Friday, December 13, 2013

day1: ilocos norte - batac and paoay tour

It was a quick drive from Ilocos Sur to Ilocos Norte. At around 12:30pm we're in Batac already specifically in Sikat-Tuna Inihaw Restaurant. Ughh!! That restaurant! It took us more than an hour waiting for our food. If you know me that well, you might have guessed that I complained. Ha! I did! The owner ended up explaining to me what's causing the delay. Turned out, some of their employees didn't report for work that day. She apologized and it seemed sincere kaya nakalma naman ang lola nyo. Don't get me wrong though, I know I'm not the nicest person one could ever meet, but I'd like to believe I'm pretty rational. I show appreciation when it's needed but I voice it out too when I'm not getting what I deserve. Should be that simple!

welcome to Ilocos..

Past 2pm, we were in our first destination {I mean in Ilocos Norte} - Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. Taking photos inside the mausoleum is prohibited. Common sense, the departed ones deserve to be treated with our utmost respect. And the late president is getting just that. Inside the mausoleum are the presidential seal, Philippine flag, floodlights {it's dim inside}, tons of flowers, red carpet walkway and uhhm strict security. Guests should line up as they enter on one side and must keep walking towards the exit on the other side. Really quick viewing. We didn't visit the museum though.

Googled facts: (1) It's in the barangay of Lacub, city of Batac, province of Ilocos Norte. (2) The embalmed body of former president Marcos is laid out in a mattress, air-sealed in a glass coffin and lit by floodlights. (3) The odyssey of his remains began when the government of former President Corazon Aquino denied Marcos' return to the Philippines. Thus Marcos' remains was interred in a private air conditioned mausoleum at Byodo-In, a Japanese Buddhist temple, on the island of Oahu. (4) In September 1993, Marcos' remains were finally taken to the Philippines. The newly elected president Fidel Ramos, second cousin of the late president, allowed Imelda Marcos to bring her husband's body home but refused her demand for a hero’s burial.
Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

From Batac, we then headed to Paoay. We were in Paoay Church at around 2:30pm. I started with a short prayer inside then I joined them in the never ending picturan. It was even drizzling then but as the famous line goes - nothing can stop us!

Googled facts: (1) It's in the municipality of Paoay {well, obviously} and in the province of Ilocos Norte. (2) It's also known as the Church of Saint Augustine. (3) Its construction began in 1604 and was completed in 1710. (4) It's a prime example of Earthquake Baroque architecture. (5) In 1993, the church was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one best example of the Baroque Churches in the Philippines.

Paoay Church

Next stop: Malacañang of the North. We were there 3ish. As soon as we got inside I started roaming around alone. As much as I enjoy the company of my friends, I need to be alone from time to time too. Abaa, ang laki na nga ng naimprove ko from being the socially challenged ugly little girl. Hehehe. I bumped into them accidentally in the second floor and it was the death of my me time. After the tour, we stayed a little longer around the vicinity for an empanada session, we left quarter to four.

Googled facts: (1) It's in the barangay of Suba, municipality of Paoay, province of Ilocos Norte. (2) Malacañang of the North was the residence of late president Ferdinand Marcos and his family when they are in the north. (3) After Marcos was deposed in 1986 and died a few years later, the palace was transformed into a museum of the late president’s memorabilia. (4) It is now managed by the Department of Tourism.

ang dumi ng salamin. bow

Malacañang of the North

Our last, and my favorite destination.. Sand Dunes! Yeeyyy!! Sabi naman sa inyo adventurous ako eh. Kayo lang kasi, ayaw nyo maniwala. I swear it was my favorite among the eleven places that we visited, restaurants included. I remember how I felt exactly; I can't contain my excitement. Then, in a snap of a finger, I was pissed. We were assigned an ugly 4x4 ride, and I don't mean the bulok kind of ugly, it was ugly in a way that it doesn't look like the usual 4x4. While the boys were okay with it, Monique and I sneakily turned into little monsters and insisted on what we want. Sorry, boys! A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. ;)

Googled facts: (1) 4x4 ride is more correctly called as off-roading. (2) Off-roading is the activity of driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks, made of materials such as sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks, and other natural terrain. (3) Dune Bashing is a form of off-roading on sand dunes.

