It is soooooo SUMMER in the Philippines!
Yes, the weather is so hot, the sun is so bright and sweat is on anytime of the day. It's the typical spirit of summer. But for my kids, summer is sleeping late on movies, waking up at 8 o'clock in the morning, cold airconditioner, more hours on ipad and VACATIONING! Here is our first taste of Summer 2015... A long road trip to the Ilocos Province, North of the Philiipines.
Let's go to Ilocos Norte and the first destination is Pagudpud. Pagudpud is 560 kms away from Manila and we traveled about 16 hours on the road to reach their famous beaches.
We are virtually on the far left edge of the Philippines on the outskirts of the South China Sea. My boys just enjoyed the beach, its white fine sand and the clear waters. We had our first night here.
The next day, we were back on the road and headed south. But first we had to see the Patapat Viaduct, its a-1.3 kms bridge which connects Maharlika highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region.
Then, we stopped at the Bangui Windmills, Bangui, Ilocos Norte. It's the first power generating windmill farm in Southeast Asia. They were plenty and huge fans scattered on the shores of the Bangui beaches.
There was a lighthouse named Parola ng Cape Bojeador at Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
After almost 2 hours of drive and stop, we came to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, the home town of the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
And this was the Marcoses' ancestral home and its called the Malacanang of the North in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The local government opened it for the public to see. Aside from some furniture and old fixtures, they made a mini museum in the library room of the mansion.
We visited the wake of President Marcos too, actually it was my second time. His remains were still refrigerated in a room beside his family museum in the heart of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The tiny room was heavily guarded and we were not allowed to take videos and pictures inside. This wedding photo was taken at their family museum.
Here is the Paoay Church or the Iglesia de San Agustin de Paoay. The church was built in 1710 with a distinctive architectural highlights of enormous buttresses on the side and back of the building. I remember when I was in highschool, President Marcos' youngest daughter Irene got married here. The church was totally repaired then and was installed with airconditioning for their guests. Now, the church looked so old inside.
Our second night was at the Vigan Heritage Mansion. A mansion owned by the Singson's in the 1800s. We had the famous vigan longganisa for breakfast and a sound sleep in room 6.
Day 3 was an awesome experience! We went to Baluarte... it is a private zoo owned by the former Governor of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Gov. Chavit Singson. It was not just a zoo tour, but we got to visit Gov. Singson's golden mansion up to its penthouse. Don't ask me how we came up there, its a privilege!
Ok here's the zoo part, Luigi got to touch a yellow snake! There were camels, ponies, parrots, iguanas and Gov. Singson's personal pet-tigers Kiara and King Harry. Soon they are putting up dolphin shows too.
Vigan was also known for their pottery. One can make their own clay pot, but needs 15 days for the curing process.
This is the famous Calle Crisologo, the brick road that made Vigan known all over the world. The old houses are still restored, but they are converted to specialty stores, hotels and bars. Kalesas are all over the town too. It costs P150 a ride and a town tour.
What an enjoyable experience for me and my family. This was actually my second time in the Ilocos Province, but this time we were able to visit more historical places, eat more authentic dishes and more time to just walk around and rediscover them again. We still have two more museums and more churches to visit when we come back.
This post is actually dedicated to my american uncle, Uncle Bill. I know you will enjoy a visit to the Ilocos Province. These photos are just a little taste of the experience. I intentionally did not show the authentic food, so it will excite you more, hahaha! Shall we plan soon, Uncle Bill?
I had the whole day today sorting and editing tons of photos taken during this trip, and planning for my April Project Life. I am so happy to add some more good and happy experiences to my boys' memories. I found a perfect quote from pinterest which very much inspired me in capturing the details of life. This is sooo true...
Happy creating of memories and scrapbooks.
Thanks for looking as always!