Happy Easter everyone! After 9 days of being offline, I’m finally back. It was quite a long vacation, a first for our family. I was offline since Tuesday but having no laptop made sure that I enjoyed every minute spent with my husband and daughter. So where did we go?
After weeks of “debating” and contemplating, Mon and I agreed that we’ll hit Ilocos region this time. For the past years, we spent the Holy Week in our own provinces. And although it’s been three years since I last visited Pangasinan, I must say that this year’s destination was worth everything, from the long hours of driving and sitting to all the magnificent places we’ve been to. Let me share with the what happened in last week.
We departed from our place in Quezon City at 6am on Holy Tuesday. All of us had to woke up that early to make sure that we leave the city before the rush hour. Everyone knows how traffic is here in Manila during rush hours!
We had our first stop in Petron NLEX to gas up. Ayex and I played most of the time with the sand tools we brought her. I made sure she has one before we left for this trip to make sure she’ll enjoy the sand! Hahaha!
The plan is that we’ll take SCTEX, since it’s faster according to Mon’s sources. Since it was our first time, we ended up taking the wrong exit and had to go back and pay for another toll fee! Eventually, we found the correct entry. Mon’s decision to take SCTEX was brilliant! The road is very nice. There were no bumps, just straight clear road. No car queues, either. I bet we were able to save a lot of gas taking that route.
Before we knew it, we’re already in Tarlac! That was about 9am. We started to slow down because some people doing penitensiya occupied one lane of the road and some of the motorists were watching them as they go by. After that, we experienced more queues upon reaching key cities like Villasis and Urdaneta, Pangasinan. The traffic in Urdaneta took us about an hour or less due to road works! Talk about policians looking for ways to spend their pork barrel! Anyways, after Urdaneta, we went straight to Sison. The ride was smooth again until we reached San Fernando, La Union. During the ride, Ayex got tired of playing pretend with me and fell asleep. Good thing we brought her car seat with us even if it occupied a lot of space at the back seat. I didn’t have to carry her in my arms, giving us both extra comfort during the long ride.
It was already 12 noon when we reached San Fernando, La Union. I told Mon that we should already get lunch for our little girl and I, myself, is also starving. We were not able to stop by all the Jollibees we saw since there was no vacant parking area. Everyone seems to be going there, when we should not be eating meat at all. We went on with our trip. I decided to eat the sandwich we brought with us. Little hungry Ayex had no choice but to eat the same food given there’s no more Jollibee in sight.
Finally we reached Ilocos Sur! After driving for 7 hours, we thought we’re near our destination. Wrong! Apparently, Ilocos Sur is such a big province. There were also plenty of road works with only one passable lane, which made our trip slower.
After driving for 3 more hours, we’re finally in our destination. We saw a left sign pointing to Vigan. We didn’t had a hard time looking for our hotel, that is Grandpa’s Inn. After taking that left, we asked a local and told us that we just to go straight ahead. Not too far, we found Grandpa’s Inn. It’s facade is the same as I read about it, very vintage and museum like.
We booked a fan room even if there were other available rooms. We think that’s practical since we’re just staying for a few hours as we’ll go up to Pagudpud the next day.
The room we had has 2 single beds in it, which we joined later on to have a bigger “looking” bed. It had a vintage ceiling fan, a clean bathroom and a television, which I did not discover until going to my PILs room. We opened the windows for more air. Despite the hot weather, the wind in Ilocos is not humid, unlike here in Manila. After we had settled down, Ayex and I went out to explore more of the place.
After everyone has rested a bit, we decided to go out. Grandpa’s Inn’s location is very strategic in my opinion. It was just a block away from the famous ancestral houses in Calle Crisologo, the first attraction we saw. We had Ayex’s stroller with us so she didn’t have to walk nor I had to carry her. Some of the houses were already restored while some were already abandoned. We took turns in taking pictures of us, my PILs and the houses. It’s amazing that these people were able to keep these century-old houses.
After Calle Crisologo, we found ourselves walking towards the Plaza. Since it’s already 6pm and we didn’t had a full lunch, I told Mon that we should feed ourselves. I didn’t want any fastfood so I ate in the little carinderia (canteens) along the street. The rest of us had barbeque. Ayex probably got bored sitting in her stroller while we strolled along Calle Crisologo. So while I was eating, Mon brought her to Plaza Burgos. I saw her walking and running from a far. After I ate, I asked her if she wanted to go to the slide. I’m not really sure if she can already do it herself so just to be safe, Ayex and I climbed up the slide and went down together. It was fun although after 2 tries, I told her that we should try another slide because sand started to fill my crocs. The second slide we tried somehow didn’t look correct. It’s angle is very steep. We saw a vacant seesaw and decided to try it. It was Ayex’s first time.
We visited the Vigan Cathedral but it was close. Mon just took picture of its outside while Ayex and I run around. After the Cathedral, we went to the tiangges. When there’s nothing interesting for us, we decided to go back to our hotel to rest. It was one long day.