CHOICE 1 (ILOCOS)• PLACES TO VISIT: Vigan • DELICACIES: Baluarte Ant Caviar (recommended for john) Fort Ilocandia Bagnet Sand Dunes of Suba Empanada Paoay Church Bukayo Malacanang of the North Patupat-Iloko Blue Lagoon/Maira-ira Tinubong Saud Beach (Pagudpod Beach) Bangui Windmills Kabigan Falls Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
VIGANVigan is the capital city of Ilocos Sur and well knownfor the precious remnants of old Spanish architectthroughout the center of the city. This is whereancestral houses are still found which are made ofthick brick wall and plastered with red clay. I wonderhow the city’s heritage survived World War 2 and theonslaught of natural calamities. In spite of thepresence of jeepneys and tricycles as the modetransportation here, caritelas and kalesas are stillfound and used here. The town has also beenregistered with the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.Sikat din daw longganisa dito, gusto niyo pa baitry?
BALUARTE http://chavitsingson.net/baluarte/Visitors can start with visitingthe rows of cages where theycan see lions, Bengal tigers,peacocks, civet cats,iguanas, pythons and otherreptiles and birds. In this partof the Baluarte, people willalso be able to see thePhilippine cloud rat, anocturnal animal endemic tothe Philippine Cordilleraregion. This very large rodentis an herbivore and huntedby large birds and localpeople. From the cagedanimals, visitors can move onto the fenced areas wherethey can visit and feed themonkeys, swans, flamingos,ostriches, albino and spotteddeer and the one-humpcamel. Children are allowedto sit on top of the biggeranimals, but if they reallywant to ride, they can go tothe tracks where they canride the miniature horses .
FORT ILOCANDIA is the only rated hotel in the Ilocos NorteRegion. This was originally constructed by theMarcos Family for their daughter Irene’swedding reception. This spanish inspired resortmainly attracts taiwanese gamblers but it stillnever fails to charm the first-time Filipino tourist.It is best suited for hosting conferences andevents but it could be quite expensive to stayhere for your family’s vacation or use it just asa stopover. If you decide to stay here, mightas well maximize the facilities and even walkto the famous Sand Dunes of Suba.
SAND DUNES OF SUBA This is only place in the Philippines where you can find a desert in the seemingly endless coastal sand dunes of Suba. It is about an hour’s walk along the beach from Fort Ilocandia. It is quite an exercise and walking in these sand dunes feels like meditating. The sky feels a little bit closer. It is a an awesome place for reflection. I suggest that you walk during early morning and ensure that it won’t rain.
PAOAY CHURCH ”The church was started by the Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo in 1694. It was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896, just three years before the expulsion of Spanish rule in the country. The style of the church has been dubbed “Earthquake Baroque” by Alicia Coseteng, one of the early authorities on colonial church architecture. Because the buttresses extend out considerably from the exterior walls, the entire visual experience becomes three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only at the facade.”
MALACANANG OF THE NORTH Malacañang of the North or Malacanang ti Amianan in Ilocano is always present in everyone’s itinerary when planning or visiting the northern province of Ilocos Norte. Dubbed as “Marcos Country” Many of Marcos’ family’s remnant still exist in Ilocos like Malacañang of the North. It is within a 5-hectare property that overlooks the Paoay Lake. It serves as a home to the Marcos Family til 1996.
SAUD BEACH When people say Pagudpud beach, it usually refers to the popular Saud Beach. "Pagudpud actually consists of three vast beaches, strung along Luzons northern edge and hemmed in by huge points jutting out into the ocean. Coconut palm-backed Saud Beach is where the resorts are. Maira-ira, also known as Blue Lagoon, is a few points east. Deserted Pansian beach is still further on, near the bother of Cagayan Province. It should be called the "anti-Boracay of the North" since it boast of beautiful white beach backed by rows of coconut palms minus the noise and nightlife of Boracay.
BANGUI WINDMILLS Bangui Windmills – Magnificent White Giants of Bangui – The latest attraction in Bangui bay where Pagudpud is located is these fifteen huge 23 storeys high “Giant Electric Fans” that might as well be built by Aliens. The common mistake of people is just to be satisfied at looking at these windmills from a distant view from the Bangui look out on the way to Pagudpud. You don’t need a tour guide to reach this place. You just need to know where to turn and go straight passing by a village all the way to this Bangui coast .
