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Heritage Vigan - Expenses | Itinerary | Experience

On the 2nd day of our Ilocos trip, we headed towards Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur and a UNESCO World Heritage site!!!

Laoag to Vigan would take 2 to 3 hours bus ride with some short stops picking up passengers on its way. Ordinary bus fare from Laoag to Vigan costs 100 pesos but requires additional 20 pesos for a Partas bus ride which is more comfortable than the former.

Day 1 - The Arrival
We arrived in Vigan at around 8 pm from Laoag and from the bus terminal, Jenny and I called a trike (paid 25 pesos) to take us to Hotel Salcedo de Vigan. At the hotel, we were given scented wet towelettes for refreshment purposes, orange juice, and the room key card.

We went out for a while to have dinner and tried a Kare-Kare bagnet at Tummy Talk restaurant (at the end corner of Calle Crisologo). It is very delicious and the bagoong was just perfectly sautéed to match the salty-sweet flavor of the bagnet Kare-Kare.

Day 2 - Touring Vigan By Calesa
First thing we did in the morning was a Vigan breakfast at Bistro Amarillo, and for the first time, I forgot my aversion to longganisa. Delizioso! After that energizing breakfast, we went to Calle Crisologo to take a morning walk and witness this famous road in daylight. From there, we also arranged a deal with a Calesa driver to tour us around the city.

Rent a kalesa! The deal was 150 PhP per hour but a friend told me that during their visit, they only paid 20 pesos per hour (but they are about 6 persons)... so try to haggle! The whole trip lasted for 3 hours.

Here are the places he showed us:

#1 Vigan Cathedral
Kunan ko sana ng litrato tong Vigan Cathedral alone... much to my surprise, ready na ang pose ni Jenny! lol "We all have that one friend!"

Vigan Cathedral was our first stop and right across it is an old spanish house themed McDonald's. Also, around the corner, you'll see plenty of Calesas.

More of this area:

#2 Vigan Bell Tower
Vigan Bell Tower is fronting Bantay Church and approximately a 10 minute Kalesa ride from Calle Crisologo.

More of Vigan Bell Tower:

#3 Padre Burgos House - National Museum
This is the ancestral house and birthplace of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. Inside you'll see portraits of other known Ilocano leaders, antique furnitures, historic artifacts and a lot more.

More of this museum:

#4 Hidden Garden
Hidden Garden is a home of native plants and flowers which also cultivates the plant "Bonsai" variety. In addition, it has a restaurant inside and a refreshment area to enjoy a Dragon Fruit Shake.

More of Hidden Garden:

#5 Baluarte
Baluarte is a property owned by the present Ilocos Sur Governor, Luis Chavit Singson. Baluarte is an 80 hectares zoo where you can come and play with animals. 

More of Baluarte:
#6 Salcedo Market, Mercato Centrale
Vigan Empanada
Laoag to Vigan Bus = 120 Php
Hotel = 1,000 Php
Calesa Tour (150/hour which lasted 3 hours divided by 2 persons) = 225 Php
Meal = 100 Php
Total of 1,445 Php

Here is our Vigan trip itinerary:

Date/Time Itinerary Location Links Remarks

From Laoag - Travel & stay at Vigan Hotel Salcedo de Vigan - -
7am-2pm Day tour: Vigan Calle Crisologo - Colonial Houses - -
- - St. Paul's Cathedral - -
- - Vigan Bell Tower - -
- - Hidden Garden - Tried Dragon fruit shake
- - Palacio de Arzobispado - -
- - Burgos National Museum - -
- Baluarte - -
12 noon Food Trip Salcedo Market, Mercato Centrale - Specialty foods: Pinakbet, Bagnet, Longganisa, Okilas

Our itinerary ended at 2pm because we were following a tight schedule to fit our Baguio excursion within our planned 5 day trip starting from Pagudpud down to Manila.

Related articles:

Day 2 - Vigan Tour - 1 Day Itinerary
Day 3 - Baguio Itinerary
Ilocos Norte Tourist Spots
4D3N Pagudpud-Laoag-Vigan-Baguio Itinerary

Breakfast At Bistro Amarillo

The early bird catches the worm!

Jen and I woke up early to start our Vigan city escapade but before that, we needed to take an energizing meal to keep us going throughout the day.

Breakfast At Bistro Amarillo
Bistro Amarillo is the in-house restaurant of Hotel Salcedo de Vigan (where we stayed) and part of our stay here, breakfast comes for free.

