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Outtakes: Ilocos Norte

January 3, 2011

By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY

Photos by ALDWIN ASPILLERA

The four-day trip to Ilocos Norte was not nearly enough to truly breathe in everything the region had to offer. So now that you’re about to get a fresh set of vacation leaves, you might want to consider heading north. Have a see…

The dragon fruit which symbolizes the Ilocano’s retrofitting culture can amazingly be your full meal as they can make vegan burgers, dumplings, bread, pastries and wine. Its local name is saniata, which roughly translates to “progress”. Very Ilocano indeed.

The Kapurpurawan White Rock Formation is the crown jewel of this area’s quaint appeal…

…and another one

The windmills of the Northwind Bangui Bay Project. Once you’re done with the customary photo-ops, enjoy the treats available at nearby Kangkang Windmill Cafe.

Look out Cam Sur! Ilocos Norte is looking to be the next wake boarding haven with its unparalleled 470 hectares. Zorb wheels, manually propelled rubber rafts are among some of the proposed water sports for this massive lake which also serves as a pit stop for many rare migrant birds.

On the way to the sand dunes of Paoay…

…where you can do this

…or conquer the dunes aboard one of these

Governor Imee Marcos gets in the act

Recreated from the fifties, Sitio Remedios, they say, “serves as a reminder of a more genteel era”. And had stayed longer, it would’ve served as the venue for a lot of fun memories. Beautiful heritage village with the sea just a stone’s throw away – absolutely enchanting.

I can only imagine what throwing a party at Sitio Remedios would be like…

But perhaps the clincher is its next door neighbor, Palayopoy (meaning “breezy”) Resort where you can retire to this…

Yes, wake up, look to your left, and you’ve got an unobstructed view of the beach. That’s an insanely good morning.

But you can’t talk about Ilocos Norte and not talk about the grub. For the entirety of my stay there, I could hardly manage dinner as whole day feasting was too much for me. Here’s a sample of what awaits you:

Ilocos’ famous bagnet

Crispy dinuguan

The Ilocanos are at it again with their dinuguan pizza

Read more in the latest issue of Expat Newspaper, out now.

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