The One Time I got Fat (Ilocos Norte Adventure)

It’s the last week of the before Christmas vacation and I decided to use all my unused absence credits to a sudden whim of decision to go to with my aunt and her family to one of the loveliest place in the Philippines, Ilocos.
So there I was, just traveled an hour from the university to my home and instantly packed to take a ten-hour bus ride to Ilocos. I was super excited to go somewhere far away and see what’s Ilocos is like.
Her husband lives in Taguidin, a lovely place surrounded by rice fields, literally surrounded by rice fields. If you want to talk to your neighbor, you would have to walk half a kilometer. Since the house in undergoing major renovation, there weren’t much appliances or furniture yet in place. There was no television nor radio but we do have a karaoke machine that have movies installed into it. Living in a compound where my relatives are right beside our house, I was use to hearing the sound of children’s voices in the morning. Here, I could hear the sound of the wind, the birds chirping and carabaos from nearby. It was a lovely place and I felt like I could stay there forever until those times that the then object of my affection asked me out and I was a thousand kilometers away from where he is. I was ready to spend my last one thousand bucks to go home. I was that much in love and crazy about him. He asked twice that week, (why does he keep forgetting I’m away????) which only caused me more torture. At the very least he couldn’t see me jumping up and down in joy of seeing his messages or hearing his voice that one time when he called. Oh memories, how they bring so much emotions… Oh well, let’s move on to the story.
The town plaza isn’t that big but have this lovely church and little stores that can get you what you need. Plus, if you want to go there, you have to travel for almost an hour. The biggest store is a two-floor building that is composed of many little stores. There’s one that sells appliances, one that sells clothes, one for food, no need for a mall really. There are no fast food restaurants around though and renting a computer to go online is very costly.
From Taguidin to Vigan takes two to three hours of travel and the buses that passes by with air condition is very rare. We tried for two days but we were in the wrong timing and had to come home. On the third day though, we succeeded.
Vigan… oh vigan, such a lovely place to be. There is one street that was there since Spanish era and was being preserved for history’s sake. There are a lot of carriages around looking to tour passengers around town. Fast food restaurants are located in old buildings and have this Spanish look yet very modern inside. There’s Jollibee, National Bookstore, Chowking, Red ribbon and even Greenwich.
After looking at wood furniture and having a hearty meal, we went to Baluarte, an animal sanctuary where anyone can visit for free. The animals are all in the greens getting looked at to and yet people can enjoy the view. We also wanted to see the lion but he was far too lazy to come up. At around 1PM in the afternoon, there was an animal show where I get to volunteer to hold a ten-foot long snake (anaconda, I think). I got to spend time with butterflies in the butterfly farm and saw a lot of fishes from big to small. After that we went back to Taguidin, almost wanting to go back the very next day.


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