Macau: A Day At The Sin City Of Asia

Macau is the Sin City of Asia or also viewed as the little Las Vegas! For tourists who are up for some gambling, delicious egg tarts, city lights, and Portuguese structures, this place should not be missed.

Ilocos Norte Tour - 1 Day Itinerary | Expenses | Tips

This was a special date with my best friend Jenny to one of the most beautiful regions in the Philippines. I am talking about the Ilocos Norte region - Laoag and Pagudpud.

Actually, this is the start of my 4D3N Pagudpud-Laoag-Vigan-BaguioTrip a la "Amazing Race". Below are helpful tips and itinerary for my Ilocos Norte trip. Enjoy!

Sinking Bell Tower
How To Explore Ilocos In 1 Day?
Jen and I were able to visit almost everything Ilocos has to offer in just 1 day, thanks to Kuya Glenn's car service. The rate may have a big difference against a tricycle tour but visiting many places in 1 day requires comfort, safety, and time management for you to enjoy the whole trip.

You can check the places we have visited in our Ilocos Norte trip for 1 Day here.

The driver also helped us budget our time, personal "taga-bantay" of our things and the best of all, served as our photographer :-)

Where To Stay?
I contacted Kuya Glenn (car service owner) and asked him where the best place to stay for the night is. He offers affordable home-stay for travelers. Unfortunately, it was fully booked at our time of arrival so he just suggested UKL hotel (good for two - 500 pesos for 12 hours). The hotel is fully air-conditioned, with hot and cold shower, Cable LCD/TV, Wifi access, and 24 hour security service. A very decent place to stay for thrifty travelers.

My good friend Joni were able to try Kuya Glenn's homestay and shared positive feedback about it. He also stressed that Kuya Glenn was such a great photographer ;)

Free Shuttle Ride!
Who said that only Macau offers free shuttle rides to tourists? Hmmm... not at all. At Laoag airport, we were informed that there’s a free shuttle for visitors that will take them to the city proper. Unfortunately, Jen and I were left behind because we waited at the airport a little longer for our car service owner's text reply.

UKL hotel (500 Php/12 hours divided by 2) = 250 Php
Car service (3,000 Php divided by 3 persons) = 1,000 Php
Miscellaneous (entrance fee and meals) = 300 php
Bus to Vigan = 120 Php
Total of 1,670 Php!

Laoag and Pagudpud are places with so much to offer to explorers. I enjoyed my stay because of its scenic views, friendly people, affordable purchases, and delicious foods.

Laoag to Pagudpud 1 Day Itinerary:

Date/Time Itinerary Location Remarks
8 am
(Day tour Laoag)

St. William Cathedral Note: Need a car to reach these places in 1 day 3,000 pesos (Glenn-09399237068) or (Manong Sely - 09325049138)
8:30 am
Laoag Sinking Bell Tower -
9 am - Fort Ilocandia Hotel & Resort Batac, Ilocos Norte
10 am - La Paz Sand Dunes -Sand boarding
10:30 am
Paoay Lake -
11 am - Paoay Church Bell Tower
Try Pinakbet Pizza at Herencia cafe
Marcos Avenue, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
11:30 am
Museo Ilocos Norte-50 entrance fee 20 pesos if w.student i.d
Marcos Mansion Batac, Ilocos Norte
12:30 pm - Malacanyang ti amianan (Malacanang of the north) 30 entrance fee
12:30 pm - 2pm
Travel from Laoag to Pagudpud and Lunch
2 pm - Cape Bojeador
3pm - Patapat Viaduct
4pm - Bangui Windmills
4 pm - 5:30 pm - Travel Pagudpud to Laoag Bus Terminal -
5:30 pm onwards - Travel to Vigan -

Katagbaoan Beach Farm - My Haven In Tagbaobo, Samal

I always like a fresh weekend get-away and so, I can just go to Samal and see endless choices of white beaches with complete amenities. But for me, well-known and accustomed beach resorts are too middle-of-the-road.

It’s more fun to go through rough roads and arrive in a heavenly place, free from unnecessary noise (I’m not talking about a retreat house here!), and can offer exciting activities. I’m sharing this favourite haven of mine for others to enjoy as well.

In fact, I have visited this place for more than 5 times already and still wanting to return. 

Why? Check out below:

The Beach

The shore is rocky making it a perfect trail for trekkers as it has a long stretch of shoreline.

This place is still undiscovered because only a few people were able to go here due to distance, but based on good experiences and visitors' satisfied word of mouth, I wouldn't be surprised if someday I’ll see people flocking in here.

Cliff Diving
There's a safe spot there with a right depth of water perfect for cliff diving. 

