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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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At 2:09 PM, Blogger Rocks said...

super nice photos jen! ganda ng beach ng Pagudpud no? :) and kudos to you! very well written..I'm sure this would be of great help to those who are planning to go to Ilocos Norte..and inggit ako sa inyo kasi di kami nakapunta sa Marcos house..:(

At 2:23 PM, Blogger jen ni dzune said...

thanks rocks! kulang pa nga po ang pasyal, sabi ko babalik dapat kaunti na lang para mas madaling mamasyal he he! thanks!

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Dyes said...

hey jen!

ang lamig ng beach sa pagudpod no? nung nag trip kami sa north, dahil sa sobrang pagod sa byahe, hindi na namin napuntahan ang paoay :( siguro mag-road trip kami uli pag malaki na si baby jadon :)

- jessie/dyes

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Liza said...

hi jhen! i love the photos, i would love to visit pagudpud, hmmmm, kailan kaya? lol

off topic: hay naku ang mga mommy talaga parepareho mag-isip hahaha, that's what i thought of too. ang daming what ifs ;)

by the way, i hope you don't mind, i added you to my links ;) dito sa blogspot, add din kita mamaya :)

liza of A Simple Life

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Alma said...

wow, very informative. I'll review your post should we decide to go there too :)

For this year, wala kaming out of town vacation dahil i'm due to give birth na this July.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Fenrisar said...

See Please Here

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Autumn May Dale said...

I haven't try to go to the north side of the Philippines. That's why I am looking for a nice place like this. Glad that you shared your experience. I will try to go there too. Thanks for sharing.


At 6:53 AM, Blogger GOGUMA~choding said...

Thank you so much for the information. We are planning to go there.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Yub Raj said...

Thanks jen for sharing such a wonderful places with us. im going to add it in my diary and will definitely visit it once we travel to Philippines. we are already in process of Visa Application by Dubai visa consultant

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Elisha said...

Awesome Experience!!!I think you really enjoyed.I would love to visit this place.Thanks for sharing.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Dhairya said...

Great post.Nice Pictures!!!Thanks for sharing.

Sync Visas


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