My sleep was long as if telling me that my day would be long too. Many thought that I’m busy while I was doing my 100 day journey, but to tell you honestly I was not. Most of my days would characterize long bus rides where you got nothing to do but to stare at the window and see the changing landscapes. From Manila, I passed by the rice fields and cornfields of Central Luzon then the vast tabako plantation of Ilocos. When I arrive in my destination, I usually look for food then a place to relax. Today’s view is Saud White Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, some call it Boracay of the North but the pristine waters and clean shore there is way more inviting than that of Boracay. I look farther and from where I was standing were the famous Bangui Wind Turbines, which delivers electricity to the towns of Northern Ilocos. It was Bongbong Marcos’ project, a sustainable energy supply to his constituents. Ilocanos here pay a much lesser electricity fee. I guess this can be done to the rest of the west and east coast parts of the country.
Anyway, I laid my sarong on the white sand and sat on it. I was just there feeling the moment and enjoying the breeze. I put on my white shuffle, laid on my back and looked at the towering coconut trees before I finally closed my eyes and thought of someone dear to me. I was thinking of my special friend working abroad wishing she was with me. If only she can understand what life means to me, a life of simplicity in paradise. Sadly, she has a different mindset. I seized the day and listened closely to the wind, the gentle waves, the trees and my heart. There was the sound of silence, of serenity, of calmness. It was paradise. My long breaths of fresh air was disturbed by two little girls playing castles on the sand, laughing once in a while, and trying to put some sand on my toes. I opened my eyes and tried to play nice. They were talking in a dialect I couldn’t understand so I just tried to smile. I asked their names and ages and why they were not in school since it was Friday. But since we couldn’t understand each other properly I just asked if I could take their photos which they readily allowed with ready smiles.
The famous Saud Beach in Pagudpud. Beach paradise in Ilocos Norte.
Kuya Norman Edu prepared some lunch for me and I ate a lot – fish sinigang, corned beef, egg and lots of rice. I patted my stomach, refilled my water bottle, published something on my blog and went up to Adams.
I was enjoying those minutes of you don’t know where you are going, where you just have to trust the locals where to get off; those times where I am unsure of what will happen or where you are going next. These small adventures make the challenge more exciting, and you will understand what I mean when you put these altogether from Days 1 to 100 and you realize how tiring it is to this kind of challenge. It was larger than me, the biggest challenge I have ever faced since I started to walk this earth and I’m happy that I’m doing this right now.
I enjoyed the wind breezing into the open windows of the bus. The winding coastal road and the long Patapat viaduct were a sight to behold, no traffic and we had a short stopover to cool the bus’ radiator near a small waterfalls beside the road. After a 30-minute bus ride, I hailed a habal-habal (motorbike) to bring me to Adams. The 1-hour ride was like an introduction to a beautiful song, building up as I began to see patches of rice paddies and springs big and small. The climax of the song was the kindness of the locals. Dra. Tess was kind enough to refer me to Marilyn, her relative and to Dra. Bielmaju, the Mayor’s wife. They provided a beautiful and warm log cabin for me. Near the log cabin is a winery, Adams is known for it’s bugnay (a local berry) wine – sweet, fruity and light. Dra. Bielmaju let me sample some wine to warm my cold body. It was freezing cold outside so I wore my green jacket. The treatment I got there was the complete opposite of what I experienced in Abra two nights ago. Here the locals were warm and welcoming; the kids smiled and would “mano” (gesture where one person bows and presses his/her forehead to the other’s hands) to you as a sign of respect; the mountains were green and the town’s name befitting the experience I had. The name ‘Adams’ was given by the first settlers. They did so because they liken this paradise to the Garden of Eden, Adam’s garden. The rave was true and more than that.
The mountains surrounding Adams town, made more dramatic with the colors of the setting sun.
I interviewed Dra. Biel of the developments they are doing in the tourism and trade. It was good to know that she was able to encourage the mothers to produce good wine, handicrafts and weavings. Some also built guesthouses for tourists such as the log cabin I was staying at. They also constructed a resthouse beside the a fish pond and another one perched on the side of the mountain giving everyone a choice of where to wake up the next morning.
It was time for dinner- tinolang manok, mixed veggies and organic brown rice. Naimas (delicios) ]as they would say in Ilocano. I retired early excited to explore some waterfalls Adams is famous for. My accommodation is the best cabin yet in the duration of 10 days on the road. Thank you Adams!
Route: Pagudpud – Adams, Ilocos Norte
Expenses for Today: Php 299
100- breakfast and lunch (given to host)
12 – chips
17- coke and cupcake
20- baduang, pagudpud to pancian
150- motor (pancian to adams)