The Marine Life
When the water is shallow, you can easily see the corals. Be careful not to step on them as it would take years for a coral to recover a loss branch.
Hundred year old coral

Years ago, we met marine biologists from UP conducting a research in the area, and they said that the body of water there is a marine sanctuary. Oha! It’s really evident, marine life is rich and look at that hundred year old brain coral.

If you don't know how to swim, don't worry, you can still enjoy the marine biodiversity as they have snorkeling gears. I don't know how to swim too but I enjoyed the aquatic sights. :)

Heartbroken? Need some time alone? This beach resort is perfect for you. We always enjoyed the hammocks placed at the beach side where we can just sit and dip our toes in the water while talking about anything.

The Waterfalls

For just a 10-minute hike from Katagbaoan Beach Farm, you’ll see a staircase-like waterfalls. The problem is, you'll encounter mosquitoes which is quite annoying.

Tito Ching ala Buddha
For a 30-minute hike or a 10-minute ride from Katagbaoan Beach farm, you will be in Tagbaobo falls. Diane Castillejo and her team from Sports Unlimited once visited here and were captivated by what they saw.

Kinilaw with buko strips

Tito Ching always prepares delicious food for us. My top favourites are his nilupak na saging, ginataang gulay, champorado, and chicken tinola (uses buko juice for the sabaw). It really feels like home, only slightly more Dabawenyo ;-)

More Fun In Tagbaobo
My dearly loved barkada, celebrating a decade of friendship!

How To Get There?
You can directly go to Sasa Ferry Terminal (less than 15-minute ride from Davao Int'l Airport) and ride along in a Ferry which only costs 10 Php one way. At Samal Ferry Terminal, you can hire a trike and tell him to bring you to Katagbaoan Beach Farm In Brgy. Tagbaobo, Samal. 

Brgy. Tagbaobo is far from the terminal and the trike driver might ask you to pay around 150 to 200 Php one way. It would be a 30-45 minute bumpy ride but it's all worth it.

You can also arrange a private service with Tito Ching.

The Accommodation

Guests will be relaxed in a big airy house made of wood; Japanese-style chaise lounge and woven hammocks are also abundant around the place which gives you more opportunity to unwind. To experience this, you have to book in advance and you will have the place exclusively. Yes! Exclusively!

Tagbaobo is very special to me simply because it is the place where I and my barkada spent most of our summer vacations since high school. We graduated in college and still looking forward to go back here. I just want to share its beauty to others so that they can make their own special memories too. 

Contact Tito Monching our.resort@yahoo.com +69287590406 for the rates.

Credits to Melivea Melgazo and Chenee Marie Quia-eo for the pictures.

Related Links:
The Hidden Majestic Falls Of Tagbaobo

Quick Weekend Getaway At Villa Amparo In Samal

Summer is always relative to fun, sun and beach. As for us, a weekend in Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort - Samal was a bomb!

All activities are always fun when you're with your closest friends --- from swimming, eating, playing pinoy henyo, card games, to just sitting around and talk about anything.

Below are the things I enjoyed in Villa Amparo.
The way to the beach.

Abundant loungers

Need to pay 150 pesos per person to use that rubber playground. 

300 pesos for tent rental and the classy Balinese kiosk from behind.

Other accommodation options!

At the resort, we payed 200 pesos each for an overnight stay, but we also have 2 companions who preferred the day tour, and they paid 100 each. Entrance fee is not inclusive of the cottages.

Woke up at around 2am because most of my barkada are wide awake. In all fairness, d sila tipid sa kuryente. The lights were on until sunrise.

Other activities to enjoy include:
Water sports, snorkeling, kayaking, kid's sand box, billiard hall/darts, Spa (upon special arrangement), fishing, videoke, grill area, and many more.

Ferry Davao-Samal = 20 Php (roundtrip)
Samal terminal to Villa Amparo = 140 Php (roundtrip)
Entrance fee = 200 Php (overnight)
Tent (300 Php divided by 6 persons) = 50 Php
Food = 200
Total =  610 Pesos Only!!!

Amenities And Rates:
Please check their rates directly from Villa Amparo Website.

Meal services start at 7am to 9pm. 

How to get there?
Villa Amparo is located in Camudmud, Samal. From Davao City, we hopped in a ferry at Sasa Ferry Terminal (paid 10 pesos for the fare). When we arrived in Samal,  the resort’s L300 van waited for us. We payed 70 pesos each (one way) since we are 8 on board.

If  no reservation, a deal with tricycle drivers in the terminal (fare is around 50 pesos per head) can be done. It was a rough 30-minute ride but nevertheless bearable because the van we were in is spacious and air-conditioned.

