When you say Ilocos, first thing that would probably pop up in my silly head is Bagnet, Dinengdeng and the ever famous longanisa… Yeah I know..I love to eat. But also, Ilocos is a region in the Philippines which is known for its historic sites, beaches and the well-preserved Spanish colonial city of Vigan.
Been wanting to do the “byaheng Norte ” for a while but a DIY trip seems to be way out of my budget and traveling from one place to another is not exactly that easy. So instead , I had this brilliant idea of joining a group tour for only 3000 php (60 USD) including transportation, accommodation and entrance fees for the tourist sites.
I joined BBM travel and tours since their schedule works for me and I have used them when we did our Sagada trip. Since I am a saling pusa ” joiner” I gotta meet the rest of the group in Mall of Asia which I later found out that I am joining two families.. so yeah I’m definitely the “saling pusa”
One thing that you have to remember if you are joining a group tour is never ever arrive late and be considerate! there are specific time allotted in visiting every destinations so maartes and primadonas are a def a NO NO..
Travel time from Manila to Vigan is approximately 6-7 hrs. I suggest leaving at night time since it’s less traffic, less hassle and if you are not driving, just sleep.
Fist stop : Vigan Calle Crisologo – We arrived in Vigan before 5 AM which is perfect for taking pictures of the ever famous Calle Crisologo showcasing the street with its famous lights and less photo bombers.
Calle Crisologo in the Morning.
Next is the Baluarte Zoo, which is own by Chavit Singson . For me, it is just a so-so place to visit. Tho I got chased by some evil wandering Ostrich which made my day a bit exciting, other than that… no comment… hahaha
This is the evil bird…
3rd stop is…. Bantay Bell Tower & Church – this 400ish old tower served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish era ( I just googled this hahaha ) . This is also a memorable place for me since this I believe is where I lost my lucky hat… sad face…
Then off we go to Juan and Antonio Luna Shrine and Museum – These Ilocano brothers, the general and the painter played a big role in our Filipino History. I’m not gonna dwell on that, since I suck in history.. lol
One of Antonio Luna’s work of art
Then, there’s the “Malacañang of the North” – This is where the Marcoses used to live.
My favorite destination is the Sand Dunes – It’s seriously fun! a bit scary but it’s all worth it. Price for a 45 minutes ride is 2500 php , good for 5 pax so we ended up paying 500 php each and unlimited sand boarding. If you go to Norte this is a MUST to do guys.
The driver will take you to the shore too while taking the ride and you can do a bit of a siesta.
At night, you can go visit the sinking bell tower and explore Laog city.
Next is the old Bacarra church ..
Then of course while in Ilocos never miss to try the famous Empanada.. it had veges, meat and egg inside and….. you gotta eat it with vinegar.. only for 35php
Next is Kapurpurawan windmills and rock formation.
Then off we go to….. the Bangui windmills which is the mother of all windmills in Ilocos.
Of course this trip will never be completed without a beach destination😁. What can I say? I am beach person.. hehe
On your way to Pagudpud.. taking a pic of Patapat Viaduct is a must!
Then finally.. here we are.. Pagudpud beach which feels like you’re already at the end of Luzon 😂
All in all it was a fun and so worth it byaheng Norte. Massive thanks to BBM tours for making my Ilocos trip possible without hurtinh my pocket 😁