Author

Anton Diaz

Ilocos

Where to Stay and Eat in Pagudpud?

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


There are a lot of resorts in the Saud Beach area and usually, you can choose the resort upon your arrival. The rocky west end of Saud Beach usually offers affordable accommodation. If your intent is to just use the room to sleep and take a bath, then don’t spend too much money on getting a high end resort.


We have stayed in resorts just with basic amenities and just use it a base for traveling to the different awesome places within the area. We also stayed in Saud Beach report which is the high-end resort in Saud Beach owned by the Mayor and we decided to just stay and enjoy Saud at that time so it was worth it.

Here are some of the Pagudpud Resorts located in Saud Beach:

1. Saud Beach Resort — High End Resort amidst a coconut plantation with nice wooden floors and bamboo furniture.
Tel: +632-928 9853 Manila

2. Villa del Mar — If you want a deluxe cottage with stone floors and capiz-shell windows.
Mobile: +63 920 553-4161

West End Rocky Shore Resorts in Saud Beach

3. Apo Idon — One of the nicest resorts in Pagudpud with appealing rooms made of stone walls and good lighting.

4. Terra Rika Beach Resort — One of the popular relatively affordable resort with a nice restaurant.
Mobile: +63 918 937-1752
[email protected]
5. Northridge Resort – Sister company of Terra Rika and Apo Idon located in the West End.
Mobile: +63920 220-5089

Pagudpud Resorts not located in Saud Beach

1. Pannzian Beach and Mountain Resort – located near the long, black sand beach of Pansian often beaten by strong winds.
Tel: +632 646-9020

2. Kapuluan Vista Resort – The resort possesses a distinctive, contemporary design and décor that creates both a high-energy and serene ambiance on a casual setting. This is located near Blue Lagoon.
Tel: (+6372) 888-2809
Cellular: (+63920) 952-2528
website: http://www.kapuluanvistaresort.com/

So, to answer the question of where to stay?
If you want a resort with all the urban amenities and expect to stay with first class accommodations, you should stay in Saud Beach Resort. For a romantic place, I suggest that you book in Apo Idon. If you are on a budget, canvass your way from the different resorts in the rocky-shore west end of Saud Beach. If it is your 3rd time in Pagudpud, I suggest you try Kapuluan Vista Resort.

2. What and Where to Eat?

I need to level your expectation that the food is ridiculously Expensive and not also that good. This is contrary to the belief that the provincial resorts offer more affordable food. Specially in Saud beach, they want to earn as much from the food and the source of ingredients are scarce. More than P200 for every dish and don’t be fooled by the label good 2-3 persons. By the way the menu below is from one of the low end resorts in Pagudpud…


Click here for a Larger Size


Ilocos Bagnet (P300! ), Grilled Fish (P220) and Pinakbet (P200)!!

Recommendations:
1. To save on food expenses, I suggest that you bring your own gallon of water or buy one before entering into the Saud beach resorts. Also, you can buy your own canned goods or instant noodles if you really want to save.

2. Pick the best restaurants to eat from. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recommendation since most of them looks the same. Maybe, you have any suggestions on where to eat in Pagudpud?

3. Avoid the Ilocos specialties like Bagnet which is not healthy and at the same time, they would charge more for these.

4. Btw, there are no nightlife in Pagudpud. People usually spend the evening singing the night away or drinking and enjoying the time with friends. So make sure that you savor your dinner and just relax.

Do you have any other recommendations?

Anton

Ilocos

Pasalubong and Delicacies from the North

Never-to-be-missed Empanada

Staying in Ilocos Norte will never be complete if you have not tasted these fried empanada. Although, these empanadas are available in special outlets in Manila, it is different eating this in Laoag.

I recommend eating dinner in Dap-Ayan ti iLocos Norte food court which is located just near the Provincial Capitol building. As you enter Laoag, go straight in the Tres Martires plaza and turn left along Rizal Ave where the provincial capitol is located. The next corner would be V Llanes St and Dap-Ayan ti iLocos Norte is located in the corner.

If you go further down Rizal avenue you will arrive in one of the famous restaurant in Laoag, La Preciosa . This is another restaurant that you should consider eating when you are in Laoag.

Best Pasalubong from the North

1. Royal Bibingka


These royal bibingkas are the best pasalubong from the North. They are available along the main highway near Vigan. These bibingkas are different from the ones we know here in Manila. It is a mixture of ground glutinous rice, eggs, cheese or margarine, milk and sugar which is cooked in an oven at a high temperature for 30-35 minutes.


