A thoughtful surprise waiting for me in my Travel Ilocandia “Ilocos Sur” room

The Batcave 

Travel Ilocandia Transient House

Airport 

Laoag International Airport

Laoag Airport has got to be one of my favorite airports in the country. It is full of character true to the Ilocano culture and heritage. The boarding area was a museum-in-waiting. Instead of boring yourself for an hour or so waiting to fly, you are provided with nice-to-know information about the must-see destinations– a bit of a social studies brief. I like it! Haven’t seen such beautifully executed local showcase that’s so on point.

Places Only in Ilocos

Malacanang Ti Amianan

The rest of the country can learn a lot from the tourism chops of Ilocos. Malacanang of the North is one accurate example– well-maintained, tastefully designed heritage site with eloquently trained young tour guides. It was a pleasant experience despite the scorching heat of the sun. I wanted to take home some of the pieces of furniture or copy the interior.

You might be able to guess whose room this was

Who wouldn’t love this backyard?

That little white chair under the giant tree

Paoay Church

The Paoay Church may well be one of the most photographed churches in the country. It was a challenge to take a different frame. In the end you have to snap at its best angle.

Marcos Museum

Pottery


Baluarte

Calle Crisologo

Of course, McDonald’s had to take the old look, too!

Sand Surfing

Lighthouse

Bangui Windmills

Pagudpud 

Much has been said about the history of this country. I always hear the other side of the coin. This trip, I got second take, second look, almost disbelief as “history” was being presented to me in a different point of view.
In Ilocos, they adore the dictator. And I was able to see why. To them, the family gave them a good life. They gave them concrete roads and livelihood and pride. 
I have been to the province several times, but only this last trip that I appreciated the efficiency, the tasteful design, and the kind of leadership that made these people hopeful and thankful.
I have no tolerance for politics, but I’m sure there’s at least one thing that we can emulate from the province. And that’s how we grow.