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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let's Travel North

 I was finally able to treat myself to a photo walk on the Northern side of the Philippines last summer and been meaning to share with you the one-day trip but somehow the idea just skipped my mind altogether the past weeks. I would love to someday tour all of you in one of the most historic cities of this country...
It is around eight-hour ride from Manila but around one and a half hour drive from the nearby city which is Laoag which could be reached by plane daily.

My friends and I rode a bus and had a great time viewing the mountain ranges of Ilocos. We were on full alert as we passed by this bridge in Ilocos Sur which was named after one of the former Presidents of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino, the Banaoang/Quirino Bridge.  The bridge's architectural design has apparently survived the bombings of World War II. 
Reaching the city, each of us went on his/her own path to revel in the beauty of the well preserved heritage village. Cobblestones, Spanish designed houses, horse-carriages welcomed us and we could not contain our glee.

I was totally mesmerized by the nostalgic atmosphere that i didn't know which to shoot first. The horse-driven carriages fascinated me that i followed one after another.

..and yes we rode one as we took a tour around the city and you bet i enjoyed every minute of it...for a minute or two i closed my eyes and imagined being a princess from somewhere in time...

This was a door to one of the hotel-restaurants which i could not resists but take a photo of because of the artistic reflection caught in it.
The little kids and the folks all seemed friendly and gay that i wanted to stay for more than just  a day.
After the "Heritage Village" we visited next the "Pagburnayan"...the native jar factory.
Each one was marvelously crafted .

Before we ran out of energy we entered one of those restaurants that offered native treats. This was our dessert, "halo-halo" made of preserved fruits mixed with milk and ice which was perfect for the weather. Native rice cakes were the real treat in the city as well as ground meat rolls but i failed to take a picture of them in our hurry to go home.

Souvenirs for sale where everywhere. Knitted bags, hats, native ornaments, antique furniture; all at reasonable prices.

There were a thousand hand-made necklaces and bracelets to choose from that i failed to make up my mind....but those vivid hues reminded me of all of you whose wonderful friendship has stirred a love for travel in this once home-bound heart of mine. There's more of North that i would love to share with you some other time. For now i leave you with one thought...

"Life is sweet no matter where we are and no matter what direction we may go, for as long as in our hearts we keep no grudges, no hate, no shame..but LOVE the only word that could make us travel far to either North or even to a Star."


  1. superlike all the photos Zen, and thanks for the tour. and you are correct, the picture of you on the door of the restaurant with the reflection is very unique. i am so glad you saw that. hope to be touring there with you and the rest of TSS sisters one day, one sweet day, one sweet time, hopefully, we are not too old to enjoy life's priceless moments then. thanks always Zen, for remembering to share a part of you here.

  2. the last foto stole the show.. so many beadddddddddddddddddddss wowowowowowo

  3. i have never been to that part of the Philippines, PRP, so i was delighted today to go on a virtual tour there, through this web site, led by you:) i can imagine you riding down the cobblestone streets of the city on a carriage drawn by a gentle, slow-galloping horsey, a smile on your face as you took in the lovely Spanish-era style houses, the friendly villagers milling around, the nostalgic, slow-paced life observable throughout the place:) i am so happy you had the chance to visit such a lovely, historic city! the pix of your halo-halo made my mouth water:) how i wish i could order one for me, too! we make halo-halo here sometimes, but i know there's nothing like the REAL halo-halo made back in our native land:) and you are right- there's nothing like some really good halo-halo to quench the thirst and delight the palate after a day of touring a warm, tropical place! i also love the colorful pix of the souvenirs, PRP! i hope you got to pick out a lovely souvenir, but even if you didn't, i am sure the memories of your wonderful tour to Vigan City will remain with you for the rest of your life, long after any man-made souvenir falls apart:) Thank you for sharing your tour with us, zen!

  4. What a beautiful place, it is ashame that I didn't see this town before I left Phil. For now, I will settle viewing this gorgeous place through your shots.

    Enjoy traveling, taking pictures and sharing them with all of us.

    Thanks doki !!!

  5. OH my Zen -your best yet! Everything is beautifully documented. We haven't been to Vigan, but am really hoping we get a chance to see the place! Such a sight. Almost like a travel magazine! :)

  6. now Kulasa, let me say this... "take me there, take me there"!! ;) love all the photos sis, never been in that part of Philippines maybe someday sis with our salitype sisters :) thanks for sharing sis Zen how beautiful our country is...

  7. I miss home. Pag-uwi ko Sis pasyal mo ako jan. wink*




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