You won’t miss this sign along the highway. Make sure that you buy one for me if it is not a hassle 🙂

2. Longaniza (native sausage),
There is a constant debate about which is the best longganisa in the North — Vigan Longganisa or the Laoag Longganisa? I decide to stay away from both for healthy reasons but this is a great treat / pasalubong for those who love this.

3. Garlic – Make sure that you buy your amulet of garlic which are available at a cheap price in the Laoag market.

4. Chichacorn — Super Crispy Corn Bits.

5. Bagnet — Ilocos’ version of Crispy Pata. I don’t find this any different.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Anton

Attractions, Manila Life

The Need for Speed in City Kart

We just hosted our regional teammates two weeks ago for a teambuilding experience that they will never forget. Last September, I already treated my team to a City Kart racing session and that is why we know that it would be a memorable event. We decided to do it again for 42 people coming from ASEAN, Australasia and India. I personally had fun because the racing format was 90 minutes of non-stop endurance race.

We divided the team into 8 groups of 5 and we let them decide their strategy on how to change racers to complete the entire 90mins race. The only requirement is that each team member should race for 6 minutes at a minimum. The team who completed the most laps wins the race! Before the actual endurance race, we conducted a race leveling where we let every one have their test run for 6 minutes. Their lap times will be the basis for creating the group and we want to make sure that each group has a mix of fast and slow racers. After the leveling, the teams chose the main racer who would run the qualifying round to decide the pole positions at the start of the endurance race.

It was really fun. I actually got sick after this race because I was drenched with sweat in my suit and I did not change my shirt.. We started at 6pm and ended the race at 11pm. Overall, we spend about P150k for the entire teambuilding session for 42 members of our regional team. After this, it would be difficult to think about the team building for next year since the expectation was to top this one. If you have any bright ideas, let me know. Thanks to Jeff and the City Kart Team!!

Here is a glimpse of the endurance race team building we had two weeks ago.

Related Posts:
City Kart Racing, First Indoor Go Kart in the Philippines!

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Food

Shawarma Center – Malate’s Mediterranean Favorite

I love Mediterranean food specially the authentic ones which gives you a different and unique taste aside from the filipinized mid-east food you find in the malls. One of the shawarma place favorite in the Malate area is Shawarma Snack Center (SSC) near Hyatt Casino area. I’m sure most of you would know this already and I just want to share the secret to other people who haven’t been to this place.

This is frequented by tourists and makati people who wants to eat authentic mid-east food. There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall shawarma places in Malate that you can get confused on which one to go to. This place is packed night after night. In fact, the owner of the SSC bought the space across which was formerly a chinese restaurant and decided to expand so he can cater to more people. You can order in both places but I prefer to eat in the original shawarma snack center. Hopefully, you get to find a table in the original place because usually this gets packed more easily than the one across.

Overall, the taste is quite unique and delicious but sometimes inconsistent. Although some people might find mid-east food to be dry and the meats mostly hard in texture. I like it because of its unique flavor. You might want to check this out.

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#Travel, Food

Eating Turtle, a slice of Snake and a Water Bug in Guangzhou, China



WARNING: Please don’t read this post. The pictures are disgusting but I wanted to blog about this to serve as a blog memory for me on my exotic adventures in Guangzhou, China. Hopefully, it will never happen again.

In my post, Snake, Water Bug, and Centipede looking Shrimps

Q. What do these animals have in common?
A. I ate all of them for dinner in Guangzhou, China.

This was the second time I ate snakes in China. It was tolerable, and the Guanzhou locals loved it. It actually taste like lamb ribs with fish bones. It looks slimy but is is not. The skin is tender instead of rubbery and if not for the stripes you will forget that you are eating snakes. But still, every time I look at the picture above, I want to throw up and I can’t imagine eating these disgusting snakes.

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Musicals

“The Good Body”, Review

I must admit that I was not able to relate to the show.

