[Ilocos] ► Vigan-Pagudpud Motorbike Ride and Challenges Along the Way

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"Sandwiched by the Ilocos-Cordillera mountain ranges and the West Philippine Sea, the result is a breathtaking landscape of the ocean, the narrow plains and the mountains."

[ILOCOS, PHILIPPINES] ► The two Ilocos provinces have a narrow strip of plains yet teeming with rich culture, heritage, culinary scenes and natural wonders. Sandwiched by the Ilocos-Cordillera mountain ranges (on the east side) and the West Philippine Sea (on the west side), the result is a breathtaking landscape of the ocean, the narrow plains and the mountains. I would say riding a motorbike is the best way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Ilocos countrysides.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE/></div><H1>[ILOCOS] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO ILOCOS!</H1><br />
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[ILOCOS] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO ILOCOS!


Last June, nine adventurers hit the long and winding road to Pagudpud from ▼ #VIGAN

#VIGAN


. With me were my two younger brothers, my uncle and his three friends and our neighbor with his 10-year-old son in tow.

Planning this Trip

THE IDEA OF DRIVING OUR MOTORBIKES ALL the way to the northernmost point of Luzon island in Pagudpud from our hometown Vigan has been a top option for me and my two brothers (who happened to be my best riding buddies). However, our schedules have hindered us from doing so. Last July 09, the opportunity to finally do this long-haul ride came. There were nine of us.

Planning the itinerary wasn't that hard to do because the popular tourist attractions in Ilocos Norte were our target so it wouldn't be hard for us to plot our route since roads have been built to make those attractions accessible. Besides, Most of Ilocos Norte's popular tourist attractions is located just along (or near) the National Highway. Yes, our target was Ilocos Norte.

Vigan

AT 4 AM, WE ASSEMBLED IN FRONT of our compound in Vigan fenced with bamboos and tall old trees. Our ever supportive mom also woke up early to perform her motherly duty—to see that her kids are in good condition and to remind us to keep safe, seven times.

This is it. We had to start early 'cause it would be a long drive, a long ride. Long endurance needed.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[VIGAN] ► TIME CHECK: 4 AM, IN FRONT OF OUR COMPOUND

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[VIGAN] ► WE'RE READY TO GO!

Bantay

▼ #BANTAY

#BANTAY

IS THE FIRST MUNICIPALITY WE ENTERED
after Vigan. If you're in Vigan and you need a 24-hour fastfood restaurant, convenience stores and gasoline station, head to the next town of Bantay because when the city of Vigan sleeps, the town of Bantay takes over.

Bantay is located along the National Highway (Maharlika Highway) where vehicles traveling to and from METRO MANILA pass so most gasoline stations here is open 24 hours to service the 24-hour Northern Luzon-Metro Manila transportation scene. With that, we were able to fully fill our tanks with gasoline during a time when the whole city is still hybernating.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BANTAY] ► FILLING OUR GASOLINE TANKS

San Ildefonso to Cabugao

THE SAN ILDEFONSO-CABUGAO LEG OF OUR motorbike ride was a dark, cold, mischievous stretch of road which, during that time, was under reconstruction. Potholes were everywhere so we were like turtles running gently to keep safe. The asphalt-overlayed pavement was scraped. It made our motorbikes swivel from left to right.  The lanes were uneven. The shoulders were inches higher. The main lanes were depressed. Our goal to reach Pagudpud early in the morning turned impossible. We couldn't drive faster. We had to deal with this unexpected scenario.

With all the precaution and road safety tricks, we reached the town of Sinait where we joined the heavens in celebrating the release of the light.

Sinait

THE ROAD IN SINAIT WAS NOT YET the best as expected due to road constructions, but the coming of the early light from the heavens made us a bit more confident and secured. We could see the potholes already. Our headlights could rest. We could avoid the cracks and the sudden drop we weren't able to anticipate earlier.

