Thursday, August 21, 2014

One by Air, Two by Land: Speeding Through Laoag to Vigan

It rained pretty much the whole day, and despite the grey and cloudy skies, PAL Flight PR 2196 to Laoag remained on schedule.  

A few isolated pockets of turbulence here and there, and in less than an hour...touchdown Laoag, Ilocos Norte. First leg of my northern expedition done, time for the two-hour road trip down south to the historical city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. 

Along the way, allow a few stops and a few minutes for some of the interesting attractions on the route to Vigan. Like the peaceful and tranquil Paoay Lake, said to be the largest natural lake in the province of Ilocos. Fed primarily by ground water and rains, the lake has a total surface area of 386 hectares. The lake is an active ecosystem inhabited by mudfish, catfish, and tilapia, as well as both indigenous and migratory birds. Be on the lookout for the famous Malacanan of the North, a historical house museum built by the family of the late Ferdinand Marcos.

Further down the road is the historic Church of Saint Augustine, or more popularly known as Paoay Church. Completed in 1710 under the supervision of Augustinian friars, the imposing structure follows the European Baroque style, with massive buttresses on each side that have withstood countless earthquakes.

The historic Paoay Church has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and continues to be lovingly preserved by the local municipality.

Inside, shafts of light in bright hues from the colorful stained glass illuminate the interiors in stark contrast with the dark grey clouds outside. And the classic interiors still look as serene and elegant the way it must have looked more than three hundred years ago.

One more look up, and it was time to say goodbye to the grand old dame of Paoay for the long two hour road trip to Vigan. Then the rain started to pour once more, will have to skip the famed sand dunes of Ilocos. Maybe next time...

For more on Paoay Lake and Paoay Church, see my post on my other blog here at

Solo Expeditions is now on Facebook, check out the FB Page for regular updates on cool destinations. Better yet, click "Like" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB "Like" widget on the right sidebar. 

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