Ilocos Hysteria - Part 1

My friend Aldrin and I booked a PAL promo fare to Laoag, Ilocos Norte for our birthdays. It will be both our first time to visit Laoag, Pagudpud, and Vigan. But since we realized we studied in Intramuros for 5 years where we have seen lots of baluarte and guardia sibils everyday, we agreed to skip Vigan and just focus in Laoag and Pagudpud.

Come May 30, the day of our flight, Aldrin didn't show up! I knew it, he would be late! The carefree me decided to pursue the trip. Hindi dahil wala siya, uuwi nalang din ako. No way! Hindi nakadepende sa kahit sino ang mga lakwatsa ko. Besides, Ilocos is way easier to tour, unlike Sagada- which became my first ever solo travel.
just me and my bags (again)

If you need anything for your travel supplies, maybe a new backpack or some sun screen, use these coupons for additional savings.

I was already in the plane when I realized I didn't have sufficient money to shoulder the expenses all by myself. I decided not to bring much extra money because I need not to overspend. I still have my family, office mates, and a lot of friends to treat on my birthday. I didn't bring my ATM card too. What's worse is I didn't bring my cellphone because I've read there was no network coverage in Pagudpud. And all of these are happening on my birthday!
WTF! Wow That's Fantastic! ♥
WTF = Wow That's Fantastic ♥

I panicked for a while, surely my pocket money wont make it. I was already thinking of my valuable things to sell. Oh no, not my watch. 6 months ko tong binayaran. Haha

After an hour of hysteria, the plane landed. Bahala na. I always believe all misfortunes are blessings in disguise. I became excited more than nervous in what this trip awaits me. I said to myself I will just enjoy this experience. Ü

Howkey, from Laoag airport I took a jeepney which dropped me to the bus station to Pagudpud. I paid P70. Originally I planned to eat lunch before I board the bus. But since I didn't have a lot to spare, I just ate the free snacks (biscuits and peanuts) from the airline. Tipid mode!

Bus ride to Burgos costs P45. I met my driver/tour guide where he instructed me- at the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. He was surprised I'm alone. I told him the story. I hesitated to ask for discount, I knew the gas consumption is still the same whether I'm alone or not. Plus the spots are far from each other. 50++kms baby!
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Now meet Mang Arnel 0918.689.0723, my contact / tour guide / driver in Laoag and Pagudpud. The tour rate is standard- P600 for the north destinations, and P600 for the south destinations. He seemed nice. But I never thought he was extra nice. It's for you to find out why.
Mang Arnel and his tricycle and my bag

If you're traveling in a big group, renting a van is the best. But if you're 3 and below, then renting a tricycle is fine. It's cheaper! Mang Arnel has both tricycle and van, if you may ask.

Now let's start the tour.
the Lighthouse
breath taking view from top

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos established during the Spanish Colonial times. (wikipedia) Yes, it's a bit cloudy that day. It's ok. As long as it wont rain. *sun dance*

Next is the way to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. I first found this in Dom's blog. I was fascinated right away.
parang 4x4 wheel drive ang tricycle nya!

Guests need to walk for 20mins before reaching the spot. Mang Arnel walked with me. He carried my backpack too.
first glimpse of the rock formation

Kapurpurawan Rocks are rock formations created by forces of the ocean on the rocky coast of Burgos. (wikipedia) Ang ganda. The lines and formations are unbelievable.

dito lang yan sa Pinas! Ü

The view from top is relaxing too. I told Mang Arnel he is lucky, their place is very beautiful. Aren't the Ilocanos lucky?
whoa! simply breath taking

Next stop is The Northwind Power Windmills.
welcome to Bangui

the windmills from afar

huge windmills - up close

Wow, I finally saw these windmills! They are lovely. ♥

I felt hungry and asked Mang Arnel where we could eat. I may not have enough money but I know I still need to practice the Filipino customs - treating the guides/drivers for lunch. We had a lunch in a small eatery.

