Apr 15, 2015

Last Day Up North (Ilocos Part 3!)

We got back to our creepy 'hotel' to get our stuff and get dressed for our next stop. At exactly 12 in the afternoon, we marched back to the same spot where we got off the day before.

This is where we stayed...

We waited for a bus back to the town. After having lunch at the same Mang Inasal branch where we had lunch the day before, we found another kind tricycle driver who showed us a brochure/map of the other tourist spots around the area. They named their price, we talked about it, haggled a bit and BAM! Next thing I knew we were ducking inside the tricycle again. This time we hired two tricycles since we have our backpacks with us. Our first stop was the Paoay Lake. We really didn't stay here for a long time. Just a quick photo session and pee break!

"The Saint Augustine Church (Spanish: Iglesia de San Agustín de Paoay), commonly known as the Paoay Church, is the Roman Catholic church of the municipality of Paoay,Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. Completed in 1710, the church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and aUNESCO World Heritage Site under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993." ~ Wikipedia

This is a church, we have to be formal!

Up next, the Malacañang of the North ~ the residence of our former president Ferdinand E. Marcos during his dictatorship.

This was actually my favorite part because I'm obsessed with Spanish-inspired houses and old stuff. Four poster beds, old dressing tables, wooden floors~ it was heaven for me!

I was staring at the lake~

We also had a quick stop at Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. 25 years after his death, his corpse remains in a glass coffin. Their family's mortician did everything he can to preserve his looks so that he would still be recognized. It was said that local morticians do the occasional checking of his corpse. Mobile phones and cameras are not allowed inside the mausoleum, so I have no pictures of him in the glass coffin.

Our last stop was the famous sand dunes somewhere in Barangay La Paz, also known as Bantay Bimmaboy. It’s less than half an hour by tricycle from the capital (Laoag).

Though we don’t have snow in the Philippines and snow boarding is not an option, apparently we have such a thing called sand boarding.

Where on earth is my camel?!

Saharan desert princess wannabe~

Being part of that majestic and somewhat dramatic landscape even just for a few minutes was beyond my expectation. A picture of Princess Jasmine and Aladdin popped in my mind. Haha! Sure, this is no Sahara, but looking at the view, I can’t help feeling like a Saharan desert princess!

It could have been us~
We actually didn’t get a chance to go sand boarding nor get on the 4x4 vehicle that would take you around the place (because we're sort of going over our budget), but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun - by fun I mean pose for that perfect jump shot!

We're a bunch of sane people...
Just kidding!
Hang on a sec!
Epic wand battle between Tin and Ted! 
A trip is incomplete without a picture of my feet!
The traveling circle, again!
We have covered a lot of tourist spots in Ilocos in a short time, but it still doesn't seem enough. We haven't even been to the famous Pagudpud yet! Maybe we can go there next time?! At least there are reasons to come back to this place!

We headed back to the bus terminal going back to Manila a little after 9 PM on the 21st of February. I spent my 27th birthday on the bus! Haha! I treated myself with my favorite Nissin cup noodles (seafood flavor) and hotdog on stick when I realized it was past midnight and we were on our first stopover. The others were sleeping SO soundly on the way back to Manila. I kept on waking up and getting off the bus to pee at every bus stop.

This trip was epic and I hope I can do more of this when time, money and energy syncs again!

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