The best is yet to come... prayers...God made everything happen...He let love to flow so freely that it comes so natural for us to love each other.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Summer Getaway @ Ilocos Norte

For this outing, I did a lot of research and planning and truly I was glad that in one way or the other the trip was successful. 

Actually I wanted to go back to take more pictures and visit more places, like the Bangui Windmills, which we only saw from a far the, the Kabigan Falls, eat at Papa Nards, and go to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. Sadly we weren’t able to visit these places when we were there, with twenty (20) people on tow, we were like moving underwater with the current against us.

Anyway, still I am thankful because we were able to visit some of the must see places in Ilocos Norte.

Here is our Pagudpud story. I am writing this in hope that when other people plan their Pagudpud getaway, they will chance upon this blog and may they find something useful here.


As I’ve said, a lot of time and research and planning were spent in putting together this trip. A few days before our departure, we braved the heat and went to see all the buses, which goes straight to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

We decided to go with Florida Bus since the bus, which goes straight to Pagudpud, is a de luxe bus, comfort is the key here, and my officemates prefers to be comfortable so the de luxe bus it is.

How would I rate the bus, I’ll give it a 7 in a scale of 1-10 with 10 as the highest. Seats were comfortable, air-condition ok. But the bus stopped several times as opposed to the sign in front saying there will only be one stopover during the trip. All right these stops weren’t really that long but still it consumes time and in this trip, time is of the most important essence!

The trip going to Pagudpud took twelve (12) hours. We left at 9:00pm and arrived between 8:30am to 9:00 am.

The fare is Php 650.


A tricycle ride is all it needs to get to the beaches. A tricycle ride costs Php 50 and a tricycle can carry up to 3 persons each. Due to bulky bags and all some of us opted to ride the tricycle by two’s.

It’s really a short ride going to the beaches/resorts.


Summer time and sure beaches are jam-packed.

Our original choice of a place to stay is at Polaris Beach House. Because I have read good reviews about the place, and the first time I asked, they are affordable, at Php 750 per person per night. But when I called to reserve, the place is already fully booked, and so I was referred to Jun and Carol.

When I inquired with Jun and Carol and was told that they have available accommodation, I immediately booked us and the next day went to the bank to make a deposit.

We got seven (7) rooms all air-conditioned, each with their own bathroom for a total of Php 19,600. Take note though that rates, varies.

Albert, the JC staff informed me that check-in time is at 12noon. But if upon arrival the rooms are already available, we can immediately occupy it.

Thankfully when we arrived all the rooms assigned to us was already ready for occupancy except for one (1) room, the staff who accommodated us was Marvin and he was nice to show us to our rooms.

The rooms were clean, air-condition running, bathrooms clean. For a place to stay for a night it was worth the amount we paid for.

Burayoc Point, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
Contact Person: Albert-09214847746

Contact Number: (0919)3078803/(0919)457-2046

Prior to this summer get away; we were already warned that food around the restos of Saud Beach is expensive. Most of our companions bought their food rations and where we stay, they accept “paluto” for a fee of course, and fishes, fresh catch can be bought along the shores of Saud Beach.

We were starved when we arrived, and we didn’t have a choice but to eat at Jun and Carol. But I warn you, meals are expensive, a breakfast meal good for one person costs a whooping Php130! Since time is running we had our breakfast there with a promise that we will look for a better place to eat for lunch.

And so for lunch we ate at Sarabo. You can tell the tricycle driver and they will bring you there. Food at Sarabo is great! We ordered Sinigang na Isda, Bagnet, Adobo, Chopsuey, Tinola. And their meals are affordable too! An order can serve two (2) persons. We spent around Php600 for 6 persons.

We wanted to bring the entire brood to Sarabo but the server there told us that their stock of pork is low and they wouldn’t be able to serve twenty (20) persons.

So on that night we were again on a hunt of where to eat. And so discovered Emohruos Beach Resto Bar, just right along the beach, in front of Apo Idon Hotel. We find the food here good and just right within the budget. Their Spaghetti in tomatoes is good, and costs Php 98.

We also took our breakfast here the next day, prices starts at Php 75. And the food and presentation is yummy. Too bad I forgot to take photos of the breakfast that was served to us.


Pressed for time, we immediately went to the beach after breakfast. The sand is almost white, and the water blue. There were strong waves when we were there but quite tolerable, we were still able to enjoy the waters of Saud beach.


