I am still going through my backlogs and they’re not getting any less maybe because I am busy pretending to study hard (but it’s just boring without any major subject/s), watching Running Man, reading Manga, meeting with people and all sorts of things humans usually do. On another note, maybe it’s just like what Edra said: I have grown tired of this blog and have lost the urge to tell the world everything that happens to me. I don’t actually know which is which but I’m quite sure I’m not doing this for the world.
Anyway, this one’s long overdue (it happened last May) but I’m writing about it now because I need a break from taking my minor subjects too seriously. Also, it’s still summer in some parts of the world. HAHA!
I’ve been to Ilocos twice. The first time was in high school during a Girl Scout field trip. Aside from the horse named Angelita, some badly-focused pictures developed from film, sleeping in classrooms and bits of memories, I don’t recall much of the trip. Second was last year with my Reverse Band. We’re not really a band, we just like to call ourselves that. That one’s pretty much documented along with its ups and downs.
This year, I visited Ilocandia Region again. This time with my siblings, cousins and father (the chaperone).
And then the nightmare began thanks to the infamous Dalton Pass. I only learned recently that this zigzag road is actually called Dalton Pass because we simply refer to it as Santa Fe. I was told “you better go to sleep because we’re nearing Santa Fe lest you want to vomit your guts out” every time we travel to and from Manila ever since I was a child.
It wasn’t the steep curves that caused the nightmare tho but the impossible traffic. Usually, it only takes an hour or less to go through Dalton Pass. Lo and behold, we spent 12 hours thanks to an accident involving a 10-wheeler truck, slow response from whoever is responsible and insensitive drivers who left their big cars on the road to spend the night elsewhere. Yes, 12 freaking hours. It played with my emotions. A couple of times I was hopeful because we were beginning to gain speed after being stuck for an hour or two only to stop again after 500 meters (and be stuck again for an hour). I’ve never hated traffic more and been afraid of it since. Now I always always always pray whenever I pass by this notorious pass.
We should’ve arrived in Vigan, Ilocos Sur at 8 AM. At 6 AM we were welcoming the sunrise on Dalton Pass. We were sleepless, hot (we had to turn off the air con to save on fuel) and hungry (we subsisted on junk food and yogurt sticks).
At sunset we were still an hour or two away from Vigan. Good thing we passed by this nice view to compensate for a wasted day. Oh well, that’s the
beauty of thing about roadtrips and life in general, you can’t control everything.
Irene’s is one of the famous stores serving Vigan Empanada and Okoy. I have to admit that their Empanada is good but I’m not a fan of the Okoy. It’s the crunchy type made mostly of shrimps. I prefer the one with squash and veggies (who would’ve thought I’d say I like veggies?).
Another problem was where to spend the night. You see I’m partly a “bahala na si Batman” planner and we arrived without any reservations on a weekend during Summer. As expected, most hotels were fully booked. After much walking in the dark, we found refuge in Hotel Salcedo Vigan.
I remember Mikki’s story of the bell being rang to signal that it’s time for meals in their household. Talk about sosyal. I guess this bell served the same purpose because it is located in the dining area of the mansion.
Upon seeing the dilapidated state of most houses, I felt a pang of sadness. What if we preserved them? Or better yet, what if we still incorporate their designs when building our homes today instead of trying hard to copy western houses?
Igado from a sidewalk Eatery. Cheap, delicious and authentic (far from the ones they serve in Manila). Igado is an Ilocano dish made from pork tenderloin and pig’s innards such as liver, kidney, heart.
We had Bagnet sandwhich which was delicious but had to be eaten right away because the Bagnet and bread become tough, their specialty seafood pasta which was okay, Dragonfruit ice cream because Dragonfruit is abundant in the region (I wanted to visit a farm but we didn’t have enough time) and a tupig-like dessert with chocolate syrup.
Drinks. I’m guessing the yellow one is Odalisque, “Organic honey with calamansi”, the brown has banana and coffee while the last one is called Una Chula, “a combination of imee wine, bugnay wine, basi, calamansi and iced tea”. The taste of alcohol was very evident, obviously.
You get what you pay for because only the basics are provided. It’s even debatable whether the air conditioning is working or the sheets are changed. Plus there was a funny smell reminiscent of your grandmother’s bedroom. But since I’m not a fan of splurging on accommodations (because you will only sleep there for a couple of hours and taking a bath is even optional HAHA!) it was acceptable.
I have a picture of this sewer because my father fell from it the night before while busy texting. It was a miracle he didn’t have any fracture though he had difficulty walking. Thank God he fell on all fours instead of his head. He was the laughing stock the whole time because we can only imagine how disgusting the smell was. I have fond memories of our last night in Pagudpud. We laughed and talked and scared each other and shared stories till 2 AM. More than the places you go, sometimes it’s the time you spend with people you love that matters.