Monday, April 30, 2012

Colorful Goodness!

It would be awesome if Cebu would host a Color Run event for a change instead of the usual Fun Runs we have during the weekends. 
Fretting less about speed but enjoying more a color crazy day!
I don't mind getting choked on neon powders and ending up looking like Willy Wonka's blast of colorful goodness!

All The Way from Slovenia

Got home one time from a very exhausting day at work and suddenly found these in the mail!
It made my day ;)
Straight from Slovenia, our dear friend, Primoz Novak sent these pretty leather wallets which he made all by himself!
Such incredible craftsmanship. 
These unique pouches are made of leather from aged books accumulated by a certain Restoration Center back in Slovenia.
How cool is that?
Thanks a million Primoz! You are definitely a man who keeps his words. 
We were glad to have met you. 
See you in other parts of the world someday ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lakbay Norte Dos: Bangui and Burgos, Ilocos Norte

March 16,2012
Woke up early the next morning and headed to the town of . . .
As we bade farewell to Pagudpud, another adventure awaited us as we pursued the Southern part of Pagudpud that included the towns, Bangui and Burgos.
 Getting to the Bangui Bay took us round 15 - 20 minutes trike ride.
And finally. ..
FYI: The windmills are officially termed as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project, were a project by the NorthWind Development Corporation as a practice of renewable energy sources and to help reduce greenhouse gases that causes global warming. The project is the first 'Wind Farm' in the Philippines and it includes turbines along the shoreline facing the South China Sea and is considered to the the biggest in Southeast Asia -
The wind turbines capture wind energy through the electrical generators and eventually converted into usable energy. Electricity produced will be sold to INEC under a 21 - year Electricity Sales Agreement (ESA) ) at PhP 4.43/kWh. The expected life of the equipment is 21 years. -
It has always been one of my life long dreams to get to witness these huge windmills. They were not only a tourist attraction they also served as an environment friendly source of energy. 
That is definitely a hands down to Ilocos Norte!
There was no limit to our adventure as we proceeded to our next stop. ..
it took another 10 - 15 minutes to reach our next destination. Going there, you have to overcome an unpleasant rocky road ride which was 3.1 kilometers long. We journeyed patiently however, I could not ignore the fact that the unstable ride could get my internal organs misplaced somehow or whatever...  heee. ..
But anyway, after that lengthy ride we finally achieved
The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
It took us 5 - 10 minutes hike to reach the actual spot of the rock formations. 
You have to surpass shallow pools, sharp fissures and slippery sand stones along the path.
 It was rather an unusual experience. I have never seen a shore this tough and rugged. 
It almost seemed like a fantasy island where mermaids and mermen can be discovered.
Shifting back to reality, if you fret about getting a mean sunburn you might want to apply just enough sunblock lotion. Trust me, the scorching heat of the sun likes to burn the hell out of your skin!
And then behold. .. the wonders of Mother Nature. ..
The spectacular rock formations were said to be naturally shaped by the strong forces of the wind and waves of the ocean. It's splendid beauty is enhanced by the explicit powder blue skies and the vast stretch of the marvelous sea.  
This side of the formation was actually prohibited for the tourists. The caretaker acquainted us that this area is very delicate that too much load could likely wreck the sand stones. 
However, he took an extra mile and allowed us to take a few shots round the area since there were no other groups of tourists there at that time.  
Thank you so much Manong!!! We owe you a lot!!!! ;D
Talk about our charms ey? HAHA!!!!!!
Cape Bojeador
This has been definitely my first time to witness a lighthouse up close. We climbed up and you could really appreciate it's beauty as it permitted you to take a scenic glimpse of the gorgeous scenery of abundant forestry around the location.
As much as we wanted to explore more, we had to pursue our next destination, Laoag. We were done with our Southbound tour round 10 am and our tour guide/ trike driver, Manong Vincent accompanied us to our bus ride departing to Laoag. 
We can never thank Manong Vincent enough for the excellent services he had provided us. 
He was not only our trike driver/tour guide, he was also our guardian. When we were out camping by the beach, he offered us a visit just to check if we were doing good and if we were not bothered by anything or anyone. 
So if you need someone like Manong Vincent in your Pagudpud Tours, you can send him SMS or ring him these following mobile numbers:
SMART - 09219836637
GLOBE - 09262735210
 Ilocos Southern Tour fare plus tip - p1000/4 = p250
10.00 - 11.00 bus ride to Laoag = p50

