Us. Thanks to our photographer, our driver. I forgot his name.

Paoay Sand Dunes 4×4 Ride Adventure – Trip to Ilocos Series

Everyone in the van was all excited upon learning that our next stop would be the sand dunes in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. I can understand why… the place is popular and it is always featured on TV. Some scenes of the famous TV/movie “Panday” were shot in Paoay Sand Dunes.

Paoay Sand Dunes 4x4 Ride Adventure registration booth.

Paoay Sand Dunes 4×4 Ride Adventure registration booth.

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Paoay Church has a spacious front yard, ideal for holding picnics.

Faces of Paoay Church – Trip to Ilocos Series

We had been travelling the whole day and I was kinda tired. Seeing the architecture of Paoay Church energized me. It was already 2:30PM when we arrived in Paoay Church, we just came from visiting Marcos Museum in Batac City, Ilocos. We just had a short stop since our tour guide knew we would spend more time in Paoay Sand Dunes. Ana Mae just stayed inside the van. That is okay, she had no idea how significant the church is to the Filipinos.

Paoay Church, also known as the St. Augustine or San Agustin Church in Paoay.

Paoay Church, also known as the St. Augustine or San Agustin Church in Paoay.

Before coming to Ilocos, I already had a few background of Paoay Church. I already knew for a fact that the church has a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs and it is included in UNESCO World Heritage List. I have been to several old churches in the Philippines and I can say that Paoay Church totally made an impression to me.

I was not able to get inside of the church but I read some text on the tablet found in the entrance door.

Parish founded by Augustinian missionaries, 1593. Cornerstone of church laid, 1704; of convent, 1707; of tower, 1793. Used before completion and kept in repair by the people under the joint auspices of the church and the town officials. Inaguration ceremonies, 28 February 1896. Church damaged by earthquake, 1706 and 1927. Tower used by observation post by Katipuneros during the revolution. By Guerrilleros during the Japanese Occupation.

I spent about 10 minutes touring the surroundings of the church, took some shots which I knew I would post it on my blog. And yeah, the following are the photos I took.

Paoay Church has a spacious front yard, ideal for holding picnics.

Paoay Church has a spacious front yard, ideal for holding picnics.

Known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines, Paoay church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support.

Known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines, Paoay church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support.

Both sides of the nave are lined with the most voluminous stone buttresses seen around the islands. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church.

Both sides of the nave are lined with the most voluminous stone buttresses seen around the islands. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church.

In Fr. Pedro Galende's book, he described the massiveness of the structure is balanced by its grace and fluidity. The church adapts the pyramidal design of the baroque style.

In Fr. Pedro Galende’s book, he described the massiveness of the structure is balanced by its grace and fluidity. The church adapts the pyramidal design of the baroque style.

A three-storey coral stone bell tower stands a few meters away from the church.

A three-storey coral stone bell tower stands a few meters away from the church.

According to historians, the bell tower also served as a status symbol for the locals. The bell would ring more loudly and more times during the wedding of a prominent clan that it would during the wedding of the poor.

According to historians, the bell tower also served as a status symbol for the locals. The bell would ring more loudly and more times during the wedding of a prominent clan that it would during the wedding of the poor.

Flowers and fine grasses growing in the church spacious front yard.

Flowers and fine grasses growing in the church spacious front yard.

Visited. Part of Ilocos Tour Itinerary
November 30, 2012

Source: http://www.arkitektura.ph/buildings/paoay-church#.Ud1anNL-IrU

The president's table.

Ferdinand Marcos Museum – Trip to Ilocos Series

Painted portrait of Ferdinand Marcos.

Painted portrait of Ferdinand Marcos.

If you have a background of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos you will find the Marcos Museum interesting! Having studied Philippine History throughout my school years, I always dislike Ferdinand Marcos. He served as the president of the Philippines for 20 years and within that time he stole billions of dollars from Filipinos. He declared Martial Law in 1972. My parents had dreadful experiences during Martial Law. They disliked it.

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The Bantay Belfry shot in front of Bantay Church.

Bantay Belfry and Church Photo Blog – Ilocos Trip Series

It was 10:20 in the morning and we arrived in Bantay Church to see the historic Bantay Belfry (Bell Tower). The weather was scorching hot and I was ready to climb the tower. Ana Mae decided to stay in the van so I was alone climbing the tower.

The picturesque architecture of Bantay Church.

The picturesque architecture of Bantay Church.

