Jun 26, 2010

Conquer Ilocos, Philippines - Day 1 at Vigan part 2

Plaza Burgoz, one of the famous historic plaza in Vigan. It was a tribute to the Vigan martyr priest, Father Jose P. Burgos. On the east end of the plaza is the newly renovated, large stage where important events are held. At the northwestern portion stands the century-old Bell Tower of Vigan Catherdral. Surrounding the plaza are carinderias where we ate our lunch.

Padre Burgoz Plaza

Near the Plaza, is the house of Padre Burgoz. Sadly. we didnt got the chance to explore the place because it was holiday, (the museum is closed during holidays). We just took pictures outside the house for souvenirs.

Padre Burgoz Museum
Next stop is Pagburnayan, a Jar Factory in Vigan (burnay - Vigan jar)  where we had a chance to meet Philippine National Folk Artist, Fidel Go.

Just a trivia: Burnay is an earthenware jar crafted by a potter's hands with the aid of a potter's wheel. It uses find sand (anay) as a tempering material and fired at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground kiln that makes it harder and more durable than other terracotta. 

Me with National Artist Fidel Go
Burnay jars

Right after that stint in Pagburnayan, we headed straight to Hidden Garden.

Hidden Garden

Hidden Garden - Bonsai

We had a first taste of Vigan Empanada, made form a freshly-rolled dough of rice-flour and egg whites. It's fillings is made up of cabbage, carrots, green papaya, monggo sprouts and tomatoes. One word to describe this empanada - Delicious!

Vigan Empanada

To be continued...

Jun 20, 2010

Conquer Ilocos, Philippines - Day 1 at Vigan part 1

Summer 2010. Highshool Ilocos Get-away!

picture taking at our cottage
We left Manila at around 10pm and travel north for more or less 9 hours. Imagine how painful our butts are. But then, when we arrive at our first destination - Vigan, we forgot how long our journey is. It was replaced by the excitement and thrill. Most of us our first timers. With me were Ael and Kiko, Mark, Shai, Jonalyn and JC, Jeng and Liz, Gus and Julie, Pol, Arnel, Ferry, Roxanne, Sheanne, Arnel, Tintin, Phnas and JR, plus 2 drivers and JR’s papa.

We checked-in in our resort, we arrived there around 8am and took our breakfast(the famous Vigan longanisa). Then after that, we fixed our things and prepared ourselves for whole days activity. We will be touring the whole Vigan that day. Our call time is 10am.

While waiting for others, we explored the whole resort and took some pictures.
a nice "kubo" near our rooms

with my highschool friends: JR, Tin, Jendel, me and Liz

first breakfast at Ilocos: Vigan Longanisa, Fried egg and Rice
"bored" mates: mark, hershey, ael, jendel, kiko(ung nakasilip), Liz, Tin, Phol and Arnel
Finally, at around 11am (yes, they were late ^_^), we are all set to conquer Vigan.

Our first stop is the Abel Shop, an Ilocos Fabric. Abel is weaved with the use of a wooden handloom which is equivalent of sewing machine in he past. Abel Fabric was usually finished over weeks depending on the design of the fabric.

Abel Fabric weaving with a wooden handloom
Next destination was the Bantayan Bell Tower. Bantayan, as the name implies, served as a "bantay" (watcher/watchout) against pirates. As you will notice, the bell tower is separated from the main church.
They designed this way to protect the church in earthquakes and typhoons. This Bell Tower is mounted on a hill that makes it unique among the other bell towers here in Ilocos.

Bantayan Bell Tower, served as a watchtower against pirates
Bantayan Bell Tower Adventure will not finish if you will not experience climbing the tower via an extremely steep and narrow spiral staircase. But the climb is worth it because as you reached the top, you can see a full 360 degree view of the area. Aside from that is the cool wind that will freshen you up, contrary to the hot sun outside the tower. This maybe because of the structure of the tower which is made of red bricks that made it very very cool despite of the very hot weather outside. The tower has many bells around, each one of them has its own purpose/use and a one big Bell in the middle of the tower.

Me with the Big Bell on Bantayan Bell Tower

Read continuation here...

Jun 12, 2010

Hundred Islands at Alaminos, Pangasinan

It's my second time this year.

The first time was with my High School friends(that was summer last year). We have a yearly planned outing exclusively for D. Silang mates.

hundred islands
HS friends at Hundred Islands, Pangasinan, Philippines

It was unforgettable. It was my first island hopping with HS friends. We rented a boat for Php2,000 and another P1,500 for vests and snorkeling, good for 20 persons. We first headed to the famous Governor's Island, where the house of Kuya is located (Pinoy Big Bother house). We climb the steep long winding

Jun 5, 2010

White Beach of the North - Tondol, Anda, Pangasinan

If there is one beach that I want to visit again and again... that would be Tondol White Beach of Anda, Pangasinan.

Tanduyong Island, an island around 1 km from Tondol Beach
Tondol beach is known for its long stretch of very shallow and calm water. Especially during low tide, you can swim very far from the shore, you can even walk or wade to on the island one kilometer from the shore - the Tanduyong Island. The sand here is very fine.

Jun 2, 2010

Tanay, Rizal Hidden Treasures

I am a native of Rizal, but little did I know that situated in one of its town are hidden paradises - Daranak Falls, Batlag Falls and Calinawan Cave.

calinawan cave
Calinawan Cave
We came straight from our office team building in Antipolo when we headed to Tanay. It is more or less an hour ride to Tanay market.
From there we hired a jeep, with three wheels, to take us to our destinations.

Our first stop is Calinawan Cave. According to my research,