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Burgos, Bangui, and Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

November 17, 2015

On Day 3 of our 6D/7N North Luzon Backpacking Trip, we took the mini-bus from Laoag City and got off in Burgos, where we were greeted by Drex, who was referred to us by our Laoag Tour Guide James. We paid him P1300 to do the North and South Pagudpud Tours (including entrance fees).

We got to explore the upper part of Ilocos Norte, particularly the towns of Burgos, Bangui, and Pagudpud. Burgos is known for its Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, while Bangui boasts of its 1.65 MW wind turbines placed along a nine-kilometer shoreline.

Meanwhile, Pagudpud is famous for the Patapat Viaduct and Kabigan Falls. Moreover, it is where the northern-most tip of the Luzon Island lies. We also got to visit the Blue Lagoon and Saud Beach, which are definitely included in the best beaches we’ve seen — with white powdery sand and sapphire blue water.

Here are some photos:

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Burgos

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador

Burgos

Bangui Windmills

Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls

Trek

Pagudpud

Pagudpud Arch

Patapat Viaduct

Rock

Pagudpud

Cave

Pagudpud

Saud Beach

Vigan City

Known for its cobblestone-covered streets and hispanic vibe, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, has also been declared as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the world.

We got to Vigan City after an hour of travel by mini-bus from Bangued, Abra, during the first day of our 6D/7N North Luzon trip.

We had only  half a day to travel back in time and enjoy the World Heritage Site. After looking for a transient house, we chartered a tricycle for P500 to tour the following: Bantay Church and Bell Tower, Baluarte, Hidden Garden, Cristy’s Loom Weaving, Pottery, Crisologo Museum, Calle Crisologo, and the Town Plaza. We got to try out the city’s famous empanada and longganisa, too.

Here are some photos:

Vigan

Lovebirds

Bantay Bell Tower

Bantay Bell Tower

Baluarte

Parrots

Baluarte

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Baluarte

Petting the Tiger

Bonsai Garden

Pottery

Floro Crisologo Museum

Museum

Crisologo Museum

Loom Weaving

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo

Dancing Fountain

7 Wonder Cities

 

Bangued

We had the chance to tour North Luzon via public transportation from November 14 to 21, 2015. Since both of us are government employees, we had work suspension from Tuesday to Friday due to the APEC summit. We also took a leave on Monday, giving us nine consecutive vacation days.

Since we are fond of doing spontaneous trips, our itinerary was planned only two days before, not really being entirely sure if it was feasible. We also didn’t book anything in advance because we’re kind of risk averse. All we knew was that we wanted to visit the Ilocos Region and the Cagayan Valley by commuting, and that we had to be back two days before the next working day.

On the day of the trip, we decided to squeeze in Bangued, Abra as part of our trip, and that it be our starting point. Abra is a landlocked province in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Its capital, Bangued, is only an hour away from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. We chartered a tricycle for P600 to tour around Bangued for half a day. We were able to visit the Victoria Park or the peak of the Cassamata Hill, which gave us a good view of the province. The tricycle also took us to the Tayum Church, the Bangued Cathedral (St. James the Elder), the Calaba Bridge, the Don Mariano Marcos Bride, and the ancestral House of former senator Quintin Paredes.

Bangued is also known for miki, its indigenous noodles and so we tried it out at a local panciteria, which our tricycle driver/tour guide recommended. We look forward to visiting the town again during its miki festival, which is held every February.

Victoria Park Cassamata Hill

Mama Mary

Tayum Church

Tayum Church

Calaba Bridge

Calaba Bridge

St. James the Elder Church / Bangued Cathedral

Don Mariano Marcos Bridge

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Quintin Paredes' Ancestral House

Abra Miki

More details about our trip in the coming days. In the meantime, please find below our itinerary for this 6D/7N Backpacking Trip:

November 14, Saturday (10:00 pm) – Departure from Cubao, Quezon City (Partas Bus)

November 15, Sunday (5:00 am) – Arrival in Bangued

November 15, Sunday (6:00 am to 9:00 am) – Bangued, Abra Tricycle Tour (Victoria Park or Cassamata Hill, Calaba Bridge, Mariano Marcos Bridge)

November 15, Sunday (10:00 am to 11:00 am) – Travel to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur by Mini-bus

November 15, Sunday (12:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Vigan City Tricycle Tour (Saint Augustine Parish Church  or the Bantay Church, Bantay Bell Tower, Baluarte, Hidden Garden, Cristy’s Loomweaving, Pottery, Calle Crisologo, Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle or the Cathedral of Vigan, Town Plaza)

November 16, Monday (8:00 am to 11:00 am) – Travel to Laoag, City, Ilocos Norte by Bus

November 16, Monday (12:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Laoag City, Batac, and Paoay Tricycle Tour (Laoag Sinking Bell Tower, Malacanan of the North, Paoay Lake, Paoay Church, Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, Museo Ilocos Norte, Laoag Sand Dunes)

November 17, Tuesday (8:00 am to 10:00 am) – Travel to Burgos, Ilocos Norte

November 17, Tuesday (11:00 am to 12:00 pm) – Burgos and Bangui Tricycle Tour (Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Bangui Windmills)

