Road trips with the family are always fun. Imagine traveling through Luzon with three families, it will undoubtedly be one to remember! A 5-day road trip to Luzon, the northern part of the Philippines, was definitely one for the books. Fourteen people, three families, five days = countless stories.
A little while back, together with three families from ze mother's side a.k.a. #TeamPrada, we embarked on a road trip to Northern Luzon. We started our journey in Nueva Ecija, the host family's abode. We spent a day in Baler, Aurora and then traveled to Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Baguio, and then back to home base in Nueva Ecija. Here's a short video that summarizes the awesome Byaheng Norte.
Day 1: Baler, Aurora
Ronquillo Balete Eco-Park
Although technically not part of Baler, Ronquillo Balete Eco-Park, locally known as “Millenium Tree" in Brgy Quirino, Maria Aurora, Aurora is often a part of Baler day tour.
Bay-ler View Hotel and Restaurant
Had a quick milkshake break, then enjoyed an afternoon stroll by the beach. And of course, Baler isn't Baler without surfing.
- Museo de Baler
- Baler marker
Day 2: Vigan, Ilocos Sur
St. Paul's Cathedral
We started our Vigan tour by visiting the church - to thank the Lord for His traveling mercies and admire the cathedral's architecture.
Right in front of the St Paul's Cathedral is Plaza Salcedo, where we enjoyed a quiet stroll and took lots and lots of photos.
A Vigan City tour would never be complete without visiting the renowned Calle Crisologo. It's a major attraction that takes you back to Philippine Spanish colonial time.
Check-in: Ergo Hotel
We spent the night at Ergo Hotel and left early the next day to explore Ilocos Norte.
Day 3: Ilocos Norte
Ferdinand Marcos Presidential Center, Batac
Batac, Ilocos Norte is known by its moniker, "Home of the Great Leaders." Batac has earned this title because of three prominent figures - Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Bishop Gregorio Aglipay, and General Artemio Ricarte. We dropped by the Ferdinand E Marcos Presidential Center, which houses a large collection of Marcos Memorabilia.
And then we were off to San Agustin Church or more popularly known as Paoay Church. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the church is definitely one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the Philippines.
Tip: Afternoon is the best time to visit for better lighting. 😀
Paoay Sand Dunes
A little farther north and we found ourselves at Paoay Sand Dunes.
The 'millennial' kids went sandboarding (or some version thereof).
But who says only the 'kids' get to enjoy such adventures and that the titos and titas are left on the sidelines? Not the #TeamPrada! Our titos and titas jumped with us into a couple of 4x4's to an adventure of a lifetime. 😎
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos
The last stop of the day is at the creamy white rock formation of Kapurpurawan, which got its name from the Ilocano word "puraw" which literally translates to "white."
We ended our Ilocos Norte exploration at Burgos, Ilocos Norte. We opted not to push it farther to Bangui and Pagudpud, as we are set to spend the night in Baguio City.
Check-in: Transient Home in Baguio City
Day 4: Baguio City
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
Because of #ForevermoreFeels of the titas, we visited La Trinidad, about 3 kilometers from Baguio City proper. We imagined picking the freshest strawberries, but it wasn't harvest season. 😞
So we just enjoyed strawberry ice-cream "pang-Instagram" and well, because it also promised to be yummy.
Baguio Botanical Garden
We also roamed around Baguio Botanical Garden.
Camp John Hay
Stopped by Camp John Hay for lunch...
and more #Forevermore feels. 😂
Final stop before leaving Baguio City is of course, Burnham Park!
Mt. Santo Tomas forest reserve (Sitio La Presa of Forevermore)
And because #ForevermoreFeels is real, we just HAVE TO visit the famous Sitio La Presa! 😅
No strawberries still. Only lots and lots of marble potatoes sold at Php 10 per kilo!
Day 5: San Jose, Nueva Ecija
Just like that, we're back to our home base in Luzon!
Day 5 was spent pasalubong shopping before heading back to Manila for our flight back to Mindanao.
We visited 3 stores for their awesome pasalubong selections:Dairy Box
San Vicente's Special Homemade Kakanin
Aaaaand it's a wrap! Now, #TeamPrada, let's plan for that long overdue round 2, shall we?
More photos HERE.