Monday, May 30, 2011

Ilocos and Cebu trips 4

(Continuation : Ilocos and Cebu trips 1 , Ilocos and Cebu trips 2 and Ilocos and Cebu trips 3)

After that decent meal, it was a bit drizzling yet we continued on to our plan of that day tour so we were busy as bee preparing. At around 8:30 in the morning, the clear sky appeared, so we were relieved and happy :D

The two local trikes arrived and we just picked our pick and rode the way to our first stop which was the windmills of Bangui - first ever wind farm in the Southeast Asia. The ride took us 30 minutes I guessed. And when we arrived there, it was really a wonderful sight. The wind was really strong and it felt like a bit of a sand storm rushing to our faces. It is advised to wear some sunglasses to protect your eyes. Well, we did not have to contain and hide or shy away from this new experience. All we have got to do is gear up the cameras and click it all the way. There were some weird poses and unskillful jump shots, solo poses and group ones, too. The place is beautiful specially the curved bay where the windmills standing tall and proud from afar, end to end - we were almost halfway of the windmills and there were like more than 20 or these towering icons. We then bought some mini windmills as souvenirs and it was fun playing with it - obviously we were like kids. After another photo ops, we then went back to our trikes and the next stop was to see the rock formation in Kapurpurawan. It was not that far from where we were, say 15 minutes I guess. We then arrived at the parking area and had to walk for like 10 minutes to reach the rock formation. Well, it's worth it, as it was wonderful. The huge rocks were painted white. If you touch it, they were actually sands sticking on to the rocks which was quite interesting. The place was a bit of crowded though so wanting to get a solo picture will need some doze of patience. Anyway, after we took some nice pictures of the place, we decided to go back to our trikes. It was halfway when the sky started to pour and the drops became huge. We were ran as fast as we can but we were still soaked.... Anyway, it did not matter much as we were prepared and knew the fact that it was gonna rain as it was the early morn. The next stop was the Bojeador light house. It was not that far because it took us 20 minutes to get there. There was nothing unusual as I have been to a lighthouse before. It's just that its really old, built in 1892 and its historical value is immeasurable. It has also served the island such an important role in trade and commerce. After checking out the place and appreciating some bits of history, we then took some pictures and left. It was already noon and we were screaming for food. We ask the trike drivers to bring us to a local eatery one that serves local food and not the store at the town center which was a ripoff. Good thing we were brought to a clean eatery and the serving is quite decent and the foods were tasty, plus, they were showing the Pacquiao Mosley fight. Guess what, we stayed there for almost 30 minutes up to 7 rounds of fist fight, watching the greatest boxer of the world who is a Filipino. It was an interesting lunch, I supposed. After our lunch, our next stop was the Kabigan Falls. It was a long ride and prior to that, we stopped at a Pagudpud signage and took some pictures. Then the ride continued on. It was getting hot and no sign of a downpour which was a good thing. I wanted to have a good tan by the way :)) We arrived at the Kabigan Falls entrance and there was a fee just for maintenance I guess of the place and they will provide us a tour guide. There was call of nature on my part so my friends waited for me and when I got out of the comfort room, the shutter clicked and there you go, my face was digitally captured. It was such a funny experience .... Then we started walking together with our guide. Quite a long walk and I kept on asking as to how long are we gonna walk and the guide said around 30 minutes which was quite far. That made my expectations higher because of that long walk. I was personally expecting the falls to be really beautiful .... Then we met some people on the road selling fresh coconut and MJ would say later and we encountered like three ladies selling the same thing with MJ uttering the same replies. We were greeted by thick forest though paved and some rice farms. From a distance, we could hear the river gushing. After that long walk, we could see then the waterfall and when we got closer, indeed, it was beautiful. The water is so clear and the height of the falls is gorgeous. We took some photos and then we bathe. The water was cold as ice but it was beautiful and it felt so refreshing. I was happy just bathing with my friends in a beautiful Kabigan falls. Hoping people will take good care of the place. After that fleeting experience, we decided to journey back to our waiting post. It was another 30 minutes of walking but we were having some fun. It was also a chance of taking some photos and laughing really loud. When we arrived to Kabigan outpost, which was managed by the local cooperative, we paid the bill and geared up for the next stop, the aqueducts, the interesting male and female islands, just imagine the shape of the islands, then the beach which peaked my interest, the blue lagoon. To cut the story short, we spent most of the afternoon at the beach, enjoying the breeze, the sun, the wave and deep blue sky. The water was really blue at the blue lagoon =)) what else =)) by virtue of its name ? After, frolicking at the blue lagoon, we decided to call it a day. We rode back to our homestay villa but prior to that, we bought some barbeques for dinner as we intended to have a sunset dinner. The beach at the homestay villa was just a stone throw away. We also bought the special empanda which has longganisa in it. By the way, they did not have puso or hanging rice :( Then off we went to our beach quarters. When we arrived, we paid our drivers for the whole day service and then we packed our things for the sunset dinner by the beach. We were in hurry by the way because the clock was ticking and there was no take too of the said experience. We were just in time, as when we set our things by the beach, the sun was starting to illuminate the sky and began changing hues and painting in bright red, comes with orange and yellow - a lovely sight indeed. We ate and enjoyed the sunset. There was this balot vendor and MJ called him out and since I haven't tasted balot ever and it was a bit dark, I was forced to or rather I got interested to end my curiosity. I ate balot which was dated 18 days where the chick has started to form. It was such an unforgetable experience for the balot and me =)). Darkness has covered the place so we decided to really call it a day. We cleaned up our mess and packed up, then proceeded to our nest. After a few minutes of chats and laughs we went to our own cocoons....

