The next installation of the Backpacking Ilcoos series is from Vigan headed ultimately to Pagudpod. We started from Vigan and headed to Pagudpod via Laoag by 9am. But in reality, if you want to go directly to the finest sands of Pagudpod, you can do so using GMT bus lines from Vigan, this way you skip the Laoag stop over. But for our part, we ended up going to Partas bus lines since we missed the GMT bus from the gas station.
Going to Laoag from Vigan typically goes from 2.5-3 hours. From Laoag, you can take the bus further up north to Pagudpod for another 2 hours. There are many sites you can see surrounding Pagudpod. You can in fact opt to see these places before you head directly to Pagudpod riding tricycles from one town to the other. The other option is to have a guide from the tricycle drivers of Pagudpod.
There are those tricycle drivers who are accredited by the Department of Tourism. Their rate would typically be 1,200 for both the Southward and Northward tours. The trusted driver who accompanied us was Marlito. You can contact him through his cell phone number (+63 9286618304) to get an easy accommodation especially during summer.
One of the best highlights of the trip is the Kabigan Falls. It will be a thirty minute walk back and forth to reach the falls but it is all worth it. Aside from the falls, you can also look forward to Bangui where you get to see 20 giant windmills that power two towns of Ilocos Norte.
Here are the complete list of itineraries broken down between the one headed north of Pagudpod and the ones headed south both being P600 respectively (good for 2-3pax).
- Kabigan Falls
- Patapat Viaduct
- Agua Grande
- Paraiso ni Anton
- Timmangtang Rock
- Blue Lagoon
- Dos Hermanos
- Bangui Windmills
- Bangui View Deck
- Bojeador Lighthouse
We had our accommodation at Polaris beach resort in barangay Saud. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay in, this is the best spot out there. It is near the town proper so if anything goes wrong, you could simply get to the hospital or go and get some food. Comparing Blue Lagoon and Barangay Saud, the downside to the latter would have to be the waves. They have stronger waves than the one in Blue Lagoon (which is one of the reasons why it is sought after).
If you are on a budget, you could simply go and find a homestay within barangay Saud and Blue Lagoon. You could always ask Marlito to bring you to the best places within your budget. There are rooms that would cost P800 per night while there are also those resorts that would charge 2 grand a night.
To have a smoother transaction, it is highly suggested you contact Marlito: (+63 9286618304) or Polaris Beach Resort (+63-077-6760198)
Canon AE-1 Program, Aperture: 2.8, Shutter Speed: 125, Lucky SHD 100 BW.
Hiking in Mt. Pulag requires a guide to come along for every 10 people. Manong Elmar was our guide and he mentioned that Pulag came from the term “Galpu” meaning bald in their local dialect.
Our hike from camp two returning for the second time to the summit started early. This time, we’ll be able to see the The Playground of the Gods’ summit at sunrise. When I woke up coming from a freezing night, we were informed that four opted not to hike for the summit the second time around including Claire due to the weather conditions from last night. The mixture of breeze, cold weather and sore muscles from yesterday’s climb took its toll. The remaining five of us decided to head for the top at around 3:45am. While walking by the trail under the moonlight’s guidance, I witnessed the beauty of the stars that looked like punctured holes on a vastly dark space. That site alone was unforgettable.
We reached the summit earlier than expected. There were around 20 people at most waiting for the sun to make its presence felt from the ocean of cloud’s horizon. From afar, I saw number of hiker’s lights on single file still on their way to where we were standing. After a few minutes of enjoying the scenery, we felt the warmth of the sun and everyone including us were excited. Some even carried the Philippine flag to the top of Mt. Pulag while others impaled their tripods and sticks and set up their cameras to capture the moment.
Around 6am we headed back to camp two to have a short breakfast before packing up to go back to Baguio.
Canon Ae-1 Program, Lucky shd iso 100, Shutter speed: 1/60, Aperture: 1.4
It was Claire and I’s dream to set foot on the highest but most accessible mountain out there. Living in Manila, the runaway winner for accessibility was non other than the highest mountain of Luzon, the 2nd highest in the Philippines; Mt. Pulag. In actuality, “accessibility” wasn’t that accessible.
It was holy week already, a Wednesday and we still don’t have a ticket going to Baguio, our rendezvous point with our group. It took me almost four hours just to have a ticket. I started falling in line at around 11pm and ended up getting our ticket at 2:30am but this time the next earliest bus going to Baguio is at 7:30am, Thursday.
It took us 6 hours to reach Baguio city where we took the rest of the day to rest and find ourselves a nice meal. Baguio was dubbed the summer capital of the Philippines since people from different parts of the country flock to Baguio during summer to seek refuge from the scorching summer heat. When we reached Baguio, as expected it was quite packed than normal judging from how many people are falling in line to get their advanced ticket back to Manila (or wherever). This time we were smart enough to get our tickets in advance going back to Manila.
We had a nice dinner courtesy of 50’s Diner. They serve it BIG but their price is cheap. And food tasted good, really really good plus the taste of nostalgia of a decade even my parents never saw.
(To be continued….)
This photo was taken more than a year ago. This was when I started buying and selling analog cameras through the internet. Since I used to have a lot of time on hand, I did some entrepreneurship to cover for my hobby’s expenses (and also to satisfy my cravings once in a while). Today, I don’t have the luxury of both time and the finances to keep it rolling.
Taken at Cubao X. Using a Lucky SHD iso 100, BW loaded on a Canon AE-1 Program. f1.8, Shutter speed: 1/60
As a commuter I just don’t prefer having a bus ride around the metro. Specially if EDSA is jammed with a bunch of vehicles wiggling their way to reach their destinations. But on second thought, buses along EDSA can be quite amusing (If you are not in a hurry that is). A variety of food for the bored is served on some EDSA focal points like Guadalupe, Ortigas and Cubao. Sometimes, this is also the chance to watch a movie. Thanks to piracy and DVD players from China, I get to enjoy movies while riding the bus.
This is my effort to maxiize my Flickr account. And as of this post I am going to include notes.
f/: 1.4, Fuji Xtra 400 iso (Expired) , 1/250