“In every journey, you get to meet such different kinds of people, and you will learn a lot from one another. Some will just come and go, and as for the others, they are the ones who will be a part of your life and build such profound friendships. That despite the distance and time differences, you will still be acquainted with some of them, and build more unforgettable memories that will always be a part of you. No matter where you go.”
-Sir Ryan Asilo of Travel Ventours
BREAKFAST IN LAOAG CITY, ILOCOS NORTE
ON OUR WAY TO VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR
Finally, for the travel diary of my second trip back to Ilocos. I’m officially down to share with you on how Team Ilocos/Team Tiya Dely’s 3rd and last day had turned out to be.
First is that our tour guide, Kuya Ryan, had informed us all that our call time was going to be at 5:30am. It is for the reason that we needed to be a bit early on the road, and arrive back to Vigan before lunchtime. And as we all head out from Pagudpud, we’ve had some short stopovers. The first one was in a place where there is an old Money Tree, the second one was in Laoag City for our breakfast, and then visited once again those souvenir shops that we’ve dropped by on our first day in Ilocos, and finally arrived at Vigan at around 10am.
By the way, before I forgot, if you are someone who lives quite far like me, and would hand-carry or check-in a bottle of its local vinegar. I suggest that you don’t buy or bring it along back home with you. Because a staff from the airline will definitely inform you that it’s not allowed. And its what happened to the ones that I’ve bought; that I had to leave it to my friend Ate Arge who was also at the airport with me.
So back to Vigan, it was a crowded, hot, and humid late morning when we’ve arrived there. And Kuya Ryan gave us all the free time to wander on our own, and also to eat our lunch.
Well as for me, I head out for a Kalesa ride with Ate Jane and Tita Fe from Ilo-Ilo and paid a total amount of P150 for it. Then toured around within the central part of the city and had a short stopover at a former provincial jail, that had just turned into a national museum. Anyway, while touring inside, I was so enamored of the place especially to all of those paintings and photos that were taken from the different parts of the Philippines, and that for one moment, I totally forgot about the time, and had no idea that Ate Jane and Tita Fe were already waiting for me outside the museum. After that, we had back to Calle Crisologo to continue our sight-seeing, and also to do some souvenir shopping.
And while in Calle Crisologo, I’ve also asked Ate Jane to accompany me into visiting once again this vintage and small coffee shop because I’ve truly missed its rice coffee. Then by the time that we were back inside the van, it was almost 12:30nn. In which by the way our call time to go back. So technically we got lost track of the time that we weren’t able to eat a proper lunch.
While the others already had their earlier lunch at Greenwich and Chowking, I was so late that I had to get out again on a rush just so that I could buy a cold and reheated sandwich at 7-eleven and ate it inside the van, paired with my delicious rice coffee.
Then it was before 1pm that we were on our way out of Ilocos Sur, but first, we had a short side trip to Quirino Bridge, or as to what Kuya Ryan was saying “The Bridge of Love”.
Does it feel like love is in the air there? Well, who knows.
Plus, such a side trip was definitely a fun one because I was entirely game in all of everyone’s quirkiness and laugh trips while taking tons of photos together as a group.
Oh, definitely a memorable one.
COFFEE BREAK, CALLE CRISOLOGO, VIGAN
Afterward, Team Tiya Dely was back on the road for our journey back to Metro Manila. Moreover, it was such a long and exhausting road trip, and while everyone was busy napping and watching two movies that whole afternoon, I was just there, sitting still, listening to some music, taking it all in the views outside on the road, and contemplating everything that happened during our trip. But from time to time, I would talk to Ate Arge, Kuya Ryan, Ate Isa, Mommy Carol, and also to the rest of the group.
Then upon entering TPLEX, all of us inside the van were having so much fun because we were all listening and singing some songs from Ate Arge’s music playlist, all the way back to the city.
So overall, it was a very enjoyable road trip back home, and I will never ever forget such a journey with them. Then after that, everyone was slowly dropped-off to their chosen areas, and Ate Arge and I were the last one.But upon arrival at Ate Arge’s house, I was entirely speechless because the tour was officially over. And during my extended stay in Metro Manila, I’ve also had the time to reflect about myself, that I’m so grateful to God for being so good because he gave me the chance to meet such good people.
I want to say thank you to my Fellow Team Ilocos – Mommy Carol, Ate Jane, Eds, Gladys, Almer, Ate Isa, Tita Nits, and Tita Fe and for the short meet-ups somewhere in Alabang. Truly, you’ve all been such heartwarming as fellow travelers and I miss you all.
To my dearest Ate Arge, and her mom, Tita Nora, I’m so grateful beyond words to them for taking care of me during my stay in their house. For one moment, they did not made me feel like a guest but more like a real family member, and that is why I was so emotional when I called Ate Arge to say my goodbyes.
I remember, a few days after our tour. Someone had said that there is a reason as to why God had made us all meet one another, and form such a bond during that short trip. A connection that neither one of us all had expected and is still growing as time goes by. And hopefully, such friendship will remain firm and strong all throughout for many years to come.
So as I finish writing this travel diary of mine, I also want to say thank you to Travel Ventours especially to Sir Roland for all of our inquiries and handling our bookings; and most especially to Kuya Ryan Asilo for being entirely accommodating, lively, patient, friendly, and thoughtful to us all during our tour in Ilocos Sur and Norte. Moreover, as returned guests, Ate Arge and I already knew him from our previous booking which was in Sagada. And that is why we were so happy that he was our assigned tour driver.
Overall, it was a well planned and flexible itinerary, that despite the unexpected changes in its weather, we still enjoyed the tour, and that we had so much fun for it was more like a family trip.
Once again, thank you for the wonderful service.
Plus of course, to all the staff of 3M’s Place Resort & Restaurant.
That despite the fact that it’s new and some areas are still under construction, but I was entirely amazed of the cleanliness of its rooms and dining halls; moreover, it truly warms me to see such very friendly and cheerful staff that greets its guests with such positive and lively energy, which is something that I find truly fascinating. I hope such an ambiance will be maintained all throughout the years. For I had such fond memories during my short stay there.
And also, to its staff starting from Miss Geraldine, Miss Grace, Sir Danilo, Miss Shermaine, Miss Maria, Miss Jen, Miss Flor, and also to Sir Alvin, thank you so much for the warm welcome. Including its owners Ma’am Rosemarie Dela Cruz, and Sir Michael Dela Cruz, maraming Salamat po for being so friendly and approachable.
And that’s the story of our recent trip to Ilocos Sur and Norte.
Right now, my mind and heart is longing to wander again, and I’m so looking forward to Team Tiya Dely’s reunion, and next trip together.
Definitely Hoping and Praying for it.
Thank you so much for reading my travel diaries, and God Bless us all.
(BY THE WAY, ALL GROUP PHOTOS BELONGS TO ATE ARGE, KUYA RYAN, ATE JANE, GLADYS, AND EDS)