After an overnight stay at the Heritage Village in Vigan, we were eager to hit the beach. The allure of a secluded, white sandy beach was enough to wake us up at the crack of dawn and drive 154 kilometers to Pagudpud. It was a refreshing experience to constantly see the changing views--the verdant countryside, lush mountains, rivers and sea; clean, fragrant air to rejuvenate city-bred lungs, and the simple rustic life by the roadsides. I have seen the pristine beaches of Pagudpud more than a decade ago at Saud Beach Resort. Saud offers first class accommodations while our destination this time was the rustic Blue Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon, locals say, used to be a secret hideaway. That maybe true, because when I visited this part of Ilocos Norte more than a decade ago, Pagudpud beach was synonymous to Saud Beach Resort. But I guess the cerulean waters, this quiet haven behind the lush mountains was bound to be discovered by those who are seeking serenity and the simple joy of walking by the beach without being approached by vendors.
An uphill and winding single-lane road at the side of the mountain overlooking Malingay Cove led us right to Blue Lagoon. It's about 2.5 kilometers from the Maharlika Highway. There are upscale resorts at the end of the road but we decided to stop at the bunch of huts we saw and decided to park here for the day.
The placid, crystal clear water was a few meters away, the view was inviting, fresh water was abundant in the restrooms---we're in the right place.
No restaurants here, no ATM machines. Good thing we bought our lunch along the way, at the town of Pasuquin---lechon manok (roasted chicken), pork adobo, sautéed ampalaya (bitter gourd) with egg, and dinengdeng (mixed vegetables with fish sauce soup base, a favorite dish in this region), steamed rice, some bananas and oranges, and bottled water.
A leisurely stroll by the beach relaxed my tired muscles. The water and sand were pleasantly warm, the breezes soft and fresh.
Aside from farming, locals make their living through fishing. Tourism is also a growing industry. But I hope the local government would maintain the idyllic and pristine beaches here, and not yield to the temptation of following Boracay's footsteps.
Pagudpud is a coastal town on the northernmost tip of Luzon, the last town of Ilocos Norte bounded to the east by Adams, the first town in the province of Cagayan. It is 561 kilometers north of Manila, about 72 kilometers north of Laoag City, the provincial capital.
It can be reached by land or by air (through Laoag International Airport).
This post is linked to My World-Tuesday