Philippines Travel Stories, Page 13

Pagudpud Philippines Map

Pagudpud Philippines Map
Pagudpud Beach in August of 2009 was open, but should have been closed; there is no reason to go to this beach during rainy season. The locals were working on the rooms, painting, making noise and a disaster zone. The Lonely Planet is confusing, there is one main beach by the name of Saud, and all the other beaches are way off somewhere else. If you wish to visit as a backpacker, you just need to go to Saud find a cheap room. There are maybe 10 Home stays for around 500 Pesos per night in the area, but do not expect any favors.

Take a 40-60 Peso Tricycle Taxi to Saud beach, walk up and down the beach until you can wangle out a good prices on an overpriced room.

Pagudpud, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Monday, August 10, 2009
Laoag City Hotels

I recommend you go to Northridge Hotel and walk around to the 8-10 hotels in this area, unless you want to be alone. This is the only area where there is enough rooms to be interesting. Polaris is a good choice, and closer to the sand, but not too important.

This is the seawall in front of the majority of Hotels on the one end where the Villa de Mar, Northridge, and Jun and Carol are located. Walk around in this area first; it will save you a lot of time and headaches. It is just a price issue, find a hotel with a price and location you like. These Hotels are in need of swimming pools to make the beach acceptable; if you find a swimming pool, life would be better. I did not see one, I would think there is at least one. The beach is dinky, it would be better to lie by a pool and walk down to water, maybe swim than go hide by swimming pool.

Walk to the ocean form the Polaris and you can take this photo, the Saud Resort, the main one that takes up all the land is right on the beach, all the other Hotels are not on “SAND.”

Beach is a confusing word to locals; they will call any shoreline beach, while I only call it the beach when there is sand.

Northridge, Jun and Carol Hotel.

Northridge was a nice hotel; they did not try to rent us a room and recommended we go to other hotels. All the Hotels were 100 percent vacant, empty, no people.

The Polaris Hotel has some beach close to it and these boats.

I truly do not think this is even close to Boracay, I think it is nuts to call this place the Boracay of the north. This is a great place to bring 20 people and stuff them all into one room, buy 10 cases of beer and stay drunk for two days.

Pagudpud is a beach for a person who lives in the Philippines to visit when you get bored and want a week trip. If you are living in Baguio, you could go to Laoag for a night, then take a day trip to Pagudpud and return to Laoag to sleep, not much reason to stay in Pagudpud. Maybe survey the situation, if there is lot of girls, or people stay, if not Laoag is interesting.

Take your own party, or do not go to Pagudpud, a great choice is stil Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand, Krabi, etc, this just does not compete.

Pagudpud Philippines Map

Laoag City Philippines

Laoag City Philippines
Here are many Photos of Laoag, Philippines. This city in the North part of the Island of Luzon is a Traveler’s breath of fresh air, truly an easy city. I doubt you could convince tourist to stay in Laoag for more than a stop for the night, but for me it was a paradise, everything was within walking distance, a good travelers nest.

If you want to go to Pagudpud, it is easiest to take a bus from anywhere Philippines to Laoag, stay a night, and then take the last two hours of bus the next day. However, as best I can tell, Pagudpud is effectively closed during rainy season.

We stayed in the Tiffany Hotel for 630 Pesos, within two-three blocks we found everything a traveler needs. This is a city where you can walk around and see many different things without a hassle, and then if you want a Tricycle taxi is standard 20 Pesos for two people inside the city.

Typical Food Market
Great Architecture, old building, probably same as Vigan.
Jollibee’s for Breakfast, 2 Pancakes of 42 Peso, steak and eggs for 58 pesos for the Thai girl.
WIFI in the Tiffany Hotel room that worked one time but never again, probably better to go live in the Isabel Suites, the Texicana is too far away from this center.

Normal priced Bakeries; this is perfect for a Thailand person who does not know bread. (Many American priced ones are boring.)
Bus Hub, they start here, they end hear.
Bus station on 20 Pesos away by Tricycle Taxi.
Rooms better quality than Vigan for about the same price.
Partas bus station is huge and organized.
Buses that leave for Pagudpud every 20-30 minutes.
Macy’s 50 diners that is horrible, but reminded us of the 50 Diner in Baguio.

Laoag City Map

Laoag City , Philippines
Southeast Asia
Monday, August 10, 2009Laoag City Hotels

Laoag City, Philippines Sinking Bell Tower

Year 1612, I am not sure if Vigan or Laoag is older, the two cities are both important from an Architecture point of view.

Laoag City, Philippines Sinking Bell Tower

Laoag City Philippines Church

This plaque says the church was first built in 1580; this may be one of the oldest tax collection offices in the Philippines.

Another Photo of the Bell Tower in Laoag, Philippines.

It is a question mark whether these horse drawn carriages in Laoag, Philippine are a tourist attraction or just public transportation. They were lined up at the food market waiting for rider’s right next to the Tricycle Taxis.

