EN ROUTE | Metro Manila - Ilocos Norte - Ilocos Sur

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The rain pattered through the cold bus window as we navigated the evening traffic through EDSA. We buzzer-beat the time and were soon loading our bags through the back of the rented van we’ll be calling home for a three-day jaunt in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

With two beautiful models and four photographers aboard--two more waiting along the way--I made myself comfortable, plugged in my ultra-morose Ryan Adams playlist, covered my eyes with my Headware and tried to sleep off the ten-hour ride to the Ilocos Region.

After innumerable stops and starts, including a mini shoot at Banaoang Bridge at the town of Bantay near Vigan City, I opened my eyes and was greeted by a glorious sunrise along the road. Everyone was still asleep and I was too shy to ask the driver to stop for another quickie sunrise shoot.

By 6am, we were having breakfast at Laoag City. While they were ordering McMuffins and what-nots, I roamed the empty streets, passing bikers along the massive St. Williams Cathedral. The weather was so fine and the light beautifully radiant, not a bad way to start the trip, I thought.

Walking about, looking for an alternative to McDonald’s, I came across Gilbert Bridge. It spans the Padsan River and connects the City of Laoag and the municipality of San Nicolas. I would’ve checked the river too if I weren’t pressed for time; I still haven’t found my local breakfast yet.

With no other choice, I finally surrendered to McDo. After a quick munch munch, we regrouped at the parking lot, waiting for the others that have roamed off. I looked up and saw an exotic looking bird perched on electric wires. Fumbling out my superzoom, I managed to take a single photo before it flew off.

And we soon flew too; the first stop in our list, Ilocos Sur’s Bangui Windmills.

But a van-load of photographers can have more stops than a camera exposure.

We were soon stopping again for a chance to shoot a bit of seascapes at Burgos’s crashing shore. I half-ran to the far end of the rocky beach, planted my tripod, screwed my darkest filter, set the timer and pressed the shutter. I can feel the northern wind once again, let’s have it Ilocos!

How to get to Ilocos from Manila
There are numerous bus lines plying the Manila-Ilocos route, passing Ilocos Sur where Vigan City is located, Ilocos Norte where Laoag City is situated and going up as far as Pagudpud. 

Here’s a list of Ilocos Buses from Manila: Florida Bus, Farinas Transit Company, Dominion Transit (Up to Vigan Only), Franco Frederico Lines, Maria de Leon Transit, Partas Transportation Company, Philippine Rabbit, Viron Transportation, RCJ Transit

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  1. it sounds like a fun trip, but it sounds like a fictional novel. you should write your own novel...

  2. i would love to do this sometime... great set christian... :)

  3. I like your captures of Banaoang Bridge and Burgos shore.

  4. You made it like the coolest thing in the world. B-) but yeah, a van load of photographers can be rowdy.

  5. i can't imagine ganung set-up ,, andami ninyo sigurong stopover! hahaha .. galing nakunan mo yung bridge na nakita ko din nung pumunta kami ng ilocos galing mo idol!

  6. Mailap pa sakin ang ilocos kasi parati nalang nacacancel. Naalala ko ulit bakit gusto ko pumunta. :)

  7. one of my favorite part of Ilocos -- Burgos! :>

  8. Balak kong bumalik ng Ilocos next week :D Mag-Vigan naman ako hehe

  9. Where are the pictures of the models? :D

  10. Fifileigh
    Haha thanks! I guess it does

    Thanks Lino, I saw your site and you got some amazing photos too

    Thanks Bert :)

    Francis Balgos
    Haha puro stops!

    Masaya mag travel with photographers, pag nakakita ng magandang location, babaan agad :D

    Elal Jane Lasola
    Go Elal!


    Naks next week agad!

    Yam Manuel
    Later Yam :D

  11. it's nice that we still have exotic-looking birds in the provinces. nice shot. i don't see something like that here in Manila anymore.

  12. yep, a road trip with a bunch of photogs will have you stop more than necessary.. that's the fun of it all.. :D

  13. Turista Trails
    I agree wala na talagang ganyang mga ibon sa metro, I don't understand why people shoots beautiful things down

    Haha I agree onehundredpercent :)