Wednesday, April 11, 2012

day 4: BANGUI... in the morn

woke up at 4:30am for the sole purpose of catching the beautiful sunrise at where else?....

It's soooo beautiful. Gigantically impressive. Motha was a very happy beaver upon seeing the famous windmills. This was one of her most looked forward to spots in the ilocos norte trip...

@ Bangui Windmills

Of course the excitement makes sense, coz truly you can't find anything like this anywhere in Pinas. You really have got to give credit to Bong2x Marcos for this ecologically friendly source of energy. I could only wish for the local government units to really look into and consider more viable eco-friendly sources of energy. I mean it worked for the Ilocos, maybe it would work for the other parts. Of course it doesn't have to be a windmill necessarily nor does it have to be the dirty oil or coal.

I am completely absolutely head over heels with the environmental protection of Ilocos Norte. Next to Palawan I think they are one of the greenest tourist spots here in Pinas. For that I am more enamored, and to think the tour hasn't ended yet.

@ Kapurpurawan Rock

Then there's that sand stone formation. My gaaad!!!! Be still my beating heart. 

It just soooooo eyegasmic that uncool poses would automatically be cool. That's how beautiful the view is! I mean look at us! seriously, parang wala kami sa Pinas!


But you see these sand stones aren't as sturdy as compared to lime stones and etc.  In fact it's pretty fragile that too much weight can cause the possible collapse of these formations. Therefore, in order to avoid such disaster they have limit the number of people who come up to that particular area above. But despite the NO ENTRY yellow strips put up by the caretaker, our charms, which was just multiplied four times, got us that exemption. Even if it was just a very few and hurried minutes to strike our poses. So fast was Manong caretaker/photographer that it felt like we were on a photoshoot. Okay this angle, next move here, and then there, ok good.. last one.. perfect! Then it was done in less than 5 mins! That's efficiency in action!

@ Cape Borjeador

Another light house. Another tower. It's ancient, it's historic and it serves as a practical nautical guide. Sorry didn't pay much attention but this was the last stop for the southern tour of the Pagudpud-Bangui Trip.

Another thing to love about this part of Ilocos though is that they don't have entrance fees. Only donations. This is how budget friendly this place is. For stingy person like me this place could be my better half. Really now Ilocos.. be still my beating heart ;)

@ Si Kuya Vincent 

Before this part of the journey ends I'd like give a super special thank you to kuya vincent, our driver/ guide. His service goes the extra mile. Not only did he foresee our wants and needs but he also made sure that we were okay. No joke! on the night of our camping he actually went back to Saud Beach just to check on us and see that we were all set. I know that we're on a budget but with this kind of hospitality you cannot help but tip.
So if you ever go to Pagudpud contact him # 0921-9836637/0926-2735210


ilocos southern package tour + tip: P1000/4 = P250

10:00am - 11:00am Bus to LAoag = P50


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So here's the thing about a long backpacking trip.... ANYTHING CAN CHANGE.

Originally the plan for the third day was to be on Tuguegarao. Unfortunately due to lack of research or shall I say unavailability of bus schedules on the net, we decided to just head on straight to the terminal. As to which terminal is the another question. All we really banked on was the fact that there are more buses in Cubao as compared to Pasay. But the question on which bus in particular was another decision making along the road.

After much interrogation with the conductor and the bus people, they then referred us to GV Florida bus liner. Again, due to lack of information beforehand we learned that there is only one bus that goes to the sta.ana, tuguegarao route, it is at 12nn daily and it takes about 18-20 hours. Then going to our preferred destination, Palaui Island would be another 6 or 8 hours and that's just one way! Understandably, we opted for the 10 hour bus ride instead.

Left at 8 pm arrived at 6am. Slept through the 10 hours and woke up to .....

hey there blue lagoon!


Just because we saw the windmills and welcome to Pagudpud sign, it doesn't mean that our dilemma ended there. We didn't know where exactly in Pagudpud to hop off! All we know is that we want to camp at Saud beach. So how did we decide?  the Saud sign + a group of tricycles on the highway, that's how we knew it's time to hop off.

For me the important part of research prior to traveling is the how to get there and where to stay. We pretty much covered that part so the exploration part was left up in the air. But I have to commend whoever is handling the tourism of Ilocos because their tricycle drivers can act as part tour guide with a complete package rates of their tours. Everything's standard by the way so you can never feel like you're getting ripped off, which by the way is the ultimate nemesis of those on a budget like you know who. 

The Northern tour started with ....
@ Kabigon Falls

It's a 30 minute trek going to falls, passing through rice fields and rivers and carabaos. It's a very typical provincial setting except that cold falls awaits your journey. It's nice and cold but we didn't take a dip coz it's cold. The amazing thing is that no one is really allowed to loiter in the area for a long time. The maximum stay was only an hour and  I think it was a good rule knowing that prolonged loitering would lead to littering. And trust me there's no greater eye sore than plastic this and vandal there on the natural wonders.