The next morning, MJ and mommy Zhet went out to buy fresh catch from the fisher folks. I was in bed and woke up because Atan was shaking me that the thermos was there already and he needed someone to help him pour some hot water on his cup of corn flakes. I then managed to jump off my bed and went outside and did it for the kid. Good thing he said thank you or else I would have devoured him alive as I was still busy sleeping and dreaming :D Anyway, MJ and mommy Zhet arrived with some fresh catch but they were really small fishes. They said that when they arrived, all the bigger ones were already sold and good thing there were still some fishes left.... MJ asked the house owner to cook the fish "tinola" and "inunon-unan" style. We had to eat that later and so we just bread and some oats. After that, we prepared for the next activity which was again by the beach. We bathe the whole morning and took some photos until we begged to stopped because we were hungry. I liked the beach all in all except for one thing, the water was quite deep after a few meters from the shoreline so its a bit scary to really go far. Anyway, we enjoyed the sun and the beach so it does not really matter in the long run. After that, we decided to pack up and eat. We arrived at our place and there the food was ready to be served. We had a feast in our table and the fishes cooked the Filipino way and specifically with the Ilocano touch made it just right. It was an enjoyable lunch.... After the feast, my tummy felt exploding =))

We were planning to leave early so after some few minutes of rest, I went to the shower. After the shower, I felt wanting to sleep :P It was going to be a lazy day I think for everyone but yeah were going to have a long ride going back to Manila. Anyway, after finishing our bills, the owner of the house had us sign something of a slum book. Since nobody wanted to write and I had said yes, it was I who volunteered myself in short. After the picture taking, we then set for ride to the town center to catch a bus going to Manila. When we arrived at the town, we were told that the bus was not ready and so we decided to take another bus going to Laoag then. The ride will take us 3 hours or more but we did not mind much. The bus collector sensed that we were tourist so he gave us the wrong change and then MJ asked the collector in a huge voice about the correct fare and so he gave us the change which was rightfully ours. Then everyone went quite an I went to a nap. After that three long hours, we arrived at Laoag and we took another ride going to the bus terminal. It was already around 4PM and the attendant told us that the bus going to Manila will be ready at around 5:30PM. So we just waited there and sensing another hunger, we decided to buy "empanada", again.

