Posts Tagged ‘Laoag


Pinakbet Chronicles: Laoag City and La Paz Sand Dunes (Day 01)

Why does a runner travel nine hours by bus to a place he’s never been to?  To run!

Friday, November 27, 2009.  Four guys from camp met in a bus station in Manila for their nine-hour journey north—to run.  It was a long weekend so bus seats are scarce leaving us no choice to travel in two groups: Sir Rene and I, and McCoy and Wilnar.  We departed around midnight and by nine in the morning the following day we arrived at Laoag City.

The best time to travel to Laoag City may be at midnight

Run Ahead race director, Mr. Faivo Bartolome, invited us through Mr. Jinoe Gavan of to join their event, and running addicts as we were we ignored the travel time and the popular race also happening at the same time.  After all there isn’t always a chance to run in Laoag, for free! Sir Faivo was event kind enough to take care of our accommodation at Laoag Renzo Hotel, and he also served as our tour guide for the next few days.

Got cozy at the reception area

Buffet breakfast upon arrival, yum!

Hotel distance from Manila bus terminal: 398.5K

View from our window

Lunch time was the first time we met in person Sir Faivo who first took us on a culinary tour with delicious local delicacies.

I love the food in Ilocos, although I can’t remember the names

After the sumptuous meal, Sir Faivo brought us to the spot where the desert scene in the movie “Panday” was shot: the sand dunes of La Paz.

Fine sands with the blue South China Sea in the background

Wilnar, Sir Rene, Sir Faivo, and me (courtesy McCoy)

It’s very windy in the area that you hardly feel the heat

For the time being we returned to our hotel for some afternoon siesta, but later that afternoon we returned to the sand dunes for some sand running.  Click here to view the area in Google Maps.

Afternoon easy run towards the sand dunes (courtesy Sir Rene)

Keep right

Entering the dunes

Keep running


The dunes

McCoy atop one of the hills (whose sands ruined my camera!)

Shadow shot

Finally arriving at the beach…

…for some group shot

…and watching the sunset

Time to head back

It was already dark when we left the sand dunes and to cap the night we headed to Run Ahead’s carbo-loading party near the capitol.  The day was very interesting, and it was only the first day.

Pinakbet Chronicles:

Special thanks to McCoy, Sir Rene, and Wilnar for some of the pictures that appeared in this post.


Join runningpinoy’s Virtual Tours

Christmas season is here!  For many this is also a time for vacation and travel.  For those who won’t be able to do so (myself included), join with me on a virtual tour of two spots I’ve been to for the past two consecutive weekends: Ilocos Provinces, Philippines, and Singapore.  These tours served as an early vacation for me so I’m home-bound this yuletide season.

These tours were spinoff itineraries of races, the first one way up North of Luzon with Run Ahead in Laoag, and the second one South almost at the Equator with Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.  These races were the primary reasons I was in these spots but was in no way the only reasons these places are worth visiting.  You may probably call me a “sports tourist” in line with my battle cry “takbo hangga’t may lupa” (run while there’s land to run onto) and being one allowed me to see places in a unique perspective.

Without further ado I’ll start with the details of our Northern tour on my next post.


Laoag Tour: The Preview

It was another long weekend here in the Philippines, another chance for a great adventure.  For me and three other guys from the camp it would head us north—way up north—to the city of Laoag, Ilocos Norte, primarily for Run Ahead Raising a Roof race tomorrow morning.  Of course this city had much more to offer, and here are some previews:

About six hours into the bus ride: sunrise

Our Laoag-bound bus on a stop-over

We arrived at the city proper after about nine hours of travel. Arriving at our hotel we were treated to a breakfast buffet.


Buffet in Laoag

These are just previews of our first few hours, watch out for my complete story soon…

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