The Extreme North Adventure: Travelling to Ilocos

We arrived at the Manila International Airport Terminal 3 at around 6:30pm. After we got our baggage, we headed to the nearest exit to get a cab and head to the Partas Terminal in Pasay. The weird thing is that this terminal is not far from the airport. I didn’t know this one till I saw where we were heading. Imagine having to endure a 20 minute cab ride not knowing that they’ll just have to turn on a point and head back to the same direction? This was due to the road blocks/island blocks in between the road which prevents them from simply turning left. Without traffic, it took us 20 minutes to reach the terminal but we could have been there in 5 if those orange thingys were not blocking the middle of the street. I really don’t get the logic in placing it there. Welcome to Manila Doi!!!

Anyway, when we reached the terminal, there were already a number of passengers waiting too. My friend told me that tickets are usually sold at 830pm since we’ll ride the Deluxe bus going to Laoag. We need to be on that bus since it’s a 28-seater bus and it has ample space to recline your chair for the journey ahead. The travel time from Manila to Ilocos Norte will last for 10hrs (without traffic).

Going back…since it was the holiday season, the policies changed. We had to get a priority number and the staff at the counter will just call us when the bus arrives. Yep! The bus is still on its way. We were already in panic mode since we feared that we might get stuck on the terminal till the wee hours of the morning. I saw my sister talking with one of the bus personnel on a bus that was ready to leave. The next thing we knew was that she was calling us because the bus lacks 3 people before it leaves. We hurriedly grabbed our bags and went to the bus. Luckily we asked the guy whom my sister was talking with and confirmed if that bus was for Laoag. hahaha.. to our surprise, the bus was headed for Abra, a different province in Luzon. Had we not asked the bus personnel and confirmed where we’re headed, we could have been in Abra when we woke up the next day.

So, with this mistake, we went back to the waiting area and tried to find vacant seats. We waited and waited. Me, I kept sending text messages to my friend to confirm with her if we are on the right terminal. She kept telling me that they normally release tickets at 8:30 and we’ll just have to be patient with it. While waiting, the passengers also kept arriving and soon, the terminal was packed. Again, we were still in panic mode. At last! the person behind the counter started calling our numbers. It was 8:30 pm. I bought three tickets to Laoag. I think I remember paying P 2,001.00. When we saw our bus, we immediately boarded and waited for the bus to leave the place. We failed to ride the Deluxe bus since they no longer followed their normal schedule due to the holidays. However, the bus that we got was still as comfortable as the Deluxe bus, except that you won’t really have enough space to recline your chair. The bus left at almost 10pm.

The ride was smooth. What I hated was the fact that the bus kept stopping at some point trying to communicate/contact with their fellow drivers/employees of the bus liner. At first I thought it was mainly for audit purposes to make sure everbody has tickets. But the bus still kept stopping and I soon doubted the motive behind it. Anyway, we stopped at a restaurant stop over place where the driver ate his dinner together with fellow drivers. This gave us the chance to go to the bathroom and try to eat something too. It was already 2am. We reached Laoag at around 8am. We didn’t know where to go. We didn’t know how to begin our tour. We decided to eat breakfast in Jabee (i like calling it that way, Jollibee, hehehe) as we figure what we should do.

The original plan was to do a quick tour of the city and then head to Pagudpud where we’ll stay for the next 2 days. But the problem was our baggage. We couldn’t hire a trike and rent it for the quick tour of Laoag since its too small and person+baggage won’t fit the trike. I tried asking my brother to check the nearby hotels in the area and inquire if we can leave our bags and just pay a certain fee. I also accessed my email on my phone to get the number of Texicano Hotel since I saw on the web that they accept backpackers at a cheap rate of P170/day. What I didn’t expect was to get an email from someone I emailed a couple of days ago while I was at my wits end trying to figure what IT we will follow and the places we should visit. The message says to contact the person if we are already in Laoag. I no longer hesitated and I immediately sent him a text message inquiring where we could leave our bags. The next thing I knew was my phone ringing with an unregistered landline number. The first thing I heard where the phrase “Good Morning! Welcome to Laoag City!” I thought it was a hotel receptionist and I thought my brother asked them to contact me to tell us to head to that hotel so that we could leave our baggage. What I didn’t expect was the same person whom I just sent a text message contacting me and I couldn’t believe what i was  hearing! He offered for us to leave our baggage in their office. Wow! From that point on, I knew that we will be ok…(to be continued)

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arriving in Laoag
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Comments

  1. My Pink Shoelace says

    Mitchy and I want to go there baya Doi … hehehe

  2. if I have the monies.. join ko balik! 😆

  3. huhuh….sayang…

    wla ko ka koug ani dah…

    T_T

  4. hehehe…sge lang june! kuyog lagi ka sunod! 🙂

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