The clock struck 5:30 and the bus arrived. We made our swiftest move to get inside the bus as fast as we could so we can choose the seats we liked. And we decided to go to the back seats. After a few minutes of waiting, the bus fired up its engine and drove away bound for Manila. It was a bit hard to sleep because of the noisy rascals in front of us and the ride felt so bumpy. At around 9PM the bus stopped for dinner. I was not particularly hungry but I wanted to eat so there, I went out of the bus and dined together with the gang. It was such an expensive meal for an eatery. After the meal, we got back to the bus. I saw the empty seats of noisy rascals and they were also about to settle to their seats and since the adult moms were not with them, I decided to take their seats. They arrived and stared at me but I did not move a single cell. So the noisy kids decided to go out of the bus, maybe complaining to their moms. And so, I got up and went to my proper seat, and Atan who was telling me that it was not my seat was actually chucking of what has just transpired. Then the bus was beginning to be filled with people. The journey then continued and after an hour ride we stopped at this "pasalubong" or gift counter - usually delicacies of the locality. We just went out of the bus and checked some good stuff and nothing much that interested us, so we ended up not buying anything.

The bus ride to Manila continued and that the rascals were reprimanded by the bus attended because of their noise and he turned their lights off which was great for us. From there, we were able to have a serious nap already.

At around 4 AM we arrived in Manila. We took a cab going to Philam village and after unpacking a bit we went to our nests.... I had a wonderful sleep but had to wake up a bit early because we were planning to tour the old Manila. I have been to Manila before and in fact stayed in Makati for a year but never in my life been to the old historical Manila. Everyone were waking up and Ate Mars went to the shower first, after she's done, I went next and then after that, MJ - our host and tour guide. The place was a bit humid so I stayed outside just sitting in the corner while waiting for my friends to finish their stuff.

We went to the mall first to have my Singapore dollars into Philippine pesos and Ate Mars has to withdraw some cash as well. But prior to that, we ate first at Tokyo -Tokyo, a Japanese fast food.

We decided to take the MRT going to Taft then to UN Avenue if I was not mistaken. The ride was smooth though crowded. Alighting at the station we had to walk out and put on our shades as the sun was up their and glorious. Manila has not changed much as it was still really crowded and a bit dusty because of the buses and the jeepneys plying like kings of the road. Then we arrived at the National Tourism then the National museum. The buildings were old and the architecture were beautiful. In from of the museum was the statue of Lapu-Lapu who looked different from what we have in Cebu. Then we went to Intramuros, the famed Spanish walled city in Manila. We took the "kalesa" or horse carriage to feel the history of the place and this chatty caballero was having some interesting historical rhetoric. We had fun but he asked 50 pesos each from us after the ride which was okay.... Then we toured the whole of Intramuros going to the garrison of Rizal. We eventually went to the Manila Cathedral then to some arts and crafts house. Then we went to Rizal park. We could not wait for the fountain display and since we wanted to buy something, we went back to the MRT station and off we went to Ayala specifically, Glorietta mall. We bought some Krispy Kreme and then we decided to have dinner at the Kitchen and the bill was on me :D The Kitchen hasn't changed as food was really delicious. After that dinner, we decided to call it a fun day and we went back to PhilAm village and prepare for my early flight tomorrow. My flight was at 7 and Ate Mars had hers at 12, but then she decided to go with me so as to save fare and aside from that, she can have company. It was a quick ride early dawn and the guard asked us of some ID and I gave my passport to him to show my identification which did not really matter because we were already leaving the village. The guard then helped us get a cab which was just nearby waiting for some customers. We then rode the cab and proceeded to NAIA terminal 3.

By the way, I cancelled my flight back to Singapore which was the previous day and I decided to go to Cebu for my high school reunion and also to buy some properties :D

(To be continued....)

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