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The Northern Part of Ilocos Norte: Bangui Windmills

This is one landmark that can’t be missed in our Ilocos Norte tour. This was our second to the last stop before heading back to Ilocos Sur then finally to Manila. This has become one of the tourist spots in Norte where tourist come and take a picture with that giant white spinning turbine on the shore.

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During Marcos’ administration as President of the Philippines, he wanted to enhance the electrical power supply of Ilocos Norte. Unfortunately, NAPOCOR wasn’t able to extend much of its services to the northern parts or Norte. This was when the wind power plant came into place. Burgos was chosen as the best place to put up the windmills because there were no residential houses in the vicinity and the flow of the air that would power up the turbines and bring electricity around the town was perfect.

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The Bangui Windmills are located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The windmills, officially referred to as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project, were a project by the NorthWind Development Corporation as a practice renewable energy sources and to help reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The project is the first “Wind Farm” in the Philippines consisting of wind turbines on-shore facing the South China Sea to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. The project sells electricity to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) and provides 40% of the power requirements of Ilocos Norte via Transco Laoag.

http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Bangui_Windmills

The sight of the turbines along the national road would excite travelers as they come closer and closer to it. It is about 5-10 minutes away from the national road. Along the main road, there are road signs that would lead the way so just watch out for those.

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If you want to take one of these windmills home, there are stalls along the shore who sell these souvenirs. These are available in different sizes and designs ranging from a small keychain or ref magnet to a meter high wooden windmill. You can bargain them at a price of 4 for P100 for the keychains (assorted colors).

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Last time I came here, it was very windy but unfortunately, this time it’s not. When we got here, there were no turbines spinning. All 20 of them were just there standing and not making that whoosh whoosh spinning sound with the strong wind. Oh well, that’s fine. Maybe next time when we come here again.

Time for some jump shots! Never miss to do some jump shots here because it’s one of the MUST DO’s here. 

*Thanks to Bianca for this shot

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That’s it for the Bangui Windmills. Next post, Kapurpurawan Rock formation. Last stop for our Ilocos Norte Tour

Credits to Bianca, Carol and Eunice for the photos in this post. Thanks again =)

Evangeline Beach Resort

Evangeline Beach Resort is one of the resorts along Saud Beach Cove Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. It is the sister resort of Tera Rika (According to the staff). One of my friends had a very nice and satisfying stay at this resort so she recommended this to us. They offer affordable room rates, good services and a wonderful experience. 

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THE COTTAGE

EBR has a variety of suites and cottages. Since we are a group of 7, we chose to stay on the Family Cottage. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 showers, a living room and a kitchen. It is also a wifi zone. The mid-peak rate at that time for the family cottage was P4,000.00 and additional P250.00 for an extra person. It is spacious and just right for us. Well we really chose the one with a kitchen so that we won’t spend much on our food since we were cutting down on our expenses (We are all still unemployed. Haha. Just bummers for now). 

This is the front of the family cottage. They also have parking space available right in front of the cottage.

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The room

When we entered the room, there was this swan-like folding of the towels that forms a heart shape and a gumamela flower on top of our beds. Both rooms had 2 twin size beds and each has a comfort room

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The comfort room

The comfort room is clean. It has hot and cold water with shower. Well there was one little problem I encountered. There is slow drainage of the water when taking a shower so it’s kinda flooded a little but don’t worry, it does drain all the water down. It just takes some time. No problem also with the water supply. 

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The kitchen

Basic cooking and eating utensils are available in the kitchen. They also have a refrigerator. They use gas stoves. When we got there, that was only the time they set up the stove and we waited for a long time for them to finish installing it. Well we couldn’t just leave the room with someone in there. A water dispenser is also available with hot and cold switch. 

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The living room

I wasn’t able to take a photo of the living room so I will just share to you what it looks like and you can just imagine it. The living room has a cable tv and a player for entertainment of the guests. It has a sala set that could accommodate 4-5 persons.

The Kubo (nipa hut)

It’s like we have a home here in Evangeline Beach Resort because not only do we have a mini house but we also have a private kubo beside our cottage. It’s a very nice place to stay especially at night when it is not too hot. You can eat together with you family or friends here or just play some games like cards or just have some chitchats and stories. 

