Monday, September 19, 2016

Romy Roams Ilocos!

I was still working for an entertainment magazine when I first went to Ilocos in 2009. Our staff had our team planning at Sitio Remedios, a beautiful heritage resort owned by St. Luke's cardiologist Dr. Cuanang, located in Sitio Kurrimao, Ilocos Norte. 

Last month, I went back to Ilocos with J and his family, but this time, we also spent a day touring Vigan, Ilocos Sur. 

If on my first trip we took a plane that landed in Laoag International Airport, this time we rented a van and traveled for roughly nine hours. 

While Vigan was in our itinerary for the last day, it was actually our first stop as we had our breakfast there. We chose Kusina Felicitas, and we had their silog meals. I chose Tapa Ilokano, the restaurant specialty that leans toward the sour-salty side. My kind of flavor profile!

A few more hours of driving and we reached Paoay Church. By then it was noon, too hot to take photos, and time for lunch. 

We ate at Herencia Restaurant, which claims to be the birthplace of Pinakbet Pizza. We didn't order that though. We had Bagnet and the classic Pinakbet. We brought our dog Chowie along for this trip, and because there was no pets allowed in the resto, J and I waited outside for a bit until someone else finished eating. While waiting, I bought a cone of dirty ice cream with 2 flavors: avocado and dragon fruit, which is grown in the area. Perfect for the heat!

After lunch, we had our photos taken, and also bought some pasalubong: the requisite chichacorn, some T-shirts, and fans. I also bought a small pack of rice coffee for Tita L who loves drinking strong coffee (it wasn't until I gave it to her that I found out it was decaf! Haha).

We then visited former Pres. Marcos's remains in the Marcos Mausoleum (No photos allowed. Incidentally, a couple of days after our trip, the debate on his burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani ensued). After that, we went to MalacaƱang of the North, where former President Marcos and his family resided when he was in Ilocos Norte. The mansion, which has a view of the Paoay Lake, is now a museum. They charge a Php50 entrance fee, but we didn't have to pay since it was already included in our tour package. 

After a long day, we arrived at our hotel in Laoag and turned in for the night. We had an early start the next morning for our tour. Click here to read about Romy Roams Ilocos Day 2!

*Romy Roams is where I document my travels, with tips on itineraries and contacts. Watch for my other entries for this category! 

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