I like going on trips but I don’t like spending insane amounts of money. As such, I’m always on the look out for bargain vacations. Granted, summer time isn’t the best time to make a “tipid” trip, my cheapo beach birthday proves it’s still possible. For my twenty-fifth birthday, I decided to go on a trip to Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte with my college friends.
We started our journey on the eve of my birthday (May 5). We boarded a Laoag-bound Florida bus at Cubao at around 7pm. Since it’s a ten hour, 500 kilometer trip to Pagudpod (it’s a little farther than Laoag), I’m happy we got a bus that was equipped with a mobile toilet.
Wallet damage for a one way ride to Pagudpod’s town proper: 700
Well, we got there alright. We took trikes to Polaris Beach Resort (there were eight of us) and that cost us about ten pesos each. Polaris Beach Resort’s rooms aren’t spectacular, but they have the basics: functioning air conditioning, TV, extension cords (upon request) and a shower. The rooms we got had two beds each and were good for four people. At around P 2,500 per night, each of us had to chip in P1,125 each. Still wallet-friendly.
A twenty minute stroll along the beach brought us to Emohruo Restaurant at Evangeline’s Resort. Their extensive menu includes breakfast favorites like eggs in a basket and pancakes, a variety of fruit shakes and alcoholic drinks (their specialty? The must-try Pagudpod Sling – a combination of orange juice, rum, coconut juice and god knows what else), surprising chicken dishes (like their Mango Chicken) as well as Ilocano favorites: Bagnet in Coconut Milk and Bagoong, KBL or Kamatis, Bagoong at Lasona and Pinakbet.
Wallet damage at Emohruo is around P100 to P300 per meal. While their food is spectacular, expect to wait anywhere from thirty to an hour and a half for your food if you go there for dinner.
Another great place to try is Kapuluan Vista Resort’s Restaurant. It’s near Blue Lagoon beach and it serves organic food. Must try: The gigantic empanda, the homemade butterscotch ice cream and their bagnet.
Wallet damage for Kapuluan is slightly higher, averaging at around P400. But the food is so delicious and their service is tops, so I feel it’s totally worth it.
We visited a couple of other places courtesy of the friendly tricycle tour (P 600 per trike and three can ride, so that’s 200 per person). We went to Blue Lagoon, Bantay-Abot Cave and the Patapat Viaduct.
All in all, I spent around 4 thousand pesos (trip back and other snacks included). Not bad, in my book.
And here’s a picture of me looking oh so happeh on the afternoon of my twenty-fifth birthday (consequently, it was taken around the time I was born, wala lang) taken by my good friend, Lauren Dado: