Welcome to Northern Edge of Luzon: Pagudpud!
Often referred to as the Boracay of the North, Pagudpud is a town in the northern tip of Ilocos Norte. In the past two years, I’ve been to Boracay, El Nido, and Caramoan, so you can say that I’ve seen pretty good beaches here and there, but the crystal blue water, raging waves and white sands of Pagudpud is just unparalleled — I’ve never seen anything like it before!
Things you should know about Pagudpud
1. Pagudpud is the northernmost settlement on Luzon Island.
The area is mostly surrounded by bodies of waters and mountains: the South China Sea to the west and north, the Cordillera Mountain Range to the east, and the town of Bangui in the south. It used to be part of Bangui but in the 1950s, President Ramon Magsaysay declared Pagudpud as an independent municipality.
2. The name Pagudpud came from a man hailing from Batangas
According to the stories available online, the name “Pagudpud” came to be when a peddler, from Batangas, went to the area to sell his wares. When he realized how tired and hungry he was, he sought shelter in one of the residences and ask the hospitable owner for lunch. When asked for his purpose, he just merely answered, “Ako’y pagud na pagod at ang sapatos ko’y pudpod,” in his usual Batangas accent. Ilocanos didn’t understand this, but it became a phrase associated to the Tagalogs. A couple months later, a man went to the area and was looking for the location of a logging company. Since most Iloconos back then didn’t understand Tagalogs, they’ve just answered using the peddler’s phrase. The man then thought the place is called is Pagpudpud.
3. You can only reach Pagudpud by land.
By Private Care: Apps like Waze and Google Map can assist you how to get there. Travel Time: 8-10 hours.
By Public Utility Buses: Check the schedule of bus companies that go directly to Pagudpud, such as Partas. The fare is roughly PHP900 (one way). Travel Time: 10-12 hours.
By Plane: The nearest airport is located in Laoag City. From there, you’ll need to ride a bus heading to Pagudpud. Travel Time: 3 hours.
4. Truth is, most of the top spots aren’t located in Pagudpud.
The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is located in Burgos while the famous windmills are in Bangui. But due to the distance of these locations, these attractions are often associated to Pagudpud. Pagudpud is specifically known for their blue lagoon beach — an incredible sight to see!
5. There’s no ATM in Pagudpud.
The nearest ATM available is in Pasuquin which is about 1 and 1/2 hours away. Fortunately, majority of the sights and attractions are cheap — entrance fees are often less than a dollar per person! Food isn’t so expensive either (roughly $20-30 for a meal, good for 3-4 people).
Beauty Tip: If you’ve got long hair, braid or tie it! And don’t forget the sunblock! :)
Top 4 Sights You Don’t Want To Miss
1. Visit the Bangui Windmills
Currently the biggest wind turbines in the Philippines, each generating up to 1.65 Megawatts of power. Apart from being a tourist part, I think it’s an important that Filipinos pay a visit and cherish these moments that we, as a nation, re contributing something to reduce the effects of global warming.
2. Pretend like a mermaid and get your picture taken at the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. These creamy white and smooth limestone formations are just wonderful. The ocean, powerful and enigmatic as it is, have sculpted these rocks over time.
Note: Due to the nature of this area, it’s not exactly PWD-friendly (especially those in a wheelchair).
3. Chill by the beach
There are many beaches in the Ilocos Norte area, but when in Pagudpud, I recommend you visit Maira-ira Point or the famous Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon is a spectacular beauty — the water is blue and the sand is really white. You can also do surfing, zip line, and other activities here, just check in with Hannah’s Beach Resort —which is located right beside the beach area— for details.
4. Quick Stopover at the Patapat Viaduct
The Patapat Viaduct is a 1.3KM coastal bridge that connects Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Vally Region in a snake formation. It’s currently the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines. The bridge is a project that was administered by the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
There’s still a LOT of other places that you could see in Ilocos, including the attractions in Paoay and Vigan. But when it comes to Pagudpud, you’ll constantly find yourself amazed by the wonders of their natural and man-made attractions. So whether you’re a foreigner or a local here in the Philippines, don’t you ever forget to include Pagudpud in your travel goals. I guarantee you that its unparalleled beauty is worth the trip!
Northern Luzon Adventure Blog Series:
Vigan’s Top 5 Attractions
Why You Should Visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion
Adventure Diary: Calle Crisologo, Vigan
What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Top 4 Sights To See in Pagudpud: The Boracay of the North