The early morning light revealed the refreshing countryside beauty of ▼ ILOCOS SUR

ILOCOS SUR

arising from its mandatory hiding in the natural world. The leaves coated with early morning mist swayed with the morning breeze. Grasses were green and tall. The mountains of the east looked happy. The sky was gorgeous. Everything came to life! This is the biosphere! What a beautiful world!

Sinait welcomed us with a great chilly morning. We continued to drive with joy in our hearts. The road was devoid of traffic and we could feel the freedom motorbike riding could give.

We reached the poblacion of the town of Sinait and the usually congested road in front of their public market was still asleep. The town center looked so pretty with that set-up—peaceful and quiet.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[SINAIT] ► OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF NATURE-CREATED LIGHT

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[SINAIT] ► THE ROAD TO SINAIT POBLACION

SINAIT PUBLIC MARKET

[SINAIT] ► THE SINAIT PUBLIC MARKET EARLY IN THE MORNING

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[SINAIT] ► LEAVING ILOCOS SUR, ENTERING ILOCOS NORTE

Badoc

IF YOU'RE COMING FROM THE SOUTH, #BADOC is the first town in Ilocos Norte province. The road in Badoc was great so we just hit the road continuously until we reached the next town of Pinili.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BADOC] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO BADOC!

Pinili

#PINILI IS ANOTHER QUAINT LITTLE TOWN IN Ilocos Norte. The town doesn't make noise in tourism like what the northern towns of Ilocos Norte do. However, this town is the main producer of garlic in Ilocos Norte. Garlic is an important ingredient for some Ilocano food/cuisines like the garlicky Vigan longganisa and Ilocos chichacorn. 

(Note: Sinait is the garlic town of Ilocos Sur and tagged as the garlic capital of the north. Pinili is Ilocos Norte's native producer though.)

We continued our ride and passed by the town of #CURRIMAO until we reached the city of #BATAC for another gasoline refill.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PINILI] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO PINILI!

Batac

WHEN WE ENTERED THE CITY OF BATAC in Ilocos Norte, we had a quick rest. Although our tanks were not yet empty, we still fully refilled it to keep the motorbike running and kicking.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BATAC] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO BATAC!

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BATAC] ► WITH MY TWO BROTHERS AT THE BACK

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BATAC] ► MY TWO BROTHERS SLASH RIDE BUDDIES

San Nicolas and Laoag

AFTER MORE THAN TWO HOURS OF RIDING, we finally reached the town of San Nicolas and eventually, the city of ▼ #LAOAG

#VIGAN


.

San Nicolas has changed dramatically. High rise buildings grew in quantity in no time. Major businesses have found their place here. The once grass fields in San Nicolas is now a business center. 

Entering Laoag has always been classic. Not much modern addition appeared in its city proper aside from some supermarket and fast food chains appearing in some street corners. In fact, Laoag chose to emphasize its old feel more by restructuring the old buildings and houses in the city.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[SAN NICOLAS] ► THE MOST FAMOUS POT IN ILOCOS NORTE

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[LAOAG] ► MORNING AT BACARRA ROAD

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[LAOAG] ► GOOD MORNING ILOCOS NORTE!

Bacarra

After Ilocos Norte's capital city of Laoag is the town of Bacarra known for its domeless belltower. After more than three hours of riding, our body seriously needed some energy—this meant we have to take a heavy breakfast and a hot soup. 

We didn't know where to eat actually. We stopped at several carinderias but it was either closed or my buddies didn't want the food. You know, we were craving for some delicious, appetizing breakfast so our standard of a delicious food was high for this particular point of time.

After some carinderia-hopping (well, we were not expecting to see a fine-dine level restaurant in this town), we finally found an open restaurant. Since we were so desperate for food and hungry, we no longer cared about the food standard we set. The most important thing for us that time was to eat a breakfast.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BACCARA] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO BACARRA!

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BACCARA] ► BREAKFAST IN BACARRA

Pasuquin

Whenever I hear/read the name Pasuquin, the first thing that comes my mind is a wild coast and its salt-making industry. In fact, you can see dozens of salt stalls along the road.

