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15 posts categorized "[Travel] ILOCOS: Pagudpud Beach"

December 26, 2006

Pagudpud,Ilocos Norte - The Definitive Guide to Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go...
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

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Didn't you wish that there is a one-stop online travel guide that can help you plan your awesome vacation or travel in the Philippines?

Sometimes, I myself, is frustrated with the low quality of online information we have for most of our awesome Philippines destinations. By far, the most comprehensive travel guide of the Philippines is the Lonely Planet and they are written by foreigners.

Lastly, most people ask me about tips on places in the Philippines and I thought wouldn't it be nice if I can share these tips with more Filipinos.

As a Christmas Gift to everyone, I was inspired to create online travel guides that can help you plan your next awesome vacation in the Philippines! One of the most frequently asked question from me, recently, is how to plan the Northern Trip to Pagudpud or Ilocos Norte. I've written an extensive and comprehensive travel guide that is short, complete, and full of pictures.

Introducing... Awesome Philippines Travel Guide on Pagudpud

The Definitive Online Travel Guide to Pagudpud

Favor. Can you check it out? Please place some comments in the articles and additional suggestions if you have been to Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte. Spread the word... Traveling in the Philippines should be easy and awesome!

P.S. This might be late already for people traveling this Christmas Season 2006. Sorry for that...

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December 25, 2006

Fort Ilocandia

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go...
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

Fort Ilocandia

Fort Ilocandia (www.fortilocandia.com.ph) is the only rated hotel in the Ilocos Norte Region. This was originally constructed by the Marcos Family for their daughter Irene's wedding reception. This spanish inspired resort mainly attracts taiwanese gamblers but it still never fails to charm the first-time Filipino tourist. It is best suited for hosting conferences and events but it could be quite expensive to stay here for your family's vacation or use it just as a stopover. If you decide to stay here, might as well maximize the facilities and even walk to the famous Sand Dunes of Suba.

Virtual Tour of Fort Ilocandia

Fort Ilocandia
This warrior of Fort Ilocandia welcomes you in front of this 2 storey high reception area.

Fort Ilocandia
A red carpet with matching chandelier greets you as you enter Fort Ilocandia.

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You can feel that this is pretty much, Marcos territory and you can find these interesting photos in the 2nd floor of the reception building.

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There is a huge impressive fountain in the center of Fort Ilocandia. I was fortunate to see the fountain operational only during events and wedding reception.

Fort Ilocandia
The red brick facade and interiors are simply amazing and gives a cozy warm ambiance to the entire place. This is the hallway that leads to the hotel rooms.

Fort Ilocandia
The rooms are spacious and well maintained with a veranda that has a view of the sea. Surprisingly, the restrooms are well maintained with bath tub. This is what you will expect from a rated hotel in this northern part of the Philippines. The usual complaint is that there is a lot of chinese channels in the cable TV.

Fort Ilocandia
There is a mini-zoo with interesting animals that could amaze your children.

Fort Ilocandia
Amazingly, there is an olympic size swimming pool in this resort! You should never miss taking a dip in the swimming pool :)

Fort Ilocandia
The gardens are well maintained and you can play with your kids or have awesome portraits.

Fort Ilocandia
The Suba Beach is directly in front of the resort but due to dark grey sand and rough waves, most people don't even attempt to take a dip in the beach...

Suba Beach Evaluation

Sand quality and color- The sand is dark grey when dry but almost black when wet. The sand particles are large enough that it would hurt when the strong beach wind carries it.
Fort Ilocandia
Water quality - Dark and cloudy. You cannot see anything underneath.

Pollutants- The beach in front of Fort Ilocandia are well maintained. No locals or guests not booked in Fort Ilocandia are allowed to use the beach.

Gradient Waves- The beach gradually slopes down as it meets the waves. Then you don't want to know what's beyond that.

Fort Ilocandia
Currents- Strong current and definitely not advisable for kids.

Underwater obstructions/ Marine Life- Beware of Jelly Fish.

Sunset- The sun sets in front of the resort but most of the time it is cloudy where you can't see the sunset fully.

Fort Ilocandia

How to get there:
Once you see the welcome to Laoag arch and before you enter the bridge leading to Laoag, you NEED to turn left. There is no clear signs in this intersection so don't miss this turn. From here, there are already road signs pointing you to the direction of Fort Ilocandia.

