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

Sunday, December 24, 2006

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

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Blue Lagoon, Maira-ira Beach

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Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

Blue Lagoon -002

" 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...

Blue Lagoon -017


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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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Don’t Travel to Pagudpud Without Reading this First!

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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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Stopover Surprises in your 14-hour Road Trip

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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Introduction
If this was your first time to go on a long road trip to the North, this article will save you a lot of time in being prepared for your roadtrip. This also documents all my key learnings based on my experience to avoid frustrations and mis-adventures during your tip. Although, I must admit that its the mis-adventures which makes the trip fun and memorable.

If you have been to Pagudpud or Ilocos Norte already, I do hope you learn a thing or two from this guide. I would also sincerely appreciate it if you can contribute your own learnings and perspective by commenting on this.

The best part of going to Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte is the long road trip. I enjoy it very much and I encourage you to plan it very well to make it enjoyable. I won't be covering using public transportation to go to Pagudpud since I don't have a lot of experience on this.

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Make sure that you make a beauty stop over hear at Suso Beach, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. This will be the first beach you would see that is visible and near the national higway.

1. Stopover Strategy

It is certainly possible to drive straight from Manila to Pagudpud but you need to leave as early as 3am. The main reason is that you don't have to arrive in Pagudpud at night because there are no street lights. It would be dark and it would be difficult to find your way going to the resorts. I did this once already and it was tiring, and you cannot enjoy the road trip.

On the way to Pagudpud, I would suggest that you stopover and stay for a night and take advantage of exploring one city in the North. Here are my recommendations:

  • You can either stay in Vigan, Ilocos Sur (3 hours away from Pagudpud), or
  • Fort Ilocandia in Laoag, Ilocos Norte (1 hour away from Pagudpud), or
  • Recently, I heard of this new place called Sitio Remedios in Currimao, Ilocos Norte. I have not stayed here yet but the pictures were great. You might want to check it out (mobile: +63917-3320217 or email: [email protected]).

On the way back, my favorite stopover is Baguio which is the half way point between Manila and Ilocos Norte. You can easily get accommodations in Baguio without prior reservation and you get to enjoy the city's beauty and its restaurants for a night. Most people would drive straight back to Manila since you are already familiar with the place even if you arrive at midnight.

2. Where is the best place to eat Breakfast and Lunch?

It would be sad if all you eat during your long trip would be fastfood from Jollibee, Mc Donalds or Max. I was surprised when I was in Vigan to find these fast food chain among the antique houses. You have to maximize you're long road trip and there are three places that I would recommend that you eat:

A). Breakfast/Lunch @ Isdaan in Gerona, Tarlac.
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Isdaan is the home of the tacsiyapo wall. Where you buy stuff to throw and shout "TACSIYAPO" which is "shame on you" in the local dialect. It serves very good Filipino Food since they are a sister company or the same owner as Barrio Fiesta. It is a floating restaurant concept where you eat in huts floating in the fish pond. One other unique thing about Isdaan, is that you can cross the San Kilo bridge which is a narrow cement bridge while bringing one pail of water. If you are able to successfully cross the bridge and come back, you get a free 1 Kilo of Fish!

Check out my blog post on this place --> Tacsiyapo Wall @ Isdaan, Gerona Tarlac. This is just along the national highway, you'll never miss it once you are in Gerona Tarlac...

B). Lunch @ Cafe Leona in Vigan
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The old house ambiance was great and sets the mood for a good lunch. It serves good filipino food turo-turo style where the food is displayed buffet style and you have to point the food that you like. Prices are almost the same as in Manila restaurants but still eating in capiz style vigan houses is quite an experience.

Cafe Leona is very popular and right in the center of Vigan. Just ask around and it is near the Max Restaurant along Crisologo street. I don't have a full blog post on this but I have a more photos here --> Cafe Leona, Vigan Lunch.

C). Lunch/Dinner @ S.O.U.L Cafe in La Union

I have never been to this place but I'm hearing a lot of good things about this from different people. This is owned by Amboy Guevara, and located beside their family's Shell Gas Station. This is the first shell gas station in La Union and the first one before going up to Baguio via Kenon road. S.O.U.L means Spice of Urban Life and people rave about the food which are priced reasonably well below P200. ( Check it out --> S.O.U.L Café Camp One, Rosario, La Union. Tel: (072) 712-0852 )

3. Road Trip Final Reminders

  • You need to make sure that you're car is well tuned up, have the right tire pressure with a good tire spare, and with the gas HALF FULL all the time.
  • If you are going on convoy, I suggest that you agree on a meeting/ end point because it is useless to go on a convoy like a parade in this northern part of the Philippines.
  • Cash is King so make sure that you withdraw enough money for your trip. P1,500/ day is a good rule of thumb.
  • Buy an atlas so that you can follow your road trip in the map. It is interesting to see where you are in the North. Also, this gives you added confidence that you will not get lost.
  • You should look at your trip as a two phase road trip: a 6 hour road trip to Baguio and another 6 hour road trip going to Ilocos Norte. Just follow the signs going to this places and you won't get lost.
  • If you have short range two-way radio, bring them because this might be better for coordination between two cars or groups.

That's it for now. I do hope by now, you would have an idea on what your Road Trip itinerary would be. I'll update this entry from time to time based on readers inputs and as I remember them.

Other Places to Visit along the 14-hour Road Trip:

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur - One of the Four Baroque Churches in the Philippines listed in the UN World Heritage Sites!

Do you have any other suggestions and comments?

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8 Awesome Places of Ilocos Norte

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

These places are simply AWESOME and you should never miss to visit them on your trip to Pagudpud. Of course, it would be unrealistic to expect to be able to visit them all at once. You should be able to arrange your itinerary to go to the places that interest you the most. Here are the 8 Awesome Places in Pagudpud and Ilocos Norte:

1. Blue Lagoon or Maira-ira
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Balesin of the North
>> Blue Lagoon, Maira-ira Beach Details

2. Bangui Windmills
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Magnificent White Giants of Bangui
>> Bangui Windmills Details

3. Saud Beach Pagudpud
Saud Beach Pagudpud
Anti-Boracay of the north
>> Saud Beach Pagudpud Details

4. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
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One of the Oldest and Most Visited Spanish Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte
>> Cape Bojeador Lighthouse Details...

5. Fort Ilocandia
Fort Ilocandia
The Best Resort in Laoag, Ilocos Norte
>> Fort Ilocandia Details

6. Sand Dunes of Suba
Microsoft 5th Quest
Unique Desert Sand Dunes in the Philippines
>> Sand Dunes of Suba Details

7. Paoay Church
Paoay church by Heritage Conservation Society
One of the Four Baroque Churches in the Philippines with an impressive buttresses.
>> Paoay Church

8. Patapat Viaduct
Anton and Car @ patapat
Amazing Elevated Highway on a Mountainside.
>> Patapat Viaduct

Other Places of Interest in Ilocos Norte

Marcos Museum & Mausoleum - The embalmed body of Ferdinand Marcos (1917-89) is laid out on a mattress and lit by floodlights with eerie choral music as the background.

Malacanang of the North - The opulent former residence of the Marcos Family. The house is impressive :)

Kabigan Falls - a scenic 30 minute hiring trek to a famous falls in Pagudpud.

Enjoy your Trip!

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