The following morning, we got up early to go to somewhere a bit farther that Laoag City. Ralph’s family brought is to where it’s all happening: to the Batac Ilocos Empanada Riverside Empanadahan. We were welcomed by an assortment of good smells and heat coming off from the hot oil used for frying the delicious empanadas. The air felt a bit sticky and I had the slight fear of smelling like empanada and sukang Iloco the whole day, but my stomach has always ruled over my head, so I dumped all my stuff onto the nearest empty seat and let my nose lead me to where the delightful smells were all coming from. Being a novice at this, (there were a lot of choices apparently) Ralph did the ordering for us and got us the empanada with everything on it. As we waited for our empanadas to be ready, we feasted on dried pusit soaked in sukang Iloco and Miki soup.
After we’ve had enough of those tasty orange empanadas and hot miki soup, I made a quick run to the nearby Batac Church. I was hoping to go in and take some pictures of the interiors too, unfortunately the church was closed so I had to be content with having my picture taken in front of its gates.
Bursting with all the good food we had, we found ourselves needing a bit of a walk, so we went to the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential center where the remains of the former president lay. It was eerie. I have been here once before and it was about 7 years ago, and he hasn’t changed at all. I wonder how much formaldehyde they used on him and how much their electricity bill is, especially during the summer when the heat could literally melt just about anybody.
The Marcoses old house was closed but we were lucky that the museum adjacent to the house remained open.
We were also told that the former first lady herself visited the former president just minutes before we arrived. We weren’t able to catch her but we definitely caught a glimpse of her sweet ride! Yep! That’s hers all right, IRM- Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
Our next stop was Paoay Church made famous by its age, and relief structure. Paoay maybe one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the country. It was one of the few of the churches which stayed open on Nov 1. We took a quick tour inside and said some prayers before we headed off somewhere cooler.
After Paoay, we headed off to the sand dunes where most of the filming of one of the original Panday movies which starred Fernando Poe Jr. took place. We had hoped to ride one of the dune buggies but, renting the car was expensive plus getting sprayed on by sand is not exactly my kind of thing, so we just drove past it and felt the presence of Panday amongst us. I remember a famous Hollywood movie starring Tom Cruise was also shot here, I just can’t remember which.
Driving around in the afternoon heat can take its toll on you, so before we went on to our next destination, we cooled off with some fresh buko juice and some fresh suha.
Last stop for the day is the Malacanang of the North which was virtually turned into another Marcos museum. Although there were already signs of wear and tear, it is surprisingly well-maintained; save for the swimming pool which has already turned into a sickly shade of green, probably caused by the bazillion frogs swimming in it.
Here’s the sweet and generous family who hosted our stay in lovely Laoag.
That’s me looking out into the sunset awaiting what the next day will bring 🙂