Everybody in this place was amazed. I got the usual amusements and reactions whenever I travel solo. Ü

Continuing with the tour...
and so we finally reached Pagudpud

On our way to Blue Lagoon (where I chose to stay), we passed by Bantay Abot Cave. From afar it may look ordinary, but surprisingly this place is picturesque up close.
picturesque view

green fields sighting in Bantay Abot Cave

hole in the wall

This place showcases great views wherever you look.
And upon seeing this view, I knew the risk I took in this trip is worth it.
define calm water

It rained. Mang Arnel decided to drop me by the resort to rest. We'll just continue tomorrow. I'm very eager to see the beach of Pagudpud, and I think it didn't disappoint me.
and so this is Blue Lagoon

I chose to stay in Blue Lagoon rather than in Saud, para maiba naman. Almost everyone is staying sa Saud na kasi. The cheapest beachfront resort I found is Agua Seda. Rate is P1,800 for a double room. Affordable, but in my case who has insufficient money, I cant afford this place all by myself.
Agua Seda, a cheap beachfront resort in Blue Lagoon

I immediately talked to the owner, Ms. Letty. I told her my friend didn't catch the flight. I explained to her that I wont cancel my reservation because they have reserved that room for us and blocked other guests. I understand that they wont have any income if I didn't show up at all.

I bargained with her. I said Im OK with not using the aircon unit, but could she please lower down the room rate. She immediately said I can pay P1,300 and still use the aircon. Thank God!

My room at Agua Seda.
basic yet comfy room with aircon and window

basic but clean CR

Im dead tired at that point. I cleaned myself up and rest for a while.

For dinner, I badly want to try Bagnet or any other meal in the resort but I cant afford it. =( What I ate were Century Tuna and a Nissin's Cup Noodles which I bought in the wet market (I requested Mang Arnel to drop by the market before going to the resort.) Not bad! I still had a good dinner. Ü

Before going to sleep, I counted the remaining money I have. Haay, should I continue with the tour tomorrow or not? But I can't cancel the tour with Mang Arnel. It's our agreement. Besides, I'm already in Ilocos kaya sulitin na. Tuloy ang tour!

And as I saw my remaining baon, I exactly knew there was nothing to worry about. Agree? Ü
my definition of masustanyang food group pyramid

Remaining money: P900 and some coins..
CLICK HERE for Part 2. That's very heartwarming, I promise. ♥

61 responses:

Chyng said...

Ikaw, what would you do if you were me?

mishi said...

chyng...i can't actually enjoy reading this post, naaawa akong naiiyak. But since nasa plane kn nung maalala mong wala kng enough money to finance everything, go nrin ako sa tour but i'll be extra extra careful sa gastos. I salute u for this, chyng! Iba ka! :)

Janice said...

kung ako ikaw...papayat kagad ako!!(kakaisip kung pano ako kakain takot ako magutom noh)..lols!!! grabe tlg adventure mo chyng pang maalaala mo kaya.. sana sinama mo ako.. gusto ko ulit pumunta sa ilocos..lalo na sa pagudpod!!!kaabang abang ang part two ha!!! baka tuluyan na ako mag cry cry nian!!hehehe!!

princess_dyanie said...

nasabi ko na sayo ang lahat ng gusto kong sabihin nung nagkita tayo. yan ang nangyayari pag di nag aaya hahahah! tse!

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

mahalaga chyng maging maingat ka ha.

anyway kakaiba nga yan adventure nayan pwede ka nang sumabak sa mga adventure show!

jimbo said...

i will still go if i were you. sayang naman syempre yung tickets e. hehe

saka enjoy ko pa din syempre yung trip kahit walang masyadong pera. magtyaga nalang kung ano meron. hehe

pag uwi ko nalang sermunan yung kasama ko dapat kase nang iwan sya sa ere. panu kung me nangyaring masama kasalanan nya yun kase wala sya. hehehe

peace kiko! :D

rob said...

.. if i were you, ninerbyusin ako big time! e dahil nananaig ang pagiging adventurer mo, kay chyng la lang yun!

MarcoPaolo said...

magkano ginastos mo?

Palito said...

First part palang and im enthralled already. Cant wait for the second part. Hoping theres third and fourth. :)

Tama, ang mahalaga ay mag-ingat ng mabuti, chyng. Parang kinabahan ako ng konti for u jan. :)

danda07 said...

naku chyng! kung ako ikaw, tuloy pa din! tapos hindi na kami friend ni Aldrin! haha! joke! =)Basta ingat ka lang lagi at pray kay Bro! =)

pusang kalye said...

lahat yun for 600? bagui, yung rock formation, at lighthouse.....wala akong idea pero I am assuming na malalayo yang mga yan from each other. totoo?

grabe ka. kung ako nyan ,,,para nang nasusunog na pwet ko nyan. I donno, but I think it's too risky not to bring any backup...if not in least bring some cards...lalo nag-iisa ka. survivor ka talaga....

