Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ilocos - The north face

Pardon my pun-ny title for our Ilocos roadtrip last week. Was toying around with northern exposure but thought twice on using it again. So here goes... the northface. It's been a blessing to have made a safe roadtrip considering that I'm basically a lazy driver. Driving to baguio was previously unthinkable.T o ilocos? Ahh, you've got to be kidding. But Sherwin and I did it! truth to tell, I didn't expect much at first because i had to scrap my previous plans - 1) going to Davao to climb Mt. Apo; 2) going to Romblon to climb Mt. Guiting-Guiting. all because of work. 

But things just fell into place. my good friend and fellow mountaineer, Sherwin, and his siblings broached the idea. The girlfriend of Sherwin's bestfriend, Louie, hails from Magsingal in Ilocos Sur. All we need is to find transportation. Initially, I had apprehension of bringing my Maroon, my '92 Lancer, all the way to Ilocos. But happily, Maroon performed well.

My Ilocos trip was an eye-opener. There's really much to be seen and experienced up north apart from the Vigan stereotype (not that it wasn't wonderful). The spectacular churches. The wild, rugged shores. The pioneering windfarm in Bangui. And the glorious food - you can literally eat your way up north, from the delicate crunch of the Ilocos empanada to the bitter undertone of papaitan, or the rich crisp of bagnet.

Many thanks to Kay and her relatives for making us feel welcome. Sure gives us an incentive to come back for more northern exposure. Thanks to Louie for keeping me awake during most of the loooong drives. And to Sherwin and his siblings, Rose & Arlene, for the great opportunity, the great company.


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