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ILOCOS: Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud Travel Guide Part-2


We started our second day (you can read the first part here) in Ilocos as early as 6 am. Our contact, Arnel (we got his number in pinoyexchange, a lot of blogs also recommends him) sent his cousin to be our tour guide. For small groups, you can have the tricycle while a van for big groups. I'm not sure about the tricycle rate, but we got the van from PhP 4,000 to 3,800 (we are 7 in the group). 

THIRD STOP: BURGOS & BANGUI

Burgos and Bangui are municipalities you will be passing when going to Pagudpud from Laoag. These municipalities are home to some popular tourist spots in the north.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeardor, or simply Burgos Lighthouse was the first on our trip. In the parking area, you'll get a nice view of the West Philippine Sea and just a few climbs on the stairs, you'll reach the gate of the lighthouse. 

West Philippine Sea seen in the parking area
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, under renovation



Inside is a small museum of the lighthouse. Too bad the tower is under renovation when we went so we didn't have the chance to take a closer look. Entrance in the lighthouse is free by the way.

Model of the lighthouse in the small museum
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Next on our tour which is still in Burgos, is the white rocks of Kapurpurawan (from the word "puraw" which means white). On the way going there, you will see several huge wind turbines of the under construction Burgos Wind Farm. 

Wind turbine in the under development Burgos Wind Farm


From the parking area, you have to hike 10-15 minutes to reach the rock formations at the coast. Some rock formations are off limits (especially the sphinx) to protect and preserve it (we don't like to see some "L!L rh0m4nt!c0h and L!L ZhupL4d4h" carved in the rocks). There are some souvenir shops at the entrance and they let you borrow some hats and umbrellas (you can just tip them any amount for it) since the hike is slightly long and there are no shade on the way. There's also some vendors selling water and melon or buko ice-candy along the way. You can also ride a horse if you don't want to walk around. Entrance is also free by the way.

Should have put some sunblock on, good thing there's hats and umbrellas






You can rent a horse and take a stroll around

Wind turbines seen around the area
The sphinx-like rock formation (off limits)

A closer look on the rock formation

Bangui Wind Farm
After seeing the rock formations, we went ahead to take a closer look at the huge wind turbines but this time it is in Bangui Wind Farm. Unlike the wind turbines in Burgos, this one is already operational. These huge structures standing along the shorelines was just amazing. I think you can swim at the beach but the waves are so strong. We just stayed there for a couple of minutes and after taking some photos and buying souvenirs (ref-magnets cost less here) since it was so hot that day, even the sand was scorching hot. 


Bangui Wind Farm


At the other side

Not complete without a jump shot (then a selfie)

FOURTH STOP: PAGUDPUD

After a short ride from Bangui Wind Farm, we found ourselves at almost top of Luzon in the map. We're finally in Pagudpud which is home to Saud Beach, Blue Lagoon or Mirai-ai beach and more tourists destinations. By the way, I read that there are no ATMs in Pagudpud and the closest one is in Pasuquin (about 90 minute drive).  

Kabigan Falls
We arrived at Pagudpud around 11 am and went to Brgy. Balaoi to see Kabigan Falls. We were  hungry at the moment since was almost lunch time and we didn't had breakfast so went first to Pa-Good-Foods (a cook-to-order eatery) and leave our orders so when we came back they will just serve it. They can cook any request you want. We ordered 1/2 kilo chicken barbecue and tinola, 1 kilo Pinakbet, a whole grilled bangus and yellow watermelons for dessert. 

Yes, it's good foods

Our food just costs a total of PhP 1,185 for the 7 of us. When going to the falls, there's an environmental fee of PhP 30 per person and a PhP 100 for the tour guide. 

Hike to the waterfall

The hike is about 30 minutes. You will cross through rice fields and some small bodies of water. My camera died since the battery went out during the hike so I took some photos using my phone.There are some small stores selling snacks and drinks ("kwek-kwek", "buko juice" and more) along the way and a small bathroom before reaching the falls where you can change to your swimming attire. 

