Lakbay Norte Diary Day 3: Pagudpud and Laoag, Ilocos Norte

January 24, everyone was already up by six in the morning, all eager and ready for our third day of more fun in Lakbay Norte. Not even a trace of the previous day’s strenuous activity in Chico River can be seen, in fact everybody seemed excited for another adventure – surfing in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte!

Edcel Suyo of in Patapat Viaduct

We traversed the northern highway from Tuguegarao going to Ilocandia. This was the exact route I took when I first ventured in a Northern Luzon roadtrip seven years ago. We had quick stops in Claveria Viewdeck and Patapat Viaduct before reaching Pagudpud after seven hours of travel. When we arrived at Kapuluan Vista Resort, a sumptuous lunch were already waiting for us.

We were treated to a Polynesian Style Kapuluan Kinilaw, Bagnet Ceviche, Cabbage Parsley Soup, Chicken Kilagwin and Breaded Fish with Fern Salad, Eggless Leche Flan for desert and a serving Margarita to finish the course. It was one of the best meals I had, they all tasted superb.

Kapuluan Vista Resort's Chicken Kilagwin and Breaded Fish with Fern Salad

Shortly after lunch, surfing session was on. Mike Oida, the owner of Kapuluan Vista Resort gave us a short lesson, pointers, tips and techniques in riding the waves. We took turns in practicing how to stand up on board, and when everyone was ready, we walked to the Blue Lagoon for the real action.

The picturesque lagoon of blue water and white sandy beach is an ideal place for newbies in surfing. The swells that break on sandy shore is a perfect spot to learn this sport.

Maira-ira Beach also known as Blue Lagoon

Surfing is one of the sports I wanted to master. But there were only little progress since I first tried it three years ago. I still cannot paddle on my own, I needed someone to push me before the good swell breaks. Rico assisted me as I try to relearn surfing. We positioned away from the shore and waited for the good waves. First try was a failure, the swell didn’t break. The second lacked power, so as the third.

I was getting frustrated by my failures. While other newbies were already successful in their attempts, I, on the other hand was a big failure. I believe it wasn’t my fault since I can already stand in the surfboard comfortably. I was just unlucky with the waves.

Like him, I will be good in surfing someday 🙂

I asked Rico to take his time, wait for the perfect wave and release me at the right moment. It took some time, but it worked. I was able to standup and ride the wave beautifully, not once but twice.

I thanked Rico and handed the board to Marcos. I watched other surfers fall, stand up and ride the waves and I promised myself to do good next time. I will be good in surfing someday.

It was already getting dark when we left for Laoag. After two hours, the bus stopped in front of Museo Ilocos and I was surprised to see the new La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center that redefined the city’s nightlife. It used to be a dark and quiet ground way back in summer of 2011, but now it is bustling with life.

Inside Samtoy Books in La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center

We had our dinner at Johnny Moon Cafe, an interesting and cozy restaurant named after Juan Luna that serves good food. The Luna look-alike staff served us Saniata Egg Roll made of Dragon Fruit, Crispy Dinuguan with Ensalada and Tupig con Tsokolate for desert. Shortly after dinner, the staff of the local tourism office of Laoag toured us around La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center.

I was billeted in Roswell Hotel Laoag with my room mate Edcel but before calling it a night, I recalled our day in Ilocos Norte – the amazing adventure, the scenic spots, good foods and lovely people that we’ve met along. The province is full of wonders and surprises and there are more awaiting for us on the next day. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow 🙂

Lakbay Norte is an eight day media familiarization tour of Northern Luzon organized by North Philippine Visitors Bureau in cooperation with Manila North Tollways Corporation, Victory Liner, Mc Donalds, Petron and Universal Robina Corporation.

Thanks to Ilocos Norte Conventions and Visitors Bureau, Kapuluan Vista Resort, Local Government of Ilocos Norte and Roswell Hotel Tuguegarao.


  1. Agnes

    hi, may i know if there is an outfit that offers similar packages? or th/e same package? thenice thing about this is everything is timed and paced…. when in the year is best travel time
    great photos!
    thanks for sharing!!

  2. gundambang

    Thanks for your postings on a lot of beautiful destinations in the North! We are planning to do an 8-day road trip with our young children from Manila-Pinatubo-100 islands-Baguio-La Union-Ilocos-Pagudpud-Banaue Rice terraces-Magat Dam in Isabela-Manila. Not enough time I guess. What would be the best route, if taking a loop from Manila to these places and back to Manila? Thanks!!

    1. Thelma Agullana

      Pls contact me if you will be staying in Pagudpud.. I have a friend who owns a Lodge/Hotel and the rate is affordable..:-)

      1. jen

        cheapest hotel gs2 po nmn mkpunta sa blue lagoon and kabigan falls 3 days and two nights how much po mggstos 2 pax txt lng po surprise po kase ito mga how much?

  3. roma

    meron po bang bus from pagudpud to manila? how much po yung pamasahe?

    1. moshimoshi

      It would pass thru Pagudpud terminal from Claveria, Cagayan. Check:

      1. roma

        thanks! big help! =))

  4. Nagi- stalk na ko sa mga lakbay norte epic road trip niyo. Kasi we’re planning to do visit the place on Holy week. Tagal pa pero now plang excited nako..thanks for the posts you share!

  5. The second pic could pass for professional food photography. Looks great, really… and yummy as well LOL! Good job!


  6. Let’s learn how to surf in Siargao! haha. I want to spend at least a week there.

  7. mukhang malalampasan mo na ko sa updates pre! day 4 pa lang ako hehe

    1. Nauubusan na nga ako ng idea, eh gusto ko na matapos itong diary series para makapag move on na sa mga specific spots. Hahaha!

  8. May I ask how’s the condition of the highway route from Nueva Ecija to Tuguegarao? I presume that from Pantabangan you went down via San Jose. Thanks

    1. Hi Joey, the road is generally in good condition. Yes, from Pantabangan we went down in San Jose then going north to NV, Isabela then Cagayan 🙂

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