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THE STAFF AND SERVICES

I am a very satisfied guest with the services of the staff of Evangeline Beach Resort. They truly give you a very warm welcome and the best of Ilokano hospitality. They were very welcoming and courteous. They would greet us whenever they see us and they never fail to put a smile on. When we arrived, they welcomed us right away as we stepped out of our vehicle and assisted us with our room reservation.

The night we arrived, they let us choose already of breakfast for the next day for them to prepare. They were also very kind to assist us with our rice order (for dinner) as we were enjoying ourselves in the swimming pool.

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AMENITIES

They provide spa services, rentals of swimming apparatuses, a convenience store and a swimming pool. We were only able to use their swimming pool.

The Swimming Pool

We enjoyed night swimming in the pool when we arrived in the evening. The water was so cold but nevertheless, we still dived into the water. It is 4ft deep and is open 24 hours. It was just beside our cottage and very accessible for guests. 

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It’s not that big though. It’s okay for me cause I’m not that of a swimmer.

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Racing in the water horsey-style. Haha

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THE EMORHUO BEACH RESTOBAR

Breakfast is from 6AM until 10AM. They got our breakfast orders the night beforehand. The restobar mainly gets its produce from the resort’s Organic Garden.

Our orders were Evangeline rice with longganisa and the other one is with beef tapa. I ordered the beef tapa. It was not a hit for me. The rice was a little sticky which I don’t really like but the taste is good. I super loved the longganisa. It’s my favorite among all the dishes I tasted in this restobar. It has a sweet taste and very delicious. The dish comes with 3 pieces of longganisa. Definitely a must try for your breakfast.

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The location of the restobar is well planned because it overviews the beautiful Saud Beach Cove. You get to indulge yourself in a very calming, relaxing beautiful view while enjoying your meal. 

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THE WRAP-UP

The resorts has affordable yet comfortable, spacious and most of all, clean cottages. They staff gives their guests a very warm welcome. They are very polite and hospitable. We were not able to try their other facilities, only the swimming pool. Well, the pool is not so big. It’s just the right one for me. For the restobar, the longganisa was the only hit for me although I haven’t tasted a lot of their dishes. I would be posting anotherone for our lunch at the Emurhou restobar.

Overall, Evangeline Beach Resort is like a home away from home. I felt that we had our own privacy while staying here. We got to see and enjoy a gorgeous beach and then relax and take a rest at our cottage after a long day of adventure.

Thanks so much to the staff of EBR and to the owner Anna. they were very generous that they did not charge us for the extra person :)

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You can contact them with these numbers

Land Line:                        (+63)77 655 5862     (for receiving calls use only)

Smart Mobile Number:   (+63)908 863 7564   (for receiving calls and text use only)

Globe Mobile Number:   (+63)927 411 6284   (for receiving calls use only)

Suncell Mobile Number: (+63)923 205 7445   (for receiving calls use only)

Address:

Evangeline Beach Resort

Saud Beach Cove, Burayoc Point,

Pagudpud Ilocos Norte, 2919

Philippines

For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.evangelinebeachresort.net

*Thanks to Carol and Eunice for most of the photos in this post ^_^

Pagudpud Escapade 3: Saud Beach

Pagudpud is the northernmost part of Ilocos Norte, Philippines before the Cagayan region. It is ever famous as the Boracay of the North. The beaches along the coastline of the town are filled with white sand and clear blue waters. There are two famous places in Pagudpud where tourists flock for their beach escapades. One is the Saud beach and the other is the Blue lagoon. Both have beautiful, picturesque beaches but according to people, Blue lagoon is better. Well, I’ll reserve that for next time because I’m gonna tell you more about Saud Beach in this post.

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We arrived here 7:00 in the evening. The place was quiet and we could only hear the sound of the waves. I thought we can go for night swimming but to our disappointment, we couldn’t because there were no lights along the beaches. No lifeguards and no other people other than us. We just decided to lie down on the cold sand and look up the stars in the sky. It felt very relaxing after a long tiring day of travelling (and picture taking). 

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Next day, time to plunge ourselves in the not so wavy waters of Saud Beach. It was a mid peak season but there were only 2 other groups which we saw along the beach. Good for us! We have the beach for ourselves and it’s not so very crowded. 

