February 22, 2015

Ilocos: Perfect for Tourists

Ilocos, which is roughly 8-9 hours away from Manila via car, houses a lot of major tourist spots -  making the province a primary destination among locals and foreigners alike. Some of the sights to behold include a UNESCO heritage site, one of the new 7 wonder cities of the world, a white beach, sand dunes, and beautiful rock formations.

Bangui windmills

Must See

1. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan rock formation is a very picturesque place. Imagine the immaculate white limestone, the blue sky, the green sea, and the white beach foam in the picture. It's beautiful!

Kapurpurawan rock formation

2. Callle Crisologo, Vigan

Calle Crisologo is a busy place - whether it be in the early morning or late afternoon. It was probably because we visited on a weekend holiday. There are lots of antique shops and souvenir stores which you'd do best to scrutinize the products' authenticity before buying. Even so, I find the aesthetic of the place very romantic - especially if the tourists flocks would disappear :)

3. San Augustine Church (UNESCO World heritage site)

I know nothing of architecture but according to Google, San Augustine church or commonly known as Paoay church is a classic example of Baroque earthquake architecture in the country. It has survived numerous wars and earthquakes making it true to its structure.l

Look the bell tower is detached - this is to avoid the instances of the bell tower crushing down the church in case of an earthquake. If you observe the sides, there are also 4 big major buttresses supporting the church.

There have been conversations during the trip that the bricks were glued using egg whites, but I cannot seem to find any credible account for such occurrence. That's interesting, isn't it?

4. Bangui Windmills

Previous research and mapping studies concluded that Bangui is a good place for wind power installation. Hence, the modern looking Bangui windmills!

5. Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Picture taking is not allowed in the mausoleum. It is a small room with Marcos's embalmed body in the center. The group will just circle the coffin very quickly and then go out immediately after. Hmm, I am really not a Marcos fan so I find the stories presented here very one sided - but I guess the Marcosses were good to Ilocos. I'll let them have that.

Must Try

1. Sandboarding

Riding a 4x4 to get to the sand dunes is a story on its own! It's so fun, reminded me of Mt. Pinatubo! And then the sandboarding is also thrilling - too bad I wasn't able to slide down in a standing position. By the way, I walked barefooted and had mild burns on my feet after, don't try that.

Meet the Villanueva family!

2. Surfing / Strolling around the beach (ANY beach here is nice)

White sand beach and big waves!

3. Local  delicacies and cuisines
Try their longganisa, empanada, chichacorn, banana chips, bagnet, pakbet, etc. Food is great here!

4. Ziplining at Blue Lagoon
I've never tried ziplining over an ocean so I felt like hey this is nice, I'll try it. I backed out though because the wind was soooo cold. 

Other attractions

1. Kabigan Falls
2. Baluarte
3. Bantay Bell Tower
4. Cape Bojeadora Lighthouse
5. Paraiso ni Anton

Overall, I'd say that Ilocos is truly an ultimate tourist destination because of the variety of activities and sights to behold here. I think majority of the people would enjoy a visit in Ilocos - besides it's relatively easy to visit.

See  you around!


  1. I also enjoyed Ilocos, and my favorites are Sandboarding, Paoay Church and Kapurpurawan. Parang lahat ata hahaha

    Thank you for the explanation about the detached bell tower of Paoay Church, hindi ko napansin yun ah. oo nga hiwalay sya.

    Nice meeting you Arlet at the BackpackerTeachers' Launch. Happy Travels! :)

    1. Ohmigosh Jon! I was just thinking of your blog earlier this morning, and now you're in my page. HAHAHA nice meeting you too, Jon! See you on the road!


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