This week IgoUgo member manlalakbay takes us to Ilocos Norte, a popular tourist destination in the northern Philippines. So picturesque is the location that The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 will begin filming there in December.
Describing it as “a great mix of natural wonders and cultural heritage,” manlalakbay’s photos give us just a taste of why both locals and tourists are drawn here, especially in the summer season. Here they are, with some excerpts from the most recent trip journals.
Pagudpud is more known for its beaches and bays rather than its trekking and bodies of fresh water, but you can also experience this with Kaibigan Falls. To the right of our trail was a gurgling stream which waters must have come from the falls. To our left were rice fields, some which have been harvested while some were bursting with golden grains ready to be harvested.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
It was already a spectacular sight. It dazzled white in the morning sun, which is true to its name. The root word of Kapurpurawan is "puraw" which means white. It was a perfect contrast to the deep blue of the sea and the dirty brown of the dead corals.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
It is a functioning lighthouse up to this date. It was built in the late 1800s to guide the way of passing Spanish galleons. At present, the lighthouse operates on solar panels, which I personally appreciate since it is renewable energy.
Laoag Sinking Bell Tower
Said to be one of the Philippines’ tallest bell towers. “According to legend, a man atop of his horse can enter the entrance of the belfry without stooping.”
There are 20 windmills, each standing 70 meters tall with turbines spanning around 40 meters long. It is the first wind farm in the Philippines and situated on the beach of Bangui facing the South China Sea. The windmills are able to provide up to 40% of the electricity needs of the province.
The bridge has become one of the must-visit tourist attractions of Ilocos Norte. Before crossing the bridge, you will see a shipwreck by the shore. The vessel is supposed to be a vessel dating back to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the 1940s during World War II. It is rumored that the other half of the ship can be found somewhere farther and fathoms deeper into the sea. All that is left of it is a rusty orange skeleton that breaks the blue of the sea and sky.
Shipwreck off the Maharlika Highway, rumored to be a Japanese vessel from WWII
The Church has been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is no surprise because compared to many other churches in the Philippines, it is one of the most well-preserved among the old baroque churches built during the Spanish times. The Church is one of the most iconic structures of the Ilocos Norte region. Photos of it are usually used for postcards for Ilocos Norte.
Maira-ira Beach (Blue Lagoon)
The Blue Lagoon, though a bit difficult to visit, is worth going to! Though the resorts and homes are a bit crowded, the main beach is still quite tranquil and serene enough to enjoy nature's beauty.
More on the Philippines from IgoUgo
Hotels in the Philippines
Bohol Travel Guide
Things to do in Manila
Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)