It’s a good thing my sister have a wealth of friends. In Canada, she also has a friend whose family hails from Laoag. She requested my sister to check out the house she has been funding to build for at least a year now and take pictures. So from Loaog, the family of my sister’s friend drove to Vigan to fetch us and also took us on a road trip to some of the popular places up Ilocos Norte.
I’m sure my dad is having a field day looking at the sites as we drive along. He used to frequent these places, traveling for work, and now seeing how things have change through the years. Our first stop was Batac, the home of the Marcoses. It’s where the said preserved remains of Former President and katukayo (same name) Ferdinand Marcos is found and open for everyone to see. No photography though inside the mausoleum.
We also visited the nearby museum where the walls were filled with photos and murals about the Marcoses. I remember when I was on grade school on my first visit here; I was able to go up the old house just beside it where I saw collections of Marcos’ numerous medallions and recognitions during his service in the army. Now it’s no longer open for public. Before we moved on, of course we didn’t miss the opportunity to eat some special Batac Empanada.
We quickly drove by the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Paoay Church. I didn’t take many photos here but just allowed my siblings to take photos. Our next stop was Fort Ilocandia, a popular Casino resort especially for Chinese and Koreans. We stayed here for a while but have to move shortly since our host, the Daquioag family is already waiting for us.
The house is a beautiful two story peach and orange colored walls among the rice fields. We drove through the parking lot and we had a warm welcome from the family. The house is close to being finished and its Mediterranean design was done well. We joined the family for a festive lunch. It’s just heartwarming to feel this type of hospitality from people who barely even know us, except for my sister. We even had some take home leftovers.
A little siesta time and we’re on the move. We know we only have a few hours to visit some sites up north on what’s left of the afternoon. One of the highlights for me was the age old Bacarra Church. It’s the first time to see this church since we usually just pass by it. It’s a wonderful looking church. The crumbling red stucco and coral bricks of the bell tower make it look like a Hindu temple from Indochina instead of a Catholic Structure. The Bacarra Church and Belfry was constructed as early as 1593 and inaugurated in 1782. A major 7.3 earthquake shook the belfry rendering it dome-less and tilting on the side. The belfry is still in use at this time aside from being a popular tourist spot.
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Join our Backpack Photography Photo Tours and Workshops for early 2011. Banaue Photography 101 for beginners on February, Bewitching Siquijor Photo Tour on March 2011 and Batanes Island Hopping in April 2011
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.