Ilocos Sur: Banaoang View Deck

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Ilocos Sur: Banaoang View Deck

Traveled last May 2015, there could be changes to the photos over time.

Banaoang view deck is located along National Highway, Santa, Ilocos Sur. I was really curious when I saw photos from other travelers and immediately included it in our itinerary, this was our last stop before we head back to Manila.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

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Abra River

Have you seen a river this clean in Manila? I wonder how the locals keep it that way. Maybe because they are far from all the pollution brought about by modernisation.

You can park at the side of the road. The view deck has stone benches but very little shade so best to go early morning or before sun down.

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Pretty much it since there’s nothing else to do but marvel the clean and peaceful view of the Abra river. But very much worth your time and a lasting memory that you can bring home with you.

Again, date of travel was May 2015.

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Ilocos Norte: Bangui Windmills

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Ilocos Norte: Bangui Windmills

Travel transpired May 2015, details may change from present time.

One of the highlights of our Ilocos trip, the famous windmills of Bangui. It wasn’t difficult to track since you’ll be able to see them from afar already. On our way, I was in awe when I saw its scale against the woman in the photo below. I know it’s big, but never thought it would be really huge in person.

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See how huge it is?!

As we enter the beach, we saw the magnificent row of windmills from left to right.

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It’s such a delight to finally be there. However, I had mixed emotions when I got the chance to go near and see one up close!
I was amazed, happy and scared all at the same time! The wind was very strong and the windmills make a screeching sound which gives you a chilly thought that it would break! Of course, it didn’t happen!

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So we just stayed in a safe area and took lot of pictures. Just a note that we were there around lunchtime, the sun is scorching hot. Wear comfortable clothes, hat, bring drinking water and the likes. Better yet, go early morning or before sun down.

Another info that could save someone’s time and might be good to highlight. We went there in a small car. Though cars are allowed to enter the beach area, best to stay where the sand is firm. The sand near the beach tends to be loose, thus it caused our wheel to be buried in sand. Good thing the locals helped us out of our plight. So unless you are driving a 4×4, please do not try that. I’m also not sure if it’s safe to swim, better ask around first.

Again, details may have changed. Travel happened May 2015.

Ilocos Norte: Malacañang of the North

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Ilocos Norte: Malacañang of the North

Posting an outdated blog from May 2015, details might have changed already but I still hope this helps someone’s itinerary.

Malacañang of the North is located at Paoay, Ilocos Norte which used to house the Marcos family. The house is well-maintained, judging by its mint condition. Should be worth including in your list of sights to see if you pass by Ilocos.

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Malacañang of the North - Facade

They require an entrance fee of (around) P30.00/head. At the entrance, you’ll be welcomed by a grand staircase and the living room.

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Living Room

The house is well-ventilated with an open design. Must be the weather, as it could be very humid in Ilocos especially during summer season.

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Dining Area

It somehow represents the lavish lifestyle of the Marcoses. From the chandeliers, furniture, designs and paintings to name a few.

The rooms are open for viewing too, each opens up to large window views with the master bedroom facing the lake.

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The Bedrooms

Former President Marcos’ office is also open for public viewing (this one is air-conditioned). There’s also a mini museum inside, which could be very informative for kids and adults too.

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Former President Marcos' Office

The backyard opens up to a large patio surrounded by lush garden and the serene view of the Paoay lake.

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Paoay Lake

Our visit was brief since there’s a big group of tourists during our visit. But I recommend this place especially if you’re into history.

A minor note that it also has a clean and functional toilet, if this information helps.

Again, details may have changed from current time as travel transpired last May 2015.

Ilocos Norte: Mama Aket, Dawang’s Place

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I’m doing back dated blog posts to hopefully help traveler’s itineraries. Ours happened May 2015, please note that details may have changed from current time.

When we travel, it’s a must that we try local delicacies. And since this eatery generally acquired positive reviews around, we decided to give it a shot.

First of all, please note that this is a “carinderia”, not a fancy restaurant. The place is located along Maharlika Highway, San Nicolas. It looks like a house transformed into an eatery. You’ll pass by their kitchen should you choose to sit in their enclosed area. Someone will attend your orders, do not hesitate to ask for translations as some terms are in local language.

Their menu is quite limited to house specialties. Some of them are Tinuno (grilled pork), Igado, Dinardaraan (crispy dinuguan), Papaitan. I must say everything is so good! Not to mention that you’ll get your fill within very little budget (P 100.00 or less per head).

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This place is highly recommended especially for budget travelers. We will surely include it under our list in our next Ilocos trip!

Note that information provided were based on our trip last May 2015. Details may have changed.

Ilocos Norte: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

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Ilocos Norte: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Summer vacation is almost here, so I thought of posting some sights that might help your itinerary.

Our journey’s back dated May 2015, thus pictures and details might vary from present time.

One of my most favorite spot would be Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, located at Burgos Ilocos Norte. It was built from the 1800s and now known as a historical marker.

We passed by before lunch en route to Bangui and let me emphasize that the sun is scorching hot. It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes, bring drinking water and the likes.

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Cape Bojeador Lighthouse - Facade

Parking is scarce, so it might be a problem during peak season. There’s a short uphill climb before you reach the steps of the lighthouse. It’s manageable though, no problem even if we have two small kids with us.

The stunning view from the top is all worth it. The wind should help you relax a bit before you descend the tower. There’s a viewing area where you can have a good view of the sea.

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Tower

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The view!

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The view!

There are vendors at the foot of the lighthouse that sell souvenirs (keychains, ref magnets, shirts, etc.) and ice scramble which was a hit for us since it was very hot then.

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Souvenirs

Our visit was short and brief but the memory will surely last.

Again, details might differ from current time since our travel transpired May 2015.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte: Chalet Bami

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Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte: Chalet Bami

Summer is just around the corner! The cold wind is gone and up came the sun, literally! I just thought about posting a blog that could be useful this season. For those who want to go to the beach up north, then you can consider going to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

Travel may cost your time so better plan during long weekends or holidays, it may take you 10-12 hours from Manila. Quite a number of sights worthy of stopover too, so consider leaving early.

Just a note that I’m sharing our 2015 trip so details might stray from current time. Best to still check ongoing rates and updated hotel policies.

We browsed through a lot of hotels and homestays sourcing for the most inexpensive but good and clean one. Chalet Bami is located at Saud Beach, not located in the beach itself but 2-3 minutes walk won’t hurt you. I contacted them through their Facebook page and behold the owner sends timely replies in good English! What surprised me more? They didn’t even asked for a down payment, which is very rare nowadays. I’m quite skeptical at first but I must say communication is their asset. On our way I still called to ensure the reservation is in place.

When we arrived, we were immediately escorted to our rooms. Not extravagant just the basics but very clean! No smelly aircon, no smelly rags and no smelly sheets! I’m more particular about the toilet/bathroom, but then again it is clean! The 2nd floor room also has its own veranda. Aircon works well. They do not offer free toiletries and towels so better bring your own.

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Photo from Chalet Bami FB page

Wi-Fi is available in their lobby area. Unfortunately I do not remember using it or noting how the speed was, etc. They do not have a restaurant so food service is not available, but they have a common kitchen/dining area which you can use for free (also clean by the way), with stove/condiments/utensils. They also have a grilling station at the back. Mineral water and coffee are free of charge too.

We settled our payment before check-out. This hotel is definitely worth every buck (range is P1500-4000 depending on room type/season). We’re pretty much satisfied and would surely consider going back.

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Photo from Chalet Bami FB page

Again, please note that details may have changed as we were there last 2015.

For more info, you may contact them through their Facebook page – Chalet Bami.