Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Places to Travel in Ilocos Norte

Here's a list of places I visited in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Region (Region 1), Philippines during my Explore Ilocos trip with high school best friends, Lik and Deci, and boyfriend, Jomar.

Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Seeing the supposed to be corpse of Former President Ferdinand Marcos is scary and creepy. The body inside the Mausoleum looks like its made of wax already but they say it's his preserved body waiting to be buried in its rightful place in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Meanwhile, the museum showcased the childhood of Ferdinand Marcos up until the time he married Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez. The highlight of the Museum would be the 11-day courtship between the two.

Such a good dream from the former president.
Photo taken by Lik


The entrance fee for adults in the Museum is PhP 50.00 while the Mausoleum is free.

Paoay Church

Beautiful. This Church encapsulate the time of the Spaniards here in the Philippines. It stands tall and mighty in the middle of town surrounded by a landscaped garden. I feel awe and calmness upon setting my eyes into the beautiful spiritual structure.

Paoay Church, Bell Tower, and Prayer Garden

Malacanang of the North

This is the official residence of the Former President Ferdinand Marcos whenever he and the first family is in Ilocos. Now, it is turned into a museum that showcases the grandeur of the former first family. The two-storey mansion showcase a wide reception area, huge dining table on both floors of the house, a big masters bedroom on the second floor, and the amazing view of the peaceful Paoay Lake. It's amazing. To top it off, the staircase is one of those you would dream about when going down during your 18th birthday debut party.


Museo Ilocos Norte

It's a simple museum found at the capital of the province, Laoag City. The museum showcase the history and life of the Ilocanos. My fave part of the museum would be the sample  house the Ilocanos live in complete with furniture - from their receiving area to the kitchen and dining room. It was quite exquisite.


The inside of the house display in the Museum
Photo taken by Lik

Sinking Bell Tower

It was the first time I heard of a sinking place. It was actually jaw-dropping to see half the entrance of the bell tower buried underground.

Sinking Bell Tower
Photo taken by Lik

On its full size this entrance could fit a horse with a rider without any sweat.
Photo taken by Lik

Tobacco Monopoly Monument

Another symbol of the age and history of the Ilocos Region. It is a symbol of 100 years of being forced by the Spaniards to plant only tobacco and the day it ended. Good history summary from this blog.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse (also known as, Burgos Lighthouse)

It's a lighthouse with a rewarding view. We climbed at the base of the lighthouse. Sadly, you can't enter the lighthouse itself or climb any higher. Nonetheless, the cold wind and view of the South China Sea was breathtaking.


Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

From the drop off point, we walked around 15 minutes near a rock formation created by forces of the ocean. It was impressive.

Look at the rock formation we're standing on
Photo from Lik


Bangui Windmill

It was the first time I see such giant electric fans! But instead of consuming electricity they actually generate power through the wind. There are 20 windmills along the coastline of Bangui Bay facing the South China Sea.

Such a gloomy weather

Kabigan Waterfall

I have seen the beauty of Hagimit Falls in the Samal Island in the province of Davao del Norte thus the Kabigan Waterfall is not that spectacular. I don't know maybe after a 30-minute trek, I expected so much and I didn't get it. Plus, it was really crowded. The best part of the trek would be the fresh buko juice, bananacue, and binatog after.

Left: Kabigan Waterfalls and the loads of people in it
Right: The magnificent stream surrounded by trees (nature's beauty)

Patapat Viaduct (Bridge)

It's like a snake on the side of the mountain. Few cars goes through the bridge, thus it's an ideal place to get a picture and panorama shots of the sea view.

The bridge between the sea and mountain

Bantay Abot Cave

As I did my research, I have found out that this is not a cave! It's actually a hill with a hole in the middle. Fascinating how nature works.

That's the hole!

Blue Lagoon  (known as Maira-ira Beach)

It was perfect. White powder sand, blue clear water, clear skies. It was perfect. I've never been to Boracay as it is also called "Boracay of the North" but if this is an unspoiled version of Boracay then I am happy and contented with what I saw.

This image does not justify the beauty I saw (and that's my best friend Deci)

Paoay Sand Dunes

"So... this is how the dessert looks like" That's my thought the whole time we were in Paoay Sand Dunes. We experienced the 4x4 adventure. Riding a 4x4 truck and holding on for dear life while it goes through the up and down of what a dessert might look like was truly memorable. It was an unwanted arm exercise.

4 x 4 Adventure

Panoramic Shot of the Paoay Sand Dunes