12:24 AM Pia San Felipe 0 Comments

This is the best family trip, yet!!! My mom's side of the family is all for out of town trips and imagine my cousin's (as well as mine) delight when the elders planned a trip to Ilocos! This is the farthest trip we've taken for the last three years. From South (Laiya, Batangas and Cagbalete, Quezon from 2013 and 2014 respectively) we finally headed North! It was a loooooooong drive from Rizal (even when you're from Manila, I suppose). We left at 12mn and arrived in Ilocos around 10am, and that's just Ilocos Sur! We were supposed to go to Ilocos Norte first because beach!

Stopped over the Marcos Museum first though and it was crowded! It kinda disappointed me because I was hoping to read all the facts posted on the wall but I can't, not with all the people bumping and pushing me.

Even so, I still got to see some interesting tidbits about the love life of former President Marcos and his wife, Imelda. (Just look at that butong pakwan replica!)

Then we went on to see the rock formation at Kapurpurawan in Burgos as well as the windmills. This is the closest I got to the rock formation because it was scorching hot for us to walk any further. Too bad because I made some research and I guess I missed the "pristine white"-ness of the rocks. Oh well!

Pagudpud, finally! The sand is golden white (not as white as Boracay's or Cagbalete's) but just as fine, maybe even more. And the shores are clean! I didn't get to swim that much because the waves are big I might get carried away towards the West Philippine Sea (yes, I did my research).

Nothing can ever compare to watching the sun set with your favorite people (aka cousins)!
Our trip was actually threatened by Typhoon Chedeng (international name: Maysak) but God and the universe conspired and we woke up with dry sand (although it did rain during the night)! We bugged mom to take us to Bangui because Burgos' windmills aren't legit enough for us (forgive us, please).

Bangui Windmills! These windmills, standing on Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine Sea are said to be the biggest in Southeast Asia! It also felt awesome how we were standing on the northwestern tip of Luzon! The waves were stronger than in Pagudpud, no wonder.

A very touristy shot of me! We also dropped by Paoay Church and it was beautiful!

I liked how they kept the original look of the church because it goes so well with the white bouganvilles on the patio. We also dropped by Baluarte but I did not enjoy it that much because I'm not fond of being threatened by big zoo birds lurking wild and free.

And we're finally off to the beautiful city of Vigan. Before I start sounding a bit like a tourist guide, let me show you where we stayed: Villa Angela.

It's an old house and it is also very creepy. Especially so because one of my cousins can apparently see ghosts. Like, seriously. He was getting goosebumps. I had to sleep beside mom because I was creeped out by the thought of someone watching me while I sleep! But it was beautiful nonetheless, keeping up with the city's old elegance.

The beautiful city of Vigan. In 1999, Vigan has been listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage sites and monuments. And December of last year (2014), it was crowned as one of the New7Wonders Cities along with Beirut (Lebanon), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and La Paz (Bolivia)! No wonder why. The city was able to preserve the old buildings even the cobble stoned walkway! Every establishment was on point, even Mang Inasal and Watson's. Can you believe it? It's like we were walking in a living antique museum!

I read somewhere that one should see Vigan in the morning so all of us woke up early to see the streets minus the wave of tourists.

And because a trip to Vigan wouldn't be complete without riding a kalesa, we rode on one which took us to the Bantay Bell Tower and the house of Padre Burgos, one of the martyr priests executed in Bagumbayan. We were too early so we didn't get to see the inside. This also made me realize how much I would suck as a travel blogger.

Aaaaand that concludes our Ilocos escapade! It's definitely one for the books and I'm hoping next year would be even better! Leaving you with the Instax shots I took of the spots we visited which I will put in my travel journal.

ADDITIONAL: My omega talented cousin (Ate Jels) made a video of our trip! Go check it out, it's only as short as three minutes.

(DISCLAIMER: Silhouette, Baluarte, Bantay Bell Tower and group pictures nicked from my cousin: Jelai Sisante; the rest of the photos are mine)