Chronicles of Wanderlust: Ilocos, Part 1

They say that every trip, even to the same place, is never the same.

My expectations were well within what I know of the place, since I was in the Ilocos region, just five years ago with my former colleagues. I was coming back like I was coming back to my favorite restaurant, except that I had a different date.

Then I was proven wrong.

Our Juan Luna tour guide was right --- a trip to Ilocandia was my far the best thing to do on an Independence Day weekend. Ilocos was the right mix of Philippine culture, bucketful of history {my eyes kept popping out}, vintage Philippine architecture, that probinsya culture of warmth, hospitality and generosity. My friends couldn't have picked a better place to spend four days and on Independence Day, too.

After checking in at Hotel Tiffanyin Laoag City, we went for a long rest and prepared for the days of adventure, history, culture, architecture ahead:

Our first stop: the Malacañang of the North, former home of the Marcoses.

The place was teeming with photos of the Marcos family, I particularly loved the room of Imee and Irene and Andy's library, which implies his love for reading, literature and in general, what a smart man he was.

Former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos' office | Notice the abaniko chandeliers --- beautiful.

A close up of one of the shelves

The Imelda and Andy Bed

Imee and Irene's Dresser {spot the dolls!}

The Marcoses' Dining Room

Me and my friends at the grand staircase of the house, imagining how glorious and elegant the parties Mrs. Marcos must've thrown back in the day.

The Paoay Church, which was grandiose.

One of the best renovated structures, the birthplace of Juan Luna at Badoc, Ilocos Sur

I was caught by surprise when our vehicle stopped by a red brick house and said we've arrived. I didn't realize we were to visit the birthplace of the country's most popular artist so I quickly jumped out and touched the brick walls.

"Are these Philippine flags here because of the Independence Day?"
"Nope --- it's because May 28 was National Flag Day."
"There's such a thing?!"

Once a gladiator, always a gladiator | Spoliarium

Juan Luna's Parisian Life, as we now know, was an allusion to the Filipino as a slave to the Spaniards' rule over the country.

It was also at this point that we discovered {of course, this was not said in our history classes} that Juan Luna killed his wife and mother in law in a fit of jealousy. Juan Luna, I concluded, must've been a character to get to know.

Juan Luna's bed and vanity dresser

Outside the home of Juan Luna is a shrine sculpted by a blind artist, Juan Sajid.

A mahogany carriage stands outside the home, too, and is said to be too heavy for local horses to be able to carry.

I'm already missing my vacation in Ilocos just by looking at this photos --- but I must go back to my real life now. I hope you all enjoyed my travel photos part one and hopefully, I find time for part two {Vigan, Pagudpud and the food we ate!} =)

Happy Wednesday!
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