Traveling Up! Let’s go, Ilocandia!

DSC_3337 1Last year, Violet and Len traveled to Sagada and had a blast with their summer adventure. It was one adventure to remember! This year, the two will embark together with eleven more companions to continue to travel up further and see what Ilocos Region can offer. This is Summer Adventure Year 2!

What time is it? It’s Adventure Time! Violet has been dreaming of seeing Bangui windmills for a decade now. September 2013, her trip to Ilocos was cancelled due to bad weather but 2014 is definitely the year she’s gonna see it. Len is on her way home and summer has been fun when she’s around! Let’s go to Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte running for my 22nd and 23rd out of 81 provinces of the Philippines.

PLANNING & PREPARATION

It was not hard to notice and to go to Ilocos Region especially with lots of ads from different tour agencies featuring it all over Facebook. But you need to consider which one is legit and not and which among all of it best suits your travelling style. If you’ll ask Violet, she’s a backpacker and not a tourist. She can sleep anywhere, eat anywhere and be with anyone. So, she can definitely go with joined group tours which Triple 8 Travel & Tours offers and which offers the cheapest tour worth 2999 only. Here’s why to choose them, too: Violet’s Review. ILOCOS COVER

GETTING THERE

Via Land: Manila going to  Vigan 7 hour drive, Laoag 10 hour drive, and 12 hour drive to Pagudpud. Buses: FARINAS TRANS (077) 772-01, GV FLORIDA TRANS (077)770-3645, MARIA DE EON TRANS (077)  770-3652, PARTAS TRANS (077) 771-1514 and RCJ TRANS (077) 771-3308

Via Air: Fly via Cebu Pacific or Seair/Tiger Airways, Manila to Laoag.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • TIME: If you’ll be in a tour, expect that you don’t have the entire time to enjoy everything. If you wanted to see more places, you should move faster, too. But if you are backpacking, you have all the time in the world.

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  • EXPENSES: If you’ll be in a tour just like ours, 2999 had got it all covered for you, like the transportation fees, entrance fees, accommodation and breakfasts. But still there are some things which are not covered by 2999 like Marcos Museum fees, Kabigan tour guide fees, lunches, snacks and dinners. You should also have some souvenirs and delicacies to try and take home. Here’s my breakdown & the actual itinerary of our tour: ITINERARY & EXPENSES plus bonus Sample Backpacking Itinerary.

DSC_3176 1 Note: Violet collects keychains and ref magnets. She loves buying pasalubong. She is trying to complete the entire list of ziplines in the PH. Expenses can be reduce if not for all these.

  •  DSC_2612SENSE OF DIRECTION: Some travelers are easily overwhelmed by a new place, some with all the picturesque tourist spots and some with simply with just a jar (like Ninong Marvin here. LOL!). But fret not! A handy map can give you a straight path of what you are actually missing out,so seat back, pose and take as many pictures you like, and it’s very handy specially when you don’t have a clue where you are heading at and what the place you’ll visit is about. Here is a scanned copy of the official It’s More Fun in the Philippines maps of Vigan Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte (I don’t have the permission yet to post the entire map details):
  1. IT’S MORE FUN IN VIGAN
  2. IT’S MORE FUN N ILOCOS NORTE
  3. LAOAG MAP

Note: Violet is also fond of collecting Maps. If you do have an extra map of any  “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” provinces . Please! Pretty please, forget-me-not.

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  • 5 ESSENTIAL THINGS TO BRING IN THIS ROADTRIP
  1. Travel Pillow. Expect a long butt-numbing roadtrip and you’ll be groggy with sleep (nothing else to do) so at least bring some comfortable pillows to support your neck, back or butt. I suggest inflatable pillows.
  2. Chips. Expect to be bored and once attacked by boredom, the best way to kill it is to eat. eat. eat.
  3. Patience. “Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be so hard.” The lyrics from the song scientist can give you the idea for this roadtrip but please don’t get back to the start. Be patient and its gonna be worth it.
  4. Good friends. “There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” You’ll definitely meet a few traveler on your way here, but be sure to bring your friends too. Just in case, you want to be sure if you love or hate their company.
  5. Good Attitudes. Don’t be such a baby on how long the travel was or how hot the trip is… no one is forcing you to travel to Ilocos, so be better ready. Have fun!

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  • 5 ESSENTIAL STUFF TO BRING ALONG WHILE EXPLORING
  1. Water. Drink up and keep hydrating yourself. The heat is too exhausting. Specially, before and after sandboarding, 4×4 ride, and Kapurpurawan Rock visit.
  2. Camera. Never a camera-dull moment in Ilocos, so better gear up.
  3. Jumping Travel Buddies. Picturesque tourist spot will definitely make you  jump all over the place. Here are the best of the best jump shots of my friends.TALON ILOCANDIA 101
  4. Arm Cover/ Umbrella. Hotta hot! You might want to have some skin cover. Sun-kissed or sun-burnt skin just two options for this trip. LOL.
  5. Sunblock. Protect your skin and apply at all times.

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  • PLACES TO VISIT & SHORT DESCRIPTIONS

ILOCOS NORTE

LAOAG CITY (Click here for photos) BADOC (Click here for photos)
Sinking Bell Tower Juan Luna Museum
St. William Cathedral SARRAT
Tobacco Monopoly Monument Sta. Monica Church & Convent
Ilocos Norte Museum BURGOS (Click here for photos)
La Paz Sand Dunes Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Fort Ilocandia Kapurpurawan Rock
BATAC C ITY (Click here for photos) Kaangrian Falls
Marcos Museum BANGUI (Click here for photos)
Marcos Mausoleum Bangui Wind Farm
Aglipay Shrine PAGUDPUD (Click here for photos)
Gen. Artemio Ricarte National Shrine Park Saud White Sand Beach
PAOAY  (Click here for photos) Patapat Viaduct
Paoay Lake National Park Mara-ira Cove/ Blue Lagoon
Paoay Golf Course BACARRA
Malacanang of the North St. Andrews Church
St. Augustine Church/ Paoay Church ADAMS
PINILI Anuplig Falls
Kullabeng Aglipay Shrine Lover’s Peak
PASUQUIN Bolo River
Salt Making Hanging Bridges
VINTAR 17 other waterfalls
Surong Valley Irrigation Dam Trekking
Bird Sanctuary DINGRAS
St. Joseph Church

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ILOCOS SUR

Beaches: Imelda’s Cove, Pug-os, Apatot, Candon, Sulvec
Falls: Pinsal Falls, Pikkang Falls
Churches: St. Paul Cathedral, Simbaan a Bassit & Camposanto
Museums: Father Burgos Museum, Museo Nueva Segovia, Museo San Pablo, Crisologo Museum, Buridek Museum
Parks: Plaza Salcedo, Plaza Burgos, Filipino- Spanish Friendship Park, Baluarte, , Heritage Village, ChEER zone
Others: Hidden Garden, Pagburnayan, Provincial Jail

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