Sunday, April 25, 2010
Nasayaat lugar. That is the Ilocano language for "good place".. And it truly was. Some may opt to take the bus from Manila to Ilocos but we opted to travel by air which was only an hour's ride and arrived at Laoag airport nearing noon. We bought some groceries and ate lunch at Robinsons Mall and lucky enough, we even saw Imelda Marcos dining at the food court. Afterwards, we
hired a jeep and went straight for Pagudpud. It was a couple of hours away from laoag and we enjoyed the scenic view and fresh air along the way. Arriving at our rented resort, the Villa Del Mar, I was surprised to see the beach.. it was pure white sand and the water was almost unreal.. Totally blue and clear. We were planning to relax that first day, hang around the beach taking pictures and having an early night for our tour the next day. We did that although in the middle of a relaxing dinner, we received news of the tragic intensity 8 earthquake in Chile and the warning to stay away from beaches as there was a threat of tidal waves due to the biggest quake in Earth's history. I was a lot worried since drowning was the kind of death I really do fear. We slept that night with no small amount of anxiety. The next day, all was well and the sun was shining! We went out to hear mass (which unfortunately was mostly in Ilocano language) and had our breakfast at Papa Nard's Resto. We then proceeded with the 2-hour trek to the beautiful Kabigan Falls.. All the sweating and near dehydration was worth it once you lay eyes on the falls. The water was so cold and light and the mountain air smelled so fresh. We spent about 3 hours before climbing back down and having some cold coconut juice at the foot of the mountain offered by the locals. Next, we went to bantay abot cave or what they call the "mountain with a hole". It was great to take pictures since you could see the whole ocean and feel the strong winds while standing at the edge of the cave. I thought then that I had seen the great beaches in Pagudpud but it was nothing compared to the Blue Lagoon. It was the one they call "Boracay of the North" and with its clear waters and fine white sand, I agree that it really is. Although instead of the populated and developed Boracay shores, Blue Lagoon is a virgin island and untamed. We went to see the Patapat viaduct, Agua grande, and the Patapat Natural Park. Exhausting as the day was, no one complained as it was all worth it. There were even spots we failed to visit due to lack of time and the long distances. No doubt about it, Pagudpud, even if taken the 14-hour drive from Manila would still be worth the long wait and sore backside.