(Continuation : Ilocos and Cebu trips 1, and Ilocos and Cebu trips 2)
We rode the bus going to Batac, Ilocos Norte and took us an hour. The bus was non-air conditioned and it was just fine, though the weather was humid it was also very windy and the air was also fresh. I was kind of sleepy all through out the journey so sometimes I found myself napping a bit. Be warned, the fare is around 40 pesos but the bus collector was collecting more, so if you are Filipino, just pretend to be local and pay the exact fare - no huge bills please :D Then we alighted at a corner opposite to the Marcos Museum and Imelda's. We were looking for the waxed dictator but were a bit lost so we decided to take some photos. Since it was late noon and we were hungry as beasts, we decided to have lunch at Chowking. I had a Shanghai Luriat which was so yummy - it was a familiar taste when I was still working in Makati City where I always ordered that meal.... After the meal, Mars and I went looking for a liter of bottled water and found one just opposite side of the road where Chowking was. Then we followed Atepuya and Mommy Zhet to Imelda's museum. I can feel the people of Ilocos adored the family. In fact, Imelda is back in Congress, Imee her daugther the governor of the province and her son, Bong-bong is a senator, doing the upper house. Anyway, the museum houses some news clippings glued all over the wall which showed the fist couple their stints locally and abroad. Interestingly, there were documents of some sort about back notes and all the finances of the government to various institutions worldwide. I wonder if there were some truth to these documents but then I was a tourist and no time for being a journalist or investigator of some sort. People and history has judged them as corrupt and tyrants and so be it! After visiting Imelda's den, we went to the waxed Marcos. There were people queuing to see the preserved president and I was one of them. I saw him lying there but wondered if he's at peace with himself and his creator. He looked some kind of a biological specimen where people tries to view and even examine him. Anyway, there was a blooper as the attendant thought I was selling something and he called me up and asked me what I was selling. I just replied I was selling nothing and went out of the dark room. Good thing he did not interrogate me or my mates. Its difficult to explain in Tagalog which we both understand so I'll be forced to speak in English which he might find as arrogance on my part. Well I was just thankful nothing messy happened and just gave the whole situation a laugh. I was with Mommy Zhet and her kid, waiting outside for Ate Puya and Mars. After that, we decided to go to the Baroque church of Paoay. It is a UNESCO heritage site same as the Calle Crisologo. We couldn't find any jeep so we decided to ride in a tricycle. We reached the church rather quick and indeed it was beautiful from the outside and we couldn't stop ourselves from taking pictures. There were other tourists enjoying the view of the church from outside and there was some wedding to be held in the church as the outside was decorated with flowers and some tables and chairs dressed in white. Then we went closer and inside the church and as tradition taught me, I said some simple prayers of thanks and wishes for family and friends. After the church visit, we were going to Laoag and catch a bus going to Pagudpud. There were no jeep traversing the not so busy street and good thing there was an elderly walking our way so we asked her where we can ride a jeep to Laoag. She then gave us detailed instructions in Tagalog ofcourse and not in Ilocano. After some few minutes of walking, we found the jeep terminal. We then fastened ouselves and after an hour ride, we reached Laoag. The jeep driver also was not that honest enough as he gave us the wrong change and since we confronted him, he then explained this and that and so he took 60 pesos more from our fare. I did not want to argue with the crook so we just go our way and rode the bus going to Pagudpud. After a few minutes of waiting, the bus fired its engine and the journey began. It was a long journey and we were greeted with beautiful greenery and some vast farmland and sometimes some hills or mountains. I was a bit exhausted so I was not able to pass on napping and this time it was a long one. I did not mind the uncomfortable seat in fact. Well, after two hours of travel I was awaken by a sudden stop of the bus and there was this passenger arguing with the bus fare collector they were talking in Ilocano so it was gibberish to us. Then the bus continued the journey and from a far we saw the windmills - that was the sign we were nearing to our destination. After more than hour or more of riding the bus, we arrived at the town proper. We alighted and saw that the town is not that crowded. The homestay inn attended was informed by MJ that we have arrived and as advised, we ate dinner in a store because according to instructions, the food near the beach could get very expensive. Well for the naive tourists as we are, the food at the town was also pricy but was not worth its value. We were hungry so we just ate our food and did not mind much of our angry pockets. Then MJ sent a message to the driver who will fetch us and there we found him parked just outside the store. After we paid the food bills, we rode the tricycle and off we went to our homestay inn named Lilia. The place was getting dark already and once we arrived at our destination, we unpacked our stuff and prepare to bed. MJ arranged for a whole day tour tomorrow and they're going to pick us up around 9:00AM. After I cleaned myself up and surfed the net, I jumped into bed and hibernated for quite a long while.
Morning came and I was awakened by some movements from outside. Mj and the rest of the gang wokeup already and they were preparing for something to eat. I had noodles, bread and oats, same as the rest of my friends.
(To be continued....)