THE GRANDEUR THAT WAS ILOCOS: FAMILY WEEKEND ESCAPADE DAY 2

Our Second day Ilocos tour!

We all hit the sack early last night and we had that much-needed rest for the day’s adventure.  My Vigan Hotel prepared a hearty breakfast for us.  We took the chance  in exploring the old-fashioned surroundings of the hotel and took some family pictures before heading to Laoag.

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Early morning pose at My Vigan Home’s garden

All fueled up! We started our journey to the province of Laoag.  It is a 1.5-hour drive from Vigan.  Our first destination, the magnificent PAOAY CHURCH.  My mouth-literally dropped when I first saw the church…

St. Augustine Church was completed in 1710. The church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993. (Wiki)

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St. Augustine Church or famously known as Paoay Church

The façade is picturesque, I had goose-bumps when I entered the church.  It was enormous though there were construction on the ceiling the interior is still classic and divine.  The buttresses are impressive the surroundings are well-kept.  Such a heritage. My kids are likewise in complete awe.

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Look at those gigantic buttresses

It was a very wonderful experience. To see it in photos is breathtaking, but to be able to actually touch the walls, smell and feel its historical significance and stand in front while admiring its magnificence is totally indescribable. Its beauty is beyond words.

Our headed to Paoay Sand Dunes but we just visited the place. Kids and adults alike doesn’t want to stay under the scorching heat 🙂

From the outskirts of Paoay, there stood an impressive mansion with a voluminous sala probably used to entertain high society guests of the Marcos family.  It is known as the Malacañang of the North.  The enormous receiving area is overlooking Paoay lake.  This used to be the holiday home of the Marcoses, one among the Marcos properties which have been sequestered by the government.

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Malacañang of the North

Swathed with Spanish, Ilocano and other colonial fixtures and furnishings, one can imagine the opulent lifestyle of the Marcoses during their prime.

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The enormous sala and some parts of the mansion’s interior

We didn’t bother to go to Fort Ilocandia anymore because it started to drizzle. Instead we headed to the Sinking Bell Tower (which is literally in the middle of the street) it is built during the 1700s and is believed to sink to the ground an inch each year.

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The Sinking Bell Tower (photo from: http://www.ilocosadventure.com)

Not far from the bell tower is the Museo de Ilocos. The museum showcased Ilocano heritage and ethnicity. After the museum tour the gang indulged in an early lunch at Gerry’s grill just behind the museum.

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Museo Ilocos Norte (Photo from: http://www.tarlaquenotraveler.com)

Stomachs full…we started our 2-hour journey to the province of Pagudpud.

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Welcome to Pagudpud

Long, winding and amazing road leads us to the Pagudpud landmark. It was still drizzling so we didn’t went out to do the obligatory Pagudpud arc pose J

On our way to the resort, our hearts are thumping as we passed by the gigantic windmills.  All I can say is WOW! We haven’t gone to the Bangui Windmills area yet but as you drive along the road you can already pass by some mills which look like gigantic alien-like electric fans 🙂 and it’s just wow!

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One of the windmills in Bangui

Finally, we arrived at Evangeline Resort around 2:00 pm. The accommodation is clean, spacious and cozy. Our room has 2 double beds and extra bed.  It has its own balcony where you can relax while sipping a cup of coffee J The villa is not beachfront but their restaurant is. They have their own mini pool to so guests can still enjoy dipping in the pool on the pool anytime they want. I wasn’t able to get some pictures of the resort because we were all excited to plunge in the inviting beach.

Evangeline Resort Room Rates:

  • Off Peak Rates (June 15 – Sept. 30 & Jan. 9 – Feb. 29) Suite Rooms with Free Breakfast
    2 persons
     – Php2,200.00
    4 persons – Php 2,900.00
    6 persons – Php 3,500.00
    extra person – Php 350.00
  • Mid Peak (Oct. 1 – Dec. 14) Suite Rooms with Free Breakfast
    2 persons
     – Php 2,500.00
    4 persons – Php 3,500.00
    6 persons – Php 4,200.00
    extra person – Php 450.00
  • Peak Season/Ordinary Holidays (March 1 – June 14, Dec. 15 – Jan. 8) Suite Rms. w/ FB
    2
     persons – Php3,100.00
    4 persons – Php 4,200.00
    6 persons – Php 4,500.00
    extra person – Php 500.00
  • Holy Week & Special Holidays (April 14-20, May 1,  Dec. 24-25, Jan 1, 2014 ) Suite Rooms with Free Breakfast
    2 persons –
     Php 4,200.00
    4 persons – Php 5,500.00
    6 persons – Php 6,500.00
    extra personPhp 650.00  

You can visit their website for more details: http://www.evangelinebeachresort.net/

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Saud Beach

Everybody enjoyed Saud beach. The sun, the waves and the sand. My kids enjoyed building sand castles especially my little one, Chaelsy 🙂

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My kids enjoying the beach
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Chaela’s signature jump shot 🙂

After the beach and the pool dipping…we were all exhausted and famished. We dined at the resort’s beachfront restaurant and we ordered more Ilocano dishes and their best sellers particularly the seafood platter!  Seabreeze, sound of the waves, smell of the sea made our sumptuous meal even more  delightful.

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The hungry gang 😉

That’s it for day 2. We doze off early for another exciting adventure 🙂

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