Few minutes trike ride from Batac, we reached our final destination in Ilocos Norte.
say hello to PAOAY. . . ;)
Completed in the 18th century, the church is famous for its distinct facade and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Recently, it was under renovation as you can see structures of bamboo being set up around the church. However, the remodeling was interrupted as ordered by Imelda Marcos because the handwork did not appear appealing to her. Repairing ancient structures like this is not an easy feat. It generally takes time and a large amount of effort because you have to be meticulous in handling such detailed and delicate architecture. ..
*** Just around the vicinity, we took a break @ Herencia Cafe and chilled just to cool our body from being exposed to too much UV rays the whole day. After rejuvenating ourselves with cold drinks and deserts, we headed to our last adventure stop of the day. .. . Paoay Sand Dunes. ..
A vast stretch of undulating sand dunes which was the setting for Tom Cruise's ' Born on the 4th of July' film, Mel Gibson's 'Mad Max' series and of course our very own 'Panday' series and films.
The 4 by 4 ride was pure radness!!!!! We drove roughly around and up and down on sandy hills. . I wouldn't even mind if I get thrown out from the jeep because the ride was so fast and furious! HAHA.
After being almost thrown out from the jeep, we halted on a steep sandy hill and did sand boarding for the first time. .. Wohoooooo o o o. .. it felt like surfing only it was on fine hot sand . .
As the powder blue skies slowly turned into subtle hues of pink and orange we headed back to Laoag to catch up the bus ride heading Vigan.
Before reaching the bus terminal, we stopped by Laoag's famous sinking Bell Tower. ..
We finally arrived at the bus terminal just in time for the next late afternoon trip to Vigan.
We were extremely exhausted. .. but with all smiles. .
* Laoag trike tour with Rosal brothers, Jeremy and Eric: P600/trike - 2 trikes (P300 each + P25each for tip) ◘ I highly recommend these brothers as tour guides if you do not mind journeying around Laoag and Paoay with a trike ride. They are very accommodating and very knowledgeable about Ilocos. To avail of their services you can reach Kuya Jeremy Rosal through his mobile number:09102572426
They also offer private van tours covering Pagudpud, Laoag, Paoay and Vigan for p3,500 only. ;)
* halo2x @ Herencia Cafe = P75/2 = P37.50 * Sand duning and sand boarding = P2000/4 = P500 * Bus to Vigan via cubao (fare - P133) * BBQ late dinner in Vigan (P100)
Things could not get any better as we made our way to Laoag!
There was not much though however our tour guides oriented us around the city on a trike ride. ...
Welcome to the Malacañang of the North where the official Ilocos residence of the late President Marcos is situated.
The house turned museum was aesthetically impressive. It was an old Spanish style humble abode that showcased an array of the late President Ferdinand Marcos' memorabilia
The display of historical objects was not limited to the late President Marcos' alone it also exhibited his wife's (former first lady Imelda Marcos) penchant for exquisite accessories and glamorous Filipiniana gowns.
The expansive backyard offered a splendid overlooking view of the Paoay Lake.
*not shown in the picture-serry*
We went ahead to Marcos Museum which was beside the Mausoleum where the late President's lifelike wax figure was safeguarded.
The Marcos Museum housed the various memorabilia, write ups and photographs.
It provided the visitors/tourists information regarding the thoughts and inputs of our late President Marcos.
More specifically, his amazing accomplishments and struggles as a student, lawyer, legislator, dictator and president.
Posed outside the Mausoleum. The inside atmosphere was gloomy and dim lighted with fresh white flowers surrounding the glass coffin that encased the late President's lifelike wax figure. It felt rather cold as the air conditioning was put to a high level to keep the preserved figure intact. The experience was kind of eerie. The preserved figure looked really true to life you could almost convince yourself that the president only succumbed in to a deep sleep.
*FYI: The wax made to seal the late President's corpse was 7 layers thick and replaced every years.
I know we couldn't just stop fooling around.
Even these accommodating guards fell prey to our ludicrous acts.
Guess who's ride?
Yep, it's the closest thing to meeting the former first lady, Imelda Marcos.
It is actually her personal coaster ride.
And this is her Spanish inspired house located just beside Marcos' Mausoleum.
Being close to her deceased husband is definitely an infinite gesture of love♥
As we started to head out back to Laoag from Batac, we found these outside the museum. Fortunately, the lady selling these native rice delicacy offered us a free taste.
It was really delicious. It was actually a mixture of coconut meat, cheese, margarine, sugar and viscous rice in a young bamboo or 'tubong' in local term.
I wish I could bring home some but unfortunately it had an expiry date. We have yet to travel 3 more destinations and bringing these around would not be so convenient and it might rather spoil the food.
Maybe next time perhaps. ;)
After wandering around Batac, we headed to some cheap restaurtants to fill in our hungry stomachs with some of Ilocos Norte's delightful eats!
Laoag's very own version of empanada. like EMPANADA to be exact.
I have never seen an empanada this HUGE! haha.
In my local hometown, Cebu, empanadas were made small with a starchy and pie like texture that contains meat, carrots, potatoes and raisins.
Laoag's different, theirs include rice flour for the crispy crust; fillings include egg, mongo sprouts, grated papaya and in special, Ilocos longanisa.
It is usually paired with a catsup or Ilocos vinegar. I prefer mine with vinegar though. The catsup tends to mask the authentic taste of the empanada.
We also treated ourselves with Miki. It is a chicken flavored soup with dense consistency with thick home made noodles, chicharon bits topped with hard boiled egg and chicken floss. I believe the recipe varies according to the cook's preference however I find this soup very appealing to the taste buds. ;)
The lunch was made even more special as we get to know our tourist guides brothers, Jeremy and Eric Rosal. They were very accommodating and had impressive knowledge about Ilocos Norte in general. We shared a few laughs and joked around until it was time for us to head to our next adventure: PAOAY. Damages: Malacanang of the North (marcos) = P30 Empanada: P35 Lunch (miki, pinakbet etc.) = P395 / 4 = P98 Marcos Museum = P50