@ Patapat Viaduct

The roads and highways the locals say is the great contribution of the Marcoses to the North, because obviously it led to economic growth. Now what can I say about this viaduct... I think it's very impressive and very ideal for music videos.. hahaha.

@ Agua Grande

It's like their park where they can go have picnic and swim. I'd don't have much to say actually, expect that this is kinda like the delta where the river water meets the sea. The rocks were something too. That's all.. bow. 

@ Paraiso ni Anton

That up there is nature spring, the real NATURE SPRING! It's cold and sweet and natural. It's just on the roadside so people naturally named it after the guy responsible for the road construction.... Anton. Seriously, I should really start getting into politics or something to get something named after me. Just a thought or something. ;)

@ Bantay Abot Cave

It's not a cave really, more like a giant opening in the middle of a big rock. Going there is pretty challenging because the waves can smash into you and so you'll have to stick real tight to the side walls. The vista is amazing really. So ideal for many rock-n' poses!
  L-R : dos hermanas, bantay abot cave and tigmangtang rock

You see all these spots are in blue lagoon and though at a distance they are somewhat in line with each other. So the local folklore, you just gotta love Pinas and their stories, says that all these actually represents a woman. So Dos Hermanas is the boobs (in english: two sisters, such a stripper club name), that cave is the vajayjay (it's really huge!) and that rock (I do not understand why) is the head. Anatomically speaking isn't the head supposed to be above the boobs?...  Or maybe my imagination is just not that far stretched... tsk tsk

@ Blue lagoon


the much awaited part!!!! Pagudpud is slowly making a name for themselves as a surfing destination, though their waves may not be as big as that of Siargao's but it's very ideal for beginners and wannabees alike - us! Aside from it's an open sea, the wind they have is also pretty strong. The kind of wind they have is already equal to the kind of wind that accompanies the storms we have, and that's already normal for them! So summer heat there isn't so bad when they have a natural electrical fan set at number 3 all the time. And holding that long board wasn't easy!

TRIVIA: PAGUDPUD is named after napapagud. It was said that it was only decades ago when they were not that much affected by storms and natural calamities. Ergo the name makes sense, even places gets tired.

 teach us how to do it. teach us how to do it. teach us, teach us, teach us how to do it.

You see my surfing experience in Siargao was kind of a blessing by fire water because they immediately took me in the middle of the ocean where the waves are pretty big, which I'm sure the locals there would disagree! Learning to surf is very ideal on this spot because not only are the waves babies but also because you also have the sand as a cushion in case you'll fall, which happens - often!

How cool are we?!!!!

and how cool we look?!

seriously... we really are just good in posing cool.. hahaha.


I have nothing but praises for Saud Beach. The public beach that is comparable if not way better than the private beaches of Shangri-la or even Boracay. Trust me it's so clean, fine white sand, long shores, clear waters... and it's PUBLIC! Your P20 entrance gives you more than your money's worth. I think this is the best beach for me, so far. I have nothing but praises for the beach and their management! In fact I have nothing but praises for Ilocos Norte.  

Camping 101:

never had a more peaceful sleep than that. 

If only I could have the beach for my room and the sand for my bed. That... would be life!

P.S. It's safe in Saud too. We might be the only ones camping on the ground or staying on the beach but the caretakers were really looking out for us, even the dogs too, but they can get quite sniffy on our sleep .

GV Florida bus fare (Cubao to Pagudpud): P700
tricycle to saud municipal beach park: P100/pax
breakfast paluto : P31 each
  Saud entrance : P20
- saud camping : P100/4 = P25
Northern tour attractions: P600/4 = P200 each
Lunch at Mekenni Palutuan: P162 each
surfing board rental: P200
Instructor: P100 per hour
dinner paluto: P25/person


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

day 1&2: ZAMBALES...

My fingers are feeling it, so the blogging shall begin... 

Let's start the 10 day trip with...

Parang wala sa Pinas diba? but really, it is in Pinas!

From the airport we headed straight to the Victory Liner Bus Station in Pasay to catch the earliest possible schedule for Olonggapo then hoped off for another bus to San Antonio then Pundaquit. It took half a day butt massage/ ride, but heck it's nothing to what awaited us.

If you think this is it, it's not! What you see is just the everyday vista of the locals at Pundaquit. The place to be for the bangkeros to park their colorful ride. 

You actually must have to hop on their colorful rides in order to say "at last!....

So so so beautiful. This is wholesome nature tripping at it's best. 
 Upon jumping off the bangka, you will immediately notice two things -- Pine trees and the glittering fine black sand. 

