Discoveries Travel Diary

Road Trip to Ilocos | Part 1

Taking a road trip is one of my favorite activities to do with my friends. The bond is always fun and memorable. You know that there’s nothing better than sharing some laughs, fun memories, and being adventurous with people you love.

I and my friends recently went on a 3-day road trip to Ilocos, it was an 8-10 hour trip from my hometown to this very beautiful province located in the Northern part of the Philippines. Ilocos not only has a wonderful scenery but it is also rich in history. I know, you guys, don’t know yet, but I get more excited to visit historical places than I do with beaches. Well, I love going to the beach. I want the feeling of ocean breeze blowing on my face. I want to see the beauty of oceans, trees, and sunset and have a camera to capture this one big perfect picture.

But there’s a different kind of excitement forming within me every time I get to visit ancient places. I want to take a walk to the old streets alone or with my friends. I want to know the stories behind vintage structures built a hundred or thousand years ago. I want to feel being transported back in times.

Ilocos has a very cold and windy weather when we visited it two weeks ago. There were tons of tourists taking pictures everywhere which is something you need to anticipate when visiting a tourist destination on weekends. To be honest, I struggled to take good pictures not only because of the crowd but also of the awful weather in which we were being literally swept along by the strong wind. (or ako lang? haha)

Anyways, I want to document this first local travel I have this 2017 as I promised myself to blog my travels, so hooray for me! lol. I guess this is too much for an introduction, so let me get into it.


I’m a camera awkward, so, you won’t see pictures of my beautiful face, lol just kidding. Allow me to share with you some tourist destinations we’ve been to on our first day in Ilocos.


 The Calle Crisologo

First arrival in Vigan City, Ilocos. We arrived at Calle Crisologo at 5:00 AM where it showcased the beauty of Vigan — a lamp-lit street filled with Spanish-style houses where you’ll experience to be transported back in the Philippine-Spanish Colonial time. This place is a beautiful location for portrait photography. I hope I have a nice portrait in this street. Sigh!

The Baluarte Zoo

The Bantay Bell Tower and Church

This Bantay Tower is a very old belfry in Ilocos Sur built in 1591. We just climbed a flight of stairs and we were able to gaze upon the city, surrounding trees, towns, and mountains from afar I also saw a cemetery.

The Bantay Church is a Roman Catholic Church which is one of the oldest and surviving churches in Ilocos Sur.

St. Augustine Church in Paoay

Malacañang of the North

Malacañang of the North is the grand mansion of the former President Ferdinand Marcos. The picture below is the back side of the mansion facing the gardens overlooking a lake.

Famous Empanada of Ilocos

After our quick mansion tour, we headed to this small store and ate the famous and most delicious empanada I’ve ever tasted for just P35. This is the signature food of Ilocos, this empanada is filled with longganisa, bean sprouts, and egg. I instantly fell in love with it! I’m craving right now.

The Laoag Sand Dunes 

This is the highlight of our first-day adventure in Ilocos, this adventure became even more enjoyable with my best friends. It was indeed a great and unforgettable experience. Btw, I will be posting our second and third day in Ilocos on a separate blog post. See you!

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Have you been to Ilocos? What are the highlights of your adventure?

Would you like to visit the place? 

Do you also enjoy road trips?


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  • Reply
    Ochi Bernadas
    February 28, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Your photos are wonderful! I love the hue and contrasts. And, was that a deer??? So cute! Also getting hungry now ’cause of the Ilocos Empanada!

    • wavatar
      March 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you, ochi! Yes, it’s a deer and yeah, he looks so cute and innocent 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Wow! Nice images. Tempting… Ilocos will be in my travel list this 2017. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Looking forward for your Part 2 adventure 😀

    • wavatar
      March 3, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Aw, thanks, Marion! You’ll surely enjoy it! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply
    Da Dominguez
    March 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

    This made me crave for Ilocos empanada! Hahaha. And yes, beautiful photos, Jonine! Does justice to the equally beautiful Ilocos. <3
    Da Dominguez recently posted…Maybelline Powder Mattes Review + SwatchesMy Profile

    • wavatar
      March 3, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      yea, their empanada is the best. and thank you so much, da! 😀

  • Reply
    The Open Route
    August 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Ilocos is a beautiful place to visit. We enjoyed the Laoag sand dunes the most. It was a little scary at first but extremely thrilling overall. But one thing we regret not doing was visiting the Juan Luna Shrine – ancestral home of the Luna clan turned museum.
    The Open Route recently posted…Masungi Georeserve: Ultimate Guide for First-timers 2017My Profile

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