In front of our resort (Evangeline Resort), Apo Idon and Tera Rika, there are big rock formations so you can’t really swim there. It is only good for sight seeing. There is also a view deck for that.

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We walked farther to find a better spot, lesser rocks and finer sand. We found our spot along Arinaya Beach Resort. The sand was finer and there were no rock formations on the water. 

The dark portions in the water are rock formations beneath the water

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This is a nearer view of the clear blue water with the rock formations beneath

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The water in Saud Beach is clear, blue and not so wavy at the time we went there (around 11-12noon) last October. The bottom of the water is a mix of sand and little white rocks. The waves were a little strong that when we sit and lied on the shoreline, it pushed us hard. Those bits of rocks that sit at the bottom really hurt when it rubs on the skin as the waves come crashing at us. If you’re not careful while swimming here, you might end up with bruises and scratch marks around your body. 

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A friendly warning for you. When you step into the water, you sink in into the white sandy rocky bottom so if you’re not a swimmer like me, don’t go any further without checking the real depth of the water. You might not know, it’s already deep in there. The falling and rising of the water and the waves are also unpredictable so just be careful. 

You can see from the lower right portion of the photo below the white, sandy, rocky bottom of the water.

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The place is also nice for snorkeling. We saw one American woman with her goggles and doing some snorkeling. Uhhhh… We should have brought ours also. Our resort have goggles and other swimming gears for rent but we got to know it only after our swim.

From Saud beach, the Bangui windmills lined in the shoreline can be viewed. 

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Like other beaches, there are also palm trees and boats on the shore.

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Best time to plunge yourselves into Saud Beach’s water is around 6-8AM or in the after at 5PM onwards so that you won’t get any sunburn from the intense heat of the sun like we did. Well we still enjoyed though. No one can stop us from even if it means sunburn for us. Haha. 

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If you were thinking of night swimming, forget about it. It’s a no-no. As I’ve said, there are no lights, no lifeguard and it’s kinda scary because there are no other people around (Last time we came here, there were a lot more people though). Trust me, we already thought about that but we ended up on the swimming pool instead. 

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Now, it’s your time to visit this gorgeous Saud Beach of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Happy travelling and happy swimming!^_^

*Thanks to Bianca and Carol for the photos in this post. Visit their blog below

http://biancatalks.tumblr.com

http://moviesandmystories.blogspot.com


Pagudpud Escapade 2: Kabigan Falls

About 10 minutes away from the Patapat Viaduct southbound and our second destination for the day is the Kabigan Falls. (It is also 20 minutes away from Saud beach Pagudpud)

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Kabigan Falls is the newest and definitely the favorite destination in Pagudpud, where cool fresh water falls 120 feet into a natural basin where visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim. Protected throughout the day by tall trees abundantly growing in one of the few remaining virgin rainforests in the Philippines, one can freely enjoy a whole day’s treat with Mother Nature’s best. (http://www.localphilippines.com/attractions/1213/kabigan-falls)

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 It was around 8 in the morning. The sun was already up and it was hot. According to our tour guide, it’s a 30-45 minute walk going to the falls and another 30-45 minutes going back. That depends on your walking. Others would also take an hour. (Approximately 1.8 km)

We had to register first and pay an Entrance fee of P30.00 each. As for the guide, they only do voluntary work so you can give any amount. A guide is required for you to go up into the falls. For us, we gave our guide about P200 I thinkWell, the service was worth it and satisfying.

That’s me and our guide going to the falls. We were the first tourist climbers of the day! :)

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For personal needs, they have comfort rooms available here.

I thought we would really climb up and down the slopes of the mountains but not really. First, we started our hiking experience by walking on a little rocky road along those plains and farm lands overviewing the mountains. For a better look, here are the photos of our long walk and hike. See for yourself.

Seeing this made us excited to see the big falls. This trail of the water is our guide to our way going to the falls where it comes from.

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You can barely see it in the photo above but I was stepping on a wooden board that crosses the water that comes from the falls. We passed by two of them. I suggest you dip your feet into the water to feel the temperature of the water where you would plunge yourself later when you get to the falls. It’s really COLD!

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After the flat surface walking, it’s time for a little hike. This is the start of the steepy and slopey part of the hike. Good thing they put steps here.

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There are rocky roads like this so be sure to wear your most comfortable footwear.

