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TRAVEL GUIDE TO PAGUDPUD : tara na sa ilocandia!!!!

The launch of PILIPINAS tara na campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT) last May almost raised my eyebrows again. But when I tried to analyze the rationale, I came to understand that it makes sense after all. It's a domestic travel campaign. Why? According to a survey conducted by the National Statistics Office, 23 million Filipinos traveled within the country in 2009. That number is expected to grow to 32 million by 2016. wow!!!

And so I made a resolution to start writing like a travel blogger and not just show teasing photos of the places I visit. This is one of those posts. The summary of our tour of Ilocos back in April. Tara na sa Ilocandia!!!!
pusangkalye in SAUD BEACh Pagudpud--tara na!!!

Ilocos is located in region 1 in the Northern tip of Luzon Philippines. There are 2 Ilocos provinces namely Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur collectively called Ilocandia. Our travel last April focused on Ilocos Norte which is a very famous tourist destination in the Philippines. It took me 30 years to finally visit it despite being raised in Pangasinan.I have disregarded it for a long time thinking that since its in the same region as my province, it wouldn't offer me anything special. I was wrong. The good reviews and the beautiful photos of Ilocos I read and saw in the past certainly lived to their expectations.


Laoag City, the capital of Ilocos Norte is 10-12 hours from Manila by land. If you don't feel like traveling that long, a plane ride would take approximately 1 hour. I booked a one-way flight for me and my wife then took the bus back to Manila. I suggest you do it that way or the other way around so that you can drop by Vigan, or Paoay or Batac.

After a quick meal in Laoag and taking a few photos of lod buildings and churches, we boarded the bus to Pagudpud which is still 2hours north of the city. That's where we met with our guide Mang Arnel who on the same day took us to our tour destinations.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

PAGUDPUD (South Tour)-day 1
The South tour consists of Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and Burgos Light House. 

Since it was just me and my wife, we took the budget tour provided by Mang Arnel for 600 pesos/day. Cheap because the mode of transportation was a tricycle. You have the option to rent a car but it is advisable for groups. I was in kuripot mode that time so tricycle was good enough. Yeah, open air. We enjoyed it.

The first stop was Bangui windmills. It was already 4pm when we started so we were not able to go to all 3 destinations. It was actually my suggestion to Mang Arnel not to take is to Burgos lighthouse anymore since it was already dark when we finished Kapurpurawan. I told him to take us to a restaurant instead where we ate dinner together. Please refer to my separate entries below for details.


in patapat viaduct
PAGUDPUD (North Tour)-day 2
The tour includes, Bantay-Abot cave, Blue Lagoon, Kabigan Falls, Agua Lydia and Patapat Viaduct.

NATAY-Abot Cave and PATAPAT viaduct

Try the classic pakbet, the empanada and the longganisa. You will never go wrong with these three.
Be sure to bring cash. There are no atm's in Pagudpud, nearest major banks are  in Laoag.
bantay-abot cave


We stayed overnight in the famous Blue Lagoon where accommodation is usually more expensive than in Saud beach. If you are on tight budget, better stay in Saud where the beach is also beautiful, after all, Blue Lagoon is part of the NORTH TOUR.

I would suggest you pick a good tour guide should you travel to Ilocos on a D.I.Y basis. The success of your tour will greatly depend on him. In my case, Mang Arnel is the perfect choise. He is famous among bloggers actually. He is the bloggers choice when it comes to the Tour of Ilocos. He is nice and honest. He makes things easy. He knows where the shops are, he knows the right resto for you, just tell him your preferences esp the budget. And he makes sure you dont miss a single spot during the tour. He keeps telling me about the stops, ako na ang tumatanggi minsan. But that's the point, he will call your attention so as not to miss a significant place. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. 

What I also like about him is about his pricing. He tells you straight how much it would cost. Unlike others who give you higher price and wait for you to bargain. He gives fixed affordable prices so no more tricks on that part. Mang Arnel: 0918.689.0723 or 0926.588.0666 . Call him. He can offer you an affordable van tour as well.
blue lagoon

Ilocos, especially Pagudpud is really one of the places I love the most. Windy yet warm, world class beaches, nice people, diverse attractions. From waterfalls to beaches to old buildings, you name it. It's a complete experience which involves all your senses.........