We had a late start. The sun will be setting soon. And so instead of not being able to go around town. We agreed to just make out the most of the time left.

The mode of transport around Pagudpud is tricycles. So if we want to see the must see sites, we negotiated with the tricycle drivers. They agreed to take us to four (4) of the must see places in Pagudpud: (1) Bantay Abot (2) Blue Lagoon (3) Patapat (4) the Falls (not Kabigan) for a fee of Php 400 per three persons.

I must warn you though; going around Pagudpud in a tricycle was an adventure. And for us it became a part of our adventure. But it is frightening! My officemates says we traveled about more or less 30 kms. And on a tricycle at that! Just imagine that. Having your own transport will be much better and you will also be able to visit more places. Like the Bangui Windmills, the tricycle driver was asking Php600 if you will include the windmills in the tour since they say Bangui is in another town. When we got off the bus from Manila, a van was parked at the terminal offering it's services, the man says that they charge Php 1,700 for the tour. I just don't know if they are always there.


Part of this trip is to visit Laoag City. So the next day, we scheduled suppose to be an early departure for Laoag, travel time is approximately one and a half to two hours via regular bus. Fare is Php 70 per person. We left Pagudpud between 9:30 am to 10:00 am arriving at Laoag City at 12:00 noon, through a long time friend, I arranged for two vans to pick us up from the bus terminal and to take us around the city.

Our first stop is to grab a bite. And my friend directed us to Pamulinawen Restaurant. Food was great and affordable too! We had baby back, pinakbet, and other Ilocano dishes.

With our stomachs filled, we are now ready to go around Laoag City.

We were able to go to: (1)Sarrat, Marcos’ birthplace,(2)Batac, where we saw Ferdinand Marcos' wax figure and the Batac Church which is built in 1587 same year the Dominican Order was founded, (3)the majestic Paoay Churh, which is now open to tourists like us, before the church only opens on Sundays for masses, you can now also climb the bell tower, if you are afraid of heights this is not for you but the climb is I guess worth it if your goal is to take photos of the bell (4) Malacanang of the North where we have to content ourselves with photo ops outside because a wedding reception was on-going when we arrived so we couldn't go in  (5) Fort Ilocandia Resort, where we had good shots of the sunset at the Suba beach, it's been really years since I have been here and a lot has changed in Fort Ilocandia, they call it a resort now because it is like a one-stop shop, they have a mini zoo, an olympic sized swimming pool and the beach.

Of course we won't leave Ilocos without eating the Ilocos empanada. We had ours in Batac, there are several stalls that sells empanada, the drivers of the van we rented tipped us to buy from gloomy's stall. I am surprised to see that there are several varieties of the Ilocos empanada, there is the "plain" (without egg I think), the "doble-doble" (double longanisa or egg), "special" (with hotdog) among others. I remember about ten (10) years ago it was just empanada period.

Right across Paoay Church is the Herencia de Paoay which is the home of the famous Pinakbet pizza, we weren't able to have a taste of it though because we were still so full of the empanada we ate. Their mami (noodles) is a must try too, it tastes good and it is different from the mami that you eat in Manila.

Then it was already dark and it was time to board the bus going back to Manila.

We took the Super De Luxe bus of Florida this time, fee is Php 750. The bus was good, with television, the rest room better, the seats and space wider. But I find it was more tiring riding the super de luxe bus, for one the ride was as if you are traveling in a bumpy road all throughout the ride. They say this is because the capacity of this bus is less than the ordinary bus therefore it has an effect with the buses’ suspension making the ride “bumpy”.


Oh don't forget to bring your sun-block and bandanas so you can wear it so your hair wouldn't fly to all directions during the pictorials at the beach. 

This is better...

compared to  this...

Over all I can say that the trip is a success. And if I will be asked if I’d go back there definitely I will!

This is a budget trip since we were given a budget of Php 2,200 per person, we just added an additional Php 400 to total Php 2,600 for our over all expenses, this covers the fare from Manila to Pagudpud, Laoag to Pagudpud, the overnight accommodation at Jun and Carol, the fare for the bus ride from Pagudpud to Laoag. 

For more photos, you can view my flickr site here and Davy’s photostream here.  And a lot more photos can be seen at the Letran website.

If you have any more queries I’d love to help, you can email me at or just leave a comment here, be sure to leave me you contact details though so I can get back to you.

