“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ilocos visit

July 2013 we visited my sister in law as she was seriously ill for some time. Luckily it's going much better now and she doesn't need further support from us.

They live in a rural area in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the most northern province of the Philippines, and perhaps also one of the most beautiful provinces, although other people might not agree with me.

Batac is also well known from the Ferdinand Marcos museum and mausoleum and other connected places to this dictator (and family), who misused his people and his country. Surprisingly many Filipino's still adore him and his family.

We went with my spouse, another sister in law and her husband and our daughters, including a niece of my spouse. This is standard procedure in the Philippines, going alone with your spouse and children ("gezin" in Dutch) is not common practice in the Philippines. It seems there is also not a to the point translation of the Dutch word "gezin". The official translation is "family" or "household", but household is not what we feel with the word "gezin" and family can be anyone who has a blood relation. Indeed families are very big in the Philippines.

It's a 6 hours drive by private car or provincial bus, including an hour resting. Therefore we decided to go for a weekend by private car, my brother in law driving as usually, leaving Saturday 3.00 AM and returning home Sunday 11.00 PM.

My wife and her niece started 1.00 AM on Saturday preparing the food for the trip and for the dinner we would have at her sister's house later the same day.

What can you do in 2 days, apart from visiting family members, talking, drinking,eating and sleeping? Just see the pictures.

Anyway, I will summarize the places we have visited, in case you don't want to see the pictures. See the slide show below, as pictures say more than 1000 words.

  1. En route we had a brunch stop in Santa, with a nice view over the South China Sea
  2. Arrival at their home in Batac, unpacking the food and a box full of presents for my in-law family
  3. Visiting the center of Batac and eating Empenada, a specialty of the region, I guess from Spanish origin
  4. Visiting "Church of the Immaculate Conception" in the center of Batac
  5. Visiting the Ferdinand Marcos ' Museum and Mausoleum
  6. Visiting "St. Augustine's Church" in Paoay, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  1. Visiting Dragon fruit farm, where I bought 13 kilo for 1000 pesos
  2. Visiting Vigan, the main tourist area (Calle Crisologo), a UNESCO World Heritage site
  3. Visiting Vigan, Baluarte mini zoo, no entrance fee
  4. Return trip to Pangasinan
See the photo slide show here. Click "Slideshow" in upper left corner, and if you want to read the comments, increase the view time.

Here are some tripadvisor links for Ilocos Region (Sur and North) for the places we have been to, with comments of people who visited these places:

Marcos Museum & MausoleumSt. Augustines's Church, Paoay, UNESCO World Heritage
Vigan, Calle Crisologo, UNESCO World Heritage


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