Lawstude said...

limited money in a faraway town? WTF (WTF=welcome to fagudfud).

i think you took the ilocano trait of kuripot to heart lols.

i absolutely would like to shake your hand and pat you in the back for a job/trip well done. congratulations.

Dea said...

Astig ka, Chyng! Saludo talaga ako sa 'yo!

Pero 'di ko kaya yan, I always make sure to have more than enough money when I go on trips, plus a spare credit card in case of emergency.

I can't wait for the next post!

Roninkotwo said...

Sa totoo lang Chyng,matutulog ako buong araw at aantayin ang flight pabalik. Hindi ako kasing lupet mong dumiskarte...Mabuhay ka!!! Happy Birthday!!!

Teknisyan said...

wow... nice naman.. as usual... a great travel blog.... Ilocos is actually our province pero.. the last time I went there was when I was still elementary.. so I forgot how it looks like.. I sure wish I can go back there..

Things I got from the Net!!!

nina said...

Panalo ka Chyng! Basta may jellyace, okay na ;)

Che said...

wow! galing galing! hintayin ko ang kwento ni mang arnel. =)

Jepoy said...

Okay hinga muna ako ng malalim.

Putangena scared me much!

Pag ako nasa ganyang sitwasyon hindi ako mag eenjoy, feeling ko matatae ako sa t'wing ma babawasan ang pera ko LOL

Seriously, I am really amazed. Pictures are great too. Na excite ako sa susunod na kwento. Grabeh!

gillboard said...

masyado ka nang gala chyng. mang-aya ka naman minsan!!!

Robbie said...

Grabe I enjoyed reading this post. You have guts! You have the balls that I don't! Wahahaha.

Pero seryoso ha... if that was me, magpapanic at aatras na ako sa airport pa lang. Kaya't hands down hanga na ako sayo!

Can't wait for the next installent. :D

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha. i enjoy reading your blog...


Happy Trails said...

Ilocanos and ilocanas are truly lucky ;-) Cool trip in Ilocos ;-) ayos! galing ng budget powers mo ha

Anonymous said...

chyng, c mang arnel din ngtour samin. he's nice, tpos my kwento pa about his family. mabait tlga sya :) - dennisel

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

hats off to you Chyng! Kahit you end up alone in this trip, you did it well on the first day already. Binatukan mo ba yung no-show friend mo? hahaha!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

I always believe all misfortunes are blessings in disguise...I luv this entry! thnx fr sharing this Chyng! =)

_rhovic_ said...

WTF = Wala Talagang Fera! :)

I really love your attitude. :)

Di mo talaga inisip na maghanap na lang ng ibang hotel or inn na mas mura.
Palabra de honor!

Saludo ako sayo.

Kurapengpeng said...

wow! saludo ako sayo friend! for the sake of being lakwatchera talaga! hahahaha! Convincing power + Pa-awa drama effect = winner! Hindi na ko makapag hintay sa susunod na kabanata! =) love it <3

_ice_ said...

naku.. malamang di ako tutuloy kasi ang hirap mag isa..

pero i like ur spirit chyng.. sama ako travel tayo hahaha

Sendo said...

reading through the post...;parang ang saya mag isa..super adventure haha..galing naman! me charisma pang mag haggle haggle (hagel-hagel) haha. wow, gusto ko rin try ang magbyahe mag isa tapos wala masyadong dala, wala cellphone, wala atm! hahaha, natatawa nako sa mga naiisip ko para lang makamura o magkapera, wahahahaha! chyng, ako ung sa FB ha...and still very nice shots!! adding ilocos to my travel wishlist! ^^ part 2 na!!

Tsina said...

hahaha. nice adventure. we'll be there too but in october pa. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll wait for part two =)

Anonymous said...

