Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roadtrip to Ilocos: Laoag City to Pagudpud

After completing a 10.0-hour tour of Vigan City; we started our journey towards Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Vigan City is a 2.0 hour drive to Laoag City while Laoag City is another 2.5 hours drive to Pagudpud.

While traveling, the kids are busy comparing souvenirs purchased from Baluarte while similarly chattering about their experience. Not a single member ever complained of thirst nor hunger even if it is almost lunchtime. Perhaps the endless supply of healthy chichiryas from our onboard food chest kept their hunger at bay. During the planning stage, Sweety made sure we have stocked and handy access to ensaymada, white bread, crackers, assorted nuts, jams, butter, low-carb electrolyte drinks and mineral water.

From Vigan City, we need to pass through the municipalities of Bantay, San Ildefonso, Sto. Domingo, Magsingal, San Juan, Cabugao, and Sinait.  The distance we need to cover is barely 40.0 kilometers but decrepit road condition and the sinister traffic, held back our pace.

Boundary marker - Sinait, Ilocos Sur and Badoc, Ilocos Norte

From Badoc, Ilocos Sur, we continue to Currimao via the Pan Philippine Highway or Maharlika Highway (also known as AH26 or Asian Highway 26) by-passing the municipality of Paoay. We intentionally skipped Paoay and save the tour at the later stage during our trip back to Manila. The traffic pace after Mariano Marcos State University in Paoay up to the town of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte was dawdling because of an on-going festival in San Nicolas. We made a detour towards an alternate route in order to cross the Marcos Bridge (formerly Gilbert Bridge). The Marcos Bridge connects Laoag City to the town of San Nicolas. This 800 meter bridge spans over the Padsan River. We arrived in Laoag City at 2:30 p.m..

The Welcome Arch of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Captured shot of Laoag City

Padsan River bounding San Nicolas and Laoag City

The Padsan River

Although we did not make a formal visit to Laoag City attractions, we managed to see St. William's Cathedral and its sinking belfry tower. The bell tower is located 85 meters away from the church. With its massive,solid and tall structure (45 meters high),the belfry is considered the tallest in the Philippines. It sinks an inch each year because of its weight and sandy foundation. Beacuse of the hot climate in Laoag, the soil has suffered desertification (soil degrades and is converted to sand). The tower had sank so deep that its entrance is already half-buried. Before, the entrance is so high that a man riding a horse can easily pass through it, now; one has to stoop to enter. Despite its sinking structure, the belfry is still functional.

The sinking belfry of St. William's Cathedral

St. William's Cathedral and its sinking belfry

We made our way through Bacarra and Pasuquin until we reached Burgos, Ilocos Norte. From a distance, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse stands mighty proud of its existance. It is the most accessible of all the lighthouses in the island of Luzon. Access to the lighthouse is through a two-lane narrow concrete road connected with the Maharlika Highway in Burgos, it is about 35.0 kilometers north of Laoag City. A signboard on the right side of the highway indicates the winding road that leads to the base of the lighthouse.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is set high on Vigia de Nagparitan Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions as a welcoming beacon to the international ships that enter the Philippine archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse as seen from Maharlika Highway

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse set high on Vigia De Nagparitan Hill

A few meters after Cape Bojeador Lighthouse access road, the first glimpse of the captivating rocky shoreline of Cape Bojeador welcomed us.

A glimpse on the shores of Cape Bojeador

The rocky coastline of Cape Bojeador

Several Korean tourist frolicking the beach

AJ examining the irregular landscape

Photo-op on top of the boulder

Yves took time to enjoy the sight

AJ took our photo at a distance while on top of the boulder

The all-together "Leap of Joy", except that I missed the cue...

With Sweety & Beatriz

After the spellbound moment and several photo-op, we continue with the remining leg of our journey. The clouds are signifying heavy precipitation. The town of Burgos is another 30-minute drive from the town of Bangui, home to the famous Bangui Windmills and the first power generating windmill farm in South East Asia. The windmills are monolithic structures, truly a sight to marvel about. We were initially awed by its massive size. Each of the 20 windmills were as tall as a 15-storey building and can easily be spotted from the highway. The sight was indeed beautiful.

The Bangui Windmills as seen along the highway

The massive structure of the windmills

Next stop the enchanting town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte!

All picture in this post is the exclusive property of White Dog Leader, Red 1 Leader & Associates. All Rights Reserved. 2012

1 comment:

wayne moises said...

This is a picture of all travels from Manila to Laoag City for 4-6 hours drive to see exotic places like food travel & tourism in the Philippines during spring break/summertime mostly tourists from Manila & other places Filipinos & non-Filipinos alike to see the vacation spot throughout the Philippines. Thanks for the information. From:Wayne


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