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On the way, there are a lot of plants and trees we saw. Some have their names and scientific names labeled on their trunks. I wasn’t able to take note what this was.

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As we went deeper into the rainforest and higher up into the mountain, it got a little colder and darker. 

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The sound of the water flowing from the stream echos in the forest and it made us more excited to reach the falls.

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We crossed about 3 of these wooden foot bridges. It was scary. Imagine crossing that and when you slip, you go straight into the rocks below. Am I scaring you? haha. Well we were fine so you’ll be fine also. Don’t worry :P

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This was the other one. Seeing this other wooden footbridge, we already saw the falls from here. Whoohoo. Excited much! 

Here, you can see that there’s are two falls. A long big falls and a mini falls below it. 

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That is the way going down and closer into the falls.

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You see us there feeling super happy and excited to take some photos and plunge into the water of the falls. We were not even feeling tired of the 30 minute hike. You’ll feel the same when you get to see the falls. It’s like paradise. It was like the falls was ours for private use because there were no other people around. 

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Yey! We made it! Welcome to the ever so cold Kabigan Falls!

We were only allowed to swim on the shallow part on the middle just around that big trunk of wood there. That is the only shallow part and nowhere else. Near the falling water is already deep and once that falls on you, well good luck if you’d still rise out of the water. 

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A little warning: It’s slippery here especially the rocks so watch out. The bottom is full of rocks and a little sand. The water was blue greenish in color and it’s super freezing cold. 

So there we are. The travelling unemployed nurses!

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This is really a slippery rock. It was a challenge to pose sit here and have my photo taken. 

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The water was super cold. It was like we were swimming on ice water. You can see in the photo that it is blue which tells you that the temperature is really cold. Well, it’s inside the rainforest and a little up in the mountain. I was kinda hesitant first to go in and dip my whole body into the water because it’s super cold but once I finally did it, it felt better. I wasn’t that cold anymore. 

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We only stayed here for 15 minutes from 9:15 to 9:30AM. Those 15 minutes felt longer than it is. The little time we spent there was not comparable with the fun, exciting, happy and satisfying experience we had.

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Although we wanted to stay longer, we couldn’t because we had to go back to our resort in Saud Beach Pagudpud and eat our breakfast. We had to be there before 10AM. *Sigh* 

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So long Kabigan Falls

It was a super satisfyingly refreshing swim at the Kabigan Falls with the clean, fresh, cold water. It’s definitely an experience you should never miss when you go to Ilocos, Norte.

We’ll be leaving but we’ll be going to back to the Boracay of the North, Saud Beach, Pagudpud. 

Thanks to Bianca and Carol for the photos in this post! :)

Be updated with my next post with these white sand beach

Happy travelling ^_^

Back to my Alma Mater: UST Paskuhan

December 21, 2012 Manila Time

Doomsday? No! It’s Paskuhan Day for us Thomasians. It’s the most-awaited celebration day of the year. It’s like heaven after the hell week of exams. Everyone gets to enjoy without meeting deadlines and thinking about exams (As if I’m still a student. Haha). Well of course because it’s Christmas time! Time to party like it’s the end of the world!

By the way, in case you didn’t know, UST stands for University of Santo Tomas. It is the largest school in Asia (based on the number of students enrolled in one campus). It was also declared as one of the national treasures of the Philippines by the National Museum. 

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Speaking of party, me and my dutymates (when we were still students), had a simple and fun-filled dinner and exchange gift giving at Shakey’s. It’s been a long time since we gathered altogether. Well, now’s the time to! I’m super happy to see them all again even if there is only half of us. The best part? THE EXCHANGE GIFT of course ^_^

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After our mini party, we are off to UST to enjoy the Paskuhan festivities and hopefully, we’d see our classmates. Every Paskuhan, cellphone signal is always a problem. You can’t reach any of you’re friends’ phones at this time where there are a LOT of people. And when I say a lot, it’s really  A LOT. You should have a time and place to meet. Just your luck if you see them by chance or just pass by them somewhere in the campus. 

Here’s a sneak peak of the happenings during Paskuhan Day this 2012.

