After enjoying the spectacular sight and picking some shells and stones, we then proceeded to a historical landmark in Burgos, Ilocos Norte – the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse – the highest lighthouse in the Philippines above sea level and built from locally made bricks. There are about a hundred steps to the tower and once there one gets a panoramic view of the beach and mountains below. Climbing the steps is not for the faint hearted.
From the lighthouse we proceeded to Laoag City where we saw the sinking Bell Tower of St. William’s Cathedral. Then off we went to Batac to visit the ancestral home of a former President, and the Marcos Mausoleum where he is laid to rest. Then we went to Paoay to see one of the oldest churches in the country, St. Augustine Church. A church wealthy of historical inheritance and distinctive architecture, it has been named in one of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Moving on, we hurried to our next destination, the Malacanang of the North. Formerly the official residence of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in Ilocos Norte, it is now a museum open to the public. Vigan completed our tour of the Ilocos Region. Vigan is unique in that it is able to maintain its Spanish culture and heritage as in their churches, houses and public buildings. The only sign of modernization is the presence of fast food chains in the plaza. Calesas or horse drawn carts still attracts tourists to click their cameras. It was sunset when we decided we should make a side trip to Baguio since we were already “there”. We ran through a number of Ilocos and La Union towns and cities, then scaled through Naguilian Road until finally we could feel the cool weather and the smell of pine trees and we knew we were in Baguio City. We spent a restful night at the Prince Plaza Hotel in preparation for another day’s trip.