I am so in awe of the fine black sand, it's nothing like you've seen, especially when what you've seen is that of Talisay's very own black sand at Larawan beach. So amazing in fact that when Motha and I dipped into the waters under the glittering night sky, the beach was also behold.. glittering. VERY AMAZING that it's bordering on scary, especially when your companion brings up a scary movie to the conversation. I just had to ask the caretakers why the waters glitter but they too don't have an explanation. However, I later found out the next day that those glitters were actually just reflections of the tiny fishes swimming near the shore. Hay Manang pa mysterious effect ka pa! But still, I'm amazed. 

The Pine trees were another story. I think part of what makes this Anawangin Cove parang wala sa Pinas is that it is abundantly surrounded by Pine trees. I may be wrong but I don't think I remember seeing a coconut tree around. Again it's an amazing thing, considering that in Pinas da coconutnut is ebrywer.

Then there is also another part of nature that can grab your attention... hunger. Intense distracting grumbling hunger.

I would have loved to feed my hunger with an immediate chow at some resto bars or something, but Anawangin is so down to earth that they only have one sari sari store. Everything in it is imported... imported from Pundaquit so it's quite pricey. And who am I kidding, we're on a budget so additional sari sari store expense is out of the question. Budget people goes hand in hand with budget meals .. skyflakes and canned goods. But we indulged a bit with the lechon manok and rice that we brought from the town center ;)

The lack thereof the basics in this hidden paradise is probably one of its great assets. Camping is the only way there is to survive, and sleeping bag will be your favorite buddy. The kind of buddy that no other can give warmth on a very cold breezy night.


Such a sight to wake up to.

If you're a nature lover and get natural high from being one with motha nature, then Anawangin will be your best go to. 

There are several things you can do... swim, roll in the sand, dip in the lake, chase the fish or shock your vitals with a climb on the hills (trust me up there on the hills, the view, it's worth the shock). But whatever it is you'd want to do, i'm pretty sure it'll be worth your while, if not then there will always be that nearby island hopping option.

@ CAPONES Island

 We braved the strong current and waves just to get to the lighthouse we were all so curious of. Understandably, our cameras safety were more important than our lives so we opted to leave it in the bangka away from the raging waters as we had to jump off and then swim to get to the shore. Because of this, we have no pictures to show as evidence that we really did went up to see the lighthouse. Instead, I'll just describe it in detail. It was a white abandoned tower with light on top. The end. 

Seriously, the lighthouse wasn't really as old, though they said it was built in the spanish era and that there used to be a house sitting on its foot. It wasn't really the highlight for me but the view of the neighboring islands and the walk back down to the other side of CAPONES were. I know it'll sound silly but I never felt more cool trekking down in my bikini, holding on to rocks while watching out for the waves that might slam into us. You might not get it, but it's the closest we could get to ala Roxy video, where the surfers are looking waves in the far off beaten paths. Still whatever, no one can take away my feeling cool moment. 

The rock formations at CAPONES Island was very cool, I was not. Though that's the best try I've got. Excuse me... just living up to my feeling Roxy moment. Errr...failed! Now I know why there are models and viewers. The latter can't just keep up with the former, no matter the attempt.
We also headed to other islands, but the tide was getting high so it was difficult to dock the boat. It's not safe especially when one of the four below is relying on a life jacket for her dear life. No, left most friend, I'm not mentioning your name. Joke Fauv! hahaha.

1&2 out of 10
ZAMBALES... accomplised!

deets c/o Jeanette
Bus shuttle to Baclaran:  P20.00
Baclaran to pasay Victory bus terminal taxi: (P80/3) = P26.6
Victory bus Pasay to Olongapo @ 11am-3pm: P223
Olongapo bus terminal to San Anotnio zambales @ 3pm - 4:30pm: P44 
snacks: P150
lechon manok + rice: P220/4 = P55each
trike from san antonio to pundaquit (pearl resort) trike fare: P40/person
boat ride (back and forth) to anawangin cove @ 30 mins + island hopping (next day): (P 1,500/4) = P375
5:15pm - camp set up, swim, rest nd eat
Camping fee: P100/pax
tip bankeros:(P200/4) = P50
trike back to san antonio @ 12:30 - 12:45pm : P30
Wait at 7eleven for san antonio to Olongapo bus: P58
olongapo to Pasay bus fare: P245


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

click tease thee..

I owe a lot. By a lot, I mean A LOT!... I'll pay my dues a day, a week, a month or a year at a time, just be assured that I'll really pay. It's in the back of my mind, but my lazy fingers is just not cooperating. Excuse them fingers for typing hasn't just been their favorite exercise lately. Rest assured that I've already called their attention and told them to get their lazy chubby fingers back to shape. They consented, but they're just warming up. Not typing but clicking. clicking for a night and day just give you this instead....

Hope the clicking works for you now.

Tomorrow it shall be typing....