Planning a trip with group was never easy. As an addict traveller, I wanted to make sure that most of the tourist spots will be visited, since we only have a limited time. Our second day will be a trip to Laoag City, the capital city of Ilocos Norte then an overnight stay at Pagudpud.
How to Get to Laoag
Laoag can be reached by plane or by bus.
An international airport is located in Laoag. Some airlines that fly here are Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines. From the airport you can take a jeepney or tricycle to take you to the city proper (100Php/tricycle, 15Php/pax in jeepney). Jeepneys rarely pass by during the night so your only means of transportation is taking a tricycle. Make sure to negotiate at once as tricycles charged much higher at night (They might charged Php150-200). Still at night upon arrival in the airport, you might encounter a jeep driver that will ask you if you have a transportation, he could offer you a ride on his jeepney until you reach the city proper, rate still depends on the negotiation and if there are other travellers who will be riding that jeep so you could share the expenses.
There are bus lines that offers Manila-Laoag route. Some of the bus lines that caters trip to Laoag are Partas Transit, Fariñas Transit, RCJ Transit, and Florida Bus. Travel from Manila to Laoag usually takes 10 hours, unless you would take a non-stop aircon bus at night like we did (via Florida Bus with CR) you may reach Laoag with 8 hours of travel.
Getting Around Laoag
Being the city proper in Ilocos Norte, tricycles and jeepneys are everywhere. You can hire a tricycle to tour you around Laoag while some spots need a bus ride.
Off to Laoag from Vigan
Yes! it's our second day and up for more! You may reach Laoag from Vigan by riding a bus. Budgeting for the actual expenses if we'll do the commute from Vigan to Laoag for 8, I decided to hire a van for us to tour around Laoag and Pagudpud for the next two days. For commuters, take an airconditioned Partas bus in Vigan bound for Laoag (more or less Php120), or non-ac bus for budget friendly ride to Laoag. (Travel time fom Vigan to Laoag 1.5 - 2hrs)
Who is our van contact? It's Arnel Aguila. Kuya Arnel is a pagudpud trike/tour guide, which became our savior last 2008 when we visited Pagudpud (I'll tell it on my Pagudpud post hehe). I found out that he also provides van services too. Unfortunately his van couldn't fill eight passengers, but being a professional guide he is, he rented another van for us to fit. I was able to rent his services for 2 days, so getting around Laoag and Pagudpud will be easy and quite relaxing.
We agreed that he'll fetch us at Casa Teofile Lodge in Pantay Daya, Vigan at 7am. I initially planned to have him as our guide for three days. But because I wanted to explore Vigan for a whole day and witness Calle Crisologo at night, I opt to just stick with my plan that he and another Kuya (driver) will be our guide for two days only, and to avoid the hassle on where should they stay for the night in Vigan (Note: He resides in Pagudpud which is roughly 4 hours drive from Vigan). Anyway, they got problem with a gasoline station at Pagudpud (still closed at 4-5am) so he was able to reach Casa Teofila around 8am. It was okay, because most of us we're still packing and preparing to leave.
Kuya Arnel Aguila
Pagudpud Trike Driver/Tour Guide, Van Service in Ilocos
Pasalubong Stop Over: Marsha's Delicacies
One of the most famous pasalubong in Vigan is from Marsha's. Before leaving Vigan, I asked Kuya Arnel to pass by their branch. Cassave cakes and royal bibingka are usually valid for three days so you may visit Vigan last if your pasalubong needs to be preserved for days. These are yummy must try treat for everyone. I actually bought a box of royal bibingka for myself to eat in the van hehe. Takaw much!
Maharlika Highway, Bantay, Vigan
Upon meeting Kuya arnel, I talked with him on the places I wanted to see in Laoag. Well, I think even I didn't ask he already knew where we should be going.
Places we planned to visit in Laoag: (Wait for my next post.)
- Marcos Museum and Mausoleum
- Paoay Church
- Paoay Lake
- Malacañang Ti Amianan/ Malacañang of The North
- Fort Ilocandia Resort
- La Paz Sand Dunes
- St. William’s Cathedral and Sinking Bell Tower
Due to time constraints, we missed:
Sta. Monica Church – out of way from La Paz Sand Dunes, we chose sand dunes over it (too curious with the sand dunes), but if you got lots of time you can check this out as well.
Laoag Museum – we skipped as we’re getting late.
This is part 5 of MY ILOCOS SERIES