Recently, have had friends and relatives take trips to the Ilocos Region. All are one in saying that it is a nice place to visit — although all say that the trip can be pretty tiring. Ilocos is an 8-9 hour drive from Manila although you also have the option of flying to Laoag from Manila. The flight takes about 45 minutes and with the reduced airfares courtesy of both Cebu Pacific and PAL, flying may be a good option now.

Adults are sure to appreciate the place. As for the kids, you may want to wait until they’re a little older. As some teens I know have said, after going around to see the ancient structures in Ilocos, “So what, if they’re old?”

What might one do when in Ilocos? You can visit the old churches like the Cathedral of St. Paul, the Cathedral of Saint William the Hermit, San Nicolas Church, the Church of Sta. Monica, the Church of Saint Andrew, and the Church of Saint Augustine. You can enjoy the white sand beaches at Pagudpud. You can go back in time and visit the centuries-old houses in Vigan. You may visit museums like the ancestral home of Fr. Jose Burgos and the Crisologo Museum. Visit the lighthouse of Burgos and make sure to take photos of the Bangui Windmills. Pass by the quirky house of Chavit Singson and drop by to see former President Ferdinand Marcos’ body.

The roads leading to, as well as in Ilocos, are said to be well-maintained. You can also pass by the local government office to ask for assistance from their tour guides. You may also want to try some of their well-known delicacies like bagnet, longanisa, and empanada. Buy some of their fabrics, as well as their clay jars/pots — also known as burnay.

So, what are you waiting for? Vigan, Laoag, Sarrat, Paoay, Batac, and Pagudpud await.