Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ilocos Norte, Philippines

I think I've been to many beaches in 2008. 

                  May 2008.
Ilocos Norte explored. 

I was with my G53 friends back in ADNU. I would never forget all the laughter we had on this trip. 

We rented a van back and forth. It was like 5days on the road, way going up North took us 11 hours. It was never a boring moment!

We left our footsteps at these places:

1. Bangui Windmills. Famous for its windmills obviously. Has big rocks on its beach and a wide landscape of scenery.

2. Blue Lagoon. The photo of this lagoon is so inviting made me crazy excited to see it with my own eyes.

3. Saud Beach Pagudpud. Also a famous beach for its clear water. White sand along with a rich rows of coconut trees. A simple vacation where you can experience living in a rural place. No nightlife. Good home-cooked food.

4. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. Its a museum. Or should I say a heritage building, where Burgos lighthouse is located.  This heritage is built on a hill overlooking a China Sea. 

5. Patapat Viaduct. 16 kilometers from Pagudpud, this is a long concrete highway built alongside a mountain to prevent an increasing number of motor accidents. 

6. Baluarte. Singson's famous zoo. Entrance is free. It is an interactive wildlife sanctuary for several animals like the giraffes and the butterflies. There were also a large variety of birds placed in front of the zoo, with parrots making noises interacting with the children who couldn't resist touching and talking to them. 
Photos merged with Photo Collage

Photos merged with Photo Collage

7. Vigan. The place is well known for being an extensive historic  city. Almost all of the things you see is "Spanish". This is where you buy your souvenirs such as longganisa, eat lechon macau, and cheese corns.

8. Kapurpurawan rock formation. Quite a rough ride towards the place, we also had a tour guide to reach it. Merely about 15-min walk in a dusty road so make sure you bring your sunnies and scarf. It is an amazing view once you climb up the rock formations, overlooking water is peaceful to look at along with the fresh wind that blows your hair.
mountain high

9.  We visited a falls but Its a shame I forgot what its called. Here's some photos anyway. If I remember it right, it was a 20-min walk to this falls. The heat is on as we walk along this passage, big enough a tricycle can go through.

10. Paoay Church and bell tower. There is always a church to visit in everywhere you go for a Catholic. They said this church is known for having a huge buttress, a support wall to protect its body from earthquakes. 

11. Santa Monica Church and bell tower.

You may notice, I had a little improvement on my photos based from these old one eh? I apologise for being such a novice.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gota Caramoan, Philippines

Caramoan revisited.

This is my second time on this island. I somehow feel uneasy now because It’s also my second time catching fever while on this island. I thought, what’s with Caramoan?  I’ve been in the place for a two period summer times and I always get sick.

I’ll stop there, enough with the not-so-lucky experience. Exposure to King sun was still fun while trying to think that your body being in the water is always soothing. The sun was striking hot in 35 degrees. The water is also hot. But I couldn't think of anything better to do on a summer, do you?

Infact, still donning a highly fashionable sleeve (thanks for the UV protection Speedo!) up until now :D 

There's been a lot of changes since 2008.

We booked with an agency, Caramoan Discovery for the tours. Package includes the accommodation in Gota Village, island hops and a tour guide. Were lucky enough to get Mike, as a tour guy, very shy, kind and have attended our needs in our entire stay in the island.

Early wake-up call, 4am in the morning from our home town. An hour drive going to Nato Port where ro-ro takes us to Caramoan Islands. 

It was a 3d2n-stay. My family decided we stay in Gota Village for they had a very good service and food last year. After we checked-in, we proceeded to the restaurant where it doesn't look like one, didn't get a welcoming service and the food is very pricey, the taste was good but it doesn't justify the price. The serving is small and the price, 220-350 per viand.
Sample photo of an overpriced chicken adobo
Calm water in the morning

This is what the resort looks like: They said this is specifically design for the reality show, Survivor. A lot of countries has hosted the island as a location for the said TV show namely France, US, Sweden, Bulgaria, India and Israel.

Hunongan cove is very famous for making it a luxurious accommodation in the island, where it was barely finished when I first saw the place. 

Matukad is my favorite island for its powdery sand and an uber clear water at its beach front. Aside from that, you can climb up its limestones where a stunning lagoon is located. Jay climbed it up while I waited downhill, I didn't want to hear Mom screaming my name again as I tried climbing it up like when I even tried it in Subic Sorsogon for a cliff dive.

                Lahos, deep waters in between mounted limestones. The water is very clear.

Night time, we decided to go to town for dinner. We ate at a karinderya where we had a scrumptious "kosido". Bought fruits, mangoes and bananas. Also something for breakfast, bread and a cheese spread. 

On our second day, we bought this big fish, 2.8 Kls! Mike grilled it together with a month-watering litsong manok and squids. Nomnom! We waited at the Manlawi sand bar while Mike was busy grilling the fish. There was a couple of cottages where locals also sells shells and fresh coconut juice.

I couldn't remember the rest of the beaches we went to. We ate at a floating cottage. I love the water here. Look! :D

The last activity was snorkelling, and the best part of the sea water is. Cold. Just about right for a very hot weather. Underneath were beautiful fishes. Okay, it was my fault i forgot to bring the supposedly underwater cam. :(

We finished the island hops with a bumpy ride going back. It was about 3 in the afternoon and the waves were not feeling friendly.