Don’t get me wrong… the entire show was very entertaining from the moment Pinky Amador started her monologue and showed her belly button to Eve’s last entry #18 in her diary about Afghan Women eating ice cream illegally. The performances by Monique Wilson, Pinky Amador, and Juno Henares were excellent with their eloquent delivery with the right accent to the emotional facial expressions. Pinky Amador played the role of Eve, she was very funny. Her timing was excellent and her confidence showed through out the entire show. Monique played the role of Woman 1 which means, she would play a lot of roles and have to transform herself through the different woman she portrayed for 2 hours. What was memorable for me was the time she played an aggresive Indian woman in the gym — it was a hilarious scene! Lastly, this was the first time we saw Juno Henares in a play. She has a very beautiful expressive face and a not-so-slim body which fits very well with the role. The highlight for me was her performance on the “spread tuck” — I can still imagine the spread until now…

There was no dull moment except for Entry #13 on Isabella Rossellini portrayal that we ask what was the point of that monologue? This was an adult show obviously and it was very vulgar. I originally thought it was all about women’s obsession on her stomach but it attacks issues on women’s obsession in conforming to society’s standard of beauty defined by a slim and young body. The show is an essay and a deep dive on these issues and provokes the audience to reprogram their minds and love the body they are in. This reminds me of Olay’s tagline “Love the Skin you are in” and Dove’s Natural beauty campaign.

Now, this is where I can’t relate: why women around the world have been “programmed” to hate their body for what it is and always strive to make it a “good body” as defined by society. I guess this would remain a mystery to me and a subject of debate between me and my wife. There was no mention of the Filipina in the show but I bet these issues are also prevalent in our society brought about by the “Kris Aquino” generation. For me, a Good Body is a Healthy Body and that is the standard that we should aim for.

Anton

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Ilocos

[Fort Ilocandia #3] The Sand Dunes of Ilocos


To end my Fort Ilocandia series, I would like to share with you my experience of going to the famous Sand Dunes of Ilocos. This is about 45 mins to 1 hour walk along the beach from Fort Ilocandia. Yes, I endured the walk just to get these photos. This Desert in the North is famous because this is the setting of Fernando Poe’s Panday desert scenes and you can just imagine it when you are already in this place.

There were no people in sight but I was surprised to see bahay kubo/ shanties hidden in the small sand hills. I also took a self portrait above and this one is my favorite! I experienced for the first time what they call the “presence” walk where you don’t think about the future nor the past but just think and be grateful for the present. It was such a nice experience visiting this desert.

This is not for everyone so I’ll leave you with the photos to enjoy this place. These photos are very special to me so please ask permission if you want to have a copy of it. I only ask for proper acknowledgement and my special request is not to use it for commercial purposes.

Lastly, imagine your favorite saying or think of inspirational messages as you look through them.

Enjoy!!

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#Restaurants, Food

Abe means good filipino food!


Abe (ah-beh), noun.
1. Capampangan word for friend, companion, and getting together.
2. Nickname of a beloved son of Pampanga, Emilio Aguilar Cruz (1915-1991), writer, editor, painter, connoisseur, bon vivant and legendary eater outer.
3. Means good “Filipino” food!

Finally, a Serendra restaurant that is relatively cheaper with a filipino food quality that can rival the best Filipino restos. Of course, expect only the best from this restaurant which is a loving tribute to Larry Cruz’s Father, Abe. This is part of the LJC group of companies and you should not be surprised to see some of the menu items from Cafe Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, etc. etc. What I like about this is that it serves true Filipino food and I always believe that Campampangan dishes are the authentic Filipino food that have little influence from our colonizers.

Also, if I would have foreign visitors, this is the type of place that I want to bring them to experience Filipino cuisine. This is not your modern fusion cuisine but Capampangan dishes at its finest. Think about Kamayan + Cabalen with a touch of Chef Laudico into the quality and presentation. The menu items are P200-P400 and if you just stick to the P200 menu items, this would be the best deal in Serendra restos! Also, rice is bottomless @ P45++ so you can eat all you want ] as most Filipinos do. The Buro or what they call balo balo relish is superbly done. Rey, the manager who has been with the LJC group of companies for the longest time, provides very good customer service. I do hope he gets to train the rest of the staff quickly.

In the past, I have a star rating system for restaurants with 5 as the highest rating. I would rate this a 4.5 overall because of the overall ambiance, quality of food, value for money and friendly service. The only thing is that it is not kids friendly and they don’t have a high chair. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Musicals

The Good Body by Eve Ensler (creator of Vagina Monologues)

Finally , Eve Ensler’s The Good Body will be showing in the Philippines courtesy of the New Voice Company. I was happy to receive the email below and I’m sure would not miss its premier shows either on Nov. 10 or 11 @ 9pm. I’m sure it would be a night of laughter, and intellectual stimulation on the subject of Flabby Stomach. The main cast of the show would be theater veterans MONIQUE WILSON, PINKY AMADOR, and JUNO HENARES.

See you there! I do hope that the show won’t be disappointing because I heard mixed reviews about it.

Anton

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