Lakbay Norte Morning at Paoay Sand Dunes

Lakbay Norte group Morning at the Sand Dunes

Pardon the lack of updates for the past few days as I was too busy to do advance post. I just got home from sweep tour of 4 regions, 8 key province stops and 1798Km road trip up North Luzon Philippines with 26 travel-hungry people aboard a Victory Liner Bus. It was packed, tiring but also fun. It was the Lakbay Norte NPVB (North Luzon Visitors Bureau) Media Tour with the aim to rediscover the north. I’ve always wanted to do this up-north horseshoe route and now here it is. Here’s a quick look of our 7-day sojourn up-north from January 24-31, 2010.

Lakbay Norte Callao Cave

Revisiting Callao Cave

Day 1 Cagayan Valley. Not counting our departure the day before, we got Tuguegarao early the next day to start our tour. It’s great to be back in Cagayan Valley after a few years to redo some adventures in Penablanca, the Callao Cave, Pinacanauan River and see what has changed since then.

Lakbay Norte Bus at Blue Lagoon

The Lakbay Norte Bus at Blue Lagoon, Ilocos Norte

Day 2 Cagayan Valley to Ilocos Norte. Now taking this route was a first for me. Lots of interesting Church (and food) stops here until we reached Blue Lagoon for Lunch then headed to Laoag. We had a preview that night of the Paoay Sand Dunes adventure for the next day.

Lakbay Norte Sand Dunes 4x4

Extreme Fun adventure at Paoay Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte

Day 3 Ilocos Norte to La Union to Baguio. Probably my favourite leg in this tour. Sand Boarding and 4×4 adventure in Paoay then a Surfing Stop at La Union before having a grand garden dinner at the 12.5 degrees centigrade The Manor, Baguio

Lakbay Norte Go-Karting at Ambuklao

Go-Karting in Ambuklao, Benguet

Day 4 Baguio to Pangasinan. It’s another quick revisit for Baguio for me and Ambuklao but there were some new stuff for fun there. In the afternoon finally moving into Pangasinan stopping by the Capitol.

Lakbay Norte Hundred Islands

Revisiting 100 Islands in Pangasinan

Day 5 Pangasinan to Greater Subic. It’s another revisit for me at Hundred Islands. Moving south this time to Subic White Rock where we stayed then enjoying a Night Adventure at the Tree Top.

Lakbay Norte Subic Hanjin

Up close to a large ship at Hanjin, Subic

Day 6 Subic to Clark. Doing a quick tour of White Rock which I thought has a drastically good change from last I was there. We went to Clark for breakfast. Had a scenic cruise on a Yacht along the Bay before moving into to Aquino Center in Tarlac then checking in at Holiday Inn. We did a quick tour at Holy Angel University for some Kapampangan Culture and history.

Lakbay Norte Duckitos Oasis Hotel

Duckitos Oasis Hotel Clark

Day 7 Pampanga to Manila. Our last day didn’t scrimp on activities. Went horseback riding courtesy of El Kabayo. Oh, did I mention that it’s non-stop food all stops of this tour and this was no exception. We had lunch at Oasis Hotel then merienda and capping the presentations at Lakeshore. Oh yeah, there’s a brief stop at Robinsons Starmills.

That’s it for now. Watch out for the day-by-day account on future post. It was a fun tour despite the tight schedule. I wouldn’t have packed it that way and allow some buffer time but the camaraderie and the adventurous energy of the group was able to shine through the exhaustion. My thanks to NPVB and the other 9 CVB’s who hosted and took care of us during this 7-day adventure at North Luzon. Congratulations on a successful tour!

Join the Backpack Photography Workshops in Banaue (March 19-21), Batanes (April 9-12) and Palawan (23-26)!

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