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burnayan00

Pots! Jars! In the Philippines! Burnayan Ilocos

Pots and jars has been part of daily household chores of the early Filipinos across the Philippine islands. I have seen a lot of jars and pots in my Lola’s old house in Bohol. I can remember my Lola, she used to cook rice in a pot called “palayok” and I can remember my Tito Budz filling some waters fresh from poso (water pump) into my Lola’s “banga” (water jar). The tripod in my Lola’s kitchen was even made out of clays. You see, pottery is one of the earliest arts practiced by Filipinos. Since my Lola’s house was destructed, seeing pots and jars was no longer common to me. But from time to time I can see that pots are mostly used in the gardens today.

Pots! Jars! In The Philippines.

Pots! Jars! In The Philippines.

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Imagine if there is a live dinosaur in Baluarte ni Chavit? This is more than just a zoo!

Baluarte ni Chavit: More Than Just a Zoo? – Trip to Ilocos Series

Ilocos also has a place for animal lovers. Chavit Singson, a famous Filipino politician owns Baluarte where some wild species held in captive. First day of our tour in Ilocos and after we ate our breakfast, we visited Baluarte. The place per their website is more than just a zoo, it is also an interactive wildlife sanctuary and facility, with the breath taking view of its dominating scenic boulders a midst trees and greens.

It was once a rest house to famous people and celebrities like Fernando Poe Jr. It then developed to a zoo due to a fact that Chavit loves nature and exhibits passions for animals. The zoo is open to the public from 7AM to 6PM everyday. Entrance is free! Rides are free! Also it is remarkable to note that the place has free WiFi internet access (all smiles lol) so you can definitely checked in on your foursquare account.
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Cool winds touched my face. I breathed fresh air. I thanked God that we traveled the whole night safely. Quirino Bridge or Santa Bridge in Ilocos over Abra River.

Sunrise in Quirino Bridge and Breakfast in Hidden Garden Restaurant – Trip to Ilocos Series

I woke up and I found myself seated in a van. The environment was quiet and most of us inside the van were still asleep. I glanced at the window and saw unfamiliar places, it was quite dim and the sun was about to defeat the moon. I realized that we were actually travelling the whole night. We should be in Ilocos by now, I thought to myself. I was shy to ask our driver Kuya Bugz as to where we were at that time. Few minutes passed, all the people in the van were awake. What a beautiful morning! I checked my watch, it was about fifteen minutes before hitting six o’clock in the morning.

I then saw beauty… magnificent view right from the window. I saw two bridges over a peaceful river. Adding to that, the rising sun ready to bring its light made the whole view poetic. We should stop on the bridge, my inner voice demanded. Glad thing, our van stopped by. Each of us in the van immediately got out with their phones/camera in their hands.

Cool winds touched my face. I breathed fresh air. I thanked God that we traveled the whole night safely. Quirino Bridge or Santa Bridge in Ilocos over Abra River.

Cool winds touched my face. I breathed fresh air. I thanked God that we traveled the whole night safely. Quirino Bridge or Santa Bridge in Ilocos over Abra River.

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Vigan City Heritage Site

Experience. Ilocandia. Ilocos. Pagudpud. Tour Package.

I know this post is way too over due but yeah just let me go and talk. So hmm… Ana Mae and I went to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur last November 29 – December 2012 for a holiday! And I tell you our experience was really great and it was memorable for us.

Ilocos is one of the top holiday destinations in the Philippines. Just so you know many movies were shot in Ilocos – I can mention one. Have you watched “Suddenly It’s Magic” starred by Mario Maurer and Erich Gonzales? Or I can mention another – Panday? (Ipaglalaban ko ang ating pag-ibig.)

Suddenly It's Magic

Erich Gonzales and Mario Maurer in Suddenly It’s Magic movie. The scene was shot in Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos. I had a feeling of being star strucked when I got there. This photo is not owned by me. Copyrighted by StarCinema http://www.starcinema.com.ph

Being first timers to the said place, we did not do the Do-It-Yourself DIY tour thingie. Ana Mae will easily get her temper if we go there unplanned – you know being stuck in a place because of no idea where to go next – things like that she does not like. And she’ll get mad at me… and for sure that would make our holiday a disaster.

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Cebu Skywalk Adventure

Going Extreme: Cebu’s Sky Experience Adventure

My college classmate who works in Bohol came in Cebu City one time to get her laptop she had it fixed. That was only her main goal of coming into the city. It took only a few minutes for her to get her laptop in the service center while the remaining hours will be a bore. It was quite fortunate because the time she got here two of her college buddies who are now based in Cebu were available – of course that was me and Egis.

Sky Adventure

Before the Skywalk Experience. Stopping for a picture could be worthwhile.

So Egis and I decided to accompany Ritchie while she spent her remaining time here. It was after all her vacation. She only had less than 24 hours to enjoy. I thought of roaming around SM Mall or Ayala Mall was boring or going to a beach in Mactan was time consuming. We decided to go just nearby. Yet we thought… going extreme was a good idea. Continue reading

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost