Misadventures in Laoag

March 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM | Posted in Food and Dining, Travel | Leave a comment
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The next day proved to be full of misadventures. My officemate and I went down early from our hotel room for breakfast. Though the service was slow due to undermanned staff, our breakfast was delicious. We attended to some business after that and once we’re done, the General Manager was nice enough to offer us assistance in touring the nearby local attractions. Unfortunately though, once the General Manager was out of sight, the Front Office Manager of the hotel refused to give us assistance and was reluctant to let us use the hotel shuttle to take us to Laoag’s central district. His excuse was that the shuttle was in the service of guests staying at the hotel. And since we weren’t exactly guests at the hotel – though he knew we were doing business with them – we weren’t given priority. The hotel is located far away from any public transport and since we couldn’t very well walk that far, we had no choice but to wait for the hotel shuttle to become available. My officemate as well as our other colleague and I were getting really frustrated. We felt like we were wasting so much time just waiting for the shuttle. There was no other form of entertainment at the hotel (unless you consider watching TV in your hotel room a fun activity) to pass the time. Food at the hotel bar and restaurant was expensive and we didn’t really want to hang out there.

Finally after hours of waiting, they let us use the hotel shuttle. The driver dropped us off at the central district of Laoag and we let the shuttle go back quickly to the hotel as we didn’t want to become a “burden” to them. My officemate and I just decided to explore the city on our own and hired a tricycle to take us where we wanted to go. We had a late lunch at Macy’s Diner, which my officemate and I found pretty cute and interesting because of its 60’s American-style theme. We headed off to San Nicolas after that where there was a small branch of Robinson’s mall. I got frustrated with my other colleague that time because she wanted to take refuge from the heat of the afternoon sun by malling. She said that we should just wait for the sun to go down then we could set out to explore the city again. My officemate and I weren’t bothered by the heat at all and we wanted to go out and do a bit more of sightseeing and not waste any more time.

St. Augustine Catholic Church in Paoay

See, this is one of my pet peeves when going on vacation. I don’t like to go on vacation with a companion who complains about little things like heat or the possibility of getting dirty. To me, vacation means going on an adventure and having fun even if it means you’ll get sweaty or dirty. Where’s the fun in worrying about the heat or getting dirty while you’re exploring an interesting location? If you’re the type who gets easily sun burned, then put sunscreen or wear a hat. Gulp down a chilled beverage if you feel the heat. Don’t go running inside an air-conditioned mall and stay there for hours. You’re not a vampire. You won’t melt under the sun.

sunset at Paoay beach

Anyway, after impatiently waiting for our colleague inside the mall, we headed outside and took a jeepney going to Paoay. We got to see an old church there and afterwards, we hired another tricyle to take us to the sand dunes in the area. We were disappointed when we saw the sand dunes because they weren’t that pretty. The area was just a small patch of creamy sand. We ended up exploring a nearby beach instead. We left the beach when the sun was setting and went back to San Nicolas. From there, we ate dinner at La Preciosa  where I sampled a delicious local dish with a rather risque name – puqui puqui.

We hired another tricyle to take us back to the hotel after dinner and that’s when something funny happened. The tricyle we hired was really small and my robust officemate, our colleague, and I were amazingly able to fit inside the small interior. Unfortunately though, while we were on the way back to the hotel, the tricyle gave a loud popping sound and the driver had to stop to find out what it was. We didn’t really know for sure what happened with the tricyle but I guess it conked out because we were too heavy. I had difficulty coming out of the tricycle and so was my officemate. And we all laughed about it. So there we were – the three of us in the middle of the road at night. The hotel was still too far away for us to walk and the place we got stranded on was just full of bushes, grass, and trees. There were a few houses here and there but other than that, the place was dark and deserted. It was such a relief for us then that another tricycle came along to help us out. He tried to help our driver revv up his engine but to no avail. We felt sorry for the driver we hired so we paid him good money while he waited for another help by the side of the road. The other driver assured him that he’d help him after he takes us back to the hotel. So the three of us hopped onto the bigger tricycle and went our way back to the hotel safe and sound.

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