As one of the historic sites in Ilocos, the Paoay Church has withstood countless earthquakes thanks to its prominent buttresses, massively supporting the entire structure on both sides of the church. The baroque architecture is notably beautiful, and despite my lack of particulars in aesthetic recognition, I found the stained glass detail in the inner part of the entrance quite exquisite, and the fact that you can only see it from the inside (plus,I found a hidden mickey!) I won’t post the picture here so you’d see it for yourself. Also, you can make a wish if it’s your first time to visit.
PAOAY SAND DUNES
By far the most memorable and enjoyable part of the tour, the Paoay Sand Dunes escapade is perfect for anyone with a lust for adrenaline. I absolutely, positively love the exhilarating feel of the wind against my face as my hands grab on for dear life while the 4×4 ride charges through the hills and dints in the sandy course! We also did some sand surfing, which was equally as exciting but a little scary at first. I have a few videos of this experience that I will maybe post when I find the time.
MALACAÑANG OF THE NORTH
Overlooking the Paoay Lake is the historic home of the Marcoses in the North. Reminiscent of the Spanish period’s style of architecture, several pieces caught my attention, particularly the king-sized bed with a polished wooden canopy, located in the room with a picturesque view of the lake. I actually took quite a number of pictures but I wasn’t very happy with them, and so they will never see the light of day. On a more positive note, I was inspired by the beautiful view from the window, so I set aside a personal goal to one day have my own room with a view.
KAPURPURAWAN WHITE ROCK FORMATION AND THE BANGUI WIND MILLS
It was icy cold around these locations, but the breathtaking sights definitely made it worth the chilly hands and rigid legs. My only regret is not being able to give justice to the beauty of the landscape (see my washed-out skies and discolored greens), sigh. In spite of the mediocre shots, it was interesting to know about the story of Lam-Ang (see statue below), a local legend about a mythical hero who slayed the king of the crocodiles (buwaya) in the surrounding water; hence, banishing them away for good (to Manila, according to our guide – to Malacañang, specifically).
BANTAY BELLTOWER, HIDDEN GARDEN, AND CALLE CRISOLOGO – VIGAN
We stopped over at the Bantay Belltower for a quick picture then headed off to the hidden garden and a kalesa (horse carriage) tour around key locations in Vigan City. This wasn’t the first time I went to Ilocos for a tour, but I can say that it’s somehow sweeter the second time around, just because I was able to better appreciate the places we’ve been to (and because the first was a school thing). The keener sense of adventure I’ve picked up along the way was also a big part of why I was more willing to walk in the midst of heat and cold, especially with all these wonderful and beautiful people who I went with. To more adventures! 🙂