Lights + Thomasians and outsiders + Concert + Fireworks = PAKUHAN: It’s more fun in UST!

imageThe highlight of the event is the fireworks display. It’s the most-awaited part of the Paskuhan festivities. It started at around 9PM this year.

imageEveryone is always looking forward to this pyromusical every year. This year, it’s just so-so. It’s kinda short compared to the one last year. It was way better and more dramatic and longer. Nothing much of a surprise this year.

imageWhat’s new? They had a starter or we say it in tagalog as “patikim” of the fireworks. Of course we knew that that wasn’t the real thing yet. Well, it’s still beautiful though. 

imageI think there were less people who attended the paskuhan this year. Also, the security was strict and the line going inside the campus was very long but was fast moving.

This was taken outside the Martin de Porres building aka “The catwalk”

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Earlier, I mentioned that it’s hard to contact friends in the campus. Lucky us! We saw our classmates by chance at the bazaar buying some drinks. Long time, no see. I missed them a lot and I miss hanging out with them. 

Meet my friends

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So that’s it for UST Paskuhan 2012! I’m Proud to be a Thomasian nurse

Merry Christmas to everyone. Late post. haha ^_^

Pagudpud Escapade 1: Patapat Viaduct

First thing in the morning at around 6-7AM, our first destination and the farthest one is the Patapat Viaduct. I suggest you come here at this time of the day or at around 5:00PM for a view of the sunset. If you prefer to see the sunrise, I think you can come here between 5-6:00AM. 

Below is the view of the viaduct northbound going to Cagayan

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View of the viaduct southbound

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This is the ever famous long highway. We were able to take pictures on the road since there aren’t a lot of vehicles passing by. The road is on the mountainside and just below it is already the coastline. 

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My friends (rlemates) and our coaster for our tour

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I just wanna share this because I was so frustrated. The two photos below and another one above are photos by Bianca and Carol. My SLT camera just shut off and won’t open after a few shots taken here. Errrr… It’s so frustrating because I super needed it. Just not the right timing for it to just shut. This was only the first destination of the day and we still have like 4 more to go. I thought it was only the problem on the battery but NO! It’s not! I tried charging it again when we got back at the resort but it still didn’t work. Oh well, good thing my friends have cameras and I had them take my photos instead and borrow them for my blog.

Of course I also had my photo taken in this first stop.

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I love this shot! We had to be quick in taking this photo because vehicles might be fast approaching and we don’t even know they gonna hit us. But nah we survived. haha. Dumb ways to die (My friend discovered this animated song in youtube. We were singing it the whole trip). Take a photo like this when you come here. I also suggest if you had the chance, do a jump shot. 

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That’s it for the Patapat Viaduct. 

Next post? Kabigan Falls 

Happy safe travelling =)

Malacanang of the North: The Story of the Marcoses

So this is the ever famous Malacanang of the North. From the exterior, it looks like a big simple house. This front of the house welcomes you as you enter the vicinity. It’s not really on the highway. It’s about 2-3 minutes drive from the main road. 

Entrance fee = P30.00

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When we entered the house, we saw this beautiful wooden staircase. The interior of the house is mainly built with wood including the furnitures used. It is simple but elegant in style. When you enter, there is a guide who would tour you around the house. They have converted the house into a Museum. 

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Ice Candy: A Filipino Thirst Quencher

Have you ever heard of Ice candy? If you haven’t, I’m gonna share to you what it is. Ice candy is a frozen fruit juice in a small ice candy plastic bag. Since I was a kid, ice candy was one of my favorite dessert. When I was still a grader, it would just cost only P1.00 or P2.00. Now, it’s P5.00-P10.00 already  It comes in different flavor. The usual ones I encounter are buko, buko pandan and melon. 

So here it is! 

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These ice candies can be bought at sari-sari stores in the Philippines. They come in different flavors like the ones I mentioned earlier and also in other fruit flavors like avocado, mango, ube and many more. By the way, they also have chocolate flavor if you like. You may also make your own and give it a little experiment with other fruits. The kids will surely love them. 

I decided to blog about this because when we had our Ilocos Tour, Ice candy was our thirst quencher. We had one in Vigan and another one in Kapurpurawan Rock Formation after a tiring climb on those rocks. I tell you, once you eat one, you’ll gonna ask for more.

Here are some of our photos with these deliciously sweet ice candies :)

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*Thanks to Bianca for this photo

Try some for yourself. It’s delicious! :)

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