Take in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, where a number of experiences await to surpass your imagination and expectations. My sister and I both share a blog and Ilocos has always been on our travel bucket list. We finally decided to book a flight and along with our mom, we packed our bags and headed up north.
Vigan was the main reason we wanted to go to Ilocos Sur. It’s a World Heritage site where Calle Crisologo is located. It’s a road where old houses and buildings are preserved that gives a peek of how beautiful the Philippines looked before modernization kicked in. They say for you to move forward, one must know their past, and Vigan is the perfect city to learn about a time when beautiful was at its most “Pinoy.”
Bantay bell tower is near Calle Crisologo, about a few minutes’ ride away via kalesa. The Bantay Belfry is one of the highest towers in Ilocos Sur and you can see most of the beautiful province from there. The bell tower was built in 1591. We learned a little fun fact from the tour our kalesa driver gave us; it’s called the Bantay Belfry because it’s located in the Bantay district of Vigan and was used as a watchtower to spot approaching enemies during the war. The country boasts of beautiful churches and this place didn’t fall short of it, so touring the churches in the vicinity is a must-do while in the city as well.
A three-hour drive from Ilocos Sur is where the gigantic Bangui windmills are located. A tourist destination that not only adds a little bit of drama to the green mountains of Ilocos Norte, but one with a good purpose for the city as well—it supplies energy. They used to only be the ones in the country but they slowly added to it over the years. Now it stretches even to Pagudpud! It’s something I suggest you visit, even if it takes quite an effort!
VERN ENCISO is a travel, life, style, and beauty blogger, an online influencer, and a book author whose life dream is to travel the world someday while doing what she loves—writing. She’s been traveling since she was a kid but only recently discovered the magic of traveling somewhere new once a week, local or abroad. Her travel mantra is “Try what scares you, eat what’s weird, and know about the city by knowing its culture.” She’s a firm believer that dreams do come true when two main ingredients are put together—belief in yourself and perseverance.
This article was originally published in EXPLORE Philippines Magazine December 2015 – January 2016 Issue.
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