Travel post mortem: Project Windmills
After 18 blog entries, I could finally end my second travel series with a post mortem. I must thank God for giving me the determination to write all of those, before I would lose every good memory of our 5D-4N travel last June. I was able to tell all these stories because Ilocos is truly a beautiful region. After Project Windmills, I could say that the whole province has transcended being just a Marcos bailiwick in Northern Philippines. Well it is undeniably that, but it offers so much more.
We traveled around the region via every kind of public transportation available – jeepney, trike and bus. Had it been there were 10 of us, it would be more logical to rent an airconditioned van instead. The fare and expenses for the activities in each day are reflected in the tables below. For those of you who have been wondering, our Cebu-Manila-Laoag-Manila-Cebu tickets cost only Php194.40 per person, which is insanely and unbelievably cheap. Aside from the airfare, the cost for the food, pasalubong and tips were also ommitted. You can always control these expenses depending on your personal budget.
Day 1 – Vigan
Day 2 – Paoay, Batac, Laoag
Day 3 – Burgos, Bangui, Pagudpud
Day 4 – Laoag, Manila
Day 5 – Manila, Cebu
However, the information above may not be up-to-date anymore. At any rate, I do hope that this would somehow help those who are planning to go Ilocos in the future. Interactions (what off-the-beaten stopovers we may have missed, where we should have dined and how we could have saved more) are always welcome. I must confess though that our itinerary has a little bit of Ilocos Sur and a handful of Ilocos Norte. It was also designed in such a way that we would spend the night at a different place because it may be our last visit to the region. Since we made it this far, we might as well make the most out of it, within a reasonable budget of course.
I remember that there was a foldable map available at the arrival area of the Laoag International Airport. This was a pleasant surprise because more often than not, I have only seen hotel brochures and LGU flyers in most local airports. I do hope that other tourism units elsewhere would follow suit. While we already had everything in place beforehand, the map helped us identify where we were especially in our long evening trip to Vigan. But if you are the tech savvy type, you can always store your Google maps in your fancy smartphones.
And lastly, allow me to thank Michael, Cyel and Lorie for accompanying me in this trip. I was nursing a personal loss a few days before our travel. But the journey was bearable and exciting with my good friends around. I would like to believe that we share a similar passion (which is becoming a vice according to my sister) to some extent which explains why I end up traveling with them every now and then.