Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ilocos Tour: A 3-Day Travel to the North

The last 3 days of August 2015, we traveled to Ilocos. We had a Vigan-Laoag-Pagudpud tour for 3 days and 2 nights. After almost 12 hours of trip from Manila, we visited directly these old houses of rich families and businessmen from Spanish Era, the Calle Crisologo at Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

The next day, we went to the sinking bell tower. This bell tower is 85 meters away from its church, the St. William's Cathedral in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. This is famous because it was built on sandy foundation and is continuously sinking to the ground.

After that we went to Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. We enjoyed the beach with its very clear water and breathtaking view.

A few kilometers from the Saud Beach is the famous Bangui windmills. The windmills is the major provider of electricity to the province of Ilocos, Norte.

Next stop is the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, a white limestone that was formed a hundred or a thousand years ago. This is just a few kilometers away from the Bangui windmills.

Inside the Burgos, Ilocos Norte, (same place as the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation), is the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. It is the old lighthouse that was established during Spanish era, and still functions as a beacon to the international ship that enters the North.

After we visited Marcos Musuem (resting place of the late President Marcos), we went to Paoay Church. Also known as St. Augustine Church, it is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was founded during Spanish Era using the Earthquake Baroque Architecture. As the name implies, its architecture was built to withstand the earthquake.

Last stop, we experienced the Paoay Sand Dunes. Ilocos experience will never be complete without trying the exhilarating 4x4 ride and the sand boarding. This very huge area of pure sand is located near the beach, and was known to me since the reign of the original movie, "Panday" led by the late action star Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ).

On the 3rd day, we went to the Bantay Bell Tower. This bell tower was high enough to serve as a watchtower for the pirates during Spanish Era. They say that you could see the whole Ilocos, Norte when you're up in this tower. This belfry serves the St. Augustine of Hippo Parish Church in Bantay, Ilocos Norte.

Next, we visited the famous hidden garden designed by the famous landscape artist, Francis Flores. He built his own house with this garden concept. Inside the garden, houses different kinds of flowers and herbal plants.

After that we went to Baluarte, the territory of former Governor Chavit Singson. You can see different kinds of animals, domestic and wild animals here.

We ended our trip to eat in this kind of local restaurant, the Lilong and Lilang Restaurant. The restaurant is inside the Hidden Garden and is also owned by the Flores Family, same Flores that owns the Hidden Garden.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beach Party at Magalawa Island

This year, the team had its Christmas party at Magalawa Island, Palauig Zambales. This is the second time that the team held its Christmas party at the Beach.

There are so many fun things that we did at the beach. Some played cards, while others chose to tour the beach.

While touring the beach, we saw a mangrove seedlings. This is part of the island's conservation project.  We even saw a group of migratory birds.

We also had snorkeling as provided by the resort (Armada Resort). After that, we had a photoshoot trying to catch the sun..

A photoshoot on the sand..

Even a  photoshoot with the startfish. :D

That night we had a Christmas party. We played game of charade with the topics of movies and songs of Christmas. After that we had exchange gifts. Items should follow the last letter of the surname of the bearer of the gift. 

Whats good in this island is that you have an option to rent a cottages, pitch your own tent, cook your own dinner or just eat a prepared food.  We chose to pitch our own tent but to eat a prepared food at the resort's floating restaurant. This gave us a lot of time to enjoy the beach..

 and the sunset..

 at a not-so-expensive cost.