November 17, Tuesday (12:00 to 2:30 pm) – Trek to Kabigan Falls

November 17, Tuesday (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Pagudpud Tricycle Tour (Pagudpud Arch, Timangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, Dos Hermanos Islands, Blue Lagoon, Saud Beach)

November 18, Wednesday (8:30 am to 9:30 am) – Travel to Pancian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte via tricycle

November 18, Wednesday (9:00 am to 10:30 am) – Travel to Adams, Ilocos Norte via motorcycle

November 18, Wednesday (10:30 am to 11:30 am) – Adams Motorcycle Tour (Lover’s Peak, Hanging Bridge, Viewpoint, Winery)

November 18, Wednesday (12:30 pm to 3:30 pm) – Trek to Anuplig Fallss

November 18, Wednesday (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm) – Travel to Pancian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

November 18, Wednesday (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) – Travel to Claveria, Cagayan

November 18, Wednesday (9:00 pm to 1:00 am) – Travel to Nangaramoan Beach, Santa Ana, Cagayan

November 19, Thursday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm) – Palaui Island Hopping (Cape Engano, Punta Verde, Punta Verde Falls, Crocodile Island, Anguib Beach)

November 19, Thursday (7:00 pm) – Reached San Vicente (642 km) marker

November 20, Friday (8:30 am to 10:00 am) – Travel to Aparri, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (10:00 am to 11:30 am) – Aparri Tricycle Tour

November 20, Friday (12:00 pm to 2:00 pm) – Travel to Iguig, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (2:00 pm to 2:30 pm) – Iguig Calvary Hills

November 20, Friday (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm) – Travel to Penablanca, Cagayan

November 20, Friday (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm) – Callao Cave

November 20, Friday (5:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Pinacanauan River Boat Ride and Bats Watching

November 20, Friday (6:00 pm to 6:45 pm) – Travel to Tuguegarao City

November 20, Friday (9:00 pm) – Departure from Tuguegarao City (Florida Bus)

November 21, Saturday (8:00 am) – Arrival in Sampaloc, Manila

 

La Mesa Ecopark

October 24, 2015

Our chill Saturday was spent at La Mesa Ecopark, a relaxing getaway place just in Quezon City. There were different activities including horseback riding, boating, fishing, shooting, and bungee jumping but we only got to try the zipline and water bicycle due to lack of time. The zipline was worth our P200 (each) as the view from it was amazing (La Mesa Dam and trees). We spent around P50 for entrance fees and another P200 for the tandem waterbike.

If you need a place to stay in Quezon City, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

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Cavinti / Pagsanjan Falls: Shooting the Rapids

August 8, 2015

Last August, we had the chance to shoot the rapids in Pagsanjan / Cavinti, Laguna, and visit the falls again. It was our second time to experience the marvel of the world-famous Pagsanjan Falls, which was always mentioned in our grade school Social Studies textbooks. Nevertheless, it was our first time to shoot the rapids as we took the harder route of trekking down, the first time we were there (Will save such adventure for another post).

We can arrange this tour for you! Email us at couplemeetsworld@gmail.com.

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Watch our video here: 

National Museum

Since October is Museum and Galleries month, the National Museum and its branches nationwide is free to the public for the whole month. We got to tour the National Museum for the first time last year. We were awestruck by Juan Luna’s Spoliarium and Jose Rizal’s sculptures and drawings.

If you need a place to stay in Manila, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Here are some photos:

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Ugu Bigyan Pottery House & Bangihan ni Kuya Restaurant

October 11, 2015

In Tiaong, Quezon, lies the house and secret pottery garden of artist Ugu Bigyan. The garden is available for lunch, which requires an advanced reservation, and barako coffee. It also showcases the artist’s creations, which are available for sale.

Since we weren’t able to make a reservation, we had to have lunch elsewhere. We tried out Bangihan ni Kuya (“Elder Brother’s Grill”), which is located in Candelaria Diversion Road. Their Sinigang na Lechon would make us come back for more!

Ugu Bigyan's House

Restaurant

Barako Coffee

Ugu Bigyan Pottery Garden

Janna Nikko

Ugu Bigyan's Creations

Janna

Bangihan ni Kuya Sinigang na Lechon

Bangihan ni Kuya

Ceramics

Garden

Hinulugang Taktak and Cloud 9

October 3, 2015

Hinulugang Taktak had been a popular tourist destination in Antipolo, Rizal for years, until its water got polluted and became not suitable for swimming. In fact in 1990, the area has also been proclaimed as a National Historical Shrine by law. Efforts have been made by the city government to revive the waterfall and the national park’s glory, and the park has been once again opened to the public just this year. The site is protected by the DENR and does not require any entrance fees (yet).

Before leaving Antipolo City, we dropped by Cloud 9 restaurant, which offers a 360 degree view of Metro Manila, after passing through a hanging bridge.

Cloud 9 360 Degree

Metro Manila

Cloud 9

Nikko Hanging Bridge

Janna Nikko Cloud 9

Janna

Hinulugang Taktak

Hinulugang Taktak Falls

Janna Nikko Hinulugang Taktak

Janna Nikko Hanging Bridge

Hanging Bridge