And I must acknowledge the people who took the photos of trip, Davy, Jay, Dzune and myself. And to Rocks and to Anton's blog whose Pagudpud travelogue has been my constant companion during the time I was planning this trip!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Pagudpud Summer Getaway.. a sneak peak

No post yet about the trip to Pagudpud Ilocos Norte.

With 3 digital cameras ( Canon 10D, Canon 40D and Canon 400D) aside from the point and shoot cameras brought by the librarians. Imagine how many photos we took of the trip.

A blank DVD is needed to back-up all the photos in case you wanted to keep a copy of it all.

My hubby, Dzune, has been keeping busy making slides of the photos.

Here is one of my favorites.

By the way, the lady in the photos is the chief librarian of Letran Manila, Carol Rulona-De Jesus. A 230+ solo photos of her were taken during this trip.

Kids Meme

Thank you Rocks for the tag.
Copy here:
1. Answer the Kid’s Question by Gregory Stock, PH.D. Remember: Don’t respond as you think others want you to. Respond the way you actually feel!
2. Add your name (linked to your blog)
3. Tag everybody else!

Kid’s Question #1 If you were the ruler of the world and you could have anything you wanted as well as have people do anything you wanted, do you think you would get greedy and mean or would you be a good and fair ruler?

> If I become the ruler of the world that can have anything I wanted, I will be a good and fair ruler and will want everybody to be happy. This is because I believe with the upbringing I got, I can never be a mean/greedy ruler of the world. But I guess I would be bias since my priority would be my family.

Jhong, Alpha, Women Xplore, Em, Something Purple, Our Journey to Life, My Planet Purple, Princess Bela, Here & Now, God’s gift, Through the Rain, dzunejennadd your link here

Now I'm tagging

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Bus and the Best.

The institution where we belong to, deviated from the usual tradition of company outing. For this year, it’ll be divisional instead of the usual institutional outing, our department, the library and media services belonging to Academic Affairs Division agreed to go on our own and our destination: Pagudpud Ilocos Norte! 

I have been to the Ilocos several times on several occasions. The last trip there that I took was in 1998, with my high school friend Ethelyn. Ilocos is their home town and the first time she invited me to go there was on November 1992. Since then I got hooked. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been there which makes me excited about this trip.

I cannot bring Anne along at this time, she is too young and her Tatay wouldn’t allow it, maybe soon but Dzune will be joining me on this trip.

Long before, even before I planned to get married it is my office mate, Albeth's ultimate dream that we be able to visit Pagudpud. And this is putting that dream into reality (finally!). Our reservation for 7 rooms at Jun and Carol’s Beach Resort has been paid for. Originally our plan is to stay at Polaris Beach House because in the course of my search for best places to stay in Pagudpud, I’ve been reading raves about Polaris Beach Resort. Too bad that when I called up the place is fully booked but he was kind enough to have referred me to JC instead. I’ve read positive reviews too about JC so no problem. And we are staying for a night only hoping we would be able to capture a good view of the sunrise and the sunset along the coastline of Saud Beach.

So part of the planning is to choose a bus line to take us there. Yesterday, 3 of us braved the hot sun and went along Espana to look at buses and inquire on their schedules and fees. 

There are four (4) transport corporations that I know of that travels  to the province of Ilocos Norte, but only three (3) of them go straight to Pagudpud. These are:

RCJ Transit
1558 España, Sampaloc, Manila

Telephone (632) 7412994
Fare: Php 550 for a regular air-conditioned bus
Schedule: Departure Time 9:00 PM

Florida Bus Line
Lacson St (Gov. Forbes) corner Espana (near UST) in Manila
Telephone (632)7314473
Fare: Php 650 for a de luxe air-conditioned bus
Schedule: Departure Time 9:30 PM

Maria de Leon Bus Line
Corner Gelinos and Dapitan Streets, Sampaloc, Manila
Telephone Numbers: (632) 731 4907
Fare: Php 500 for a regular air-conditioned bus
Schedule: Departure Time 7:00 pm

Though Farinas buses goes to Ilocos, their trips are up to Laoag City only and we prefer to go straight to Pagudpud so we could maximize the day.

So the final verdict is that we will take the Florida De Luxe bus. It is comfortable especially in our case where 2 of our companions, Davy and Albeth are 6 feet tall and super sized. It’ll be a pity to see them sitting in a regular sized seat for 12 hours. 

