Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Night in Vigan

It was late night when we arrived at Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Calle Crisologo is just near our hotel, so we went there by walking while others chose to stay in hotel.

Vigan was chosen as one of the new 7 wonders of the world last 2015. It showcases the old houses from Spanish Era that was turned into stores and inns today. These houses were owned by the rich families and Chinese businessmen  before. The Vigan was the center of the trading of goods brought by the traders that sailed from South China Sea even before the Spaniards came. This was cited as UNESCO Heritage Site to preserve the ancient setting.

Even nights, Calle Crisologo are full of tourists. Whether they visit to experience on how it feels like to live during Spanish Era or for a date, the street is worth visiting for. The street can only be toured by walking or by riding a calesa. Motor vehicles are blocked in this street to preserve the Spanish setting. 

While walking the street, we had a good view of an old houses with big wide doors and windows, an old chair, souvenir stores that are still open even its 11 o'clock, souvenirs, furniture store, a hotel, and even a welcome banner for Pope Francis.

We took the liberty of taking each others pictures. Girl travel factor gave me tips to capture the night scenic view of the street with my camera and her as a model. :)

In our last night, we visited again the Calle Crisologo with some of our friends. We even had a taste of Vigan food in this Cafe Leona Restaurant.

Upon touring the street, there are houses that are newly painted. There are even bars. This is very different from the street that I visited 3 years ago. I asked one of the locals why there are bars on the ancient site. He answered, 'that is to promote tourism'. I was like, Huh? I was not expecting that answer. Aren't the ancestral houses and historical site enough to promote tourism? We even went there because of the expectations that we can get back to Spanish era if we will visit Vigan.

I know that some of the houses are owned by the private families. And I do not know if the local government has some power to prevent industrialization in the street. I just hope that the owners choose to maintain the image that fascinated the tourists all over the world.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Visit to Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Coming from Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, we headed straight to Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. Then we visited the famous Paoay Church, also known as St. Augustine Church. Considered as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site because it's one of the oldest baroque architecture in the Philippines. It was built on 1700 during Spanish Era. Because of its heavy architecture with enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the church, it had withstand several earthquakes that had occurred for several centuries.

After visiting the church, we headed to Paoay Sand Dunes. It is a long stretched of sand formed from strong wind and current. This is a common shooting place for local films such as Panday and Himala. It was also used and becoming known in foreign films. 

For an amount of P500 each, we experienced a thrilling ride on a 4*4 truck and sand surfing. Me, doing the stand sand surfing, gave me a feeling doing an action stunt. :) Ilocos experience will never be complete without this exhilarating experience.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Along the shoreline of Burgos, Ilocos Norte, there is another tourist attraction, the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. The rock formation is of white color, that was formed maybe a thousand years ago.

There will be a short trek to reach the spot. There has no difficulty going downhill because of the stairs that was built for the tourists and the thick vines that served as the shade from the sunlight. The locals said that the rock is of super white in the morning.

After going downhill, there are locals that offer a horseback riding with a charge of P100. My fellows chose to try horseback riding under the sun. The kids enjoyed the horseback riding while the adults appreciated the view of the rock formation.

While they enjoyed the scenic view near the rock formation and tried to get their best picture taken, I chose to view the spot from afar and rested.  I also had a shot of windmills around the area. While waiting for them, I even had a nap under the hut. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Bangui Windmills

The Bangui Windmills in Bangui, Ilocos Norte is not only the tourist spot but also the main source of electricity in the neighborhood of the province of Ilocos Norte.

A row of windmills off the shoreline of Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine Sea. 

Souvenirs in Ilocos can be found here in Bangui, cheaper as compared to other parts of Ilocos Norte. T-shirts and any kinds of clothings, local-made liquors can also be found here. My grandmother was very happy in this kind of lighthouse souvenir.

We were at the place almost noon, and the sun was very high that time. But the hot temperature was not very felt because of the strong wind. This is the reason why the Girl Travel Factor was able to have her picture taken under the sun. 

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse located at Burgos, Ilocos Norte was built during the 18th century.  It was built by the Spanish government to serve as a beacon for the ships that enter the Philippine archipelago from the north. This is not the tallest nor the highest elevated in the country, but it is the highest elevated original lighthouse from Spanish era that still functions today.

Located at the hill overlooking the vast West Philippine Sea, my fellows went inside to view the perimeter, while me having an ice cream at the foot of the lighthouse.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pagudpud Beach: The Boracay of the North

After the Sinking Bell Tower, we went straight to the nearest beach of Pagudpud, the Saud Beach. Pagudpud Beach is famous for its clear water and almost white soft sand, that it was tagged as "The Boracay of the North".

The long stretch of almost fine white sand that is surrounded by the coconut trees will make you lie down on the beach. The view will make you feel that its summer all year round.

The water is very clear with no seaweeds that makes it perfect for swimming.

The weather  is also good that its the best time to have your picture in front of the beach.

The place have their nipa huts if you want to rest from the sunny beach.

The shot of the coconut tree overlooking the beach makes me calm and satisfied that makes me wish to visit again the Pagudpud beach.

The Sinking Bell Tower

Our first stop for our August Ilocos Trip is the famous sinking bell tower. This tower was built during 17th century, during Spanish era, in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Usually the  belfry should be beside or just near the church. But this is not the case for this tower. The bell tower resides far from its church, the St. William Cathedral, which we were not able to view.

The tower became famous because of its massive structure. It was built using the Baroque Style Architecture, which is the only-sought solution to the strong recurring earthquakes before. The style perfectly serving its purpose until now. However, due to the reason that it was built in the sandy foundation, (the tower is near the river banks), it started to sink since then. This sinking phenomenon makes the tower even more famous through time.

It is believed by the residents there that before, a man in a horseback riding can enter the main entrance. But now, the man of ordinary height has to bend just to enter the tower.

The weather is very good that day that one group of
friend had taken their shot in front of the belfry