Tip: Ask the resorts staff if they have available transportation back to the terminal in advance as the location of the resort is remote and public transportation is not always available.

Sometimes you just need your friends to call a day fun - a good place is a plus, and Villa Amparo was a great choice.

The place captures the serene air of nature, but sometimes beauty comes with a price - the use of the rubber playground, cosy cottages, and the corkage. However, all of the amenities were set in a reasonable price. My only problem is the beach, it's itchy especially in the morning.

Great service, safe place, and beautiful surrounding --- a fresh get-away for family and friends.

Contact: (+63)(82) 284 0692 / (+63) 922 8806977 / (+63) 999 8800225)

Credits to Melivea and Chenee for the pictures.

Don Beppe Ristorante Italiano - Davao's Favorite!

When you say delicious Italian Food in Davao that's worth your riches, Don Beppe always pop in my mind because of their wide range Italian Food selection. The place is accessible because it is located at Gaisano Mall's The Peak -- 2nd level. Cosy ambience but has a welcoming feeling.

Complimentary bread sticks with tomato ragu

Grub Resto Cafe Davao

My first visit to this place was because of a group deal purchased by my friend online. Money saved! Grin* The place is small but clean and cosy, furthermore, there are a lot of scrumptious options on their menu.

Grubs’ Spaghetti Meatballs

Barrio Bistro Davao - Go Mejicano!

The most affordable pizza in town! Yes, you heard me right. They are offering "buy 1 take 1" family-sized pizza and this is not a promo, which means you'll get the perks of it all-year round.

Here's how it works: while choosing 2 pizza, you'll only have to pay the pizza with a higher price (Not more than 400 php each). It's like the other pizza comes for free!

Barrio Pizza
Barrio Pizza

Swiss Deli Davao

The first thing you’ll see upon entering is like a mini grocery of Swiss goods - chocolates, breads, biscuits, dressed turkeys, etc. The dining hall is comfy and well ventilated. Also, I saw a lot of foreigners having their meals and booze.


La Toscana Davao Experience

I've heard a lot of positive feedbacks about this restaurant in the blogosphere, that's why I opted to have a friendly dinner date here with my friend, and they're right. Now, it's my turn to make a good blumber about this place.

La Toscana Davao

Meet The Author

Hi! I'm G and G is for Gadabout! A starry-eyed twentysomething, coming in with full of energy and ideas and loves to sit cross-legged, all polite and quiet-like.

Moreover, this blog is more than a documentation of my explorations as I have decided to be His writing partner. After every travel, I pull up a chair, a cup of coffee, and blog with Him...when done, I start to banter back and forth with Him, dream the next plot line and sail again!

Most of my explorations shared on this blog are "gipit sa oras" because of being tied up to my responsibilities at work and so, I booked most of my trips during weekends or during non-working holidays.

This blog is also my way of telling others that time constraint, money, and other personal issues are not a big deal if you really want to travel.

"Kung talagang gusto, may paraan..."

My travel experiences' golden rule is: "Always challenge yourself to do something you've never done before" By following that, all of my adventures became visceral, palpable and unforgettable.

I have a mole on my right foot... I bet that's the travel bug's bite mark!

Contact Me at archivalganessa@gmail.com

Explore Hong Kong Ocean Park In 1 Day

Hong Kong is not an English speaking country, even so, you will never get lost in that country because the MTR station route is not hard to understand. For a smooth travel, do your research in advance, or you'll end up making frequent halts just to ask questions.

Explore Hongkong Disneyland In 1 Day

Some say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and who would not want to be happy?

Day 1 in Hong Kong - Davao to Manila to HK

January 23, 2011

So this was the trip that made me a travel enthusiast. Went out of the country with my good friend Essa without a tour guide. Yes, it was a big risk since the Quirino Grand Stand hostage crisis was fresh and the Chinese population were generally not happy about Filipinos that time.

So we carried on with the basic knowledge we got from the internet and random inputs from friends who were able to visit the peninsula. Positively, nothing can stop us from going there since we already paid the aircraft, arranged the meet up with our college friends currently living in Manila, and we just can't afford to disappoint ourselves from too much excitement for this trip. It was a 4 day getaway that I'll never ever forget...

1st day
6am - Davao To Manila
At Manila, we met our college friends Nina, Ruel, Princess and Lynette. We hanged-out at Mall Of Asia while waiting for our flight to Hongkong scheduled in the evening. It was fun because we rehashed good old college memories, mishaps and just laughed our ass out.