Just as northern Luzon was bracing for the onslaught of Typhoon Mina last long weekend, four people thought it was the perfect time to go on a road trip to Ilocos right on the path of the storm. Whether out of sheer recklessness, insanity or an unspoken death wish, we drove out of Manila Friday night as signal number 1 was declared in the provinces we’d be passing through.
The roads were slippery and visibility was very low. As if that was not enough to make the drive dangerous exciting, we made a wrong turn and took the uphill road going to Baguio instead of turning left to Agoo, La Union. We drove the wrong way for about 30 minutes amidst strong rains and zero visibility before realizing that hmm… if we’re taking the road to Baguio then there’s a huge possibility we just might end up there instead of Ilocos.
We finally turned back but not before being scared shitless because we can’t see the freakin’ road. The two other girls, Aiza and Lulu, were sleeping at the back and were spared from that ordeal. I was unfortunately riding shotgun and had full view of the dashboard being battered by the rains and the pitch black nothingness which the car lights couldn’t penetrate. Mars, the only guy among us, was driving. We were both staring ahead in deathly silence keeping our terror to ourselves so as not to induce panic. As we talked about it afterwards though, it turned out we both were pretty much thinking the same thing which is “Holy crap, we’re gonna die!”
As daylight finally broke through, we were greeted with not one, not two, but three separate funeral processions upon entering Ilocos Sur. Seriously. The universe has a morbid sense of humor.
After a couple more hours, we finally made it to Vigan and had a late breakfast at Café Uno. Lulu, the trip organizer, made a very detailed itinerary which totally blew my mind. Since I travel solo most of the time and I’m too lazy to make plans, itineraries are completely foreign to me. I usually just have a vague idea of what I might do and which places I might check out but I don’t walk around with a map and a detailed list (which is why I often end up getting lost). For this trip we were armed with a thick atlas book and a printout of our four-day schedule. Beat that.
Saturday was spent in Vigan going to Chavit Singson’s zoo, Calle Crisologo and St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral. We headed to Laoag in the afternoon and spent the night there in signal number 2 weather. For Sunday, there was Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Kapurpurawan Rock, Bangui Windmills, Bantay Abot Cave and finally, Pagudpud. Monday was for surfing (or in my case, flailing and falling off a surfboard) in Kapuluan Vista Resort, swimming in Blue Lagoon, ogling older guys in Ducati bikes, heading back to Laoag and joining a videoke challenge on a whim which turned out to be a serious singing contest in American Idol format complete with snarky judges. For our last day, we visited a few more old churches, the so-called Malacañang of the North and marveled at the alternative history/blatant lies on display in the Marcos museum.
Hopefully I’ll get around to posting pictures and more details on this kickass road trip.