Guest blogger: Isabella “Bea” Cruz, 8 years old
Hi! It’s Bea here! Yay, Mommy let me write on her blog!!! I’m done with Grade 3 already and some lessons were sooooo hard (like division and fractions), but the best part of Grade 3 was our trip to… ILOCOS!!! You see, we focused on the Ilocos Region in our Sibika subject and toward the end of the school year, we had an exposure trip to Ilocos. Not everybody joined though. Daddy let me go, on condition that Mommy goes with me. That was the sad part. 🙁
Day 1 – February 27, 2013
We woke up SUUUPERRR early. I think it was like 2:30 a.m.! So we arrived at school maybe around 4:00 a.m. Most of my 7 classmates who were allowed to go were already there. Only my BFF Bianca and I had parents with us in our section. Anyway, we boarded the bus at around 4:25 I think. There were 32 students and 10 parents/guardians. Plus 4 teachers and 3 tour guides: Tita Cor, Tita Marivic and Kuya Carl (we called him Kuya PSY because he looked like the Korean singer PSY) plus the driver! = 50 persons all in all. We stopped for breakfast in Luisita, Tarlac: pancakes and hotdogs at Jollibee at around 7:30 in the morning. Then we were off to a very long journey (it took a total of 10 hours from Manila to Vigan!) So we played some games, watched Rise of the Guardians (nice movie, I suggest you buy a DVD of it), ate lunch inside the bus (Jollibee again?) and then watched Tinkerbell: The Secret of the Wings. Then we were in Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur.
My first impression: IT WAS SO HOT! But it’s REALLY nice there! First, we checked in at the Vigan Plaza Hotel. It may be small but it’s nice because all of us in our section got to be in the same room! 🙂 We ate snacks at Max’s then I experienced riding a calesa (a horse-drawn carriage)! Everything there looked so old when we had a tour of the Heritage Village! There were also shops in the village where we bought souvenirs. Here was the good part about riding the calesa: It’s so much fun to experience it! I even screamed when the other calesa went ahead of us back to the hotel, just like in a race! Bad part about riding the calesa: I had to sit next to the driver and he was mean! He thought I was 5 years old because of my height! Because I’m too small! 🙁
And so we went back to the hotel and we had a buffet dinner at the hotel in our PAJAMAS! It was totally awesome! I discovered I fit in the cabinet of the room. And after that we played the card game Uno. We didn’t actually know the real way to play so we made up the rules on how to play it. After that we had a PILLOW FIGHT! And when it was time to sleep we all kept on laughing, I didn’t know why!
Day 2 – February 28,2013
I was the last one to wake up in our room because I was so tired from the day before. 😀 We ate the famous Vigan longganisa at the hotel’s Cafe Bigaa. The longganisa was really good — small but fatty. Our first stop for the day was the Abel ti Iloco or the weaving place. We watched how they turn strings into woven cloth. After that, we went to Baluarte Zoo. It’s nice there, but watch out for the crazy ostrich! 🙂 So after we rode a carriage around the zoo we left to go to the Hidden Garden restaurant for lunch. I loved the bagnet and pinakbet. DELICIOUS! We even saw how to prepare Vigan empanada. I didn’t get to try the empanada because I was so full already, but Mommy said it’s awesome! She also said that “there’s nothing like it in Manila!” After that, we went to Pagburnayan also known as the pottery place. We watched national artist Fidel Go make some AMAZING pottery. COOL!
After that we finally checked out of the Vigan Plaza Hotel and we started our 3-hour trip to Ilocos Norte. We played some games and watched Wreck-it-Ralph. I don’t know how the movie turned out because I fell asleep. So when I woke up we were at the Marcos Ancestral Home in Batac. We also went to the Marcos Mausoleum. We saw former President Ferdinand Marcos‘s dead body. A little scary, if you ask me. After that, we visited the Paoay Church to say a prayer. Then we checked in at Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center. It looked new and bigger than where we stayed in Vigan. The sad part was we were not all roommates. But, we found a “territory” near the pool! We didn’t get to swim, though. We all ate dinner together in the hotel.
Day 3 – March 1,2013
We had buffet breakfast courtesy of the hotel. After that, we visited the BEAUTIFUL Bangui Windmills about 2 hours away from Laoag. There are 20 windmills that help supply electricity in the province. The place is like a beach where there’s sand and endless water but nobody was swimming. We also went to the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. If you want to excercise your legs, don’t go to the gym. Go there, because you’ll walk A LOT! You can ride a horse but I didn’t because it’s very rocky and what if the horse stumbled and I fell? But, if you want to go horseback-riding it’s your decision. We had buffet lunch at Arabella Events Place. When we were all full, we went to Museo Ilocos and then our last stop was the Malacañang ti Amianan. It was grand! Finally, we went to Laoag International Airport. We had so much fun waiting for our plane to arrive, taking stolen shots of one another. We also met TV5 News Anchor Cherie Mercado. She is very pretty and friendly! When our plane arrived, it was only a 45-minute trip going home.
Here’s what I think:
Favorite hotel: Vigan Plaza Hotel
Favorite place: Bangui Windmills
Favorite food: Pinakbet pizza and bagnet
Thank you, Island Destinations Travel and Tours! I had a super fun trip! 🙂