My first Holy Week at Ilocos Norte

Despite the fear of traffic which usually happens during the holidays, we still traveled to Ilocos Norte last holy week and I’m so glad that we did it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • April 13- Maundy Thursday.

After a 12- hour travel from South, we headed to a river resort somewhere in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

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  • April 14 – Good Friday.

We did the traditional station of the cross at St. Monica Church in Ilocos, Norte and the church is one of the best churches I’ve ever seen.

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Pastel-colored clouds

We also witnessed the traditional ‘ prusisyon’ of the saints and the statue of Christ in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

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  • April 15- Black Saturday.

We went to Saud Beach Resort in Pagudpud and even with a huge crowd, it didn’t destroy the beauty of the place.

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I still can’t help but stare in awe of the beautiful sunset in Saud- it was magical.

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Till next time, Ilocos ๐Ÿ™‚

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Travel to Dipaculao, Aurora

Our last shot for summer and one of the wonderful places I’ve traveled so far – our travel to Dipaculao, Aurora Province. This is another hidden paradise and indeed, we were very lucky that we discovered it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 31, Tuesday.

Just 2 days after our Cagbalete adventure, we are off again and even if i just had one hour sleep- we left our house at exactly 3AM, I was so energetic and really looking forward for our destination and the whole travel itself. We had breakfast at MCDO nlex at around 6 AM and around 12 noon, we had lunch at Baler, Aurora. Its been 3 years since we went there but for me, its feels like I’ve just been there a month ago. Yeah. Time flies really quickly.

Its a 2-hour trip from Baler to Dipaculao and the view was just awesome! the road is just next to the perfect blue ocean, we even did a little picture taking ๐Ÿ™‚

As if that’s not enough, we drove through 3 huge mountains and its like I’m travelling to Sagada all over again minus the cold atmosphere- the terrifying but beautiful ravines, thick jungle of coconut trees and lots and lots of green plus view of the pacific ocean. Too bad I didn’t took pictures but you can’t blame me-I was enjoying too much.

Tadadadaaan ! after almost 9 hours of travel we finally arrived in Dipaculao and we were right- the place is one hidden paradise. And the resort we would be staying is what I didn’t expect- it was rustic and waaay awesome!

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La Sunshine Beach Resort w/ their Cottages. #BeachHouseGoals #BeachFrontLITERALLYย 

When we arrived, honestly we wanna scream and jump for joy because really, the place is really beautiful and aside from the family next to our cottage, the resort is almost OURS. LOL. We had a relaxing afternoon swim and at night, the place turns magical because of the fireflies and the starry starry sky! It feels like I’m transported into wonderland. The only thing that bothered us is the insects flying around- a large grasshopper(not sure but it looks like one) entered the bathroom while I was taking a shower ! and an insect also entered my sister’s ear but luckily we pulled it out using oil. Aside from that, that day is almost next to perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  • June 1, Wednesday.

We woke up early for a morning swim and also a trip to a small falls nearby. It was a 30-minute hike from the beach and we took a refreshing swim.

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Spot the Rainbow!ย 

We went also to the rock formations along the shoreline a relaxing swim too ย under the high sun.

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The view is just perfect and the rock formations is really something- photography worthy, that is.

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  • June 2, Thursday- Last day.

All good things comes to an end- we left the resort at around 1 PM and guess what time we took lunch. 6PM! lol idk if you would still call it lunch. We can’t find a good restaurant on our way back well, its expected since the city is 4or 5 mountains away from Dipaculao but anyways we still enjoyed the travel. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really happy that my summer 2016 ends with a good note- not just good but really, really unforgettable. I enjoyed the place, the resort most especially, and I think Dipaculao would be one of the places worth going back again and again ๐Ÿ™‚ So for those who thought that Boracay is the best white-sand beach here in the Philippines, wait till you visit this hidden paradise, I’ll tell you its even better than Boracay! (in my opinion). Thanks for the memories and hopefully to see you again this October Dipaculao!

