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The Ilocos Sur Region: A Timeless Journey in Ilocandia

By April Mycenae

The Ilocos Region, fondly known as Ilocandia, is a land where the past and present merge in harmonious allure.

It comprises four provinces: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and my beloved Province of La Union.

Nestled in the Northwestern tip of Luzon, this region boasts a wealth of cultural heritage, natural wonders, and mouth-watering cuisines that captivate any traveler.

I began my Ilocandia tour in Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where cobbled streets and well-preserved Spanish-era mansions transport you to the Philippines of colonial times.

A ride in a "calesa" (horse-drawn carriage) around Calle Crisologo is a must, offering a nostalgic experience of the bygone era.

Other famous places to visit while in Vigan is the Baluarte where you can have a close encounter to animals.

The Hidden Garden, home to thousands of plant species and flowers, one of the most memorable activities was pottery making; it looks easy, but it needs patience and creativity to create one.

Venture north to Laoag and be captivated by the grandeur of its baroque church and the iconic sinking bell tower.

A visit to "The Malacanang of the North" is an excellent place to learn more about our history.

Nearby, the sand dunes of Paoay offer thrilling 4x4 adventures and sandboarding for a more extreme adventure.

The golden hues glisten on the undulating sand waves as the sun sets, creating an otherworldly sight.

From Laoag, drive further north to the windswept landscapes of Bangui, the home of the famous Pagudpud Windmills.

No visit to the Ilocos Region would be complete without indulging in the region's signature dishes like "bagnet" (crispy pork belly), "longganisa" (local sausage), and "pinakbet" (mixed vegetable stew).

And, of course, no trip to Ilocos would be complete without trying the delectable "empanada" – a filled pastry that's perfect as a snack.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone just looking to immerse in rich culture, the Ilocos Region is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be unveiled.

Ilocandia beckons - and it promises memories that linger.

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