A Philippine Ancient | Vigan (1)

The moment I set foot on those cobbled flooring and set eyes on everything seemingly ruined, shabby, and cobwebbed, I knew I was in the country's most preserved Spanish heritage, Vigan. I guess this is the only place in the country that'll make any Filipino live back the Spanish colonial period and reflect on how our ancestors sustained the place from generation to generation. Quaint and attractive---and yes, so pretty :P

Stopover | Paoay

Probably, for a local traveler who knows his country better than any outsider, the return of a lost item left somewhere in an unfamiliar town is quite unlikely. This was not the case when we dropped by the beautiful St. Augustine Church in Paoay to see for ourselves how it's different from the hundreds of Roman Catholic churches we've seen, and why it is labeled as "Earthquake Baroque" by architecture. At the outset of the stopover, I thought I would just get to see a UNESCO world heritage. Never did I think about meeting a guy who would make amends of my carelessness and help me realize how warmhearted Ilocanos are with just that one act of kindness and integrity.

A Guide to > Pagudpud

Owing to its palm-fringed sands and crystal clear emerald-blue waters, Pagudpud, the last municipality of Ilocos Norte, classed with the world-famous Boracay, is said to be the latter's explicit variant of the north. Not only the beach and the waters would stop someone in their tracks, the entire municipality is blessed to contain a magnificent spectacle of nature that embodies the typical imagination of a paradise. With the Cordillera Mountain Ranges on one side, and the windmills of Bangui by the coast, Pagudpud lies yet to be a small, humble town, with a lot of charm to show off to its sightseers. So serious and pretty my introduction right? Let's have fun. I'll guide you through. Read on!

Sights and Scenes | Pagudpud (2)

Fast forward to Day 2. We stayed overnight at the newly opened Casa Victoria Inn. The rooms were really cheap (1,000 room for 3 + 100/extra person) as of February 2012. The owner was so kind and attentive to our needs. Our room was larger than the one we checked at pricey Hannah's Beach Resort along Maira-ira Beach. Plus, it's just one cartwheel away from the beach. :)

Sights and Scenes | Pagudpud (1)

I was born and raised in Mindanao. Actually, still being raised in Mindanao. And I'm trapped in this city (?) called Ozamiz. Being so far away from Ilocos, I didn't know anything about the town called Pagudpud until some blogs thought about promoting it to the world. So I wanted to see the place for myself. Traveling a long way from the south to the farther north, I got to see the paradise that is in Pagudpud.

The Odd One To Ilocos

The bus ride from Pampanga to Ilocos went on for 11 long hours. We were aware about wasting a day of the itinerary sitting and exchanging blank stares for the whole trip. There was nothing much interesting along the way except for good-tasting treats from vendors coming in at bus stops, weird-looking people, and those cute twins seated behind me that day.

Experience | Pinatubo

I'm kind of pushing this blog a little further. Stretching it a little wider. I simply want to share and inform and educatewhat a place is about, where it is, and how to go there. Chaks! I'm an aspiring travel guide here! :P And I think I missed to mention something about my Pinatubo post before this: Lord of the Rings. So read on :P

Trekking Mt. Pinatubo

It was 4.00am. Jenty and I had to wake up early again. We needed to get into a couple of rides up to the registration area at Capas, Tarlac. After a bus and a tricycle ride, we reached Barangay Sta. Juliana. At 6.30am, we met our driver and our trek guide, registered, then hopped into a 4x4 and drove past the other trekkers on standby. Good thing we made a reservation for the day trek weeks ahead. The place was swarmed by both foreigners and locals alike: everyone thrilled to see the volcano that almost swallowed up Philippines a decade back. We were headed to Mt. Pinatubo.

Guns and Aircrafts

Despite what seemed to be just a shut-eye the night before, we managed to stay up for the hot air balloon set-up and release 'til the sun broke off full blast. An hour after, lahat ng nasa lupa were almost close to hellfire. Ang init lang! We ate, leaned on a table and dozed off for some minutes that seemed like hours then found out that there's more to balloons and skydivers about the event.

Hot Air Balloon Festival

So one of the things I listed on my bucket list this year was "to ride on a hot air balloon". Unfortunately, it was not possible yet. To be able to ride on one, you may either have to make your own hot air balloon or sponsor the event. For lowly life forms like me, the only thing doable was to watch everything float and covet on everyone flying. Kaya for this year's Hot Air Balloon Festival, sightseeing lang muna.

From North To South

This is definitely my longest trip to date. Twenty days to be exact. It was awesome---like Kung Fu Panda! Ahw. :)

In this trip, I got to travel with a handful of people for the first time following itineraries that went on shorthanded and made up it was so fun we wanna travel together again to get lost more and laugh at misadventures along the road. Nyaha, run-on sentences are so fun right? Just like run-on sentences, our trip was so spontaneous we almost lost in touch with hygiene and current events :). I didn't even know Whitney Houston died and that my hometown got flooded again until the next two days. Being so caught up with the here and there, I almost had no time for laundry. I had to wear the same shorts for 4 days and wear the same....secret!

Make A Difference

Here and There 2011. Siquijor and Valencia photos by Enshong.

Several cities, some flights, 2 foreign lands, a few islands, countless jump shots, heaps of carbo, new friends and other faces. I must say I have my share of here and there last year too. All that merrymaking was fun, but a huge margin of that year though was spent idle. I could have gone to deeper seas, countless shores, greater heights and lengthy hikes if I didn't choose to hopelessly wait for any hospital to call me as if they would compensate fairly. But that year carried on at its best; t'was still awesome in many other ways nonetheless. ^_^