Tuesday, March 29, 2005
i love ilocos!
I spent Holy Week in our wonderful province of Ilocos Norte. Yep. And there are so many reasons why I still love going there, even if it takes 12-hours of butt-numbing cruising. I will attempt to crunch them into a non-boring post, and intersperse it with snippets of my blogless vaca...

the food.
On a trip to Ilocos, you cannot miss the empanada of Batac. Order a double special - that has two longganisas and an egg with the veggies. Or, you could be like Chips, who ordered a double-double (two longganisas and two eggs). You likewise need to try the bibingka or rice cake from The Sisters (yes, that's the name of the store) in the town of Baay. It's just around 15 minutes from the big bridge connecting two mountains in the town of Santa. There's also the special chichacorn or crunchy corn in Paoay (try that of Nana Rosa's). Then you can go on and try dipping all sorts of fruits into sukang iloko. And then there's Chips' favorite, Igado. I honestly don't know how they prepare it, but it's basically meat and liver with pepper, peas, soy sauce (i think) and a whole lot of oil. Yummy.

the sights.
Just the drive to Ilocos already pushes the vacation-mode button. Utter relaxation and stress release. Cruising through La Union and Ilocos Sur will already give you a great view of the ocean, may it be sandy beaches or coral formations. Speaking of corals, do make a short stop in Currimao. It's not exactly a glamorous beach, there are just nipa huts and you can just park your car by the side of the road. But the sight to see here is of the dead corals now above sea level. You can climb up a high mound of them and dive into a deep trench below. Sans the trenches, you have a seemingly endless floor of corals to step on (water would only be up to your ankles) and from afar you'd look like you were walking on water. And of course, there's Pagudpud. When we were kids, we'd have a Foz Family trip to this beach. No resorts, no nothing. It was just us, a couple of other families, good food and the sea. We regret not having bought land there. Who would've thought that it would boom into what it is now. There's also a lighthouse on the way to the beach, where you can take in the complete view of the ocean. If you're going for a naked beach effect, drive around 30 minutes more from Pagudpud. Several towns up and down the winding road, make a left turn when you see a little sign that says Maira-ira. A hidden cove amidst the mountains. Absolutely beautiful. No major resorts yet, and you just need to pay 20 bucks entrance fee per person then just pitch your tent on the sand. On this trip, be sure that you've got a patient driver and a trusty car (SUV or AUV preferably). Drive beyond Maira-ira, you end up on the hanging bridge that goes into the province of Cagayan. You'll see big waves crashing as the South China Sea meets the Pacific. Magnificent.

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big feet at pagudpud

beach bodies (sucking in stomachs)

Now let's go to the churches. We did the bisita iglesia on Holy Thursday and took Chips around the old churches of Ilocos. During the trip up north, you'd come across of course Agoo and Manaoag. Then you've also got Vigan. I'd recommend stopping by Vigan on the way back, so you don't have to lug around all the beautiful wooden items when you travel farther north. In Ilocos Norte, make the Paoay Church a must. From there you can also stop by Malacanang of the North to get a great view of the lake and Fort Ilocandia. Also stop by the one in Laoag and behold the church's sinking bell tower. Another must? Our town, Dingras. The old church there is documented to be the longest church in the Philippines. Drive past Dingras and into the town of Solsona to find the church of St. Anne and Sarrat, another beautiful church where Irene Marcos was actually wed.

the family.
I love being a Foz. Chips finally got a taste of (almost) the whole family in our natural habitat. Boisterous and absolutely carefree. We tease each other like crazy. Everyone knows what's happening with everyone. If you have a boyfriend, the whole family wants in on the hows and whens. The girls are domineering but sweet, and the boys are just as malambing (affectionate). We're also a very, very talkative and noisy bunch. My grandma was telling him: if you wanna back out, back out now. Hahaha. She also says (and I think this aptly describes us)... "hindi kami mayaman pero mayaman kami sa puso" (we're not rich but we're rich with love).

Ilocos will surely be a place my kids will also grow up in.

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me and my man (yeaaahh)

dezphaire strapped in @ 12:22 PM  


  • At 8:31 AM, Blogger mamajojogirl said…

    i'm glad you had fun! would love to go to ilocos sometime in this life

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger asphaire 許泰莎 said…

    After 4 years, finally you brought Chips home. I like what your grandma said, aptly describes us as well. Over Easter, Clement went to the Phils with me as well. I haven't finished the post but look at what happened to us the moment we arrived. hehe well, he saw me in my natural habitat as well. How does it feel?

  • At 11:15 PM, Blogger jk said…

    last year, i had a taste of ilocos norte too... from pagudpod all the way to cagayan.. back to manila via nueva ejica (i think...) and everything! moby also brought me to his habitat. i love the bibingka! the chichacorn! the street halo halo with the local caramel! i love the longganisa! pagudpod is lovely! the patapat viaduct is breath taking, specially when the sun is just about to shine at its best. kelan kayo babalik, sama ako!

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger dezphaire said…

    Tesa: I think bringing him to Ilocos further officializes the "us". He absolutely loved it there and I hated that we couldn't stay longer. So many more sights to see. My titas always kid him about his skin. They spent the entire day in the hut just so they wouldn't get dark - Chips spent the whole day under the sun and now he's just red.

    Kateh: my dad has always wanted to try the Nueva Ecija road back. maybe the next time :) road trip tayo!

  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger noknok said…

    when the need arises, i also make liturgies for weddings. wala lang... shameless plugging. wink wink...

    the post had these effects on me:
    1. wow, sana makapunta rin ako dun.
    2. nagugutom ako.
    3. waaaaaaaaaaaah, bakasyon!
    4. inggit ako!!!

    (this happens when i am deprived of sand and saltwater for a long time)

    ooohh... you really want to know. lolo is a lector/commentator, usually at 6pm. he sounds ngongo.

  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger jk said…

    sige! road trip! sana pag andito si Tesa at si C.

    unforgetable ung pagudpod trip ko, island hopping sana kami... kaso nag capsize ung bangka na sinakyan namin... 400meters away from the shore. dang! i lost my blue sarong with dolphin prints and... i forgot na what else.


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