I'll wait for part two =)

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

mukhang may part 2 yata..lugar nina bongbong marcos..

alicesg said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and I have a reply for you. Nice post, smart to take photos with your bag, I think I will copy your idea...hahaha. Maybe I put my mascot in every photos of my future travel photos. :)

.pOot! said...

If I were you ate chyng, uhmmm... right after the plane landed in Ilocos, I'll go back to Manila. I can't stand kasi to travel without enough money. Magastos pa naman ako. Haha.

I salute you on this. Grabe, certified traveler ka na talaga.

I'll guess kung bakit extra nice si Mang driver. Errr... kasi ok lang sa kanya kahit ipahabol mo na lang ang bayad pagbalik mo sa Manila. ^^

Btw, I'm back in the blogosphere. Visit me!


Anonymous said...

sounds fun.
i just had my ilocos experience pero i think yours is much more exciting :)


wow, i love these adrenalin-draining misadventures. para ka rin palang kami ni monette, swerte sa cliffhanger situations. can't wait for the part 2



wow, i love these adrenalin-draining misadventures. para ka rin palang kami ni monette, swerte sa cliffhanger situations. can't wait for the part 2


Axel said...

Chyng, naawa naman ako sayo.. Pero that is a nice experience na rin.. Sana sinabihan mo ko para nasamahan kita..

to hell with everything, itutuloy ko rin.. hehe..

Allen said...

You know what, I can feel the misfortune. If that was me, I would've gone straight back to Manila the minute I realized I didn't have enough money. Napakagaling mo't di nasira ang lakad mo dahil lang dun. Sa mga ganitong sitwasyon natin malalaman ang importance ng positive disposition.

Alam mo ate chyng, when I went back to Antique last April, ganito din ang nangyari samin. We didn't tell Nanay na uuwi kami kasi she was against it. So we booked a flight early on and nung paalis na kami to the airport, my Nanay with her very reliable spies (este sources) told her about our secret plan. That was Saturday and we only had 1500 left in our pockets. Para saming dalawa na ni Kuya yun. Expect kasi namin na dadating ang allowance ng Sunday so no worries kami. But when Nanay called, she threatened us that if we go, she wouldn't send our allowance. Pero nanghinayang kami sa plane ticket at naisip namin na di naman kami matitiis ni nanay. So we flew to Antique. Come Sunday, wala padin. Imagine the tipid mode. Haha. Plus to get us around town, we had to use a van at kailangan pa naming pagasolinahan yun. Good thing fiesta nun so ang daming kainan then we had relatives to look after us. Pero syempre hindi kami humingi ng pera. Mas nauna akong bumalik kay Kuya ng Manila and I flew back without a single centavo in my pocket. Nilibre lang ako ng taxi ng friend namin na sumabay. I didn't enjoy my entire vacation kasi nga sa 3 days na pamamalagi ko dun, I was worried about my money kung aabot pa ba sa til I get back to Manila and if my kakainin pa ba ako pagbalik ko. Haha. Good thing the allowance was ready when I got back here. Nakakainis diba? :))))

So kailangan kitang gayahin. Optimism ang sikreto. Great job ate chyng!

the donG said...

whoa! sorry na late sa pag comment galing din sa byahe.

great choice for a birthday treat! so nice that you found kapurpurawan beautiful. sinamahan ka pa ni mang arnel. one of my favoirte place in ilocos.

i agree. iloconas are really lucky. norte is awesome! i like the shot of the hole in the wall. kelan tandem trip naten? schedule na!

witsandnuts said...

Smart! The struggle as it was happening is painful but in the end, it is really a blessing in disguise. Kulang na lang cameramen to film you, Extra Challenge na ang dating. =)

Mark Aldin☺ said...

3, aLam mo nmn na I really am sorry for being Left by the plane. I wanted to catch the next fLight pero its expensive.. "dalawa tayong magugutom sa pagudpud kung nagkataon.." hehehe..

remember the sms I sent you? apologizing for what happened, I was teary eyed typing that.. pero naiyak na ako nang mabasa ko yung repLy mo..

sa mga naasar sakin, i don't care. as Long as i still have 3, i am happy.

While reading your bLog, naimagine ko na din na andun ako with you.. but then again, I was stuck in manila wondering what u are doing. Dind't have the guts to call you dahil sa I HATE YOU message mo. hehehe..

anyway, I'll see you this week.. we'll go banapple-ing! i♥u 3!

