While the capital city of Ilocos Sur boasts of colonial architecture and history, the towns of Ilocos Norte take pride in their greeneries and blue waters. For most travelers, Pagudpud is the main destination in the northern part of the Ilocos Region due to its fine and white sand beaches. If you are travelling from Vigan, it will take you around 3-4 hours to reach Pagudpud. But if you’re straight from Manila, it will be an estimate of 13-15-hour road trip. For those who can’t take such tiring trips but have the extra money, I believe airplane flights are available from Manila to Pagudpud.
Saud is a barangay in Pagudpud where the beach is located. Saud Beach is the spot where we chose to have our skin roasted. Resorts are available where you can stay comfortably by the beachfront. But if you are on a budget (just like us), there are various transient houses along the national road which are just walking distance from the beach.
To be honest, most of the beaches that I have visited were almost the same. The fine sand, blue water, and perfect shade from the trees. So what makes Saud Beach unique? I think one thing that makes it stand out is its view. While you are getting your tan on the sand, you can see the windmills of Bangui from afar. Also, Saud’s sand is kind of golden, some kind of a sepia filter, which tickles a bit of nostalgia. Or maybe it’s just me. Haha.
After enjoying the waters of Saud, we drove for about an hour to encounter the great windmills of Brgy. Bangui. If ever you decide to explore Ilocos Norte, I urge you to visit these enormous electric fans of Bangui Wind Farm. It is a heart-warming experience to see these windmills out of the Philippine tourism postcards.
From Bangui, it took us less than an hour to reach Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Brgy. Burgos. It is said that these rock formations were naturally sculpted by the forces of the ocean. A google search will tell you that the word Kapurpurawan is derived from the Ilocano word “puraw” which means white, the color of most of the rocks here. I’m not sure though if they were naturally white, because there were parts which looked like it was just painted. Or maybe it was already dawn and was dark when we arrived so we weren’t able to see its color in its best condition. But in general, the place was majestic. With the amazing rocks, the roaming horses and the splashes of the ocean, it felt like we were not in the Philippines, but in a countryside somewhere in America.
The Ilocos Region is big enough that you can never run out of things to do. Just a tip though: research beforehand, make a solid itinerary, and stick to it. 3D2N is really short for an Ilocandia adventure, so every hour is important. Well, it still depends on you. What matters is for you to just enjoy and let yourselves get lost in Ilocos.