We will pay our reservation on Tuesday since according to the person who mans the booth, reservations are done a day before the scheduled trip but since we are a large group (21 persons) we will reserve a day before the day before of our trip and hopefully they will allow this since our reason is valid (we are a large group traveling). We tried to ask if the Super De Luxe bus could go all the way to Pagudpud since we are already 21 persons (the super de luxe bus sits 29 persons) but the dispatcher said that it would be more expensive (Php 950) so we content our selves with the de luxe bus instead.

By the way, on the course of our search we stumbled upon the authentic ilocos empanada! Right here in Manila! The booth is located right in front of Farinas Bus Line along Lacson Street. It costs Php35 for a special empanada! Imagine we don’t have to travel all the way to Ilocos at all to get a bite of this tasty Ilocos delicacy. And though it is sold at Taco Ilocano booths in Glorietta Food Court and Market2x. The one at the bus station tastes better. Nothing really beats the original! I remember years ago, when we want to eat empanada, we have to ask whomever is coming from Ilocos to bring us one, what they will do is buy the empanada before boarding the bus and put it inside a container, then Ethel and I will reheat it and savor each bite because we don’t know when we can taste it again. How glad am I that it is available in Manila now.

I got a lot of help in preparing for this trip. And I really pray that everything will pay off. Because as one of my office mates tells me, he will kill me if not. I have put a lot of time in this and though I still don’t know if the trip will be a success. I’d like to thank Rocks, she and her friends just had a recent trip to Pagudpud and her journal about this trip was my constant companion in my preparation and her photos too are the reason I convinced my office mates to come. And then I am really lucky to have stumbled upon the blog of the famous (I’ve seen him on TV several times but it is only recently that I got a glimpse of his blog) Anton Diaz, his Pagudpud Travel Blog which contains really informative information about Pagudpud was helpful and most of the information I know came from his site. I really haven’t left a note on his site because I wanted to do it after the trip hoping that I be able to share some tips to the readers.

The countdown, 6 days to go and Pagudpud, here we come!!!

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wrappin' up the month of March

How time flies.

March is ending and our baby Anne will be 16 months soon.

Oftentimes I find myself asking where did the time go. As if it is only yesterday when I gave birth to this tiny baby girl who looks so fragile her Tatay wouldn’t carry her. And there was I also, having a baby sleeping beside me is too foreign, I find myself so careful I might crush my angel. I became a light sleeper every since I gave birth. 

But now, at 15 months Anne flails, kicks, goes round and round and round while asleep. Oh well, she is so hyper even when asleep I wonder if that’s normal with babies her age. Well anyway, as most people would say that it’s healthier.

To cap off the month of March, let me look back to all the happenings on this month. 

March 7, was the service awards for employees who rendered 5,10, 15, 20 years of service to the Colegio . This includes myself, ten years awardee and hubby, five years awardee.

Then on March 10 and 11, Jayson and Cha-Cha, Jayson is my brother celebrated their birthdays. But unlike last year there wasn’t any celebration for this year. Last year we agreed to to the pamamanhikan. This is the occasion wherein the family of the groom goes to the family of the girl and formally asks for the hand of their daughter for marriage. We celebrated the occasion with dinner at our friend, Kleng’s Huey Ying Restaurant at Seaside Macapagal.

On March 16, which is Sunday Tatay and Nanay, my in-laws celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Most of the Adriano family members were present. But I believe our most special guest of all was Julius and her GF Tin-Tin. Julius is my husband, Dzune’s childhood friend and I am glad he is able to come on this special occasion. 

On March 23, Easter Sunday we attended our first wedding for the year, Paul and Shane’s at San Agustin Church. The event was a total success and I am very happy about it since most of the suppliers Shane got from me. Who also was our supplier for our wedding. I am really glad that all of them delivered well and as Shane said it, everything paid off.

More weddings to come for this year. Sonny and Portia on July 19 and Phonam and Richard's on August 8. Not to mention Dzune's cousin Pam and Jason's wedding on May.

I capped off the month of March with a date with my girlfriend, Shane yesterday. We went to Chito to get the cd of the photos taken during their wedding and a dinner at Pancake House. Shane says we should do it often. I mean havin’ a girls night out.

As a new month begins, I am looking forward to a fun filled month! Watch out for what we are cookin' up for this month!