This was back in December 2016, but I thought it’d be a fun thing to share with you guys after all the recent unfavourable happenings.
I’m a Filipino, and my parents both grew up in the Philippines. My mother lived in Pasig City whilst my dad lived in Luna, La Union, a province north of Manila. When we visit the Philippines for our yearly holiday, we would usually spend a good 1-2 weeks in La Union. Last year, we decided to take a roadtrip even further up north of Luzon island to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. It was about 6-8 hours of driving from La Union.
We had a number of stopovers and detours to and from Pagudpud, mainly because there were really pretty beaches worth a quick stop to take in its marvellous beauty.
Our first stopover was at a beach in Burgos. The picture doesn’t do much justice, but the waters were so clear and the smell of saltwater was amazing. Not only that, the wind was super strong. Taking a selfie was practically close to impossible because my hair would just get blown over my face!
This was one of our first detours on our trip to Pagudpud. My dad pointed out a sign that directed us to Kapurpurawan (otherwise known in English as white limestone). The Bangui Windmills were the first sights that greeted us on the way to Kapurpurawan. I’ve personally never seen windmills up close before, moreover so many of them in one place! It was honestly such a sight to see, and knowing the history behind the windmills made the sights even more enjoyable.
See those really white pile of rocks? Those are what we call white limestones. It was honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. To think that these beautiful rock formations occurred naturally truly opens one’s eyes on nature’s beauty.
A closer look of Kapurpurawan and its sheer beauty in Poblacion, Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
After our quick stop in Burgos looking at giant windmills and polished white limestone, we set back on track to our main destination— Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
Seeing this arc was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen. We made it! This trip was also really special for my dad, who has never set foot into Ilocos Norte. He mentioned that the farthest north he managed to get was in Ilocos Sur, so being able to reach this far up north must’ve been really exciting for him. After 47 years, he can finally check off one thing on his bucket list.
We headed straight to this famous resort, Hannah’s Resort, and there was no wonder why it was so well-known.
Hannah’s Resort was HUGE. There were so many different choices of huts and rooms we could choose from for our stay, many different pools and activities to do, and even a zipline across the very South China Sea! How cool is that?! We chose a small hut nearer to the ocean so that we were able to get to and fro quickly.
Unfortunately, our stay was shortlived. A Signal #2 typhoon, locally known as Bagyo Niña, was about to make landfall that very same day. Rain started pouring right after we checked in, but soon it was just really strong winds. Trust me, even if you had pants and a jacket on, it would still be way too cold to brave the outside. Was that going to stop us? Of course not! We went out of our rooms when night came to grab dinner. Even though this was a resort, there was still plenty of street food available. Talk about keeping the Filipino heritage close to our hearts! We mostly stayed indoors, but the view and strong winds were more than worth the long drive.
Morning came, and it was time for us to leave and head back to La Union. I was really reluctant to leave such a beautiful place, but I know that there will always be another opportunity to go back (hopefully on better weather forecast!)
We may have left Pagudpud, but we still managed to make a few stopovers and another quick detour on our way back to La Union.
The detour we took found ourselves in the home of one of the most controversial President of the Philippines, Sir Ferdinand Marcos. This house was dubbed as the Malcañang of the North, because this was where Sir Ferdinand Marcos lived. The Malacañang Palace is known as where the President lives, and is located in Metro Manila. The Malacañang of the North has now been turned into a museum that tourists and locals alike are welcomed to enter and step into a part of history.
Upon entering the house, it’s as if I stepped into a time machine. Everything was so well preserved and taken care of, it was almost as if it was brand new.
A portrait of Sir Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th President of the Philippines, inside the Presidential Office.
A collage of pictures depicting events during Sir Ferdinand Marcos’ presidency framed on the wall beside the dining area.
A panoramic view of the front of the Malacañang of the North from the garden.
After a tour around the grand house-turned-museum, we set on the road once more back to La Union.
Our nexr stopover was at Santa, Ilocos Sur. It has two bridges— one old and one new. In 2015, we took the old bridge and from there I snapped a photo of the sunset behind the new bridge. However, the old bridge was locked when we got there, but it was still a perfect spot to snap some shots of the turquoise water running below the bridges.
Our next stopover was at a beach in Narvacan, solely for a short break from the drive and to just enjoy the view before us.
And to our last stopover before we got back to La Union— Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.
A closer look at the waters in Tagaoan, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.
All in all, it wasn’t just the destination that took my breath away. In fact, the journey was perhaps even more enjoyable than the destination itself. All of the wonderful views that we saw, and the history that I’ve learnt from the country I was born in, made this the most enjoyable roadtrip/vacation I had ever experience. Here’s to more adventures to go to, and to the places that have yet to be discovered!