Laoag City in One Day

The Fort Ilocandia Courtyard and Fountain

The Part 2 of Melanie, Raine and Ali’s Ilocos tour with me takes place in my hometown of Laoag. Like I wrote in Loving Laoag, the cover story of Mabuhay Magazine February 2015 issue, Laoag translates to radiance in the vernacular, hence the sobriquet “Sunshine City.” For not wearing a hat, I got mild sunstroke and had to beg off from another guiding trip for a friend and her friends today. Reminding everyone to drink lots of water and maybe overdose on citrus fruits and put on tons of sunblock and wear protective gear when in Ilocos, especially if you are heading out to the famed Laoag “La Paz” Sand Dunes. Btw, my group the LEAD Movement started the sandboarding adventure in Ilocos, so anybody interested can just contact me, even through the blog. I will answer all your queries.

The Fort Ilocandia’s courtyard with a fountain still looks so much the same. It is so perfect for an evening event. But because the Laoag Parklane Hotel is so very near my house, the girls made Parklane their home in Laoag, and my humble dining table theirs too.

IlocosRort IlocandiaFort IlocandiaFort IlocandiaLaoag "La Paz" sandboardingOffroading in La Paz, LaoagLaoag Sand AdventureHorse MobileRed DotYou know how girls are.Laoag Sinking Bell TowerLaoag Parklane Hotel

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

A Prismatic Sky and Peace

Awesome Beach Sunset

We took a breather from a frenzied weekend schedule and here’s what I got for you — my most gorgeous sunset ever! Magical colors that I haven’t ever seen before. Like they say, peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank.

CalachuchiAlexasummer loveGive me lovePoolsidecottony cloudsInto the skyhappy feetfrom a samsung galaxy s3Mirrorized

Photographed by Marianne Lee and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Cafe Ilocandia’s Asian Food Festival

Stuffed Tomatoes and Salmon sushi

After a series of changing hands and facelifts since it opened its doors in 1983, the coffee shop of the Fort Ilocandia, the only 5-star hotel in the North, continues to serve discriminate lovers of food. I like its latest name the most — Cafe Ilocandia — what a better way to celebrate the Ilocano culture!

Ilocano specialties like dinakdakan (grilled pork/pig’s face, red onions and ginger, slathered with pig’s brain and Ilocano vinegar), kilawen a kalding (goat meat ceviche), swam, (goat innards with bile aka papaitan soup) utong and fish paste salad stood on equal footing with Asian favorites like sushi, siomai, tempura, pancit, lechon, Mongolian barbecue, and some not-quite-Asian dishes like stuffed porkloin with prune sauce and cheese-stuffed tomatoes in their most recent Asian Food Festival.

Ilocano FoodKilawen na Kambing and DinakdakanSwam (goat innards with papaitan)
Looking like broth in the photo, the swam soup.
LechonLechon ("best pig ever!")
Nothing compares to crackling lechon (whole roast pig) skin with blood sauce.
sushi and siomaiMongolian BBQ Rice
My peewee Mongolian BBQ rice with shrimps, fish and chili bean paste.
Food TripMango Crêpe
Crêpe with sweet and succulent Philippine mangoes.
Cafe Ilocandia Asian Food Festival
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012