North Bound: Blue Lagoon and Vigan

After going around the Pagudpud area on Day 3 (details here), we weren't really able to go to the beach and relax. We were hoping we can do this on our last day before we drive back to Vigan.

blue lagoon
Day 4. Monday, January 23

We woke up early on our last day to try and experience the beach. The plan was to go out early to take a quick dip and take pictures, then go back to the resort for breakfast, leave the camera and everything, then take a swim.

The first part of the plan was in motion, we were out early, walking to the Blue Lagoon, but the wind was very strong (like a typhoon in Manila, but locals said that was normal there). A little later, it also started to drizzle.

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We stayed for a while on the shore, took sunrise pictures and semi-dipped ourselves in the waters.

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blue lagoon

We went back to the resort to have some breakfast but on our walk back, Yza started to feel itchy in the legs, red spots were starting to surface. We assumed this was caused by something in the water but were not entirely sure. We just let it be and hoped it will just go away.

We had a quick breakfast, longganisa again (we never got tired of it)!

The 2nd part of the plan was to leave everything behind and take a quick swim but we suddenly decided against it partly because of Yza's rashes and partly because we got lazy. haha. We just washed up, packed our bags, took pictures of the resort (which we forgot to do during our whole stay) and then checked out.

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And then more photos on our way to the car.

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It's sad that we weren't able to swim the whole time. Next time we come back to Pagudpud, we will definitely just stay in the resort, relax and swim since we are already done with the tourist spots.

We were back on the road around 11AM on our way to Vigan. Since we missed to visit the Marcos Museum back when we were in the Batac/Paoay area on Day 2, we decided to drop by quickly in Batac on our way to Ilocos Sur.

Marcos Museum & Mausoleum

The Marcos Museum houses the memorabilia of the late president from his early years in law school until his last days as the President. The Mausoleum, on the other hand, houses the late president's preserved corpse entombed in glass.

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We went inside the museum first and relived our Philippine history knowledge. There were a lot of memorabilia, information and photos that will remind you of what transpired during Marcos' regime (or even educate you if you don't know much about the history). There were also sections for Imelda and her dresses, which Yza was so jealous of.

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The mausoleum was the last stop but taking pictures were not allowed inside. The environment inside was so gloomy with the late president's corpse in the middle of the room enclosed in glass, lights were dimmed, slow music was played in the background and artificial flowers (made out of shells) were decorated along the walls. It was a bit creepy, to say the least, but it was an experience. We finally saw a Philippine president with our own eyes!

We were already a bit hungry at this time, around 1PM, but decided to wait until we reach Vigan before we stop and eat lunch. Before we knew it, we were back on the road again, heading to Vigan.

After a couple of hours, we arrived at Vigan. We parked at the Vigan Plaza and just walked along Calle Crisologo to look for Cafe Uno, which according to our research was one of the restaurants with the best Bagnet.

cafe uno

We ordered Bagnet (Php175), Sinanglao (their version of beef sinigang -- Php175) and for dessert, Mango Crepe. I'm not sure if it was just because we were very hungry already but the food was very good. It was definitely way better than our Vigan dinner in Cafe Leona on Day 1.

sinanglaomango crepe

After the late lunch, we wanted to go around Vigan since we weren't able to do this when we were there a couple days ago. But, we were so lazy to walk around so we looked for a kalesa to hire and take us around the area.

This is the time we met Rommel, our kalesa driver for the afternoon. The rate for the kalesa tour was Php150 per hour.

Our kalesa ride begins...


Vigan Bell Tower

The only fact I remembered about this place was that this is where Panday shot a scene where he pulled out a sword. I couldn't relate because I haven't watched any Panday movie but I might take time to watch Panday one of these days just to check out this scene. haha.

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Next stop was Pagburnayan, a famous tourist spot in Vigan known as the place where handcrafted jars are made. The name comes from the root word "burnay" which means an earthenware jar crafted by a potter's hand using a potter's wheel.


Outside of the actual jar factory were tiangge-like souvenir shops so we did our last-minute souvenir shopping here as well for keychains and magnets.

Hidden Garden

Hidden Garden is a huge space where all kinds of tropical plants are grown and sold, from bushes to flowers to bonsai. It started as a therapy for the owner who was a landscape architect whose half-body was paralyzed after three heart attacks. Soon enough, it became a business and a tourist attraction.

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Baluarte Zoo

Our last kalesa stop was the Baluarte Zoo, owned by Governor Chavit Singson. It is 80 hectares of hills and mountain sides, with all types of domestic and wild animals all over the place. Admission is FREE and is open to the public.

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By this time, it was already 6PM so we headed back to Calle Crisologo to end the tour.

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo is a situated in the middle of Vigan. It's a long stretch of souvenir shops, restaurants and a few hotels. Most of the kalesas stay here to look for passengers so it the street really feels like Philippines in the past (it's not like I've been to the past but just based on the books I read in school. hehe.) It looks nice in the day with all the old-school architecture of the buildings and structures but it looks even better at night with all the street lights.

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Rommel was very friendly and accommodating throughout the duration of the tour, sharing experiences and facts about the places we went. He offered to take our picture with his kalesa, so we complied.

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People in Ilocos are generally friendly and it's such a wonderful feeling to talk and interact with them. This is an observation that is consistent all throughout the 4 days that we stayed in Ilocos. =)

It was getting dark already and we still have a long drive going back to Manila. We bought Greenwich pizza, and grilled hotdogs and hotcakes from the street vendors for our take-out dinner (we were still very full from the Cafe Uno experience).

Before leaving Vigan, I realized I haven't taken any pictures of the famous Vigan Cathedral yet so I just had to drop by quickly.

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...and for the last time I will say, we are back on the road again. This time heading back home to Manila, around 7:30PM.

The drive back was a breeze, no traffic at all. Maybe if we left Vigan mid-afternoon, it wouldn't be this easy. What took me 10+ hours (from Manila to Vigan on Day 1, with all the traffic in Tarlac and Pangasinan and adding a sleepy Eliel in the wheel) took me 7 hours only! This time, I never fell asleep probably because of the adrenaline rushing through my body. Haha.

We were back in Manila around 2:30AM, happy and contented with the 4-day vacation. Too bad, there was work the next day, I would have just stayed home and slept. =)



Day 1: From Manila to Ilocos

Day 2: Laoag - La Paz Sand Dunes, Paoay Church, MalacaƱang of the North, Paoay Sand Dunes, Sinking Bell Tower

Day 3: Pagudpud - Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Cape Bojeador Light House



  1. Dami niyong napuntahan ah! Hahaha!

  2. siyempre! dapat sulit sa haba ba naman ng drive! :)