Behind all the Beauty that is Adams


You can cry in awe at the natural riches of the mountain town of Adams, you can also cry in alarm at the beauty in retrograde. More than a week ago, a hornbill-wielding Adams local made the rounds in the net. On Holy Thursday, walking the paths to glorious havens, howling slices of burnt old sod cripple you momentarily.

Late last year, 3,250 hectares (32.3 sq km) of the only remaining high-biodiversity lands were proclaimed the Adams Wildlife Critical Habitat (AWCH) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). (Read my story on Rappler here.)

Who is terrified of a fangless snake?

Picture 148Burnt Land

Going to Adams in 2005 was a turning point in my life. So much beauty to suck in. Before the rainforest town turns into another denuded town, I made a pact with myself  to help save in my own little way what is there left.

Between 2005 and the present, the town has changed hands at least 2 times. The concept of ecotourism my organization (LEAD Movement) has tried to establish in partnership with the local government in 2005 has evolved into two things, economy and tourism. The third element — the eco in ecology was left behind.

Natural assets are magnets to the lust of greed and power. Miners from the outside world remain to threaten these ancestral domains. Sitio Bucarot is a looming security issue — shades of  Spratlys. Archaic indigenous culture persists to defy conservation.

All an ordinary citizen like me can do is bask and pray in Adams.

Anuplig RainBran and Euge 3Eugene 2BrandonJoshuaStonesAnuplig Falls TrekCampMikeAlex and NicoleBolo RiverBolo RiverBran and EugeAdams WinesWine and Buko Store
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Mitsubishi Showroom and Service Center in Laoag


I still have to win the lottery to be able to afford my own SUV, but for those of you are considering buying a nice sporty ride like the Pajero or Montero Sport, or perhaps a Strada truck, the Northpoint Alliance Motors Corp. (NAMCo) has recently opened in Laoag. Also for Mitsubishi owners who want only the best for their babies.

Mitsubishi LaoagMitsubishi Laoag Service MenuSean

Visit the huge showroom and service center along Airport Ave., Buttong, Laoag, or call Sean (CP No.: 09175977704) for inquiries.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

A Kids Only Camp for Earth This Summer

Camp for Earth teaser

Hi, parents of Ilocos! My organization, the Laoag Eco-Adventure Development Movement (LEAD), has partnered with Project 101, in cooperation with Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Gardens, for a summer ecological conservation camp for kids, ages 5 and up. We chose the NU Botanic Gardens as venue because it is a living museum of more than 1400 plant species. It has a butterfly sanctuary, a grass-covered lawn and tree-shaded grounds, ideal for camping, as well as comfort and indoor facilities. The 2 and a half-day camping event on April 25- 27,  is sure to be fun-filled, what with a lineup of outdoor adventure activities, basic life support techniques in case of emergencies, arts and crafts, dish gardening and, yes, culinary with the experts.

At heart, we aim to empower the kids to get out of their comfort zones and embrace the outdoors and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.

After all, a fresh perspective on the environment at youth makes all the difference.

For more inquiries, and registration forms, you can also contact:

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Genuine Ilocano Food at Monte Mar Restaurant, Burgos

Pokpoklo Salad and Chicharon

Between Laoag and Pagudpud, there are not too many really restful pit stops. Monte Mar Restaurant in Burgos offers authentic Ilocano food, a nice and quiet recess and a great view of the ocean. Owner Bob sees to it that travelers will have to enjoy the local flavors of Ilocos. Everything looked good especially the pokpoklo salad, longaniza and chicharon aka bagnet.

Check out this hideaway along the National Highway. It’s near Cape Bojeador.

Ilocano FoodRock SteadyMonte MarOld WoodMonte Mar
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

New Choco’s Pasalubong Shop and Food To Go in Gaoa, Pagudpud

Choco's Pasalubong Shop

Choco’s, the pioneer lechon manok stand in Ilocos, has a new house in Gaoa, along the National Highway, just past the road going to Blue Lagoon. It’s a spacious Choco’s Pasalubong Shop with a select line of popular Ilocos products like basi, fruit wines, cornick, dried fruits, sukang Iloco, camote chips, exclusive frozen meat products and ready to go liempo and choco chops at very tourist-friendly prices. Even if it’s in Pagudpud, prices are comparable to those at the city stores. You will also see fashion and home accessories.

My friend Leehua, the owner, says there’s more to come. Dirty ice cream was a hit on opening day, so she lets it stay all summer.

Ice Cream GirlChoco's Pasalubong ShopPasalubongFriendshipShell AccessoriesDuhat WineIlocos WinesFree Wine TastingDeMetrio's Dragon Fruit WinePasalubongPasalubongSukang IlokoTouristsBuena mano from tourists.

BuddhaBalikbayan JanetJanet Tamayo, another buena mano customer, balikbayan from Bakersfield, California.

BunniesUntitledChoco's Pasalubong Shop, Gaoa, PagudpudChoco's PasalubongChoco Chops is only 12 pesos each.

Choco's MortonThe Kapangpagangan tourists liked the Chocos’s embutido known in Ilocos as morton. My fave at Choco’s is roasted liempo.

Choco's Liempo

The just opened Choco’s Pasalubong Shop is conveniently located near the Gaoa fish stands along the main road.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The P. Lazaro BBQ Mixup

P. Lazaro BBQ

It’s a quirk that generally we Ilocanos talk at a wavelength only us understand. For a change, I got straight instructions. “The barbecue is right across the orange uring for sale on P. Lazaro, west of Ablan Avenue,” says Miss Endorser. I ride the tricycle to barbecue. There are two barbecue stands across the orange uring for sale. Technically, there’s only one ‘coz the grill on the corner is facing another street. So I went to the one with the grill directly facing the orange uring for sale. I take pictures, I interview Analyn, the owner, I order and eat two sticks (by the way, barbecue was good, very tender), and then I head for home.

I see endorser, I show photos from the camera. Says Miss Endorser, “It’s the one on the corner.”

P. Lazaro BBQP. Lazaro BBQP. Lazaro BBQP. Lazaro BBQOne stick costs 12 pesos.

To be concluded.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014