Links and Resources
- a Fort Ilocandia Affair by Our Awesome Planet
- The Youngest Quester @ Microsoft CIO 5th Quest by Our Awesome Planet

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Patapat Viaduct

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go...
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

Anton and Car @ patapat

Patapat Viaduct is an elevated concrete highway constructed along winding mountainside in the northernmost section of Ilocos Norte. This viaduct was constructed to solve the problem of landslides in the area which have caused so many vehicular accidents in the past. Footed on the rocky seashore just several meters from the mountain side it gives motorists a spectacular view of Pasaleng Bay.

It is practically deserted except for occasional photo taking from Tourist (like me from years ago). You should take this leisure drive along Patapat and be mesmerized by its awesome beauty...

How to Get there:
The Patapat viaduct is about 16+ kilometers from Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte (about an hour away). This is farther north from Blue Lagoon. From Pagudpud, simply head northeast towards Cagayan. This will take you through winding mountain roads that have lush vegetation on both sides and occasional views of the sea until you reach the patapat viaduct.

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December 24, 2006

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

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This is the fantastic facade of the Caoe Bojeador also known as Burgos Lighthouse. This is a perfect portrait place and I must admit that for heritage places, we need to turn to the experts at Heritage Conservation Society to accurately describe its beauty.

"Faro de Cabo Bojeador is set majestically on top of a hill overlooking the South China Sea. Located approximately 35 kilometres north of the City of Laoag, the lighthouse is the most accessible of all lighthouses in the north of the Island of Luzon. Situated 160 metres on top of a hill named Vigia de Nagparitan, the lighthouse of Cape Bojeador serves as a station point for ships veering towards the Pacific Coast heading towards the Babuyan Channel. Similarly, it as well assists ships heading towards the ports of Salomangue in Ilocos Sur which is 87 kilometres south from the lighthouse, and Curmimao, which is 60 kilometres away in Ilocos Norte. In addition, beyond to the port of Manila. Completed on the 30th of March, 1892, the design and construction of the Lighthouse of Cape Bojeador was initially undertaken by the Engineer Magin Pers y Pers but was subsequently reconfigured and finished by the Engineer Guillermo Brockman. ..." ( >> Read More: Heritage Conservation Society - Cape Bojeador Lighthouse )
Enroute to Pagudpud -010 You must be wondering what is the big deal with this lighthouse? This magnificent view of the jagged coastline facing the South China sea awaits anymore who patiently waits their turn to go up the lighthouse. You can also opt to go here to view the magnificent sunset in Ilocos Norte!

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This is a close up picture of this magnificent spanish lighthouse.

"The tower, which constitutes the highest level, is situated in the rear, five metres higher than the pavilion below. Built of locally made brick, the octagonal shaper tower has an inner dimension of two metres and an exterior dimension of three and half metres. The lower one fourth of the tower is truncated whereas the remaining body of the shaft is straight. The top of the tower supports an overhanging balcony, which is surrounded and supported by decorative grill works. The attic where the cupola and lantern rests is cylindrical. What is notable about the Bojeador Lighthouse is that is still has intact the original cupola and lantern." ( >> Read More: Heritage Conservation Society - Cape Bojeador Lighthouse )
Enroute to Pagudpud -001 The rustic walls of the pavilion is perfect for portrait shots like this...

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This is the door that leads to the staircase going up to the actual lighthouse. You have to wait for your turn since only a few people at a time can go up because it is narrow. Also, this lighthouse is the most visited lighthouse in Ilocos Norte so going up could take some time.

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To save you the trouble, here is a photo of the actual lantern in the light house for those of you who are curious about this.

" The cupola, made of bronze is surrounded with glass panes. The dome on the other hand supports a ball shaped flue, which exhausts smoke from the flame of the original gaslight. The lantern on the other hand is fitted with a first order Fresnel Lens that is partially intact. “During my very first visit to this lighthouse way back in the 70’s, the original lens and mechanism was still operational. Sadly due to the intense earthquake that shook the region in 1990, parts of the lens collapsed and the alignment of the mechanism was displaced.” Nevertheless, the Coast Guards has retained the original mechanism for historic purposes and only retrofitted the lighting mechanism for its daily operations. " ( >> Read More: Heritage Conservation Society - Cape Bojeador Lighthouse )
How to get here: Located approximately 35 kilometres north of the City of Laoag, there is a large sign along the national highway which serves as the landmark for Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.

