There I was, walking on the streets of Laoag City when I overheard a couple asking a tricycle driver on how to get to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Thinking of my stay and tour in Pagudpud, I approached them and ask if can go and share the tour with them. They agreed and I made new friends out of the encounter. They were Kuya Vine and Ate Velle from Cavite. The bus ride from Laoag to Pagudpud lasted for about an hour and a half.
Pagudpud has a chartered way of touring the spots for those who don’t have their own cars. Tricycles can be hired at a fixed amount of PHP600 for a maximum of 3 persons. We talked and hired Kuya Nori, the very jolly and ala Kuya Kim for his trivia, you can contact him at his mobile 09282743118.
First stop was the Kabigan Falls. It is located in the eastern part of Barangay Balaoi which is about 1.8 kilometers away from the highway. Prepare to trek for about an hour to and from the falls. An environmental fee of Php10 per head is being collected at the jump-off point where a local tour guide comes with the group at Php100 per group maximum of 5. Our tour guide is Ate Francis who enjoyed manipulating my camera and directs us to pose for a better shot. You will pass by a forest with different kinds of trees along your way to Kabigan Falls.
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Patapat Viaduct was next. It is a coastal bridge connecting the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley, elevated 31 meters above sea level and with a length of 1.3 kilometers is considered as the 4th longest bridge in the country. It offers a picturesque view of Pasaleng Bay where you can see the Babuyan Islands on a clear day as per Kuya Nori.
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After visiting Patapat Viaduct, we checked out Agua Grande having this infinity pool being replenished by water coming from the mountains that go directly to the sea. Paraiso ni Anton, on the other hand, has this crystal-like waters flowing from a basin above the mountain. An altar is also seen on the place elevated at about 20 staircases above. The locals believe that the water in Paraiso Ni Anton is potable, didn’t try though. Adjacent to Paraiso ni Anton is the Bagong Lipunan Lodge, a government-owned facility built during the pivotal years of the Marcos regime, with the dilapidated hotel offers a beautiful view of the Patapat Bridge and the coastal beaches of Pagudpud up to the boundary of Cagayan.
On our way to Maira-ira Cove also known as the Blue Lagoon, we dropped by at two rock formations known as the Timmangtang Rock and the Bantay Abot Cave. The rock formation Timmangtang was named “timmangtang” because of its bell-shaped curve while the other one was named Bantay Abot because “bantay” is the Ilocano word for mountain and “abot” is for “hole”. At a distant, you can also see the Dos Hermanos Islands.
Maira-ira cove has this Blue Lagoon known as the Boracay of the North due to its white and fine sand. Famous Hannah’s Beach Resort holding the world’s longest zipline at 1.1 kilometers is also located here. The last place we’ve checked was the Saud Beach, the municipal beach of Pagudpud where I spent the night in a tent near the shoreline.
How to get to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Some bus lines like Florida and RCJ Lines has direct trips to Pagudpud; however, mini buses are available in Laoag City at the back of Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol that ply to Pagudpud all throughout the day. Fare is 60 pesos and travel time is 1.5 hours.