Hi everyone! It’s been a while. I have stopped postcrossing for a while due to some hectic schedule in school. I’m currently learning Japanese language. It’s gonna be six long intoxicating months to pursue this goal. Anyways, thank you to my loving postcrossing friends who never forgot to send special wishes through their cards during the holidays. Very much appreciated guys! (With special mention to Sir Steve Fellerman)
Today, there are no cards to feature so let me just take you for a while to a place in my country called Ilocos region.
2015 Christmas break had given me the opportunity to revisit Ilocos after a year, but this time I was offered a lot of recreational activities. I have been to Vigan and other parts of Ilocos Sur, this time is a year-end break in its twin province, Ilocos Norte.
As we approached the province by bus, I was reminded of a song called “Pamulinawen”. It’s a song every Ilocano knows by heart. Eyes closed, I subconsciously sang the song. And all the memoirs of my first trip to Ilocos in 1996 went back.
The province improved a lot. Thanks to the Marcoses and other officials (whoever they are) for all the developments. I heard the provincial government will invest more for the windmills in Bangui. Good job! The windmills not just help the Ilocanos to avail cheap electric bills, but they also help the tourim industry in the region. Imagine thousands of people coming over to the place every month just to take a look of the huge windmills towering the municipality of Bangui?
Circumstances of physiography and climate had profoundly affected the socio-economic and cultural life of the people of Ilocos Norte. With a terrain which is uniformly rocky and rugged, with an interior rimmed by mountains, thereby limiting the availability of land for agriculture. But still, Ilocos is one of the provinces in the north that can contribute in the supply of agricultural products in the country. There are good harbors as well despite of its coastal location. This makes the province experience frequent occurrence of tropical cyclones.
Few have passed the way to Pagudpud at the northern tip of Ilocos Norte. Getting to Pagudpud means counting the blessings of Northern RP geography. Too bad that my friends didn’t have a chance to set foot on the famous Patapat Bridge. It was raining a bit when we got there. We had an awesome lunch at Apo Idon Beach Hotel.
Though we haven’t tried the other beach hotels, I could say Apo Idon is perfect. The location, the interior, the foods….just perfect for anyone who loves Mediterranean setting.
Below is a jump shot of my friends in front of the hotel. They had so much fun, aren’t they? 🙂
We also went to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Bangui windmills and the famous Kapurpurawan.
Kpurpurawan means “white”. See the white rock in the background? One can fully understand the beauty of the Kapurpurawan rock when he gets right there. We didn’t push through with the plan because it was a bit far and we had to maximize our time for other places to visit.
Next stop was Hannah’s Beach Resort where we seemed to have entered Jurassic Park. There were huge statues of Jurassic animals.
If you don’t like the beach but craving for a swim, you can spend your sole moments here at the pool on top of a hill towering the beach resort. It was like a moment at the Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool in Singapore. Try it and see for yourself. Hannah’s Beach Resort has really evolved into having much appreciative facilities than before.
Of course, there’s more. I tried the zipline which is the world’s longest zipline crossing over the sea. I have a fear for heights but it seemed I had already overcome the phobia. Looking back, I kept asking for a life vest as I am not a good swimmer. The operator affirmed that the zipline was the safest (talaga lang ha!). Oh well, I was feeling shit when the operator pushed me down the line while shouting this:
“Ma’am, nagpaalam ka na po ba sa mga mahal mo sa buhay?” (Have you said goodbye to your love ones?)
Mind you, sorry that I kept shouting for curses to that operator. I felt like my tonsils were coming out of my mouth! It was raining. The wind was strong enough to make whistling blows to me while zip-lining. And I prayed,
“Lord, don’t let me die!”
Can you see that house on top of the mountain at my back? That was where I came from, moving on to the end where this photo was taken. Such a long ride, but worthwhile as well.
Yes, thumbs up! Finally, I did it! And I am willing to do it again when my husband comes home. Aja! God is really great for creating all these wonderful things in this world.
We also did not miss visiting the municipality of Paoay to take a glimpse of the Paoay church at night. That was a very enchanting night.
The next day, we went back to Paoay to take a ride at the sand dunes. We rented a 4×4 car. I think we paid around 1,500 pesos. Some friends experienced sand boarding. I didn’t. I’m done with the zipline and that was enough. I would prefer zipline than the sand dunes adventure. Although it was so much fun riding in that deserted place, it’s too risky than zip-lining. Areas with flag signs mean extreme rides. You may either go up or go down the deep sand dune ravines. Either of the two was like a way to hell. Never mind, I’m still alive and I had the chance to celebrate New Year 2016 with the fond memories of the adventure in Ilocos.
Today, the livelihood of the people of Ilocos Norte improved, although not as tremendously as compared to other provinces—Ilocos Norte can stand alone. I love the city of Laoag more than my own city. Traffic is not as worst as Tuguegarao City. In my place, it seems I can smell the farts of satan during traffic jams, but spare Laoag City. It’s really more fun in Ilocos.
So no matter how impossible circumstances may be, the Ilocanos have proven their worth. For together as a people, they have raced through time just to be where they are now. For without its people, Ilocos Norte will never be what it is today.
I will surely visit the place again.
Thank you Jessa, entrepreneur of Glomy’s Emapanada….You’ve really got the best empanada in town plus the “longganisa”. Thanks to newly-found friends as well (Matley and Vany). Thanks for the ride. Love love love