Links and Resources:
Heritage Conservation Society - Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

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Saud Beach, Pagudpud

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Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

Saud Beach Pagudpud

When people say Pagudpud beach, it usually refers to the popular Saud Beach. "Pagudpud actually consists of three vast beaches, strung along Luzon's 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. In fact you can call it either serene or boring depends on how you want to look at it. If you are standing in the middle of Pagudpud, Saud beach the photo above is the scene that you would see on your left side with the shores transforming into a rocky coastline. Behind it, you can already see the Bangui windmills.

Saud Beach Pagudpud
On your right side, you would see the photo above of endless shoreline cove vanishing into the forest mountains. It is great to walk in the morning from one end to another. After seeing Blue Lagoon, I was much less impressed with the quality of sand in Saud. But still its warm cove embrace never fails to welcome you and impress you after driving for more than 14 hours from Manila...

Saud Beach Evaluation

Saud Beach Pagudpud

Sand quality and color- White when dry and midday. Beige when wet in the morning or late afternoon. I took the pictures above early in the morning, that is why it is beige in color. When you see a photo of Saud Beach that is white, I'm sure it was taken in at noon time. The sand quality is good but looks disorganized when wet.

Water quality- Clean and inviting.

Pollutants- Well Maintained. Most of the resort owners makes it a point to clean their own surroundings.

Gradient Waves- The beach is a gradient slope which is very good for a swimming beach but at some point, there is a sudden drop off. For kids, make sure that they have a life vest instead of just floaters.
Saud Beach Pagudpud
A view of Bangui Bay

Currents- Be careful not to go far from the shore.

Underwater obstructions- there is none near the shore that is why this is ideal as a swimming beach.

Marine life- Be careful of the Jelly fish.
How to Get There

Saud Beach Pagudpud
There are a lot of signs already once you reach Pagudpud via the National Higway. Just make sure that you arrive when there is still light because there are no street lamps. This is a famous Saud Shell landmark near the different resorts which means you already arrive in Saud Beach.

Links and Resources
* Lonely Planet 9th Edition

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Bangui Windmills

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go...
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

Bangui Bay

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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 .

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I love the description of the windmills by Cecil Morella (Agence France-Presse):
" Standing in an arc in wind-lashed scrubland, the windmills, which started supplying electricity to 40 per cent of Ilocos Norte province in May, are the first source of clean energy introduced in the Phillipines, a nation with 84 million people reliant on oil and gas. "*

This bangui coast is a black pebbled beach with a fishing community along its shorelines. It is quite a walk from one windmill to another. The best time to go is before sunset where you get an awesome sunset sky as a backdrop to your windmills shot.

Awesome Windmills

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These windmills are simply AWESOME! I can't believe it when I saw it and I just marvel at these magnificent white structures. So but what can you do here? Three Things:

1. This is a good place to watch the Awesome Sunset in Pagudpud.
2. This is a good backdrop for your portrait shots ala Regine Velasquez in the Biyahe na video.
3. Say your final good byes here to Pagudpud by visiting this during sunrise before you head back to Manila...

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Jeepney vs. the Windmills. Just to give you a perspective how huge these white creatures are.

How to Get there:
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There are no signs and only the tour guide knows. But I took a picture of this intersection where you need to turn. This is after a bridge and the road leads to Pagudpud. This is already after the Bangui lookout and pass the mountains. You have to turn to the road where the CRV is and just go straight until you reach these windmills.

Links:
Bangui Windmills by Our Awesome Planet
* Giant windmills energize northern Philippines (Oct 12, 2005) By Cecil Morella Agence France-Presse

Blue Lagoon, Maira-ira Beach

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Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

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" Luzon's white sand and bluest water conspire majestically to be situated in one place. " - Lonely Planet 9th Edition

Maira-ira point is the northernmost tip in the Luzon Mainland. You can say that you are on top of the Philippines literally. The unspoiled white sand beach within the Maira ira islands is known as Blue Lagoon. I would dare say that this is the best swimming beach in the North and more apt to be called the "Balesin of the North". It has an undeveloped charm that seduces you to stay despite the lack of proper huts and urban amenities. It is serene and perfect for presence walks and enjoying bonding time with friends and family.

