Paoay Church – A marvel in itself

The Paoay Church is beautiful, certainly one of the finest Ilocos has to offer

I am very much amazed by the sheer number of old-churches the Philippines has. I have been to many, and as a matter of fact, I make sure that whenever I go to any road trip that I get to visit at least one of them at my destination. Of the hundreds of old-style churches that we have here, only four of them are recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization: an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts) as World Heritage Sites.

Located in the sleepy town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte, the San Agustin church boasts of high and thick walls serving as its fortress. With a beautiful structure to die for, visiting this one is a must. Your trip to Ilocos wouldn’t be complete without visiting the marvelous Paoay Church.

I’ve been to the Northern part of Luzon a couple of times in the past – one during my 2009 Northern Luzon Loop, and another one on a booked van tour 8 years ago. I did enjoy both trips although I felt there was something missing and they were somewhat rushed. Maybe the missing thing is visiting one of the most beautiful churches we have here in the Philippines. And that is the Paoay Church – officially named The Church of Saint Augustine. I have always been fascinated by old churches but visiting a church that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site makes it even more special, as we only have four in the Philippines.

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Going inside one of the windmills of Northwind Bangui Bay Project (aka Bangui Windmills)

The long row of windmills in Bangui, Ilocos Sur is a sight to behold. It is so unusual in the Philippines that some people travel up to 1200 kilometers by land just to see it. I even know some people who has included the Bangui Windmills in their bucket list.

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I’ve been to the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project for a couple of times now, both as part of a Northern Luzon Loop solo expedition, but this time would be different.

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Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. It was first lit on March 30, 1892, and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions as a welcoming beacon to the international ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.

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The Majestic Paoay Church

I am very much amazed by the sheer number of old-churches The Philippines has. Of the hundreds of old-style churches that we have here, only 4 of them are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Your trip to Ilocos wouldn’t be complete without visiting the marvelous Paoay Church.

Located in the sleepy town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte, the San Agustin church boasts of high and thick walls serving as its fortress. With a beauty to die for, visiting this one is a must.

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Laoag City at night

Almost 500 kilometers from Manila, Laoag City is the capital of the Northernmost province in Luzon Island – Ilocos Norte.

Most of the pictures we see about Laoag road trips are often during the day time, but have you seen Laoag at night?

Join me as I explore Laoag City through the lens of my camera.

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A Visit to Museo Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte is a province rich in Philippine History and old-style culture. Museo Ilocos Norte in Laoag City holds many remnants of that authentic Filipino lifestyle.

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Where to eat in Laoag: Johnny Moon Cafe

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I recently did my Extreme Northern Luzon Loop and as always, part of my trip would be a gastronomic tour. I stayed in Laoag City (and toured the nearby towns) for 3 days and experienced a lot of food. While doing my day tour photowalk, I came upon this nice, steady spot located right smack at the middle of the city. It was actually one of the recommendations when I was looking for one as I checked out FourSquare. And so, one of the places that gave me an unforgettable experience would be Johnny Moon Cafe.

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The Extreme Northern Loop – August 11, 2012

I’ve been missing out on all the riding action lately. Busy with a lot of stuff…and busy planning my next ride.

So here it is The Extended Northern Luzon Loop: Manila – Bulacan – Pampanga – Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union – Ilocos Sur – Abra – Ilocos Norte – Apayao – Cagayan – Isabela – Quirino – Nueva Vizcaya – Benguet (via Aritao) – Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija – Bulacan – Manila.

My very own 15 province tour. I plan on visiting mostly museums in this trip, and capture pictures of memorabilia hundreds of years old.

Hoping for good weather this time. Continue reading

Northern Luzon Loop – First Timer – Solo Ride – Signal No. 2 – 1291 km

I’ve always been intrigued by the North Loop, based on the posts I’ve seen in the internet that is why I have long been planning to do a Loop around the Northern part of Luzon.

Took off at July 30, 4 AM. Plan was to take the counter-clockwise route passing through Bulacan then Nueva Ecija. I have previewed it before by going as far as Ilagan, Isabela so I knew what to expect until that point, since the ideal 1st night is to be spent in Tuguegarao, which was ‘only’ 90 kms away from Ilagan.

Spectacular scenery definitely. The ride started to get exciting once I got past San Jose in Nueva Ecija (maybe 150 kms into the trip).

Spectacular sceneries indeed… would have been a much much enjoyable and safer trip if not for the Tropical Storm Jolina heading my way. I have traveled a lot in the past solo, but doing a North loop right in the eye of the storm truly made this expirience one of my most memorable ones, in terms of motorcycle riding.

Allow me to share some of my pictures from my recent trip – July 30 to August 2, 2009. I don’t know where to start since I have a lot of pictures to share (pasensya na, consider this as my North Loop blog), so I’ll go through the story per province.

As I’ve said, left Villamor Airbase close to 4 pm and arrived in Gapan a little past 6 am.

NUEVA ECIJA

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Nueva Ecija arc

NUEVA VIZCAYA

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Nueva Vizcaya Arc

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Daang Maharlika Highway Boundary

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