Mic Garing said...

Kapag nagkita tayo sa mata, bibigyan kita isang pack ng jellyace for your next adventure :)

Sali ka na sa next season ng Survivor Philippines :D

shie said...

exciting adventure!!! bilib ako sa yo girl :D i love the pictures!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chyng, my name's Ronna..I love to travel but sometimes I don't have friends to take with...:-( our have schedules won't agree...
I like the way you travel alone as much as I'm afraid to do it myself :-(
If you've planned travel next time, please allow me to join with you since I love to do it.
Could you be my chat friend? you can add me at my YM account:


Ronna Bella Caayon

Chyng said...

^ Hi Ronna!
I sent you an email.. Check mo ha.

Thanks for this msg. Ü

Anonymous said...

ate chyng,

great blog. i really admire you po. :). i love to travel din. i'll be going sa ilocos sa Christmas holiday.
Dec.24-26. vigan-laoag-pagudpud. ano po sa tingin nyo maganda unahin? thanks ate chyng, here po pala my email add. :)

anj said...

what an adventure! can i ask if the 600 pesos tour is per pax or good for all?

Chyng said...

^ hi anj!
it's P600/trike, not per head. =)

anj said...

mang arnel says hi back! :)
went there last decemer 7, my mom loved him!

Chyng said...

^ thank you anj for getting mang arnel's service. spread the word ha. let's promote him. =)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

finally Chyng got to visit these places. yung Kapurpurawan tlga matagal ko na xang nakita sa pic ng pinsan ko who works in Ilocos, ngayong wala na xa dun saka naman aako pumunta. Dameng trike na nag-o-offer ng tour pala, kala ko si Mang Arnel lng, pero mas nagustuhan ko yung trike drivers sa South kse d pa sila maaxado commercialized unlike dun sa North. I wasn't able to take note of Mang Arnel's# pero me nakilala naman ako mabaet din na driver sa Kapurpurawan, d ko alam girl na ganun xa kalayo, nilakad ko ng mha 1 hour ata yun! darn! haha

vangie said...

Hi Chyng, thanks for sharing your experience. I was so touched by the deeds of Mang Arnel and the gratefulness of your heart. My family and I are planning to visit Pagudpud this May and we will surely get Mang Arnel as tour guide. In fact, I already called him and we've closed the deal. God bless :)

Chyng said...

^thank you VAngie! enjoy! =)

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

Punta ako Ilocos bukas hehe

Nakakatuwa naman tong adventure mo na to! Gogogo lang kahit walang pera!

Nangyari rin sakin dati yan sa Sagada, kinapos ako dahil ang mahal nung accomadation na nakuha ko. Tipid mode, di tuloy ako nakakain sa Yoghurt House =P

sue said...

way to go chyng! what a nice bday treat for yourself...scary at start but still you managed to do it in a positive way! im appalled. i really loved reading your blog. we'll be going to Laoag, Vigan and Pagudpud in June and hopefully meet mang arnel. ikamusta kita! ikaw na. :)

Anonymous said...

Kamusta raw sabi ni Mang Arnel, very thankful sha sa iyo. Sha rin kinuha namin tourguide last Feb 27-Mar 1 said...

hi sis! i love the spirit u got! touch naman ako :(( i remembered my recent birthday (xactly 2 weeks ago), i also travelled alone. my first option was to go in ilocos too but had only 1 day for that so d nalang ako natuloy :(, went somewhere in batangas instead (its a place ive never been too since im new here in manila... boholana me*) ...and yeah... para din ako naiyak dito kse mag isa sin ako sa lunch and dinner ko at that day.. (hmmph wala lang, gusto ko lang mag share :) ) .. fantastic! idol na kita !!!!!!

Barefoot Venus said...

Wow, you are my inspiration! I wish could that too, traveling alone. Keep on posting and inspiring us, Gurl!

God bless

Sashi said...

You did a good job ate! Nainspire ako bigla na kahit hindi ganun kalaki yung pocket money mo or should I say wala kang dala talaga... malakas parin ang tiwala mo at matibay parin ang loob mo. Lalo na't mag-isa ka lang nag tour. Hindi ko kaya yun!!

Pero ikaw, the best! Ang galing!

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