Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte – Part 1

From Ciudad Fernandina in Vigan, I hailed a tricycle to take me to the terminal of buses going to Laoag. I learned from other blogs that it was easier to go to Laoag first, then just transfer to another bus going to Pagudpud.

Earlier that day, I contacted the resort in Pagudpud, Casa Victoria, where I was staying, to ask about their guided Pagudpud tour. They have tours at P3500 if you want to use a car or P2000 if you want to use a tricycle. I told them I would like book the tricycle tour.

The tricycle driver who took me to the bus terminal in Vigan asked me where I was heading. When I told him I was going to Pagudpud, he gave me a contact number of someone he knew there, Kuya Rey, whom I would later contact.

I think I was giving out this tourist vibe in Ilocos that people were quick to assist me and speak to me in Tagalog without knowing yet that I did not speak Ilocano. In contrast, people in Kalinga, always spoke to me in their own language and possibly thought I was a Kalinga native, which is sort of an achievement for me.

So I rode the Partas bus going to Laoag which departed as soon as I got on. The fare was P137, if I remember correctly. We left the Vigan terminal around 10:45am and arrived in Laoag around 12:45pm.

The tricycle driver who took me to the terminal of the bus going to Pagudpud also offered to tour me around Laoag. I told him I would be back in Laoag on Sunday and was interested to have a Laoag tour before I go back to Manila on the evening of that day, so I saved his contact number.

I rode a Drexel bus going to Pagudpud and paid the fare of around P65. The wind during the entire trip to Pagudpud was blowing really strong it was almost scary.  The moment you enter Burgos town, however, you would be greeted by this wonderful view of the beaches and the windmills.

While on my way, I was texting Kuya Rey. His number is 09208684798. I highly recommend him. After I got off the bus in front of the municipal hall of Pagudpud, he fetched me and took me to the Casa Victoria Beach Resort where I was staying for two nights.

Kuya Rey was charging P600 for the Pagudpud North tour (Patapat Viaduct, Bantay Abot Cove, etc) and another P600 for the South tour (Kapurpurawan, Windmills, etc). He said that I would need to pay an additional P300 for the entrance at Kapurpurawan (I would later find out that this was actually for another tricycle driver in Burgos who would take me to the rock formations and lighthouse – Burgos has a local ordinance that mandated this).

The whole Pagudpud tour would just cost me P1500 if I hire Kuya Rey so I just canceled the tour I booked with the resort. When I checked in, the staff told me that it was Kuya Rey they were planning to hire anyway for me but the extra P500 was for the entrance fees. If you’re traveling solo, you wouldn’t be asked to pay those entrance fees (maybe with the help of a guide) except in Kabigan Falls, so it was still a good idea that I hired Kuya Rey directly.

Casa Victoria, from what I read, was the most affordable among the resorts in Pagudpud. I paid a total of P3000 for two nights (mid-peak rate) in an air-conditioned room. They didn’t have a hot shower though so I had to endure the Pagudpud cold when washing myself. Casa Victoria was a good resort but I also saw plenty of homestays near both Saud Beach and Hannah’s Beach, which might even be more affordable, so you might want to look into them.

The resort’s staff members were nice and were quick. I was just a little miffed when I was asked to move because a group of guests were holding a Sunday mass at the restaurant, but I think I’m just being a brat. Bonus points for the regularly priced beer!

After lunch, I decided to stroll the entirety of Saud Beach. It was a long stretch of white sand beach so I’m not really sure if I was able to walk its entire length. The sand was almost as powdery as that in Boracay but it was way, way, way, way, way (one more), way cleaner and quieter.

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The waves were far from quiet though. Because of the strong winds, the waves were huge. I wanted to feel the water on my feet while walking. Wrong move! I almost got swept away to the sea with my camera and my phone with me. A child who was only building a sand castle on the shore was almost taken by the water when it reached her much to the horror of her family.

There were plenty of resorts, both high-end and low-end, lining up Saud Beach. But unlike in Boracay, it was less commercialized.

I got back to my room Casa Victoria after that stroll and decided to go back out to the beach at sunset. Boy, the sunset was amazing!

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