Visiting the tourist destination of Ilocos and Cagayan
Renante MinaWednesday, September 6, 2017 2 comments

     It's like fulfilling my childhood dream... I've never been to this place before but it's my best friend’s hometown. I've already heard about Claveria Cagayan since my elementary days. My bestfriend even invited me to come and visit their province when we were still young but I don’t have money that time and maybe I am only destined to visit now after I got married to Manong Unyol. Yep, my mister is also born from Cagayan and Greta my best friend was the reason behind why we met, small world for all of us! Enough for our cheesy love story. Haha. We decided to travel going to their province the day right after our wedding but instead of going straight to Cagayan, we decided to start our north trip from Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. No itinerary on where to go or what to do, we just packed our things and leave. That’s how we planned our honeymoon! Haha.

     To get energized before going to anywhere else, our tummy should be full first and just along the highway where we get off from the bus after 6 hours travel time we found this unique cafe called Abra Miki Republic. It feels great that we were welcomed with this lovely ambiance. We had a small chit chat with the people in the cafe and I commended the food attendant for such a wonderful place and they said that the place is owned by an architecture. 

My mister said that Ilocos and Cagayan or Ilocandia is well-known for miki and I guess he's right! It was a warmth welcome for us literally having this old miki noodle! Naimas!

     I asked folks from the cafe if apart from NOAH, where else is something nice to visit at Narvacan. With no hesitation, they mentioned a waterfalls and here we go! Going there was not easy.. there are some rough road and uphill that my husband had to get off and pushed the tricycle.

     It took us almost an hour of tricycle ride. The tricycle driver even used google earth to get the direction going there because it was also his first time to this place. Sosyal ng google earth ni kuya! Haha. Kuya had to stop using his internet due to signal error and good thing that the locals knows the waterfalls. In other place we've been to, when we asked for a direction from the locals they usually pointed thier nguso (lips), but it's different here and they are all consistent! It's like throwing their whole arm effortlessly when pointing us to the right direction. Haha.

     This is the Pinsal Falls. It's summer season that's why the water is not that abundant. Nonetheless, for a waterfalls lovers like us? It's still relaxing to visit a hidden tranquil place like this.

Getting up close with the Pinsal Waterfalls.

     This is something that we don't normally see in the city. We saw this on our way along the road going to and from the waterfalls. This is the tobacco leaves, one of the source of income by Ilocanos.

This is the beach front of NOAH or Narvacan Outdoor Adventure Hub. 

     This served as view deck facing the beach for adventurous folks like us who love sunset and beaches. This is also use as take-off point of paragliding but unfortunately, we haven't seen this activitiy because it was weekdays when we were there.

Perks of traveling on weekdays? This! We had this crazy photo session since just very few vehicle passes by.

A picturesque view.

"The best thing to hold onto life is together" - Audrey Hepburn

     Our emo moment. Haha. Still reminiscing our wedding while waiting for the van/bus bound to Vigan City.

St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral

     It was really hot when we arrived in Vigan and it's summer vacation so there's a lot of tourist in the city as expected even at weekdays. These colorful umbrellas added something in this street that makes it more attractive.

Who doesn't know about this historical street? It's one of the must-see and most visited in the city. 

Bringing out the child in me.

     One of the most unforgettable experience I had was when I tried pottery and I could say that it was really hard forming it like this made out of clay! As per the owner, pottery is a dying industry and kudos to them for standing still and for keep on making these big pot for export.

Toy for the big boys. Hehe.

     After our short tour in Vigan, we headed to our next stop and finally we're already in Paoay sand dunes and rode in this 4x4 truck. It was extremely good and one for the books experience!

Hope we could have one much bigger than this someday.

Sand Boards

Another emo moment. Hehe

Paoay Church

     Thankfully, I've finally visited this another remarkable spot of Ilocos. It's nighttime when we arrived here and also my first time so I knocked three times and whispered my wish.

Our Day 1 trip is over and we decided to stay in one of the hostel in the area for overnight stay.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

     Ofcourse we're not done yet. From Laoag, we rode a van bound to Pagudpud and rented a tricycle for a tour. After our awesome breakfast, our adventure continues and it's nice to start the day with this view. I'm fascinated on how old people was able to build a structure like this overlooking the beach and the area just to protect the town from danger.

Ang babae sa bintana. Hehe

Imagine yourself all alone in this bed inside the tower. Can you able to sleep? Hehe.

At the front gate

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

     It was already noon time when we arrived here and the temperature was very hot that it consumed much of our energy as we walked closer to the rock formation.

