Apr 15, 2016

WHEN IN ILOCOS

Here's another throwback to one of the places I love going to: the Ilocos region. It's where my family from my mother's side came from besides Isabela, so basically, i'm an Ilocana (only half though since my father is Kapampangan.) The first time I came here which was way back in 2009 I think, I instantly fell in love. The first morning of our stay, I was the last one to wake up so I ended up eating breakfast alone. My breakfast consisted of Sinangag (fried rice) and Vigan longganisa (sausages) which is famous in Ilocos region. Upon eating my first bite, I almost forgot what my name is and where I was, that's how delicious and tasty it was! Up until now, it's still one of my favorite food ever. And one of the reasons why i'm proud to be Ilocana is because of our delicious food.

(Warning: This is a photo-heavy post.)

December 2014, our family is back on the road again and on our way to Ilocos. It took us 17 hours to get there because of the traffic and stop-overs. The drive on the way was so exhausting I can't even imagine how papa, lola Jojet, Mikhail and tito Dong survived without getting any sleep for 17 hours straight (they were the drivers.) We arrived around noon in Vigan so we stopped and took pictures. We even bought souvenir shirts! After, we went to my grandmother's house in Laoag where we stayed for a few days. We were all exhausted from the drive so we had dinner and went to sleep.

St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral

The famous Calle Crisologo Street. A street lined up with Spanish Era ancestral houses. It gives me goosebumps (in a good way) every time I see it because I freaking love history. It feels good to witness such beauty and realize that a lot of historical events had had happened exactly here. (For more information about Vigan, click here.)


On our second day in Ilocos, we went to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse and Bangui Windmills. Cape Bojeador, also known as the Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in our country. (Wikipedia)


When we went inside the lighthouse, it felt a little spooky, I don't know why maybe it's because of how old it is or maybe there were spirits/ghosts lurking around (there's this tv program I've watched months ago about the said lighthouse and how the ghosts of the Japanese/Spaniards who lived or were killed here are still in it up until now.) It's a good thing the other parts of the lighthouse we're under construction because even though it was around noon time that we were there and there were a lot of people around, it still felt a little spooky.

The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, it is known for its creamy white and streamlined limestone formation, which have been sculpted by different oceanic and weather forces. (PwC Network)

Unfortunately, after taking this photo, I somehow stepped wrong on the ground as I was about to look at the picture taken on the camera. I sprained my ankle and it hurt sooooooo bad. 
I was still able to go see the windmills close up but after taking a few photos, I got dizzy due to how my ankle is hurting (I have a low tolerance in pain) so here I am. Took a seat and rested for a few minutes. 

We had lunch at Hannah's Beach resort in Pagudpud. We were planning on taking a swim on the beach but the elders didn't allow us and besides, we didn't bring any extra clothes with us so we just played around and took pictures.
You're maybe wondering how I was still able to climb or walk on those rocks while I have a sprained ankle? Well, c'est la vie. I wanted to feel those rocks underneath my feet and the breeze of the ocean in my skin (though I probably would regret doing this the next day because I was supposed to rest my foot.)


The night before we went home, papa and ate went to the nearest mall to buy a bandage and Salonpas for my foot. This is the time when it was hurting so so bad I almost cried. But again, after they bandaged me up, we searched for stores that sell Empanada. The best Empanada in the world and after eating our empanadas, we went around town to take pictures. Yep. Again. Yes, my foot was hurting but we don't get to go to Ilocos every now and then so I'd rather enjoy being there than sulk in my room and cry about how my foot is hurting.


On the way home, we went to Paoay Church and the Marcoses' residence in Paoay, also known as the Malacanang of the North (or MalacaƱang ti Amianan, as the locals refer to it), which is a rather grand mansion, in beautiful grounds, overlooking a lake. This was a birthday gift from first lady, Imelda Marcos, to her husband on the occasion of his 60th birthday. It is named after the official residence and workplace of the President of the Philippines in Manila - the MalacaƱang Palace. (See more at: http://www.philippinetrails.com/malacanang-of-the-north.html)

Behind us is the Paoay Lake, commonly referred to as dakkel a danum (Ilokano for 'big water'), has an enchanting story which is very different from what i'm told but here is the famous legendary story:

"As the story goes, the lake was once a place called San Juan de Sagun, the Philippines’ very own Sodom and Gomorrah. Due to the materialism of its people that angered God, an earthquake sank the town thus, the birth of the lake. Up to this day, Ilocanos still believe that the fishes and creatures in the deepest part of the lake are decorated with earrings and crowns because these were ones the materialistic people of the vanished town." 
(Source: Click here.)
Okay, so that was not even close to what I've been told about the mysterious lake. Here goes: The Marcoses dropped a Yamashita treasure in the lake and it was never found again. I've been told that only former president Ferdinand Marcos could get the treasure since he was the one who dropped it there. I forgot the reason why he possibly did it. I've also been told that nobody could ever swim at the lake and because of how deep it is, you might possibly drown and could not get out of it anymore. I don't know what's real and what's not but only the people who lived among the years of Ferdinand Marcos' occupancy of the house would know. 

It was a short trip and there were a lot of places I've yet to go to but someday I will be back. Hopefully by then, I will be able to go to more historical places in Ilocos or in my country! 

- A
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