Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte: A Brothers’ Journey Up North
Squeezing in Ilocos Norte‘s innumerable tourist destinations in an overnight trip is like fitting a 40-seater bus through the eye of a needle. And, my brother only have 2 days before he flies back to Singapore, so instead of taking on the entire province, we focused mainly on Pagudpud and nearby spots easily accessible but getting the most out of this quick vacation.
Pagudpud Town Hall at night.
Palm trees, blue waters, and authentic Ilokano dishes were my last thoughts before I finally dozed off on the 10-hour night bus bound for Pagudpud. Ten hours later, my brother and I were standing in front of Pagudpud town hall, all fired up and ready for a bit of relaxation, and a huge dose of adventure. This trip marked my third time in Ilocos Norte, and my brother’s first.
Ocean View Hut in Kingfisher (for room rates check Kingfisher’s website).
Fried rice and bagnet with KBL (kamatis, bagoong, and lasona)
Ilocos Norte longganisa served with sinangag (fried rice) and eggs. Breakfast of champions.
Looking for a place to stay in Pagudpud don’t really present a problem to travelers with all the resorts and homestays in and around town, especially in Saud Beach. However, if you prefer to escape the crowd into somewhere quiet and peaceful, head few more kilometers north to the remote Baranggay Caparisparisan where a laidback paradise called Kingfisher sits quietly in solitude. Brother asked for a place to unwind and relax, Kingfisher was on top of my head. Don’t forget to treat yourselves with Kingfisher’s mouthwatering authentic Ilokano (and internatioal) cuisine served conveniently in the in-house restaurant. (More about Kingfisher in Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 5: Pagudpud’s Kingfisher Resort – A Destination On Its Own)
Clear and calm waters of Kingfisher.
My brother and I in front of Kingfisher’s Ocean View Hut
Three kilometers south of Kingfisher, approximately a short 15-minute tricycle ride, is Pagudpud’s famous Saud Beach. Instead of taking the easy route, we used a kayak to add a little thrill to our sightseeing experience. Miscalculating the distance however got us paddling way more than what we asked for. To make it even worse, we left our wallets back at Kingfisher – we only had 4 mangoes and one bottle of water. Nevertheless, the 6-hour kayaking experience pushed us beyond our limits and proved to ourselves that anything can be done (let’s push for Bangui next time).
Saud Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
We reached Saud Beach after 3 hours on water under the scorching summer heat. Now another 3 hours to go back.
A trip to Ilocos Norte wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the province’s popular attractions. The man-made marvel of Bangui, the century-old lighthouse and bizarre rock formations of Burgos were on our itinerary for that day. To get there, Kingfisher assisted us with our transportation by referring us to a trusted tricycle driver. (For more Ilocos destinations, check out the Road Trip To Ilocos Norte series)
My brother on the stairs leading to the lighthouse.
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos, Ilocos Norte stands as the highest elevated lighthouse in the country which held it’s original structure well intact. From 1892 to the present, the National Historical Landmark guides ships passing by the northwestern tip of Luzon Island using solar-powered lamps that replaced the old Fresnel types. (More about the lighthouse in Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 8: Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos)
Kapurpurawan Rock Formations of Burgos, Ilocos Norte
Our very decent mandatory group shot in Kapurpurawan Rock Formations
Multitudes of tourist also visit the town of Burgos to witness a strange chunk of limestone called Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, which stands out in the jagged coast. (More about the lighthouse in Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 8: Kapurpurawan Rock Formations and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos)
No one could miss the colossal windmills of Bangui on your way to Pagupud. This onshore windfarm called the Northwind Bangui Bay Project consists of 20 wind turbines harnessing renewable energy to contribute 50% power to Ilocos Norte. (More about the windmills in Road Trip to Ilocos Norte 7: Bangui’s Wind Farm)
Ilocos Norte is really blessed with wonders to see and places to experience, two days can’t be enough. My brother and I, however, made this short R&R trip to take away the burden from his daily grind. We believe that going on short breaks like this refreshes our mind, body, and soul so we could get back to our regular lives with a fresh start – ready to take on bigger challenges in life.
I hope this post could help fellow travelers who would like to visit Ilocos Norte even for a short period. Yes, it’s far but it can be done. Moreover, there’s always a next time to conquer them all.
Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:
1. RCJ and GV Flordia Bus Lines have direct trips from Manila – Pagudpud. You could also take a Partas and Farinas can also take you as far as Laoag, then take another ride to Pagudpud. Travel time is aprroximately 10-12 hours.
2. This trip was a year ago (Summer, 2013)
4. There are certified tricycle drivers in Pagudpud that could bring you to tourist destinations for a reasonable price.
5. Check out our Road Trip To Ilocos Norte series for more destinations.
6. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
7. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
8. Drive safe and happy travels to everyone.