Getting up close. Good thing we left our baggage at the house of the tricycle driver. We just carried our valuable things.

This is our closest view to the rock formation as we can no longer contain the hot atmosphere.

Bangui Windmills

     After few minutes of stay from the rock formation we decided to go to this famous landmark of Ilocos. Isn't it ironic that this place is surrounded by giant fans yet the atmosphere is still hot? Hehe. Kidding.

Rice paddies going to the falls

It's been a long day and we smell unpleasant already. Hehe. So it's about time to regain our energy.

The upgraded carabao carrier. Hehe

      The guy in black is Kenneth, a Cuban-Mexican-American student all the way from California. He has been travelling in some countries in Asia with his family and decided to travel solo in our country while it's still his semestral break. We met him from the pottery in Vigan and he asked if he can join us. Of course who can't say no? He's been with us since our adventure in sand dunes up to this trip. :-)

Hammock please!

Kabigan Falls

     Finally, here's our most awaited reward. We had a long day, we did not let this day end without soaking in to feel refreshed.

My mister waterfalls lover

Patapat Viaduct

     Your Ilocos trip is incomplete if this  renowned bridge is not on your list. This is most commonly seen in the commercial for a car brand. Travelers really stopped by and took some photos showing the curvs of this long bridge.

Bantay-Abot Cave

We decided not to take a closer look since we still have long hours going to Claveria, Cagayan.

Timmangtang Rock Formation

     The sun has started to unlit and this view ends our 2-day trip in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Time to say goodbye also to our new found friend, Kenneth, because he will still travel to Baguio and Banaue and us going to Cagayan. Yey! It was already night when we arrived at my husbands' hometown. It's nice to be here where he spent his childhood days. However, we had to sleep early because we'll have another trip the next day.

     Early morning the next day we prepared our things for another long trip. We rode a van from Claveria, Cagayan that took us four hours to Tuguegarao. As I get off from the van when in Tuguegarao, I can't explain how hot it was! No exaggeration at all but it was really not normal although they told me that that's thier normal temperature.

Pinagcanauan River

     From the city proper, we rode a tricycle that took us one hour to our next destination. Then we rode these bancas available for rent that carried us crossing the river going to the other side in just less than 10 minutes.

So far this is the cleanest river I've ever seen! To me it's like a combination of Minalungao and Palawan.

We were assigned to this guide who toured us inside the cave. (Unfortunately, we forgot his name)

He said that the oldest Philippine human remains was burried and discovered in this grave. Interesting!

     Looks familiar? Yes! That place called Callao Cave. Another ticked off from my bucket list and finally we're here! One thing we did after some photo sesh was ofcourse we prayed in this chapel and thank our Dear Creator for all the guidance on our way here.

The biggest cave I've ever entered!

There are 6 chambers in this cave as they call it and its safe for children as well.

Pancit Batil Patong

     This has been my husbands' word-of-mouth even before this whole travel and I've been waiting for this as well. The verdict? To my surprise, I don't know but I didn't like it. Though I really love the empanada in Claveria.

We decided to go back to Claveria, Cagayan and spent some time with his family and relatives and roam around the town. We also spent some time with his kababatas. One thing that I missed though is their "daklis" and for sure I will encounter it the next time we come back.

It was indeed a meaningful trip and a fruitful honeymoon! Haha.

If you want to start your trip in Ilocos Sur, visit first the Pinsal Falls

Pinsal Falls is located in a town called Santa Maria in Ilocos Sur. If you live in Manila and by commute ride a bus going to Laoag like Fariñas, Florida and RCJ their terminal located in España Manila. Inform the konduktor to drop you in Sta Maria Along the Highway or Narvacan from the drop off point hire a trike directly going to Pinsal Falls some part of the road is cemented and rough road so expect a bumpy ride going to Pinsal Falls.

If you want to explore the Ilocos Norte like Bangui Windmills, Patapat Viaduct and Kabigan falls
Kuya Bigboy - trike tour guide
Contact No. 09951320302 / 09482077847

Note: Kapurpurawan and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is different organization of trike drivers, there are standby trike drivers in the area.

Guest Writer
Maryang Laagan


naks said...

nice way to start off your marriage guys...
road to forever...hehehehe
more lakwatsa ngayong ang dalawa ay iisa na...

muli, congratulations to the both of you...

Alex A

Karen N said...

I'm half Ilocano but I've never visited the Ilocandia region. Beautiful photos and love the sincerity of your writing. Hope to see more posts and adventures from both of you in the future.