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5 years later.

Here’s another summer travel to blog about and wow, this summer vacation is getting more and more exciting ! ๐Ÿ™‚

The long wait is over, we are finally returning to our province – and our second home. :)) So last Wednesday (April 22), we packed our things for our night trip of almost 10 hours, and boy, our province has changed a lot – like its been 10 years instead of 5 years !

  • April 23 – Thursday

This morning, we had our breakfast at Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.The last time we went there was April 2009,together with my cousins. I can’t believe how time had flied so fast.

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Funny moment of the day : My mother forgot to bring our plastic spoon and forks, so we ‘made’ our own : Plastic cups ! my brother FTW : HIS HANDS. You go my lil bro ๐Ÿ˜›

After our breakfast, we proceeded to our trip and along Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur,we stopped by the road to have our picture taking. Guess why :))

This is what i like about the roads in the province : It’s near either in the ocean, lake or river ๐Ÿ™‚ If i live there, I will surely have picture taking all day long ๐Ÿ˜› LOL just kidding ๐Ÿ™‚

At around noon, we visited one of the heritage sites in the world and the place I missed the most : Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

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The place has indeed, really changed. As if I didn’t expected that, but still. I don’t know but there’s one thing about me that if I went to place, I’m expecting it to be the same after many years. LOL. But its a good change, really ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing that remained the same is the vintage feel and the true spirit of Vigan : Historic and Picturesque.

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Mcdonalds, the Vigan style.

I’m amazed on how they preserve the century old houses since I’ve observed that some of the old houses there are on the verge of collapsing. Other old houses are converted to stores and restaurants, and the culture is still intact. You go Ilocos tourism ๐Ÿ™‚ keep it up !

And as what we had done in our past travels, le bring the camera !

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We also rode the famous Calesaย to tour us around the town. ย Photographers are everywhere – there’s this one photographer who took a shot of us while riding the Calesa. How I wished its for a magazine. LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

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After the tour, we went to Irene’s empanada to fill our hungry bellies. I missed eating empanada !

Before we left Vigan, we visited their church first to give thanks to God for this trip. More and more blessings for us ! ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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After an hour or so, we finally arrived at our destination. The place we left five years ago, and although many things have changed, I still feel the same as what I’ve had a long time ago – happy. :)) the 10-hour trip is all worth it !

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Hello again, Laoag. P.S I love the clear blue sky.

When we reached our tita’s and mamang’s home, I felt like I was there just months ago. As if time didn’t passed. But looking at the small changes in the house – the new tiles, the CR and their new dog snow – I realized that, oh It’s been a long long time. And I also felt that our travel is not that 10-hour long, maybe because I love travelling or the fact that I really missed long drives and Ilocos. Maybe all of the above. LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

I love the place but man, It’s FREAKIN HOT OUT THERE. I looked at my phone and the temperature widget says that its 37 degrees O___O. Good thing we didn’t spent much of the time at home, since we always go outside. And their water supply has been cut without clear reasons, so we always took a bath at their ancestral house. It’s a bit inconvenient but hey,travelling also means staying out of your comfort zone and its part of the thrill, so it never really bothered anyway.

We had our lunch there and on the menu ? Vegtables and Longganisa my love ! :)) We took a rest first and in the evening after dinner, we went to the town’s plaza. 5 years has really helped and changed the province – there a lot of establishments but no tall buildings yet ( thank God) and its not that remote anymore. It’s good but I hope that they would preserve the cleanliness and the nature of the whole town. ( No to big malls, tall buildings and etc.) Too much structures can destroy the place and plus the pollution too. That’s just a big no no for me.

And by the way, the Plaza really looked cool. Really.Here’s the pictures for proof :

I’m inlove with the lights, SRSLY. And the calmness of the plaza that you cannot find in the city jungle, I like it. More reasons to prefer the rural vs. the urban. :))

Ayo GG ! kkkkk :PP #SNSDlove

We also saw the figure of the Virgin Mary in the Sinking Bell tower that went viral years ago. It’s a bit creepy for me, tbh.

