For years I’ve been traveling allover the world; America, China, Southeast Asia but I haven’t really experienced the fun in the Philippines yet (except for Sinulog last January but that deserves one special blog post after I finish editing our videos LOL). So the boyfriend and I have decided that the next time he comes home, we shall experience the North.
Last February of this year, we finally conquered some Northern part of Luzon, Ilocos. Below is our itinerary on how we got to Ilocos and what we did there, hoping that maybe I could help you guys out.
[Warning: Too many pictures ahead. LOL]
11am: Went to Partas Pasay to book our seats for the 10pm ride. We could have done it online but I didn’t know you have to book it three days prior the day of your departure. My bad. LOL
10pm: Our 6 hour long ride from Pasay to Vigan began.
4am: Arrived at the bus terminal in Vigan. Took a tricycle to take us to our hotel, Hotel Luna.
Our review: The ambiance is amazing, the location is perfect and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The food is average but there are so many places near the hotel where you can eat so it doesn’t really matter that much. You can also tour around their own museum. They have a pool where the area reminded me so much of Reno in Nevada, very roman-ish. If you want a comfy, stylish with a hint of luxury, Hotel Luna is the place for you. I’d give it 8 out of 10 stars.
5am: Toured Calle Crisologo, Plaza Burgos, St. Paul’s Cathedral and everything that is walking distance from the hotel.
7am: Hired a tricycle for 600 pesos to tour us around Vigan. We were able to visit the Bantay Church and Bell Tower, Syquia Mansion, Crisologo Museum, Pagburnayan, Hidden Garden and the Baluarte Mini Zoo.
12nn: Ate at Cafe Leona.
If there’s one thing my relationship can tell you, it’s where you can eat good food. I swear, food is the secret behind the 10 years of being together. YOU HAVE TO EAT HERE. ITS A STUPID STUPID THING NOT TO TRY THIS PLACE WHEN IN VIGAN! I give it 8 out of 10 stars but I won’t explain why because YOU REALLY HAVE TO TRY AND SEE FOR YOURSELF! 😀
3pm: Pool time
5pm: Bought pasalubongs along Calle Crisologo. It’s a Filipino thing.
7pm: We were so tired from the traveling we slept early.
11am: If you want to leave early for Laoag. Go to the bus terminal earlier. LOL
1pm: We left Laoag at this hour. Haha!
4pm: Arrived at our hotel, Laoag Renzo Hotel.
Review: The place was okay. The location was good. The staff were also friendly. There’s no elevator though. The food was also okay but I’m surprised we had to pay for another glass of juice during breakfast. If you want a place to just chill and not really give a damn what it has to offer, it’s a good place. I’d give it 5 out of 10.
6pm: Ate at La Preciosa.
Review: The food was great, especially the desserts! The place is also cozy and warm but not ideal for big groups. The service is so-so but given that the restaurant is always full, I can understand why our food was served about 20-30 minutes after we ordered. I’d give this restaurant a 7 out of 10.
7am: Hired a tricycle for 700 pesos to take us around Laoag. We got to try the Laoag Sand Dunes, checked out Paoay Church, Malacañang of the North, Marcos Mausoleum and Museum and the Sinking Bell Tower.
2pm: Hired a van (3k pesos but you can also take the bus for a much lesser cost) to take us to Pagudpud and we arrived around 4pm.
R&R in Kapuluan Vista Resort, Pagudpud
Review: Our accommodation in Pagudpud is probably one of the best in the area. It was quiet and peaceful, kind of perfect for lovers who just want a little alone time. Their food is amazing too! The staff are really friendly and helpful. The overall vibe of the place reminded me of Bali in the movies. I’d give it 9 out of 10 stars. Kapuluan Vista Resort is a must-stay in Pagudpud!
2pm: Visited places while on our way back to Laoag Airport. We decided to take some pictures in Hannah’s Resort (you can try zip lining and other water adventures there too) and checked out Bantay Abot Cave, Patapat Viaduct, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.
8pm: Flew back to Manila
Exploring the North was so awesome, I made a video about it.
I really hope I could somehow inspire people especially my fellow twenty something Filipinos to prioritize traveling our own country. The Philippines is composed of 7, 107 beautiful islands, rich with different cultures, languages and many other things to offer. It’s shameful not to explore it first. I am so proud of myself for finally experiencing the Philippines. It’s more fun in here indeed!