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Laoag City, Batac and Paoay

Day 2 of our North Luzon Backpacking Trip was spent touring Laoag City, the capital of Ilocos Norte, and nearby towns, Batac and Paoay. We chartered a tricycle for P700 and it took us to the Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag Church, Malacanan of the North, Paoay Lake, Paoay Church, Marcos Mausoleum and Museum, Ilocos Museum. We even got to try riding a 4×4 and sand boarding in the Laoag Sand Dunes, for P2500 (up to 5 persons).

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

Here are some photos:

Sinking Bell Tower

Laoag Cathedral

 

Malacanan of the North

Malacanan of the North

Paoay Lake

Malacanan of the North

Malacanan of the North

Paoay Lake

Malacanan North

Paoay Church

Paoay Church

Presidential Museum

 

Presidential Museum

Ilocos Museum

Laoag Sand Dunes

Laoag Sand Dunes

Laoag Sand Dunes

Laoag Sand Dunes

https://flic.kr/s/aHskpE6hqh

https://flic.kr/s/aHskpE6hqh

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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

cutie

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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

Puning Hot Springs

July 19, 2015

This hidden paradise is right at the foot of Mt. Pinatubo. It has 15 man-made pools, with natural hot springs as their water source. The day tour package features a 4×4 ride to the spa, access to the pools, and a 30-minute sand massage. You can book with us at couplemeetsworld@gmail.com.

Check out our video to appreciate:

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Mt. Mirador / Mt. Pinagbanderahan: Quezon National Forest Park

August 30, 2015

Situated right in the middle of Quezon National Forest Park is Mt. Mirador or Mt. Pinagbanderahan, whose peak is 1200 ft. above sea level. The cemented 2-km. trail is manageable, scenic and alluring to newbies in hiking. It was very important during World War II, as it was where the Philippine flag was hoisted; hence, its name.

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

Contact us at couplemeetsworld@gmail.com for travel arrangements!

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Villa Sariaya

March 1, 2015

Hello from Friar Nikko and Maria Clara Janna!

We had the chance to visit Villa Sariaya, a declared Heritage House by the National Heritage Institute. It is located in Sariaya, Quezon, my hometown, which is truly rich in historical, socio-cultural, and religious heritage.

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

Villa Sariaya Janna and Nikko

Maria Clara

Friar

Maria Clara Piano

Filipiniana

Filipiniana

Couple

Villa Sariaya

Masinloc, Zambales Eco-Tour

Spent our 11th anniversary by taking part of the Ecotour provided by the exquisite municipality of Masinloc, Zambales, which according to Guinness, is home of the sweetest mangoes in the world! We had a once-in-a-lifetime experience by snorkeling, seeing giant clams, corals, and mangroves, eating delicious seafood at the Bacala Guest House, and enjoying the clear waters, and fine, white sand of San Salvador Island.

Music: Burning Bright by Jon Maurer

Bridal Veil Falls & Colorado Falls

We got to see two amazing waterfalls that are just a few steps away from Kennon Road.

To view our 24-hour Manaoag-Tuba-Baguio-Itogon itinerary, click here: Itinerary

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

Watch our video here:

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Colorado Falls 001

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