How was my dune bashing experience like? It was a thrill of a lifetime!! Yes, I've done other risky activities in the past, but this one.. this one?? Parang kasalanan ko kung mamamatay ako. Haha! All manong driver had to do was to drive {and make it exciting} while us, his passengers, kinailangan naming magkapit tuko para manitilang buhay. Hahaha! Ang hirap nun ha! Kidding aside, it didn't scare me at all, it's just that.. ang hirap talaga kumapit. Hehehe.

Paoay Sand Dunes

Our next activity was sandboarding. It wasn't originally included in the package that we paid for pero nagmakaawa kame kay manong driver. Bukod sa sadyang busilak ang puso nya, nangako na rin kame ng pordaboys. Hehehe. We agreed to lessen the time of our 4x4 adventure in exchange of a quick sandboarding experience - two tries each exactly.

Having said we only had two tries each, syempre hindi successful ang sandboarding stint ko. I'm a self-confessed slow learner when it comes to physical activities but I make up for it through perseverance. Unfortunately, hindi ako nakapagpersevere this time bilang limited ang bonding moment namin ni manong. Nakooo, nadagdagan na naman ang frustrations ko sa buhay. I suggest you watch the videos below to understand how much of a failure I am. Hahaha!

first try

second try

'cause you have to be able to laugh at yourself ❤

After almost an hour and a half of messing with the sand, we headed to Saud, Pagudpud to check-in. We bought food on the way 'cause apparently there's nowhere we can buy food from in Saud that late. We had roasted chicken and rice. We borrowed utensils from our accommodation and ate in the front porch. Comfiest meal of the day - oh well, I was in pajamas.

Speaking of our accommodation, it wasn't bad at all. I knew it was going to a budget one as it's included in the package but it was surprisingly good enough. We were only four in the group but the room we got can squeeze in up to six people, seven even. Monique and I shared the bigger bed while Job and Mark shared the double deck.

Here's a funny story: Supposedly, Job will use the upper bunk and Mark, the lower bunk. Then we heard Job ask for a blanket from Mark. The latter gave the blanket obviously annoyed. Turned out, there was only one blanket in their bed. Job found out and felt guilty so ang ending? Tabi rin sila natulog. Haha! I swear I'll never forget how they exchanged lines. I was so amused with the two as usual. Hehe. ✌

We chitchatted our way to sleep and that was the end of our first day in Ilocos. Ang sarap lang matulog ng hindi nagsisiksikan, see previous post. :P

*vids & photos from Tiny except for those in the first & second collage; and my selfie too


Czarina Mae said...

Wowwww. So amazing how you guys were able to squeeze in so many activities and visited so many places in just ONE day! I'll be sure to keep this post in mind if ever I found myself in Ilocos one day :P

Joy said...

Thanks for the free ride:) di pa ko nakrating dyan and nice to see the places. Awesome pictures:)

ZaiZai said...

Sand dunes! It would have been nicer kung golden ang sand, para pwedeng mag ala Sex and the City 2, with camels and outfits haha! Good luck nga pala sa camel, e 4x4 lang hindi pa nila na i-bongga :)

Love how happy you looked in the failed sandboarding :)

Thanks for tagging us along this trip! I love the Malacanang of the North, madami bang naka display na dresses ni Imelda? :)

Jewel Clicks said...

Wowww! one of my dream destinations next year, I will definitely go there na talaga! :)

Great photos and videos! Merry Christmas!

Sybil said...

love it!!! i wanna visit there one day!! :D

Animated Confessions

June | Life and Spices said...

Hahaha tawang tawa ako sa 4x4 na yan. mag kakalasog lasog ako.. liliko bigla sikKuya toi the right to the eft.. ampotah. Kung di katalaga hahawak huling mga sandali mo na yun..

Apple Borbon said...

@czarina mae. yeepp, that's why it was so tiring. meeh

@joy. anytime po. :)

@zaizai. i only got to see one. hehe.
tawang tawa talaga ako sa sarili ko na hindi ako makalayo. hahaha :L

@jewel click. merry christmas. :)

@libys11. you won't regret it, i promise.

@june. hahaha lagi na lang akong natatawa sa mga comments mo. lasog lasog talaga? hahaha! pero oo nga, kung makakabitaw ka. deads!