Reaching Pasuquin confronted us with a crucial decision. It rained hard. Yes, we were driving under the rain. We were sad about the scenario. With our legit raincoats and improvised raincoats, we continued the ride although we knew it could be risky. We still had faith in us that the rain would stop. We kept the faith until we reached the town of Burgos. Was it worse or better?

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PASUQUIN] ► WE REACHED THE TOWN PROPER UNDER THE RAIN

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PASUQUIN] ► WEATHER-PROOFING MY SELF

Burgos

The heaven was with us. When we entered the town of Burgos, the rain weakened and eventually stopped. Our wet clothes were air-dried. We started to see the windmills that signified that we were now nearing the windy towns of Luzon's extreme north. 

When we saw a gasoline station, we stopped to check the condition of our motorbikes after we filled our tanks for the third time. We checked our tires and our brakes. We also had our restroom break.

Riding in Burgos felt great as we passed the verdant vegetation with giant windmills on both sides aside from the fact that the road was swabe and with paved shoulders.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BURGOS] ► GASOLINE + RESTROOM BREAK

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BURGOS] ► THE SOARING WINDMILLS AS SEEN FROM THE GASOLINE STATION

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BURGOS] ► A GREEN LANDSCAPE WITH THE SKY AND THE WINDMILLS

Pagudpud

After Burgos was the town of Bangui. We skipped the Bangui windmills in the meantime to prioritize the farthest destination in Pagudpud which was the Paraiso ni Anton and the Patapat viaduct.

Surprisingly, after the heavy rain in Pasuquin due to an impending typhoon, the Pagudpud sky was sunny so the adventure went on. We trekked to Kabigan Falls and swam at Saud white beach.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PAGUDPUD] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO PAGUDPUD!

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PAGUDPUD] ► PATAPAT VIADUCT

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PAGUDPUD] ► PARAISO NI ANTON

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PAGUDPUD] ► KABIGAN FALLS IN BRGY BALAOI

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[PAGUDPUD] ► SAUD WHITE BEACH

Bangui

After our Pagudpud town explorations, we went back to the town of Bangui to see what we've missed. Although the windmills in Burgos were already a nice treat, we wanted to experience and re-experience the birthplace of South East Asia's windmills, no other than the Bangui Windfarm.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BANGUI] ► THE BANGUI WINDFARM IN BANGUI BAY

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BANGUI] ► THE BANGUI WINDFARM IN BANGUI BAY

Burgos, Part 2

After Bangui, we also returned to Burgos (on our way home) to visit the Kapurpurawan rock formation and the Cape Bojeador lighthouse.  These places have changed a lot. Tourism changed it, mostly in a good way.

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BURGOS] ► KAPURPURAWAN ROCK FORMATION

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD (ILOCOS) MOTORCYCLE RIDE

[BURGOS] ► CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE

Ride Back Home

It was already dark when we reached Laoag so we stopped there for dinner. We forgot to take our lunch actually.

Riding back home was the greatest challenge 'cause the rain became unforgiving. With our tired bodies and sleepy nervous systems, we couldn't afford more to get wet, worse, experience hypothermia. A sleepy 10-year-old boy was also with us that time so just imagine his case if we continued the ride. Our other five ride buddies have gone out of our sight. Where are they? There were only four of us waiting under a waiting shed along the national highway in Badoc while the rain was smashing its roof. On how we survived (Did we really survive?) the road back home under the heavy rain while we drove at night are stories I want to share in the future. Meantime, this is the summary of our Vigan-Pagudpud ride. | end |

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09 JULY 2016: VIGAN-PAGUDPUD RIDE
ILOCOS REGION, PHILIPPINES

VIGAN-PAGUDPUD MOTORBIKE RIDE

[ILOCOS] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO ILOCOS!


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "Motorcycle Diaries." There is a section below where you can see other related posts from this category.

[2] All maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[3] All photos are mine.

[4] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

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_________________
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_________________
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EDMARATION #TownExplorer





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