Thursday, May 1, 2008

WikiPilipinas: The Road to Ilocandia

Everyone was excited to this year's summer adventure and before we left, Team WikiPilipinas were in a hurry finishing their chores to prepare for their week long vacation. And as planned, the first group already left by 7:30 pm while my group stays a night at Gus' residence, planned our tour, a bit of WikiPilipinas projects assessments and a decision to wake up early in the morning.

Gus will be taking the plane in the afternoon with George while Christine, Cris and myself will have a long drive from Manila and meet with them in Laoag International Airport. His personal driver, Jerry would be our pilot with his jet-powered Fortuner :) Since, we recessed the night at 2 am, we woke up late and left by 9 am already. Jerry promised us that we will be on time and he had already estimated the travel time.

Late breakfast...late lunch

The 9 am drive to the north is easy and there's no traffic in EDSA. Rush hour seems to start by 7 am going to Makati and glad that we are on the opposite lane. Realizing that we have not have eaten our breakfast yet, we decided for a stop-over at Shell station along NLEX where every motorist drop by for an early breakfast. I have noticed group of teens and for sure they are also going to the beach. I'm not sure in which part of the north but probably they would prefer beaches of the nearby Subic and Zambales.

Soon after we finished our Jollibee breakfast meal, we drove again and passed by Pampanga, Zambales, Tarlac and Pangasinan. It's amazing to see the lush green surrounding , fresh air, unique designs and color of tricycles and the fiestas we passed by in different towns.

Lunch in San Fernando, La Union. (L-R) Tin, Butch, Me,Jerry and Christian

After 5 hours, we reach San Fernando, La Union. I remember a former colleague who leave on the place and decided to give him a ring. Surprisingly, he never change his number and we've able to talk and managed to join us for a lunch. He's happy now as teacher in a public school in La Union and at present is on a training when we fetch him at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University. The foods are great and we have tasted seafoods cooked in traditional La Union way.

Sidetrip Surfing at San Juan

While on the way, I have seen beaches on our left flank. Jerry told us that if we want, we can have a 20 min stop over in San Juan, La Union to see the surfing and buri capital of the north. And of course, who doesn't want to see the action. San Juan became famous because of its waves that can be at par with the other surfing destinations abroad. This place became one of the venue for an international surfing event next to Siargao. This place is also a favorite hangout of actor Jericho Rosales who loves surfboarding and consider the place as his next home.

May be the waves was ashamed when we reach the beach and it was not so perfect. Trainors there told me that summer is not perfect for surfing exhibition and waves are very minimal during summer but perfect for new comers. You have to wait the months of July to September where monsoon winds push up waves for surfer's fantacy. I have taken few shots then we go.

Touchdown Laoag International Airport

Around 7:20 pm we were in Laoag International Airport to fetch Gus and George. They will be with us on the way to Pagudpud where we will stay for a night. This is my first time to reach this airport but I have no idea what's inside it 'coz it was already dark. The vicinity has no ample light to illuminate the entire airport that's why I can't appreciate the place.

Anyway, the way to Pagudpud according to Jerry could be reach in one and a half hour. We drove around 8:25 pm and we passed by the well-lit entrance bridge of Padsan River in Laoag City- the first class city in the province of IlocosNorte . While we traverse the city and its nearby barangays, I can see the foothill of Cordillera mountain range to my left while the South China Sea on my right.

by 10 pm, our dinner are ready, welcome drinks were served and for sure Vista del Mar resort of Saud beach can provide us a night to remember.

Next..Pagudpud experience

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