Last December, me and my wife spent our Christmas vacation in the northern part of the Philippines. As I grew up in the north and am a true born Ilocano, I had special memories to reminisce as we visited the sunshine city of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Scenic view from the Gilbert Bridge
“Laoag” is the Ilocano term for “light” or “sunshine”. It was a shiny day as we were welcomed by the scenic view from the Gilbert Bridge. The bridge is the first one to greet visitors of Laoag city and the last thing that will say goodbye when they leave. I took this picture from the bus while travelling on the bridge. As a kid, I have spent many times riding the bus going through and out of Laoag and it’s always a special feeling when I take a step into this beautiful city. I have very fond memories here. I spent some of my most cherished personal victories like when me and my high school classmates won the provincial statistics quiz. Or the time when I took and passed the UPCAT (UP College Entrance Examination). Now, I am adding more beautiful memories as I tour the city with my wife.
Sinking Bell Tower
At the end of the Gilbert Bridge lies one of Laoag’s most popular tourist spot – the Sinking Bell Tower. Yes, it is still sinking. Well, at least that’s what some of the people are saying. The “sinking” of the tower is mainly due to its sandy foundation.
While waiting beside the Sinking Bell Tower, I caught a glimpse of this very peculiar transportation in Laoag City – the “Calesa”. The “Calesa” is a very eco-friendly horse-driven means of transportation within the city. I remember when I was still in grade school, my family and I rode the “Calesa”. The “kutsero” (a local term to refer to Calesa driver) was very nice and offered me to sit beside him in front and let me try to drive the Calesa by myself. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve done as a child!
There were many things I still wanted to go to and visit in Laoag but we needed to get back home to Batac (nearby town) to prepare for Christmas celebration.
How about you? Have you been to the sunshine city of Laoag?