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  • April 24 – Friday

Today is a beach daay ! YAAAY I’m finally going back to my second home, the ocean. Wish my fishtail would grew again. LOL I’m feeling mermaid again :))

Before we went to the beach, we visited first the famous windmills in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. As what I’ve observed in the rest of the Ilocos province, its not that remote anymore since it’s now popular (thanks to the ever growing tourism plus social media). The growing number of tourists we met there is an example.

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After the visit, we went now to our highlight destination, in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Let’s go to the beach, beach ! *sings starships*. :)))

We stayed at Saud beach resort and the place is still the same, although there are tiny changes. It’s still relaxing and the beach ? next to perfect.

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Presenting the laboracay of the north.ย 

Before we take a swim, we had our photography moments first with food trips in the middle. Ah, it feels good to be back in my second home !

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After lunch, we took a swim and wow the water is FREAKING COLD LIKE FROM A SPRING. But it’s more than good since It’s sooooo hot and diving in the water was like diving into a pool with ice cubes. :))) *oh and hello sea weeds. You’re kind of annoying, tbh*

We took a stroll around the resort in the afternoon and everywhere is picture perfect. Why can’t I find a place like this near my home ?

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After the stroll and lots of picture taking w/ modeling, we decided to swim again in the beach for the last time. The water is more colder since it’s almost sunset. And I didn’t forgot to capture its magic.

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  • April 25 – Saturday

As you can see, we are not planning to rest and we want to make the most of our trip, so we went to Karingking river in Solsona, Ilocos Norte. We tried finding the resort we had been 5 years ago but sadly, the small river dried up and they closed it. Luckily, there’s a resort situated in their dam and we had lots lots of fun and thrill too !

Gateway to Solosona

Karingking river resort

I thought we won’t have a good swim in the river since the water infront of out cottage had lot of moss. Good thing we went to the dam and not only its fun, but also thrilling ! there are deep in the dam (15 feet i think) and swimming in the man made falls is cool too ! (literally)

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After Karingking, we also visited Mount View resort also in Ilocos Norte and we just did some picture taking there. Although the place is not yet entirely finished, I can say that its an awesome place and I’m sure it would be a big hit.

  • ย April 26 – Sunday

Today is our rest day from swimming and we visited the Malacanang Of the North and another heritage site – the Paoay church.

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Back view of the Malacanang of the north

One of the houses of the late Pres. Marcos, It’s good that they preserved the place(they also added a mini museum inside) and since I’m quite a fan of old houses, I enjoyed going there.

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View from the balcony (Paoay lake)

We also visited Paoay church, a popular heritage site. It’s still picturesque as before – and a historical monument, indeed.

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Not only does the church is picture worthy, but the place that surrounds it too ๐Ÿ™‚ I like that they put modern cafes and restaurants around, with some shops in the corners, hence making it a nice small park.

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We also visited this pretty cafe and I love their pinakbet with longganisa and etc. toppings pizza !

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And, can i just say that the church is more cooler at night ? Thanks to lights that illuminated the whole church :))

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After Paoay, we stayed at Bon Appetea in San Nicolas for their delicious milk tea + waffle and we exchanged stories, from funny to ghost stories. LMAO.

  • April 27 – Monday

Our last destination for this trip, a river resort in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. It’s a nice place and their cottages is pretty good too. The only thing that bothered us is the karaokes – good thing it’s far from our cottage and it didn’t last long. LOL.

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After a relaxing swim at the resort, we visited some relatives and it was a bit weird since they are my second cousins, they know me well, but i don’t know them O__O But it was good seeing my father and my tita reuniting with their titas, titos and some cousins. Time indeed, really flies so fast.

  • April 28 – Tuesday.

