Exploring the North: Ilocos

I explored the north with my friends last Independence Day of 2017. We were only 5 pax and decided to do a private trip instead of joining in with other people. Sure it’s expensive but this gave us a leverage on what time we would like to leave and where we would want to go. We could also customize our tour with our hearts content during the tour. 

Disclaimer: Majority of the photos was taken by my friend, Gj. The lower quality ones are mine. Hire him if you want a talented wedding photographer!

3 Day Itinerary Layout

Day 1: Laoag     |      Day 2: Pagudpud       |        Day 3: Vigan


We arrived in Ilocos and proceeded to  the beautiful Paoay Church first, then we headed to Paoay Lake. We also managed to go to the Malacañang of the North. afterwards we opted to take a good rest before we go to church.


This was the funnest day of our 3 day trip here in Ilocos. it was full of adventures and a lot had happened in one day. 

First Stop: 4×4 Sand Dunes Ride. 
The entire ride cost us Php500 per person. It was one hell of a ride. Both fun and painful at the same time. There were a lot of ups and downs on the slopes and stops for a photo op. We also got to experience sand boarding which was fun except for that time I fell off and the times where I need to go up the hill just to go down again.

Second Stop: Cape Bojedor Lighthouse
It was interesting exploring this area. You get to learn more about the lighthouse and how it served its purpose during the spanish area unti now. It’s also really pretty.

Third Stop: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
I don’t have any explanation here, it’s just a pretty Rock Formation. It was too hot for us to even come near the rock. there are also some windmills you could spot in this area.

Fourth Stop: Bangui Windmills
Ilocos has a good supply of wind power because of these windmills.

Fifth Stop: Bantay Abot Cave
A really pretty cave that is unusual for it’s hole in the middle of the rock formation

Sixth Stop: Blue Lagoon
This beach was beautiful. It was raining when we were there and i felt like this is what blue lagoon in iceland looks like. No i haven’t gone to the blue lagoon but the color of the sea was kinda identical when we were swimming. It was so blue but camera just doesn’t do it justice.


This day was us stuffing our face and spending money for Pasalubong. Our day went checking out the streets of Crisologo. Where they maintain the spanish style houses in the whole area. You could say that you’ll have a taste of what it was like 200 yrs ago. They also said that this place is where the mestizas and mestizos stayed which we all know are the elites durinh those times.

Restaurants worth Sharing

There’s only one restaurant in Laoag because we ate at Mcdo when we got back the second day. There’s also no pagudpud because we only ate at one place and it’s not worth mentioning. There’s so many places in Vigan because there’s just so many food along calle crisologo

La Preciosa
This is a very homestyle restaurant in laoag. The ambiance is really homey and comfortable. It’s like eating in your lola’s house.

Cafe Leona
This is a fusion restaurant they have bagnet sushi, pinakbet pizza and all those good stuff. Not gonna lie to taste their good food you need to wait in line but i promise it’s just worth the wait. We loved the bagnet sushi and the pizza. the sauce is to die for.

This is a fusion restaurant they have bagnet sushi, pinakbet pizza and all those good stuff. Not gonna lie to taste their good food you need to wait the line but i proise it’s just worth the wait. We loved the bagnet sushi and the pizza. the sauce is to die for.

Coffee Break
it was scorching hot in vigan when we went so we decided to go inside and chill at the this coffee break cafe. It has a hip interior and bean bags to seat on. The coffee was very mediocre for me but the cake was delicious we had ube cake and i think was a tobleron cake. Both were so good.

Nanay Sion
We were about to leave ilocos and we just can’t leave without tasting some good old empanadas. I’m not a fan of empanadas but these type of empanadas are delicious. We just stumble upon Nanay Sion and found the room charming. it was a great way to cap off our ilocos trip.


  • April Rodea
    2 months ago

    As usual ang ganda ng mga shots mo, Danica! Btw, the best time pumunta sa Paoay Church ay morning. Mga 7am pag pasikat pa lang araw, pero yun lang di pa bukas mga shops sa paligid. Tas ang maganda naman sa Sand dunes pag hapon na para sunset naman 🙂

    • wheresfrances
      2 months ago

      Hahaha hindi ako nagshot most nyan. Yung nagiisang lalaki nagshot kaya lagi sya wala sa pic. He’s a wedding photographer kaya feeling prenup lagi

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