Badass kuliglig along the way

Streaming waters from the falls
Crystal clear waters, yep it's cold

Here we are, Kabigan Falls
The hike can be tiring (especially if you didn't have any breakfast), but you'll be recharged once your reached the waterfall. The water is cold and very refreshing. The spot where the water drops is not too deep so you can take a shower from it (it will hurt if you stay for long though). We just stayed there for almost an hour since we we're all hungry. When we got back, the food we ordered was ready. It tasted a great home cooked meal. By the way, don't forget to tip your tour guide as I think they are not getting all the PhP 100 tour fee before.

Patapat Viaduct
After having a satisfying lunch, we went to Patapat Viaduct. This 1.3 kilometer bridge connects Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. The coastline is a bit rocky but the waters are so blue.

Tourists make a stop here to take some photos
Another!





Timmangtang Rock
After jumping in the middle of the road, we took a short stop in "Agua Grande" and "Paraiso ni Anton| (not sure who's Anton)". We just stay there for a couple of minutes since it's only a picnic ground. After that, we headed to Timmangtang Rock in Maira-ira Point. A big rock/boulder, located at the shore (the rock looks like the house of Patrick Star). I read that, the next stop we will be going is the lover of Timmangtang Rock.
Timmangtang Rock




Bantay-abot Cave
"A mountain with a hole", that's what the name of the cave means. This is the lover of Timmangtang Rock I mentioned above. Can you guess which one is the female?
Bantay-abot Cave

At the other side of the cave

 
Thinking of a jump shot

The cave is very near the rock, just a few walk away. Too bad the rock and the mountain cave can never be together.
Stairs will take you to the road from the cave


Blue Lagoon
We're almost at the end of the trip, and our next stop is the beach! The white sands and the very clear blue waters (no exaggeration) of Blue Lagoon (aka, Malingay Cove). We immediately went for a swim.

Blue Lagoon, not Boracay of the north


At the beach front, there are cottages that I think is for rent. There is also a lot of accommodations and resorts around. There is a big resort (Hannah's Beach Resort) which have the longest zip line over water in the country (1.2 km). I'm not sure how much it cost but I think it's around PhP 1000 for non-guests of the resort and there's a discount for the guests. The resort also hosts, a bikini competition when we got there. Their rooms would probably cost from PhP 3,000 and up. But there's a lot of home stays and resorts around that is cheaper if you're on a budget (like us, haha). 

I wish this is my view right now


Besides the zip line, you can try a lot of activities at Blue Lagoon, you can wave surf and kite surf, have a seaside ATV ride, or hop on in to a banana boat.

Several establishments along side the road

From the road, it reminds me of Puerto Galera. It's becoming crowded. I even saw which I think a waste water drainage going to the beach area. I just hope that the local authorities and the resort owners will don't let this beauty be ruined.

Saud Beach
After dipping in the clear blue waters (no kidding) of Blue Lagoon, time to head to our last stop in the tour. This is where we will be staying for the next 2 days of our Ilocos adventure. 
 
Bangui Wind Farm seen at Saud Beach
It's almost 6 pm when we got to Saud Beach and needed a place to stay (I told you we haven't found a place to stay yet). Good thing the cousin (sorry forgot his name) of Arnel, our tour guide help us out. We search around the place to find an accommodation with our preference: cheap, near the beach, clean and good for 7 person (choosy). We searched for about half an hour and we found Norma & Edu's Home stay, it's about a 5 minute walk to the beach. We gave our tour guide additional tip for a good service and helping us out.