Our Ilocos trip has finally come to an end and It was a sad and a happy moment too. Sad, because our trip has flied so fast and i hate goodbyes. Happy, because after 5 years we managed to come back despite of my parent’s busy schedule. Hope we would return there as soon as possible, or maybe after 2 to 3 years ? well, we won’t know but one thing I’m sure, Ilocos is worth returning for :))

We still have a side trip on our way back home in San Juan Surf Resort in La Union. We stayed there overnight and I loved the place. It gives a classy, yet home like feeling.

The beach is good, with its strong waves and all (that’s why its a surf resort) but I got stung by a jellyfish. Not only me, but the rest of my family. At least those jellyfish are not the big and harmful ones. Oh well. Part of the thrill i guess ๐Ÿ˜›

So, that’s all folks for this throwback/adventure/awesome travel and looking forward for more summer adventures !

Hooray for May !

This month seems to be good- and finally let me experience the summer feel again. My cousins – who turned me down on my birthday make it up for me and I was really really happy that i got to bond with them- although one is missing :(. That didn’t damp our spirits to enjoy the summer and hello again beach outings !

  • 2nd week of May : Mother’s day.

Last May 12 2014, we went to tagaytay to celebrate mother’s day, and again, we surprised our mother with our level up card – this time with a throwback theme ๐Ÿ™‚ We also went to Palace in the sky and took a lot of picture taking.ย IMG_105356664129344

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  • May 20-21 2014 : Quezon Province.

After 4 years, we are returning again to Quezon province, and to add to the fun, my 2 cousins came with us ! yaaay ! :)) We stayed at Villa del prado in Sariaya and many funny things have happened to us, Particularly the ” videoke party”. LOL.

The fun part in the beach. The slide ! :))ย 

When we arrived at the resort, I can’t believe its been 4 years since we went there. Some things have changed, but what i liked most is that they maintained the cleanliness of the resort.

When night came, we took a swim at the pool and we even played ‘ simson samson ‘ there. Many kids seems to want to join our party but we didn’t let them. kkkkk ๐Ÿ˜›

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Spot the creeepeer. Hahahahaha ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Earlier in the morning, me and my father was excited to use our mega loud speaker for our soundtripping, but then, the ” videoke queen” ruined it. The whole thing was really funny and annoying at the same time, because we are in the middle of super loud videoke machines with ‘ singers’ who feel that they are in a concert. Ugh. Just take a voice lesson or something before you sing out loud in public. Yeah, It’s fun for you, but to everyone, well, you’re a big nuisance. : |

Though that part is pretty bad, what i love there is the beach by night. Starry skies, cold winds, walking in the shore – its quite romantic. We even imagined that our future soulmates will propose to us in that kind of scene. Hope it will happen. Haha : D

Beach by day and night are awesome :))ย 

Another thing that really bugged me in this outing is that i did not slept well because of the heat, the noise, and there are 4 of us in our small bed, and its pretty cramped for us. Oh well, I’m proud that i endured it. :))

Although i prefer sunsets, sunrise has its own magic :))ย 

We woke up at around 5:30 am and had a good morning swim in the beach ๐Ÿ™‚ We went to the pool after and the slide is super awesome, by the way : )

By 3 PM, we left Villa del prado and headed to Kamay ni hesus in Lucban. I seriously missed the place, most especially the view from the top. We did a lot of picture taking, and since we have no monopod, guess what, we used our tripod. NO REGRETS :))

The tripod selfie ๐Ÿ™‚ courtesy of my father. LOL xDย 

Because of our newest pocket wifi, majority of our pictures are uploaded to FB, twitter and instagram. Me ? on twitter and instagram :))

It’s good that finally, we had our outing and i got to bond with my cousins, although they are not complete and we are all looking forward next year because, i think that would be like, 2012 summer part 2 ? or maybe better ๐Ÿ™‚ Next year would also be a big change for me since i would enter the corporate world. Hoping for a enjoyable summer and more surprises ! ย ๐Ÿ™‚