Sunday, January 24, 2010

Road trip to Ilocos

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Calle Crisologo

We make it a point to take one local trip every year, specially for the kids. This year it was a road trip to Ilocos. It was going to be a long trip and I prepared them  by telling them it was going to take as long as a plane trip to Hawaii-- ten hours. At 6 and 8 years old, I thought they were going to get cabin fever and complain at one point in the middle. Surprisingly, they didn't! They each had a load of books in the car, and in between snoozing and reading, it was a very pleasant road trip for all of us.

I didn't realize that the sites in Ilocos are far apart, We made our homebase in Vigan and just drove up north each day and then came back. Not a good plan.

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At the poolside of Sitio Remedios

If I were to do it again, I would spend one day in Vigan, stay the whole day and night--maybe two- there, then the next evening move on the Sitio Remedios for a day or two also. Then I would end the trip in Laoag and fly home from there. That way you'd be going only one direction and not lose to many hours driving back to Vigan for the night.

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A beautiful local antique table

In Vigan, the most interesting thing for me aside from Calle Crisologo, was the visiting the restored ancestral home of Bonito Singson. Glad I took the suggestion of my brother (Bonito's friend) to just cold call him and introduce myself. He graciously invited us to come over for a look-see. He is totally into the details of interior design and he very tastefully updated the home where he lives.

The usual sites of the area--the Marcos house in Paoay, the lighthouse at Cape Bodeajar, the windmills in Bangui and the beach at Pagudpud are all worth visiting. All very picturesque. Photographers would have a heydey here. Just take a look at the shots from my point-and-shoot.

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View from Cape Bodeajar Lighthouse

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Bangui Windmills

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Start of Calle Crisologo

On the way home, we stopped in Pangsinan for lunch. We wanted to have lunch in a nice local restaurant and since we had no idea where to go, the choices were limited to quick-service joints and  chain fastfood place. I'm so glad we didn't succumb to our hunger. I quickly went online on my mobile phone to search for "Pangasinan  restaurant" and good reviews came up for Matutina's, a restaurant on the side of the Highway. It was packed but we were able to get a table for 10 in the "porch". The reviews were spot on, everything we had was delicious.

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Crispy Shrimp of Matutina's


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