Lakbay Norte Uno: Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

March 15, 2012
After months of wishing, hoping and waiting, circumstances finally allowed me to join my friends and embarked on a 10 - day long and majestic journey towards the Northern part of Luzon. 
I had to miss our supposedly DAY 1 itinerary to Zambales due to certain conflicts in my work schedule. So I arrived in Manila the next day for my DAY 1 trip towards Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
It was very challenging in my part because I traveled alone towards the capital and I have to meet up with my friends at the GV Florida Bus Liner Terminal situated in Cubao, Quezon City, which was 30 minutes away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. I was not really acquainted with the city so I was so fortunate enough though that my cousin fetched me and accompanied me in navigating towards the bus terminal. He honestly confessed though that he was not much oriented as well as to how to get there however, I was glad I was armed with my ever reliable Metro Manila map. So after contemplating about my chances for making it on time in the terminal, we opted for the cab instead of the MRT/LRT because we figured we could not make it there by 8 pm, which was the scheduled time of the bus to leave for Pagudpud as I arrived in the airport around almost 6 pm already. Nevertheless, I made it on time in the terminal and I could not be more happier to see my friends patiently waiting there for me. 
Then it was time to go to.. .
After a ridiculously 10 hour long bus ride, we arrived safely in the quiet town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte around 6 am the next day with the bright morning sun beaming radiantly in the clear blue skies . We were not really certain where to stop and start our expedition around the area but I was glad we did enough research and we figured we go straight to the Saud beach. 
We notified the bus driver to halt us to the spot where tricycle drivers gathered around waiting patiently for potential passengers. We then hired 2 trikes and went ahead. We discovered that the tricycle ride had standard rates depending on the number of kilometers covered by the ride. They even have package tour rates that included the Northern and Southern areas of the town. We were quite impressed as to how organized and standardized their tours were. You did not have to worry about bargaining because the costs of their tours were reasonable enough.
We commenced our Northern tour and arrived to our first stop. ..
The Kabigon Falls
 It took a 30 minute trek to get to the cold falls. Along the verdant trail, we passed by mini-rice fields, lush forestry and domestic animals - cows and carabaos. It was a really good feeling to be surrounded by the wonders of nature and to be away from the bustling city life even if it was just temporary. It was liberating and stress relieving. 
The Patapat Viaduct
is a viaduct in the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Elevated 31 meters over sea level, is 1.3 km concrete coastal bridge that connects Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It rises along the town's coastal mountains which is the starting point of the Cordillera Mountain Range that snakes through the Northern Luzon. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines. -
Agua Grande
It is a coastal park with large rocks piled on top of each other where fresh water from the river flows gently towards the sea. 
Paraiso ni Anton
It is where the natural spring flows through a green tube and people were allowed to quench their thirst and taste the water's natural sweetness and coolness. 
The place was named after a man responsible for the construction of the road along the area.
Neat huh?
Timmangtang Rock
is a ginormous bell shaped rock nestled along the coastal line of Sitio Gaoa, Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Its name is derived from the word that imitates the sound of the bell in the local dialect. 
not far away from the Timmangtang Rock is the picturesque . ..
Bantay Abot Cave
It is actually a sea mountain with a naturally sculpted hole. The hole was believed to be eroded by waves until it was destroyed by an earth shake in the 1980's. Embedded around the cave is white sand, seashells and rocks which vary in shapes and sizes.
 It is an ideal place for relaxation and meditation and a perfect spot for taking scenic photographs as well.
Dos Hermanos Islands
In the spectacular view of the Blue Lagoon Beach, Pagudpud, stood perfectly still two identical mountains. Legend says a long time ago there were two brothers who were so close with each other vowed to stay together until death. Until one time when they were out fishing, they were caught by a strong typhoon that apparently killed them. They were transformed in death as two similar cone shaped mountains that poised proudly in the deep blue sea. 
Blue Lagoon
Is an elusive bay found at Maira-ira Point which is a crescent shaped structure by the Nacatnagan Cliff in the east and the Dos Hermanos in the north. The paradise is famous for it's crystal clear deep blue waters and long stretch of sugary white sand shoreline . 
And the most awaited part has yet to be revealed!
This is where I braved and tried for the first time in my life to SURF!
Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhh!!!
The waves may not be as huge as the ones in Siargao, Surigao but these baby waves are very ideal for novices like me and my friends. 
After a few attempts, I finally got to stand up, balanced and glided my way smoothly with the waves and it was definitely one of the most breathtaking experiences in my life! 
It was wayyyyy gnarly!
No exaggerations. 
Just pure bliss. ;D
After all the awesomeness that occurred the whole day, our exhausted bodies finally waved the white flag and notified us to officially call it a day.
We headed back to the Municipal Saud Beach Park that never looked like a public beach in the first place. If it were situated in the shores of Cebu, it could have been developed as a private beach resort.
Moving on, we took a dip in the clear waters and set up our tent before the sun bade farewell.
FYI: This is my first ever camping experience as well! 
Certainly, I would have a number of my share of 'FIRSTS' here in my posts.
There's more to come, so just keep posted. . .;D
Relied on canned goods for our primary source of nourishment.
Hanged our soaked items up to dry.
  And got ready for some quality shut eye. ;)
The personnel in charge in the resort personally advised us to report to them immediately if anyone would come bother us during the night since we were the only ones camping out in the beach. 
They definitely scored plus points there.
Fortunately, no one and nothing annoyed us the entire night and we all had a good night's sleep. . . zzzZZzZ
-trike to Saud Municipal Beach Park : P100 each(4pax)
- breakfast paluto : P31 each(4pax)
- saud entrance : P20
- saud camping : P100/4 = P25
-Northern trike tour attractions: P600/4 = P200 each
-Agua grande - (P10 each)
-Lunch at Mekenni Palutuan (seafoods galoore!!) - P649/4 = P162 each
-Pagudpud surfing at Blue lagoon; trainers c/o Kapuluan Beach Resort
-P200 / surfing board rental
-P100 per hour
Dinner and camping @ Saud 
-dinner paluto P25/person

* props to Jeanette for taking down notes of all our expenses. ..