Once settled, we checkout some nearby eateries for food. There's no fancy restaurants near our place. We went out around  8 pm and some eateries are already closed. I guess they sleep early here. We didn't also hear some annoying "videoke". Don't expect a nightlife here, just a peaceful and simple night. Our meal just cost around PhP 50-70 per person. After eating, we went back to our place and recharge for tomorrow.
Beach bumming while waiting for the wind turbines to move
Next day (day 3), I immediately checkout the beach early morning while my friends are still sleeping. At the beach, I saw the huge wind mills at Bangui Wind Farm. There are also fisherman boats around the area. The sand in Blue Lagoon is much whiter, but the sand here is very soft. There are also some washed seaweeds around the beach area. The beach is probably a kilometer long. It's hard to walk in some part of the beach since your foot is sinking while walking. My friend also told me that there are some fisherman that sells their fresh catch in morning.
Cool, they have wi-fi on board

The gate entrance on the beach has a label of entrance fee but, no one seems to be paying. I think they only charge the ones that are camping at the beach. There are also public shower areas and comfort rooms around the area (dirty comfort rooms though), and some cottages (not sure if free). There are some locals which lets you to rent floaters ("salbabidang gulong") for PhP 50 the whole day.

Outside the restaurant of Saud Beach Resort
For breakfast, we had it in our home stay since they also offer it (less than PhP 100) and for lunch, we went to Saud Beach Resort. Probably a 15-20 minute walk from our place of stay. It's a beach front resort that offers accommodation. Their rooms starts at around PhP 2,000. Since it's a resort, the food there is more expensive (with service charge). Their fruit shakes costs around PhP 80 and a good for 2-3 food is around 200-300 (We payed around PhP 200 per person since there serving is small). Food tastes average. You can see the ocean view from the restaurant and outside the are some hammocks.

Hammock at the beach
I wanted to go further on the top but it's higher than what it looks
The wind turbines move around at afternoon
Pagudpud's sunset
Best part of the day
Bonfire at the beach










On our last day (day 4), we went for a morning swim, a local approached us and offered us fresh buko (coconut) juice for PhP 15 only. I was wondering where are the fruits were, but then he climbed one of the coconut tree and cut down the coconuts (it's literally fresh)We just swim, eat and relax for our whole stay at Saud Beach. 



Our failed jump shot


We headed back to our place before 10 am cause it's getting very hot and we needed to leave before 2 pm to catch the bus going to Laoag in the town area (that's the last trip of the bus, if you didn't catch it, you need to wait for it at the highway and that's what we did).

There are tricycles at the beach entrance that will take you to the town proper or the highway. Then you need to bound a bus going to Laoag at either the town or the highway. We didn't caught the bus so we waited in the highway. 
Road to Pagudpud and Cagayan


Unfortunately, the bus we are riding to Laoag broke down. We got off Burgos and waited for another bus. I roam around while waiting for the bus and saw the photo below. A local also told me of some unfamilliar places to go in Burgos likeTanap-avis and Kaangringan Falls.
Models of the sphinx formation in Kapurpurawan and Cape Bojeador lighthouse in Burgos Municipal Hall 


We need to get to the airport at 7 pm since our flight is at 8 pm and it's almost 6 pm (amazing race na-naman). Fortunately a bus arrived, and got to Laoag a couple of minutes after 7. We didn't have enough time to buy pasalubong so we just went to Puregold and bought some Longanisa Vigan and "Bagnet". We rode a tricycle again to get us to the airport, and thankfully we just arrived in time.

Here's a breakdown of transport expense:
PhP 60/75 - Tricycle going to Pagudpud Town/Highway
PhP 75 - Bus to Laoag
PhP 200 - Tricycle to Airport (we thought 2 tricycles for 200 but it was each, just try to haggle)

As expected, the flight got delayed, and we depart from Laoag International Airport past 9 pm and arrived at Manila 10 pm.
Back to Manila
This is our ILOCOS Adventure, it was truly an awesome experience, thanks for reading and remember to always have an adventure!


Click here if you haven't read the First Part.





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Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

2comments:

  1. I like the Blue Lagoon photos... Color-rich and very clear. Nice share of your Pagudpud stay.

    ReplyDelete