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Ilocos

#Philippines, Ilocos

Exploring More of Ilocos #LakbayNorte7

Ilocos remains to be one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, despite the fact that it is located in the northernmost part of Luzon. The province is rich in history, littered with natural beauty, and booming with good food.

Take a journey and check out 10 spots you shouldn’t miss in Ilocos…

Lakbay Norte 7 Series:

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#Travel, Ilocos

VIGAN Calle Crisologo: 24-Hour Guide to Best Experience Vigan’s Most Beautiful Street! @HotelLuna_Vigan

vigan map

Vigan is the third oldest city in the Philippines following Cebu and Manila. It is famed for the Philippines' most beautiful street Calle Crisologo, that brings back history which rivals Intramuros. The streets are cover with cobblestone lined with old Spanish houses from either side.

Calle Crisologo is the only World Heritage City in the Philippines inscribed by UNESCO. Because it perfectly preserves the livelihood of the Hispanic colonial era.

 

Watch this video: VIGAN: Food and Travel Guide to one of the 7 Wonder Cities of the World!

The best way to tour around Vigan is by foot or tricycle because it is such a small city, the sights are only a few minutes away from each other.

Here's our 24-hour itinerary that you can do on your own…

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#Philippines, Ilocos

INCREDIBLE ILOCOS GUIDE: 8 Incredible Sights You Should Not Miss in Ilocos! @TourismPHL

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The Ilocos Region, consisting of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, may sound like a daunting place for first-time visitors.

Often, our friends and relatives ask for a dozen Vigan Longanisa, a bottle of Sukang Iloko, a bundle of Native Garlic, or a packet of Bagnet in hopes of also experiencing your travels through your souvenirs.

However, we all know there is a lot more to this beautiful region than what we can find in your typical Pasalubong bag.

Here’s what every traveler in Ilocos should experience before returning home…

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#Travel, Ilocos

Captivating Calle Crisologo

The most beautiful street in the Philippines can be found in Vigan — Calle Crisologo.

It was restored to its pre-war beauty with its cobbled streets and old Spanish houses. It is the only town during World War II that was saved from destruction because of a love story.

Legend has it that a Japanese General, who married a Filipina in Vigan, promised the parish priest that he would save the town from destruction from the retreating Japanese if he would agree to take care of his family.

It is not only a preserved historical street like the ones in Intramuros, but it is full of life, especially during the Festival of the Arts.

Our Awesome Planet Vigan Series

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#Travel, Ilocos

Where is the best place to eat Empanada and Okoy in Vigan?

In Vigan, there is an empanadahan in the plaza near the Church, where one can get Vigan Empanada and Okoy from a series of street food stalls. We were told that this is actually a commercialized empanada area designed for tourists.

Since you are already in Vigan, why not troop over to where the locals go for their empanada fix so that you can also savor and experience it like they do?

Our Awesome Planet Vigan Series

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Ilocos

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

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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Ilocos

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 (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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.

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.


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.

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

Anton

Ilocos

Patapat Viaduct

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

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.

Anton

Ilocos

Paoay Church

The San Augustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte is One out of the Four Baroque Churches of the Philippines and designated as a World Heritage Site. The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is the official designation to a collection of four Spanish-era churches in the Philippines, upon its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.

The collection is composed of the following:
San Agustin Church in Manila
Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

These churches have a unique architectural style known as Earthquake Baroque which called for the emphasis on the buttresses and foundations of these churches to survive earthquakes. The most imposing of these buttresses could be found in Paoay Church, while the true testament of this architecture could be seen in San Agustin Church, Manila, the only structure in Intramuros to survive World War II. (Read More… Wikipedia on Baroque Churches of the Philippines…)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.The programme aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind. (Read More: Wikipedia on World Heritage Site)

You should never miss this and I made that mistake a couple of times already because I was not informed about the historical significance of this place. You should read this article by Heritage Conservation Society:

“The church was started by the Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo in 1694. It was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896, just three years before the expulsion of Spanish rule in the country. The style of the church has been dubbed “Earthquake Baroque” by Alicia Coseteng, one of the early authorities on colonial church architecture. Because the buttresses extend out considerably from the exterior walls, the entire visual experience becomes three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only at the facade.” (Read More: Heritage Conservation Society: on Earthquake Baroque: Paoay Church in the Ilocos)

Links and Resources Wikipedia Heritage Conservation Society in the Philippines

Anton

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