Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud in 36 Hours

The first time I went to Ilocos was on June 15, 2008.  Because of the duration of the land travel which is 12 hours, we were only exploring Pagudpud.

I joined a group I was meeting for the first time on the day of the departure itself, and they turned out to be good friends up to now.

I was also able to visit Vigan on a separate occassion.

This is one of the remaining pictures I salvaged from my multiply account.  I borrowed the curtains from our room to achieve this shot, not to mention that it was raining hard that afternoon.
3 years after, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go back, thanks to the promo fares of Cebu Pacific. 

Friday Night

Our flight to Laoag was originally scheduled to arrive at 8:00PM, but due to delays, we arrived at 11:00PM.  From the airport, we asked the transport service to take us to the Bus Terminal to Vigan.

Saturday Morning

We arrived in Vigan around 2AM since the bus to Vigan departed at 12MN.  Originally, we were supposed to stay at the guest room of my boss at Casa Maria, but since it was really early in the morning, we opted to check-in at Grandpa's Inn within the heritage district.  They have affordable rates, from 730php/2pax to 2680php/4pax.  Amenities corresponds to the rate, but all comes with a free breakfast.  We took the fan room at 980php/2pax.  With the included plated breakfast of Vigan Longganisa and Tapa, I must say, it's a real value for money.  We ordered Bagnet Pinakbet to compliment our meal to complete the experience.


After the hearty breakfast, we did not waste time and went on to tour Calle Crisologo.  We thought we were so fortunate when we visited because there was a parade that turned out to be a funeral procession.

After the the Heritage houses, we took a tricycle to visit the nearby Bantay Church and go on a Calesa tour of the Heritage Streets stopping at the Vigan Museum.

After the short tour of the city, we went back to the hotel to freshen up just in time for check-out.  We were on our way to our next destination, Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte.  Before the ride, we stopped by the Plaza near the church to sample the Vigan's famous Empanada and Okoy.

Saturday Afternoon

The trip to Pagudpud will take another 3 hours.  Since we are pressed for time, my contact in Pagudpud, Ms. Mary Ann of Polari Beach House suggested that we start the tour at Cape Bojeador where our Trycle guide will wait for us and progress with the tour north bound finally ending at the resort.

After the light house, we made a stop at the View Deck to view the windmills and went to see it up close at Bangui.
We arrived at the Polari Beach House in Saud just in time for Sunset.

Dinner in Polari as well as breakfast had to be arranged beforehand.  After our meal, we retired for the evening and woke up the next day for our trip back to Laoag.

We decided to leave early so we can sample food and still be able to explore a few sites in Laoag.

Sunday Lunch

We started with Lunch at the famous La Preciosa with Mami, Dinuguan, Adobo and cakes for dessert.
We then explored the Sinking Bell Tower and the Tabacco Monument at the center of town.  We also visited the Ilocos Norte Museum with their vast collection of cultural treasures of Ilocos.

Around 5PM, we were back in Laoag Airport for our flight back to Manila.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kainan Au Gusto: The Best Turo Turo Eatery in Manila.

A portion of the dining area fronting the Turo Turo station.
Of all the Turo-Turo restaurants I have visited, Kainan Augusto in Kapitolyo Pasig stands out.  Not only their selection of viand tastes good, but they also managed to make an effort to give their dining area an eclectic charm with mis-matched chairs and tables and adorned their walls and ceilings with collections of old decors.

The dessert stand.
You can order half servings for variety.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ping Yang Hot Pot for the Rainy Day

The rainy season started early this year, and for me, this means shifting my food craving to soups. The warm broth is just perfect for cool weather, which what we found at a Hotpot place in Malate! Ping Yang Hot Pot is located at the corner of Adriatico and Nakpil Sts. It's one of the few remaining and thriving original establishments in Malate.

This 800php set is good for 4 but can be finished by two really hungry friends.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cheaper Weekend Buffet at Lola Maria's Restaurant

Just when buffet prices almost doubles on weekend, at Lola Maria's Restaurant inside Legend Villas in Mandaluyong, its actually cheaper at 480php nett from their weekday rates!

Custom Shoes from Shimmy Shimmy

I was given the task of choosing the perfect gift for my boss,  and since he literally has everything, it became a challenge.

He's into music and the art, so I suggested that we give him a pair of hand painted shoes from Shimmy Shimmy Custom.  The pair cost 3,500php.

Check out their FB page:

Day 5: Tito's Roadtrip Travel Guide to Bicol

Our last day in Bicol is dedicated to our long drive back home. We decided to leave early around 3AM in order to reach Manila late in the ...