POSTCARDS: Biking along Laoag, Ilocos Norte

A man pedals his way along Laoag City’s streets in Ilocos Norte province, 12 hours north of the Philippine capital Manila. The Ilocos region is home to well preserved Spanish-era structures (or else refurbished to resemble such).

Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

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POSTCARDS: Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte

Bangui, a coastal town in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, is home to a wind farm on its western coastline facing the West Philippine Sea. Twenty 70-meter gigantic wind turbines occupy about nine kilometers of shoreline, turning it into one of Ilocos’ most distinguished structures and tourist draws.

Bangui windmills, Ilocos Norte, Philippines | Two2Travel.com

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POSTCARDS: Ilocos’ Pinakbet Pizza

Pinakbet Pizza from Saramsam Restaurant, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Ilocos is known for its pinakbet, a native vegetable dish with bitter gourd, okra, squash, string beans, eggplants, and pork bits cooked in fish sauce, but definitely not sitting on a base of cheese, tomato sauce, and pizza crust.

We sampled this fusion pizza at Saramsam Restaurant in downtown Laoag, Ilocos Norte’s capital. The veggies are pre-cooked and topped on the crust, which also comes with tomatoes. You then sprinkle the whole thing with bagoong to complete the pinakbet taste.
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Carless in Ilocos

This year, we went to Ilocos without a car.

TWO2TRAVEL | Ilocos Norte | Paoay Church

As anybody who’s been here knows very well, going around Ilocos is pretty straightforward with private transport, all thanks to nicely paved roads and sparse traffic.

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Always a sunny day at Paoay’s lovely Baroque church

It’s hard to imagine Paoay Church—or San Agustin Church—in Ilocos Norte under bad weather, when the skies would be gray and gloomy, clouds nonexistent, no schoolchildren sauntering the grounds.

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The long road to Kapurpurawan, Ilocos Norte

So this is what the fuss has all been about: huge waves crashing against jagged cliffs, some coming ashore to fill a busy network of canals at the base, no doubt shaped through time. And this has been what we walked an hour for under the 12 noon sun.

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