Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Travel Diary: Ilocos Day 3

Down to my last Ilocos travel diary!

The first place in our itinerary was Bantay Abot Cave. We all have no idea what awaits us until we reached the area. It turned out that we have to walk on sea rocks (the ones where waves crash!) to get into the cave - in short, liguan ito! There was a problem though: We were not dressed to go for a dip! Our tour guide forgot to inform us so we decided not to push through with it. Besides, it was also high tide. The picture above shows the view from the area.

We then headed to Hannah’s Beach Resort situated right in front of the famous Blue Lagoon! (Photo from Google) This is just one of Philippine’s hidden gems! The captivating crystal clear waters and white sand beach are just too perfect!

It is where the longest zip line in the world over water can be found! Other activities include speed boat, banana boat, jet ski, kayak, surf boards, ATVs, etc! The place is really for adventurers!

And yup, I've conquered the longest zip line, ever! 1.150 km baby!! It’s my first time to try this kind of activity and it was really fun! The view of Blue Lagoon from up above was so fascinating. I wanted to fall into the waters from where I was hanging.. no just kidding. Ahhh can’t put into words the beauty of blue lagoon!! You guys should include it to your bucket list!

Karyoka - cassava cue with young coconut skewered on a stick that's being sold around Hannah's. Tastes so much like butsi for me!

I forgot to include this on my Day 1 post. When in Vigan, eat Kabatiti, Puki-puki, Utong, Bagnet and Empanada! Oh the names they give to their food..

Kabatiti and Puki-puki! NOM :))

First time to try a legit empanada from Ilocos! I haven't tried one during my first visit. Filling includes veggies, longganisa, bagnet and egg. Tastes much better when freshly cooked.

After our short adventure to Hannah’s Beach resort, we visited the red-brick church built in neo-classical style, Sta. Monica Parish – the church with the longest aisle in Southeast Asia! The whole complex took 10 years to build. It is also where Irene Marcos, daughter of the late Ferdinand Marcos, got married to Gregorio Araneta.

The giant tree on the left is said to absorb one’s weaknesses once you hug it.

Speaking of the Marcoses, a trip to Ilocos would not be complete without visiting places in relation with them. Birthplace of Marcos is where Ferdinand was, well, born.

Some paintings hanging on the wall

This room contains plaques, awards, recognitions and other memorabilia of Marcos

One of the 29 houses that the Marcos regime was able to build during its two decades of power is  the MalacaƱang of the North. This served as the official residence of the first family whenever they are in Ilocos. It was transformed into a museum a few years after Ferdinand's death to showcase his memorabilia.

Incidentally, Imelda Marcos and her two children, Bong-Bong and Irene were all there. Thought we couldn't see the inside of the mansion because tourists are prohibited from entering. They left after a few minutes though.

We all lined and waited outside, hoping to have a glimpse of them, but no. They didn't even open the windows of their cars. Wow ha. Lapit pa naman na ang eleksyon.

Anyhoo, you can see the inside of the house for P30. All I can say is: IT’S HUGE! I wonder if they ever bump into each other.. Or how do they know in which part of the house one is at?

This what greets people upon entering.

Ferdinand's office, I suppose.

Conference area

2nd floor. Lots of chairs and tables to accommodate their visitors!

Set of photos in one of the many rooms. I've been planning to print my photographs and hang them just like this!

Dining area

Beautiful painting of Paoay Church inside the dining area

Overlooking the balcony is Paoay Lake. Imagine waking up in the morning and having breakfast with this as your view!

The very last place we visited was the Marcos Mausoleum where the remains of Ferdinand lies down.

There are two sides of stories regarding his remains being showed to the public (to those who haven't been here before, his body lies on top of a tomb, enclosed inside a glass coffin):

1.) It is not really Ferdinand but a waxed version of him; his real dead body is hidden under where the wax sits and is continuously being injected with formalin. Reason: The Marcoses still want Ferdinand to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
2.) It is really Ferdinand but coated with wax. Whenever there are no visitors, the body is being dragged below where it is sited to be injected with formalin.

The two stories somehow have something in common but I believe more on the first side of the story. What do you think?

Beside the mausoleum is the Marcos Museum that houses more Ferdinand's memorabilia. Also beside it is another house of the Marcoses. And guess what, Imelda arrived just before we leave. We tried again to have a glimpse of her pero ayaw yata talaga magpakita. Okay, di wag.

If you haven't seen my first two days in Ilocos, click here and here. Hope I succeed in showing you the beauty of  Ilocos! It's more fun in the Philippines!


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