Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Laoag is the capital of Ilocos Norte. It is also known as the Sunshine City. It is the gateway to Pagudpod and Bangui Windmills.

Laoag Cathedral

One of the famous landmarks in Laoag is the Laoag Cathedral located after the bridge on the right side. It is also known as Saint William Cathedral that was built by Augustinian friars in 1612 which features Italian Renaissance design.

Sinking Bell Tower

Located near the church is the sinking bell tower. The tower sinks into the ground at a rate of an inch per year and used to have a big clock on the tower’s western face. Near the tower is a park named Aurora Park.

Museo Ilocos Norte

The museum was an old Tabacalera warehouse that showcased the cultural heritage of the Ilocos Region. It is located in V. Llanes Street, one block away from Aurora Park.

La Paz Sand Dunes

Another place to see in Laoag is the La Paz Sand Dunes, the original sandboarding in Ilocos Norte with an 85 sq. km. protected sandy coastal desert and beach.

Touring Ilocos Sur

The capital of Ilocos Sur is Vigan. Here are the other notable places of Ilocos Sur that I had been to. These are landmarks on the way to Vigan.

Sulvec Point

Sulvec Point is on the coastline of Narvacan, in which you can also see a grotto in a rock. The grotto can be viewed along the highways. it is also known as grotto by the sea and also called Paraiso ni Juan. The beach area is called Sulvec Beach with stunning rock formations and brown rock sands. A Spanish boat was shipwrecked in this coastline led by Captain Juan de Salcedo, hence the name of the place.

Narvacan Church of St. Lucy Parish Church

One of the famous places in Narvacan is the baroque church called St. Lucy Parish Church or Narvacan Church. It is established by the Augustinians and is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. There’s a belfry near the church.

Quirino Bridge

Quirino Bridge is an iconic symbol of Ilocos Sur. When you reached the bridge, it also means that you are near historic Vigan City. The bridge is traversing the Abra river. It is sandwiched between two mountains. The old bridge is preserved as a tourist attraction and is built in honor of President Elpidio Quirino.

The new bridge was a replacement for the typhoon-stricken old bridge and was inaugurated in 2009.

National Museum Vigan Branch or Padre Burgos House

The National Museum Vigan Branch or Padre Burgos House is located along Padre Burgos Street. It is one of the branches of the National Museum displaying archaeological artifacts from the Spanish era.

Padre Burgos House is included in the Vigan Heritage Tour. The entrance is also free and the museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. For weekends and holidays, the visit to the museum is by appointment.

The museum is the ancestral house and birthplace of Padre Jose Burgos. There are memorabilia of Padre Burgos and his family. There are artifacts from Iloco-Kankanay-Itneg material culture. Dioramas, old books and liturgical collections are displayed in the museum.

Villa Angela Heritage House in Vigan

One of the famous tourist destination in North Luzon is Vigan.  It is owned by a prominent Versoza family of Vigan.  The entrance of the heritage house is located along Quirino Boulevard but has a backdoor along De Los Reyes Street.  It is a few blocks away from the Vigan Heritage Village.

The house was built in 1870 and was named for their matriarch Angela Versoza Villanueva.  The house was a gallery of the mementos of the family which they displayed in the house and admired by the visitors and guests.

The house was restored by descendants in the eighties.  It is also one of the locations of the famous movie Jose Rizal.  Tom Cruise also stayed in the heritage house during his film shoot in 1989.  A picture of him hangs in the walls along with the photos of the Versoza clan.  

There are private rooms for the guests.  I was able to stay in one of the rooms with a bathroom inside and another room without a bathroom.  There is a common bathroom in the second floor outside the kitchen area.  In the first floor is a dormitory for groups.

Breakfast is served in their antique dining area were we could see the antique kitchen objects like pots, porcelain and china wares. Guests enjoys the living room area with huge windows made of capiz.  Old personal furniture of the Versoza clan are found in the house.

San Juan, La Union

Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan is one of the surfing sites in La Union. La Union is 6 to 7 hours away from Manila by bus. Or 5 to 6 hours by car.

To enjoy the waves make sure to visit from July to October for the South Swell and from November to March for the North Swell. Enjoy the Urbiztondo beach during summer.

This is my getaway in the Northern Part of Luzon. I had seen the changes in the town since early 2000. Every time I visit Urbiztondo, there’s always something new.
I had been here for the nth time. Urbiztondo is also a site for a beautiful sunset. The waters of La Union are facing the West Philippine Sea.

My favorite place to stay in San Juan Surf Resort and Sebay Surf Central which is located along the National Highway. The resorts are overlooking a beautiful beachfront.

San Juan Surf Resort

San Juan Surf Resort is a resort and surfing school of the renowned Filipino-Australian surfer Luke Landrigan. I was able to see him on my second stay in the resort when the resort was still small. To date, there are new restaurants and buildings for accommodation.

The surfing camp offers lessons for locals and tourists. One of the perks of staying here is seeing the famous surfer Luke Landrigan. I saw him only once though. The restaurant serves yummy food which is called the Coast Call Kitchen and Bar.

Sebay Surf Central

Another good spot to stay in Urbiztondo is Sebay surf Central. I love this resort because of its restaurant which is on the beachfront. I love staying in the restaurant to enjoy food and to hear the waves and the tourists and locals enjoying the water.

La Trinidad Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad, Benguet is home for the strawberry farm. It is often confused that the strawberry came from Baguio City since it’s just a nearby town.

The La Trinidad Strawberry Farm was made for the cultivation of the strawberry. Tourists can also tour the harvest from the farm and buy it fresh. The farmers will help locate where to pick the strawberries ready for harvesting.

It is located in front of the Benguet State University and near Benguet Hospital

Sugba Lagoon

Sugba Lagoon is an amazing and scenic lagoon surrounded by virgin forest and mountains It is located in Del Carmen, Surigao del Note.

This was our last stop from the Siargao Island tour that we availed. From Magpupungko Rock Pool we headed to Del Carmen for our next trip.

We arrived at Del Carmen Tourism Center and went to the port. From there we were transferred to a boat which is good for 8 people.

It is half an hour ride from the port to Sugba Lagoon. What are the things to do in Sugba Lagoon?

You can rent for a paddle-board or a kayak. You can also try cliff diving from the diving board. You can also enjoy the “balsa” or the bamboo platform that will take you to the lagoon.

If you have lots to time you can also check the following places in Kawhagan Island, Pamomoan Beach. You can also enjoy the other island called Poneas Island.

Magpupungko Rock Pools

Magpupungko Rock Pools is located at Pilar, Surigao Del Norte in Siargao Island.

Our next itinerary was the Magpupungko Rock Pools and Sugba Lagoon. These places were the scheduled places to visit on our 3rd day in Siargao. We availed it from the same tour operator for our Sohoton Cove and 3 Islands Hopping.
It is a one-hour ride from Sandy Feet Siargao. You will enjoy the scenic view going to Magpupungko.
The best time to visit the Magpupungko Rock pools is during low tide as they are tidal pool. The tides dramatically changed throughout the day but you can also check the tides change.

The rock formations add beauty to the rockpool. The rocks looked like a large rock is squatting on another rock. “Pungko” is a Visayan word for squat hence it is called Magpupungko.

There are lots of small restaurants and nipa huts to stay while in Magpupungko. If the tides are high in the rock pool, you can also enjoy the stretch of the long sandbar of Magpupungko beach.