Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Philippines: 7 to go in ILOCOS NORTE (part 2)

7 must-see destinations in Ilocos Norte
The tour in Ilocos Norte took us to 7 municipalities in the province.  We rented a van for a two-day tour of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, for $170.  The van comfortably seats 7 persons.  Contact number of the van operator is +639194746513.

In part 1 of this post, we have been to (1) Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos and (2) Wind Farm in Bangui.

In this post, Part 2, you will read about the many attractions in Pagudpud alone.

PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte (Destination 3 of 7)

Pagudpud is blessed with rock formations and beautiful beaches, like the Bantay Abot Cave "hole in the mountain", Timmangtang Rock, Saud Beach, Maira-ira/ Blue Lagoon beach, hills of green, and the man-made Patapat Viaduct.

Pagudpud is most known for its beaches.  The first one we went to was called Saud Beach.  While there, we had lunch and while waiting for lunch to be served, the kids enjoyed the waves coming from the South China Sea.  We only had to pay for our lunch, no entrance fees to the beach.  From the beach, one can still see the Bangui windmills.

Saud Beach

After lunch, we were set to go to another "hidden" paradise in Pagudpud, the Blue Lagoon.  On the way, we passed Bantay-Abot Cave and Timmangtang Rock.  Bantay-Abot means "hole in the mountain", obviously named after the natural formation.  According to our driver-guide, local folklore says that Bantay-Abot has a lover, the Timmangtang Rock. Bantay-Abot is the female and Timmangtang Rock is the male.

Shown below are pictures of Bantay-Abot up close and a view of the cave from Timmangtang Rock. 

This is Timmangtang Rock, and the view of the rock from Bantay-Abot cave.

Next stop is the Blue Lagoon, a more secluded and picturesque beach in Maira-ira Point.  The white beach against the crystal blue waters was breathtaking. The Blue Lagoon forms a sea arch and is named as such because of its very blue waters.  A word of caution, though, the blue water is caused by the depth of the sea, so that a few feet from the shore, the water is already deep.

Blue Lagoon at Maira-ira Point
Last stop in Pagudpud is the equally famous Patapat Viaduct, also known as the French Riviera of the Philippines.  This viaduct links Ilocos to Cagayan Valley.  It is more than a kilometer long bridge and is found at the foot of the Cordillera Mountain Ranges.  Looking out to sea, the view is exhilarating!

Patapat Viaduct

Hills of Pagudpud.  Along the way, our eyes feasted on vibrant and alive green hills; you don't see this everyday especially if you're living in the city.  Looking at the hills brings peace to the mind and a song to the heart.

The hills are alive in Pagudpud

Road leading to the beach
Our last stop for the day is the Bacarra bell tower and La Paz sand dunes.. on the next post.


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