Ilocos region was intense. I think about three hundreds of people were lining up taking their chances to have a ride. Imagine that! Since it is a long weekend, most students went home to their respective provinces; thus causing such crowd. Partas then announced that it has 2 buses left: 1 bound for Laoag and 1 for Abra. Knowing that a bus has 60pax capacity, I and my friend split up: she fell in line while I roamed around thinking what we should do to get 2 tickets. Then I saw this group of young adults, who are close to the cashier, about 10 people away from the cashier. Desperate enough, begged for this kids to buy 2 tickets for us. Most of them didn’t agree since there are still hundreds of people lining up hoping to get their tickets too…except for one who decided to help us. Whew! Thank God! He was such an angel. So I was waiting near them until he finally got me two tickets! Minutes later, Partas announced that there are no tickets available. WHEW!!! Such heaven! I went back to my friend and rode the bus! WOHOO! If not because of that guy who helped us, we will be stuck in Baguio! So thankful to him! Happy kids here! So yeah, our ILOCOS adventure will not be possible without his help. The bus departed 11 in the evening.
“Lesson learned, when travelling during long weekends make sure to have your tickets booked or better hire a private van. 🙂 “
Travel time from Baguio to Laoag is 5 hours. We had a smooth travel that I was asleep the whole time. Oh wait, we had a stopover in Sison, Pangasinan where we had some snacks. Glad we made it there as it is my lolo’s homeplace and my middle name too is Sison. Haha.
We arrived in Laoag at 4:00 in the morning. We should supposed to be travelling to Pagudpud right away but there is no bus available yet, hence we decided to go to McDonalds. While waiting, we overheard a family asking directions to Pagudpud. Hence, I talked to them hoping that we can have a ride with them. Unfortunately, they did not allow us as we don’t know how to get there. L Killing the time, we saw a group of friends arrived in McDo. One of them is holding a “Gaisano” plastic bag while ordering, so I asked him if he is Bisaya. And poof! He is! Actually, they all are! They are from Bukidnon. We chatted for a couple of minutes and surprisingly, they are going to have an Ilocos Tour too! God really moves in mysterious ways, isn’t He? They offered us to join them. With no second thought, we grabbed it and paid Php800! Thanks to them for adopting us on their trip! Now, Fredrick and Freidrich have their own travel business, “FnF adventures”. Add them on Facebook.
Sinking Bell Tower
We first went to Sinking Bell Tower, just meters away from Mcdo and took these fun shots. This edifice is said to be sinking because the tower is so heavy and was built on a sandy ground which makes it sink considerably unto the ground at a rate of 1-inch every year.
An hour away from Laoag, we went straight to Pagudpud. As it is located in the top most northern part of Ilocos, we started touring there then going South back to Laoag then Vigan.
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
This lighthouse is one of the highest elevated spanish colonial lighthouses in the Philippines.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Situated in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is this Dragon-like rock formation. As researched, there is no public vehicle which transports in this area, hence make sure to have your own private car. Aside from its picturesque view, one can ride a horse going to a more stunning site. Unfortunately, we have not went there.
The iconic windmill is the first of its kind in southeast Asia. It has 20 tri-blades 70 meters high windmills arranged in an arc formation along the Bangui Bay which supply 40% of the needs of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative. .
We went back to Laoag and toured first to Marcos Museum and Mauseleum, Paoay Church and La Paz Sand Dunes.
Marcos Museum and Mausoleum
This is located in Batac City, Ilocos Norte. The museum houses memorabilia’s of the late President Marcos. His body is also laid there and picture taking is strictly prohibited. Entrance for the Museum is P50 per person while the Mausoleum is free of charge.
Famous Ilocos Empanada
Just across the Marcos Museym is Batac’s famous Empanada.
Considered as one of UNESCO world heritage site, this prime example of a baroque church was built in 1896 by the Augustinian friars using coral bricks.
La Paz Sand Dunes
The well-known sand dunes in La Paz were created by the interaction of the wind, sea and river. You can have great adventures here such as 4 x 4 Ride, Sand Boarding and ATV.
After we exhausted ourselves in La Paz Sand Dunes, we headed to Vigan, 2 hours away from Laoag.
Known for its cobblestone steets, Calle Crisologo is another World Heritage Site proclaimed by UNESCO.
The street is lined with stores where one can buy various Vigan products to bring home as souvenirs.
Baluarte Mini Zoo
From Calle Crisologo, we rode a Calesa going to Baluarte Mini Zoo for a fare of Php120. The mini zoo has animals such as camels, ostrich, tiger, parrots, snakes, etc.
Going Back to Manila
From Baluarte, we went to Vigan Terminal to catch the 5:00pm schedule of Partas bus to Manila. Thank God no more lining up. We bought our ticket for Php650 and we arrived safely at their Cubao Terminal at exactly 3:00am.
For our budget and itinerary, read 5 Days 6 Thousand Pesos 7 Tourist Destinations.