Half of Day One: 2014 Barkada Ilocos Tour

217 On February 24, a day after the STC Boarders Reunion at Lorenzo’s Way restaurant in Taguig, a group of reconstituted Class of ’66 made their way, bleary eyed to the airport in Manila, bound for Laoag. Cora O, tour guide, group leader and organizer was in the airport early, to attempt to resolve an identity issue for one in the group who had a ticket issued in her first spouse’s last name, which did not jive with her passport showing current spouse’s last name.  This was ultimately resolved when a new ticket was purchased as Philippine Airlines was unbending even though this was simply a domestic flight and half a dozen attestors as to the identity issue were coming forward.  Through all the hassle, Cora O was cool and unperturbed. 215 Moving on, the group arrived at Laoag Centennial airport and were met by welcoming staff from Sitio Remedios where the Barkada were to stay for three nights.  


Cora O thoughtfully provided each Barkada member with an Ilocos packet, containing a Travelers Laoag / Vigan City Road Map, which in itself was an interesting souvenir, a detailed timetable and schedule of sights to see for the day. First stop was at La Preciosa for breakfast.  And oh! what a breakfast it was.  For some of us, a taste of true Ilocano food. 221Eschewing the usual Filipino breakfast of ‘silogs, the order for Dinardaraan, was a big hit, and a second order was put through.  This Ilocano version of dinuguan (blood stew), is quite different from the usual dinuguan served in Filipino homes and eateries.  Dinardaraan is less soupy than dinuguan and crispy, although both use the same meats. photo 1.JPG Re-energized by the breakfast, we found our spaces in the van and on to our next stops of heritage, culture and churches.  Unfortunately, being a Monday, most of the churches were having a rest day.  Of note is the Santa Monica Church, a/k/a Sarrat Church, a/k/a San Miguel Church.  This church was the the venue for the wedding of Irene Marcos to Gregorio Araneta, first daughter of Former President and Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos.  Fully established white bougainvilleas were delivered and planted in the vicinity where the bridal entourage was to pass.  It was noted that the bride marched down the aisle with her then strongman dad sans bridal bouquet which was forgotten. A few months later, August 1983. a 7.6 earthquake brought major structural damage to the church, and toppled the bell tower as well. 222 225 224230 The Barkada then navigated to the Malacanang of the North, best explained by this excerpt from Cora O’s packet scan0005


Watch for the second installment of Day One: 2014 Barkada Ilocos Tour


4 comments on “Half of Day One: 2014 Barkada Ilocos Tour

  1. Hi Tina, Lookin good. Looks like you’ve mastered the fine art of writing, and the finer art of putting images to complement them. Interesting trip. Keep up the blog. Boy, you’ve been to so many different places…fantastique!

    Sharon Queano

  2. I’ve been reading the blog. The stories are nice and the pictures work with the story locations. Nice work, blogmaster ________________________________________

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