Sunday, February 13, 2011

What to See in Ilocos Norte: Windmills, Etc.

Where: (almost) the northern tip of Philippines
What: second day of my adventures in exploring the wonderful Ilocos province

Marcos' Memorial
Ferdinand Marcos was the infamous dictator of the Philippines during the Martial Law in the 1970s. Very cunning, lifted off our country to superiority but it was also in his hands that it plummeted down harshly too.
Now that he is gone, he has not yet fully left. Here in his memorial in his home province of Ilocos lies his preserved body. Wax-preserved body. Upon entering the place (pictures are not allowed there), black walls greeted us, along with this solemn and haunting background mellow playing. We were in a line as we crept up to the middle, where his BODY lays in a glass coffin, dramatically lighted and with flowers---completing the totally eerie vibe. 
Why is his body not yet buried under the ground like else? Or even burned to ashes and scattered in the wind? 

Seeing a dead body made me hungry (ew?) so after I rushed off outside I made a beeline to the ice cream vendor (it was sooo hot that day), and also I bought one of the food pride of Ilocos---chichacorn. Their chichacorn is so unlike the ones sold here in the city. It does not even compare with its freshness and crunchiness. Still hungry, we went to taste another Ilokano delicacy:
Mmmmm! Hot, crunchy, and that Ilocos longganisa. Partnered with Ilocos vinegar. It was so delicious. Eat the best empanada here:

Batac claims to be the home of great leaders: like Ferdinand Marcos (arguably for some).

Batac Church or Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion Church.

Paoay Church

What is amazing with this structure is it is made up mostly corals! The bell tower is made up of coral stones.Very beautiful, remarkable, and historical. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. This was built since the time of the Spanish invasion, and the tall and immense bell tower served as the observation post of the Katipuneros during their fight against the invaders, and again by the Filipino guerillas on the lookout for the Japanese during the World War II. This church is also called the "Earthquake Baroque"; it was partly damaged due to earthquakes before.

In front of the church. Look how incredibly cloudless it was that day! It was the hottest day I had ever experienced.

Lunch at Ilocos Norte Coastline
Our meals are packed fast food and we can eat it inside the bus or outside as we parked temporarily in this coastline. What a stunning beach just right off the road! Even though it was still too hot outside, we cannot resist the beauty of the water and we ran towards it. You can't swim here, though; it's not safe. This is near the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, which is another popular tourist spot. We were supposed to go there but due to lack time, I guess, we did not. Shame, I would love to climb atop it and see the view.

I actually got a bit scared of nearing the waters because it was quite difficult, plus the wind and the waves were strong. The rocky path was a challenge to walk on, there were even holes and gaps which waters filled so you have to be careful. It was unstable. But still, it's not everyday I get to see a view like this! I feel like somewhere abroad and not in the Philippines. But, its genuinely Philippines. We cannot doubt its beauty upon seeing these scenic view. 

Windmills in Bangui Bay
Though a popular tourist spot, this area is undeveloped for purely tourism. This is for the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project which utilized the wind blown from the South China Sea towards the land and turn it into electricity, contributing 40% to the power needs of Ilocos Norte.

For the last part of my Ilocos Norte explorations, we went to the pristine Pagudpud beach!

TIME OF MY LIFE. <3 <3 <3
Location: Ilocos Norte, Philippines


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