  1. ayun! very detailed ah. pati ung tour guide may contact! astig!!! galing!

  2. parang nafocus ako sa kakaiba at creative pictures para maakit ang tao na bumisita sa ilocos. Di lang ordinary pics ng place but merong jumpshot epektus pa. iba iba ang pose sa bawat pictures.

    Sana may mag-aya ulit sa opis ng ilocos, at tyak sasama na ako. DI ako nakapag-ilocos nung nagbyahe dyan sila jeff :p

  3. kakamiss ang ilokandia. ganda nung kulay ng last pic.

  4. Love the 2nd and last photo. Ang gandaaaaa!!! :) Ilang days ang allotted para sa bakasyon dito? :)

  5. I love the Kapurpurawan Rock and last beach pic... so playful and scenic!

  6. kelangan tumatalon parati sa pics. ikaw na.. ikaw na ang jumper :P

  7. totoo yan, dahil sa turismo, umuunlad ang bayan natin. Nagkakatrabaho ang mga tao, at mas nagiging aware ang mga locals na pangalagaan ang kalikasan. May nakausap akong muslim galing mindanao. Ang dami daw "parang boracay don." - wala naman pumupuntang turista.

  8. one of my favorite places to go! ILOCOS. yeah. nag crave ako bigla sa empanada ng hidden garden.

    so dapat talaga di nakasayad ang paa sa pictures hehehe

  9. Ayaw mo namang tumalon sa bawat pic ... LOL! :D:D:D:D:D:D

  10. Aba, tinatalbugan mo ba kami nina Ada bilang Jumpshots Queens? LOL!

  11. Anton, nacu curious kasi ako sa empanada ng ilocos eh, nakatikim or bumili ba kayo duon?! Hehehe! Nice jumpshots, 'di ba sumakit mga hita mo? Hehehe! Pero sa totoo lang, nakaka inggit, kapag nakakakita ng mga ganitong pictures, lalo na at nakatali pa ako sa trabaho. Hayyy... =)

  12. wow! gagamitin ko sa paggawa ng IT ko! Thanks Anton :D

    Early next year dapat marating ko na ang ilocos :D

  13. Galing, keep the travel guide coming to inspire our kababayans to explore Philippines more :)

  14. I hope you tried that German restaurant that doesn't serve German beer at all but has about 6 or 8 variants of Bagnet. Don't remember how I got there, but it's just near Blue Lagoon. Bergblick, I think. Hehe.

  15. nice blog, nice post, nice photos! dis post made me more excited to go to ilocos dis july.. thanks for sharing.

  16. nice pix and a very detailed posting..we will be in ilocos 3rd of week of this month..very helpful ang bloggs moh...keep it up..tnx

  17. Thank you. we're planning a vigan or laoag trip this may

  18. am book marking this ... will be visiting ilocos now ! as in NOW, already got ticket ! thanks for the details :)

  19. This blog is really helpful. Thanks sir!

  20. hi sir, just wondering, is it safe and fun to travel solo sa ilocos? my friends and i are planning to go there soon, but our scheds dont match, kaso ayoko na din patagalin ang paghihintay dahil matagal ko nang gustong pumunta...

  21. hello! i booked bound to laoag on Jan 18, 2013 via cebu pacific (6:30PM po ung byahe from mla), i will ask tips po kng san pwede pumunta agad pagkadating dun...? my plan A is laoag-pagudpud-vigan & plan B is laoag airport-vigan-pagudpud..medyo limited po ung time ko 1 night & 2 days..panu ko po b ma-maximize ung time pra mpasyalan lhat ung magagandang place?

  22. ay---ang limited ng time mo.I would suggest you go straight to Pagudpud.There's so much to do there.I think you should go to Vigan next time,kasi i am sure sa pagudpud palang ubos na time mo.pero sulit naman will be very happy :)

  23. thanks for the detailed blog. I appreciate it.


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