Trip to Ilocos – welcoming arches, amazing bridges, and refreshing sceneries

About two years ago, me and my fiancee (now my wife) went to my hometown – Ilocos.  Instead of taking the usual bus trip at night, we decided to drive the whole stretch of Manila to Ilocos during the day.  We wanted to explore and do some sight-seeing while taking the long trip to Ilocos.

We departed from Manila around 5am in the morning to get away from traffic.  Since it was still early, we were able to reach Tarlac City at around 7am.  Just in time for breakfast.  As we were feeling a bit adventurous, we decided to park on the side of the national highway and eat our breakfast behind the refreshing view of corn fields and sunrise.

Here’s a picture of the sunrise while we were having breakfast on the side of the road.

 

 

Look how near we are from the road.  I could feel the trembling when a big truck passes us by.  It was an adventure and it was certainly fun. =)

 

 

The trip was long but certainly full of unusual and very interesting sights along the way.  Here’s a picture of a small shanty anchored atop of a tree-less mountain.   I can’t imagine having to climb the mountain everyday just to get to your house.

To prevent boredom, we took some pictures from each town while driving.  It’s amazing to know that each town actually has it’s own arch to welcome visiting guests.  Here are a few of the arches we were able to capture.

La Union

I was told that the province of La Union is actually a “union” of lands taken from surrounding 3 provinces: Ilocos, Abra and Pangasinan.  La Union is considered one of the top surfing destinations in the country with its beaches’ powerful waves.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Upon reaching Vigan City, visitors are welcomed by a modern steel arched bridge connecting the city from nearby Narvacan town.   The 300-meter length bridge is breath-taking as it is supported by the scenic view from the mountains on both sides and adorned by the peaceful river down below.

About 30 minutes from the bridge is the main plaza of Vigan City.  Here lies the junction, welcoming visitors with its lovely arch.

Vigan is one of the most popular destinations in Ilocos region mainly due to its historic Spanish villas along Crisologo street.  Vigan is also famous for its mouth-watering delicacies like Vigan Longganisa, Royal Bibingka, Empanada, and many more.

Ilocos Norte

After almost 10 hours of travel, we finally reached the province of Ilocos Norte.  Here’s a picture of the province’s welcome arch supported by bricks.  Ilocos Norte is known for its tobacco, garlic, and especially for its most famous citizen, the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

Laoag City is the capital of Ilocos Norte.  You can learn more of the tourist attractions in Laoag City by reading my previous post “Laoag City Philippines – Sunshine city of the north.

Further along north is the tip of the Luzon island, the beautiful town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.  The town is popular for its untouched natural resources like Saud Beach, Maira-ira Beach also known as “Blue Lagoon”, and some waterfalls along the way to Cagayan province.

There’s also a breath-taking view of the “Patapat” viaduct.  This is a very long stretch of majestic beauty: the green mountain view on one side and the refreshing mist of the wild sea from the other.

So many towns and cities.  So many arches and bridges.  So many beautiful places to see.  Take a trip to Ilocos.  Explore the refreshing sceneries of northern Philippines.

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