Travel Diary: Ayayatenka Ilocos Day 1

A super past-due post from our last year’s trip to Ilocos Region. I, together with my office mates went on a tour three days before New Year’s eve. We were really looking forward to having a trip last year, at least one but the universe didn’t allow us. So when the stars are finally aligned and our schedules are properly arranged, we call it a go.

It was a 3 days 2 nights tour package courtesy of St. Michael’s Explorer and Travel Tours. For a tour like this, it was quite affordable and our driver was very accommodating. He is a good tour guide and I can see that he knows his job very well. I’ve checked out their other packages and I can say it’s a recommendation.

Friday night, we departed from Manila to Ilocos Sur for a total of an 8 to 10 hours travel. Our first stop was at Sta. Maria Church (I think). Because it was just 5 am that time, and it was still dark, we barely saw the exterior of the church. But I guess, it has a great architectural design for it was an old church and it still remains as is.

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Then we went again to another Church, St. Augustine Parish Church. For me, the church has same normal exterior’s as the other normal churches but what’s more interesting is its Bell Tower. I fell in love with it.

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The view on the tower was awesome, even more when you climbed up where the bells are. Boo me for I didn’t have the courage to climbed up because I was too afraid, I’m Aeroacrophobic and Acrophobic combined, OKAY! I’m not yet ready to face my fears (at least I succeeded riding the Space Shuttle in EK, Hohohohohohohoho!) .

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It’s eating time and we went to Cafe Uno along the famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan. We have their famous Bagnet and the Vigan Longganisa. And I must say, I like the taste of the longganisa though I’m not really used to eating it with skin.

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After the breakfast, we headed to Baluarte, Chavit Singson’s very own’s wildlife exhibit. There are lots of extinct (I think) animals but the place was quite stinky because of the animal’s manures and other things.

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I love the parrots and ostriches, especially the star of the place, the tigers (RAWR!). It was my first time to see a real life tiger and I was amazed by them. Their yellow eyes are very beautiful that you can look at it the whole time, but  it’s scary at the same time that you can’t look at it because of the horror that they will eat you. The best part about this trip is when we heard the sound of a roaring tiger. The real scary sound! It’s really different if you heard it for real than hearing it through movies. It’ll give you goosebumps and excitement.

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Outside the Baluarte, there are a lots of souvenir stalls around. Of course, they are selling souvenirs and other products made only in Vigan itself. Because we’re such cutie pies, we bought our own “lakas makaturista at makasummer” hat in different colors.   Hahahaha!

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After the jungle tour, we went to Crisologo Museum for some of our finest histories. I admire the relics that were still preserved by the owners. You know they value those things based on how they took care of it. I salute them for preserving a part of what we can call the our own history. 🙂

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Feeling DJ Moi!

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And one more thing, this place is a good subject for photography especially in documentaries. Sad thing, I don’t have any decent camera with me so I wasn’t able to showcase my photography skills (chos!) (I’ll be having my camera soon so prepare for more photos.)

We went to a pottery afterwards where we saw how a pot is done. It kinda amaze us because from just a simple clay and then through a tool (which I don’t know what it’s called) that goes round and round, you can make a work of art. I think anyone can make it with the right amount of timing and enthusiasm. I wish we took a video while Kuya was making it so you can see how simple it is.

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We tried it, but for just a couple of minutes. It was not easy still it was simple. And if you’re maarte, you wouldn’t dare try it ’cause aside from you’ll get dirty hands and it’s quite tiring, the smell of the clay is awful. But I admire those in the pottery business for making artistic pots and for providing shelter to the plants. 🙂 And it’s a very decent job.

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After the pot-making, we went for lunch at a local restaurant nearby. They served home-made dishes which I miss because I’ve been eating a lot of fast foods lately.

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Marcos museum was our next destination afterwards. We saw the Museleo of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos but we weren’t allowed to take pictures. They said the body was only a waxed version which I think is true.

We headed to Paoay Church nearby after looking into the museleo. The church and the place itself was very scenic. I think it is great to have a church wedding there.

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There is this Paoay Sand Dune Adventures after the Paoay Church but we didn’t try it ’cause we think it costs too much. It is a great set for action and fantasy movies.

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We just stayed there for a few minutes because aside from we didn’t try the sand adventure, it was a bit sandy. So we went to Malacañang of the North where Marcos family resided years ago.

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Inside where a lot of works by the Marcos’ especially the Former President himself. Personally, I am a big fan of him even though he was a dictator and once took away the freedom of the Filipino people. Admit it, he was a great president and I think he will always be the great in our history.

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The last stop is at another church and the sinking bell tower which unfortunately is closed that day. There weren’t any special about it and I guess we’re just really tired from touring all over.

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At last, our time to have some rest and retouch. I have this sticky feeling because of the whole day trip so it was very refreshing to take a bath afterwards.

We checked in at our designated hotel, took a bath and have some rest. And then, we’re ready for dinner. Our driver took us to Ati-Atihan Restaurant.

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The food tastes good plus its actual size was larger than the one in their menu. I wish there are restaurants like this in Manila. After dinner, we returned back to our hotel to get some sleep and get ready for another adventure the next day.

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Disclaimer: Photos by Ederley Ting-o, Fox Garcia, August Ferrer, Gilbert Anyayahan, and Candy Zinampan.

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