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Blue Lagoon Beach Guide: (definition)

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Sand quality and color – White when dry and midday. Beige when wet in the morning or late afternoon. The sand is fine mixed with small shell bits.

Water quality – Crystal clear and stunning Blue due to the color of the sky reflecting in the water.

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Pollutants – Minimal. Since this place is becoming popular, I do hope they will be able to maintain it.

Gradient – There is a gradual slope from the beach as it kiss the blue water and it suddenly drops off exceeding a normal person's height.

Waves - Calm as a pond when the notorious Ilocos surf is taking a break.

Currents – I don't think this will be safe for children so make sure that they have a life vest and not just a floater device.

Underwater obstructions – Minimal and the bottom is mostly beach sand near the shore. So, our favorite past time here was to jump into the blue waters...

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Marine Life
– Hardly noticeable from the beach area.

Sunset- Unfortunately, the sun sets behind the mountains and you cannot see it. Therefore, the best time to go here is in the morning before lunch and spend your sunset in Saud beach or Bangui beach.

How to get there
Blue Lagoon is further down the road about 45mins drive from Saud Beach. From the main Maharlika highway, there is a beach turn-off to a low road as the highway approaches the seaside. At this point, the caretakers have begun charging an entrance fee for the use of the table and as well as the rinsing rooms. Be prepared for a dirt road ride along the mountains side so it is not advisable to go here during heavy rains. On the way, you will see a sea arch to the right that looks like a naturally formed rock donut. You're now 1/4 of the way and will see Blue Lagoon soon to your right. Please bring flashlights and camp gear if you want to stay for an early evening swim.

Links:
Blue Lagoon Cove, Maira-Ira Beach, Pagudpud by Our Awesome Planet

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December 23, 2006

Don’t Travel to Pagudpud Without Reading this First!

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go...
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

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Awesome Philippines Travel Guide 001: Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
A couple of people already asked me to give them travel tips for their upcoming vacation to Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte. Instead of developing a frequently asked question (FAQ) in my Our Awesome Planet blog, I decided to create a dedicated online travel guide for each awesome places in the Philippines. This is the first Awesome Philippines Travel Guide and I aim to create 100 guides within a year.

I've been to Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte around 3x times already and I enjoyed each trip. Everytime I go back, these places never fails to surprise me. I would like to share with you our awesome experience! Also, this guide is formatted like a blog so that we can get feedback and comments from readers of these guide. Based on my blogging experience, the readers can even contribute a lot to make this guide richer and up-to-date.

In this definitive travel guide, I don't intend to overwhelm you with so much information. In fact, I already did most of the research for you and I distill the information on what are the essentials and the awesome places to go to. I can guarantee you that you would have an awesome experience just by reading this guide.

You should never miss the 8 Awesome Places of Ilocos Norte!
1. Blue Lagoon, Maira-ira Beach
2. Bangui Windmills
3. Saud Beach, Pagudpud
4. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
5. Fort Ilocandia
6. Sand Dunes of Ilocos
7. Paoay Church
8. Patapat Viaduct

Most of the information in this guide, is based on my own experience which I've documented in my blog, including:

Our Awesome Planet Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte Index
Blue Lagoon Cove, Maira-Ira Beach, Pagudpud
Bangui Windmills
a Fort Ilocandia Affair
The Youngest Quester @ Microsoft CIO 5th Quest
The Sand Dunes of Ilocos

Also, these are the other online resources and travel books I used to develop this guide:

Other Links and Resources
Lonely Planet Philippines 9th Edition
100 Resorts in the Philippines, Places with a Heart 3rd Edition 2005
Heritage Conservation Society
Wikipedia

If this guide was able to help you in any way, please do let me know. If you want to show your gratitude, please do so in the following ways:

1. Please provide comments and feedback to the articles in this guide.
2. Send me a travel writing/essay or share with us your blog journal about your experience.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy your vacation in the Philippines!

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