KABIGAN FALLS • 30 mins trekking time from main road, crossing 3 streams • for more info: http://acrossthelaine.blogspot.com/2011/12/m y-ilocos-get-away-day-2-kabigan-falls.html • P20 preservation fee
CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE • Fascinated by Philippine history and old architecture, lighthouses were my favorite age-old structures built by colonist in the country. From the coastal town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, the journey took us south towards the town of Burgos to see a historical landmark called Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. Its name came from the martyr priest Padre Burgos. It has been tching over ships for more than 100 years.
DELICACIESBukayo is just one of the Tinubong is another Patupat is a delicacy madeproducts made from buko. delicacy from Ilocos Norte. from glutinous rice cooked inIt is an after-dinner sugar fix It is made of grated sugarcane juice. This popularFilipino children love. It is Ilocano snack is usuallymade by simmering coco coconut, salt, ganta glutinous rice, bamboo prepared during summer inmeat strips in water andthen mixed with white or tubes (12 inches long with time of sugarcane harvesting.brown sugar (which explains one node closed), andthe white or brown color) bamban leaves.resulting into a sweet tastingdiabetes-triggering delight.
DELICACIES Empanadas in the northern Ilocos When the choices are region are very different. These narrowed down to nurturingthese are ant eggs empanadas are made of a savory your heart while satisfying your @_@ filling of green papaya, mungo appetite, this delicacy may not and chopped longganisa and/or be included in your list. an egg yolk. Rather than the soft, However, the oil-soaked sweet dough favored in the Tagalog region, the dough used Bagnet (locally known as to enclose the filling is thin and chicharon or deep-fried pork crisp, mostly because Ilocano meat), despite its cholesterol empanada uses rice flour, colored content and pre-cooked orange with achuete, and is preparation, still has a staying deep-fried rather than baked. power as other homegrown delicacy.
CHOICE 2• Friendly reminder. Sagada is still inhabited with numbers of local tribes. Kaya hindi pa siya masyadong civilized,very simple ung ibang places here, soo if we decide to go here.. We must not be maarte with the food and hostels, and just try to appreciate the beauty of Nature • There will be lots of hiking, trekking and walking :D but think positive magiging toned ang leg muscles natin pag uwi.• It’s cold here, houses here have fireplaces. Mas malamig than Baguio. Always may fog haha!• All the walking and not pagiging maarte will pay off once you see Sagada’s beautiful tourist spots. Actually, I would rather not call them tourist spots because when we went their 5 years ago walang taooo prng personal Survivor Camp namin ung Sagada:D Truly one of Mother Earth’s wonders.
CHOICE 2• Places to visit: • Delicacy:Ganduyan Museum Pinikpikan Samaguing CaveKiltepan Viewpoint • Restaurants:Bomod-ok Falls Yoghurt House Bangaan Rice Terraces Lemon Pie House Echo Valley (Hanging Kimchi Restaurant Coffins) Log Cabin (buffet Lake Danum Saturday) St. Mary Episcopalian ChurchClay pot making
GANDUYAN MUSEUM Ganduyan Museum in Sagada is a modest showcase for Igorot artifacts owned by a local artisan, Christina Aben.
SAMAGUING CAVE• Sumaguing Cave has the largest chamber connecting all the 60 caves of the town. It is also known as the Big Cave. It is the most popular and most visited site in Sagada. Stalagmites and stalactites form inside the caves over millions of years and are truly a sight to behold. Please look at the upper right photo, the ground is moist isn’t it? It’s not water that’s making it moist, it’s actually bat poop. So, if we do try going down this cave, we will be touching lots of poop. HAHA!
KILTEPAN VIEWPOINTThe stunning mountain sunriseat Kitlepan Viewpoint is afavorite draw for visitors inSagada Mountain province.Overlooking is the KiltepanTerraces.
