Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Summer Lovin' at Ilocos: Day 1

As promised, here are some pictures of my recent vacation on Ilocos. It was just actually three days but oh boy, was it fun and super worth it, I might add enriching.
We took a bus going there and it took us seven hours including stopovers before we arrived at Laoag. it was pretty fast already compared to what we expect to be eight to nine hours. Your enemy really when travelling by land is leg cramps, hard sleeping positions, and of course the butt pain because of sitting for too long! But when I see the pictures of our travel, all the hardships in our travel is erased immediately. That is how worth it the vacation is.

Ilocos has a vast plantations of Tobacco. It is one of the major source of income of Ilocanos.
Since it is Holy Week when we went there, our first stop is to have Visita Iglesia which we yearly do. We visited seven churches and I was really amazed and surprised on how beautiful all of those are because of its very nice and elegant architecture, they were also huge. I did not pass the opportunity to thank God for all the blessings He gave me and of course for His sacrifices for us, I also made some wishes because it is believed that when it is your first time in a certain church you should pray and make a wish and it would be granted. Whether it is true or not, my faith in God is strong.
My sister and I making a heart at the bell tower. Just doing memorable shots, lol!
The kalog, and adventurous people I am with during the whole trip.

I forgot the name of the the church but it got a bell tower that we bravely climbed. The stairs inside were really steep but after reaching the top all your efforts will be paid by the beautiful view.

After the church tour, we were able to squeeze our tourist- esque and went to the famous Baluarte; a mini zoo that is free for anyone to see which is owned by Chavit Singson- a prominent local there. It was scorching hot there so we were not able to tour the whole place but we were contented enough in seeing some of the animals but unfortunately we did not get to see the owner;s popular pet; the tiger! It was also jampacked with people since as what I’ve said, is Holy Week which means many tourists are taking advantage of the holiday to take a break and have a vacation.

Next is the Jar Factory where some workers/ artists there showed us how to make  a jar live! It was really fun and interesting to watch. They allowed us to try it also and the two boys in our group tried it. At the demo it looks so easy to do but when our companies did it, it was even hard to make the base. We just joke that it was abstract.
My most awited part of the trip; Vigan! It is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur. It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture according to Wikipedia
I anticipated it because I really love vintage kind and looking things so this touched my inner being, haha! But I guess it did not meet my expectation because yeah it is indeed a very beautiful site but I fell in love more in the places that we visited on our second day here in Ilocos (wait for that post!;)) But nevertheless, Vigan is still a place to see. Since it is the heart of Ilocos, there are many tradings there like souvenirs are all over the place, and a night food bazaare/ market. I would also love to try their kalesa but we had no time to do so, anyways I have ride one when I was younger at the Fort.

When you are in Ilocos do not forget to try their pride empanada. In every store I see, they really show how the delicacy's dough is being prepared. Since it was Holy Week we opted for Tuna empanada but despite of its spread not being meat it was still rich and yummy! The flavorful mixture of tuna and egg just oozes out from the flaky bread and once you put the dip which is Iocos vinegar- Nom!

I love how the whole place is preserved even though there are many new establishments, the essence of Vigan is still there. Watch out for my Paoay adventure!

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