BOMOD-OK FALLS• The extremely cold water on the natural pool created by the cascading waters of the majestic Bomod-ok falls invites trekkers for a relaxing dip after an hour of trekking to the Big Falls. The water is so cold, that you will surely die of hypothermia if you stay there for long, but for the sake of fun, adventure and experience, it is a must to try dipping in the cold pool.• Trekking Bomod-ok falls now requires a guide. Rate is P600 for a group of 1 to 10 persons. A P10.00 registration fee is collected by the locals for every person at midpoint.
BANGAAN RICE TERRACES• One memorable experience in Sagada is walking along its rice terraces. This millennium old architectural masterpieces are Sagada’s version of carefully hand carved mountainsides that look like giant steps to the sky.
LAKE DANUM• Just like plenty of the attractions in Sagada, Lake Danum is an easy walk away from the town center. Though it is realistically not as stunning as the other locations in town, it still is a very nice venue for picnics and it is often used as a jump off point in going up Mount Ampacao.
ECHO VALLEY/HANGING COFFINS• Echo Valley is also a good site for rock climbing. Rock climbing costs P400 per person.• Another famous landmark of Sagada are the hanging coffins, an old traditional way of burying the dead. These coffins are found on cliffs and hard to reach areas. Not all Sagadians have the privilege to be buried this way when they die, they have very strict criteria and requirements known only to the locals.• Tourists can see the hanging coffins up close by trekking down from the Echo Valley. You need a guide if you have no idea where it is.
DELICACY• Pinikpikan A few information on how Igorots prepare Pinikpikan: It is prepared by beating a live chicken with a stick prior to cooking. The beating bruises the chicken’s flesh, if you’re in Sagada and you want to try bringing blood to its a food unique to the place then go for surface, which is said Pinikpikan, a chicken dish looks like to improve the flavor Tinola but taste like Bachoy (well at after cooking. least that’s how my taste buds telling me).
RESTAURANTS Kimchi Restaurant Yoghurt House The only restaurant serving good KoreanThe restaurant’s name says it all, their best seller is meals in Sagada and you’ll never gotheir variety of Yoghurts, you can choose from wrong when you choose to eat here. Ibanana, strawberry preserve, blue berries or think every Korean meal they serve isgranola. You can also mix and match the phenomenal. They perfected how Koreantoppings to have a unique flavor of your own. food tastes like; I think theirs is better thanBut aside from Yoghurt, they also serve pastas, other Korean restaurants in Manila so youfresh salads, pork, beef and chicken dishes. really need to try it out.
RESTAURANTS LEMON PIE HOUSE When god gave Sagada lemons, Joseph Daoas made lemon pie. Owner of the Lemon Pie House in the highland town, Daoas, has been making lemon pies since the 1990s with the secret of the lemon concentrate kept safely only by him. The secret lies in the balanced taste of their signature pie, not too sweet and not to sour, perfect for coffee and desert, distinctly Sagada.
RESTAURANTS *needs reservation Log Cabin In Sagada’s town proper, almost all places are within walking distance. The buffet is prepares by French Chef Philip or Aklay, as he is known locally. The buffet is only served on Saturdays and needs a reservation 2 days in advance. P350 per person w/o drinks.
REMEMBER TO BRING• 1. Bug repellent, you might need it while trekking to the Bomod-ok Falls or anywhere with undergrowth 2. Sun protection and sunglasses. – sunburn can be pretty common on exposed skin during long hikes 3. A jumper, jacket or a sweater to protect from the even chillier evenings. 4. Cash. There is only one ATM in town in the town hall and it can be a little bit unreliable. 5. Zip lock, underwater camera-case for spelunkers 6. A pair of extra-sturdy strap-on thongs/flip-flops 7. Neck pillow for the long ride 8. Trail food. (Bring your own trash bag. Do not litter.):D 9. Gloves in case one is too squeamish in touching “guano” or bat poop while spelunkin… but para masaya don’t bring nlng hahahahaha 10. Medicines for emergencies, and for body aches 11. Lip Balm & Skin Moisturizer for the dry, mountain weather 12. Towels. 13. Torch/flashlight 14. Spare batteries and battery charger for your digital camera• 15. YOURSELF haha