Laoag City on

Laoag City Philippines

Avoids Cheating

Avoids Cheating
How do we go to Pagudpud, Philippines without cheating?

My Thailand Girlfriend has been surfing the internet and reading the Lonely Planet trying find an acceptable Hotel in Pagudpod, Philippines. We are on Hotel Budget of 600-800 Baht per night for two people. This is the room budget we have paid at the beaches of Thailand,

17.50 -23.50 US Dollar
600-800 Baht
850 - 1125 Pesos

I personally I should be tarred and feathered, ran out of town on a rail for admitting we may pay these prices. I feel like I am completely letting down the Backpacker community when I pay more than 10 dollars per night for a room, whether one or two people in the room.

What is great about Thailand, I can often go down to 3-5 dollars per day to offset the more expensive days, however here in the Philippine the average room price has teetered around 900 Peso level, wheter single or alone.

Here is my Thailand Girlfriends great and truly insightful way of viewing cheating. I agree 100 percent with her views on cheating, if something is difficult to understand and then do, it is cheating.

Thanks from Andy Graham of
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Vigan Hotel

Map of Pagudpud, Philippines, often called the “Boracay of the North.”

Map of Pagudpud, Philippines

Cheating is a type of lie and stealing your money.

By Thailand Girlfriend, no name given.

My Mom sick and I need money to take care Mom, but the truth is she just want money for something else.

How do we go to Pagudpud without cheating?
- What and how do they cheating you?
1. Price of bus ticket
2. Price of small truck/motorcycle/taxi around the city
3. Price of room
4. Quality of room and the price that you pay

Some of solutions for avoid the cheating

1. Price of bus ticket
- searching from internet or tourist information center
- ask another passenger about the price do they pay in the same city that you want to go
If you can find, just ask how many hour or how distance do they take bus and compare your price
with their hour/distance
- read or ask the price from many company and look at the real bus compare with their ticket price.
Some time ticket same price/not much different but seat or type of bus really big difference.

2. Price of small truck/motorcycle/taxi around the city
- walk away from the bus station, it usually get a normal price and you can should taxi that you
want, not just old/bad taxi which sit around the bus station to waiting good tourist who always
say yes.
- ask local ppl on the bus before get off or local ppl around the bus station
Exp. By Tricycle in Vigan, It’s twenty peso from bus station to hotel (about a kilometer) but
tricycle ask 500 peso for survey ten hotel around Vigan (there is about 10 blocks or not more than
500 squaremeters) It’s not mean every driver bad but you have to keep asking till you find honest
one or normal price its should be.

3. Price of room
- ask bus driver/ppl on the bus from previous city. It’s possible to find the person who move city to
city example salesman, branch manager etc they usually live with their budget.
- taxi
- lonely planet
- walk in the hotel to ask the price
- searching from internet
- tourist information center
- ask local people
- sign, it usually have sign of hotel between town to town, bus station, big market/department store,
some junctions
- Analysis the map, normal or cheap hotel always put them another block of expensive hotel
to make ppl have a choice. So give you a chance to find some.
- take a taxi for tour around city/street of hotel
- ask hotel where you find hotel for the price you can pay
- negotiate price to hotel
- live with the local live
- get the single room for two person
- make the decision how much you can pay for room
- stop thinking about your money and my money but good decision for both
- wait out the owner of hotel

4. Quality of room and the price that you pay
- searching from internet or tourist information center
- look at the room
- compare with another hotel




This is over budget any way we do it, the country feels like a bad deal.

Villa Del Mar
We found in the Lonely Planet, the searched on the internet for a webpage.

Lonely Planet says
Telephone 0920 553 4161 Number does not work
1400 Fan
1700 AC .

We found on Internet:

Cheapest price on Internet is 1700

Imelda Benemerito-Llanes
No answer 3:06 PM

Elizabeth Benemerito
Talked to her, I asked, what is the cheapest room for two people?
She says,
Then she said -1800
Then she said 1200.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Northridge Resort
1500 P
Telephone - 0920 220 5089
- I called the number, they women said the room with AC for 2 people is 800 Peso
Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thanks, this is a work in process, we will go to Pagudpud, Philippines beach tomorrow. I personally feel this is a lot of work just to see a Philippines beach and hope it is nice. My Thailand girlfriend is a tourist anyway I look at it, she is frustrated, it is difficult for here to pay money to go somewhere that is not a sure thing.

Tourist enjoy their vacations, they choose sure things.
Traveler see the real world, we read between the lies.

Andy Graham of
And My Thai Girlfriend

Avoids Cheating

Vigan Philippines Spanish Architecture

Vigan Philippines Spanish Architecture
Here are Photos of the Vigan Philippines Spanish Colonial Architecture. Vigan, Philippines is a UNESCO site; there is 800 plus places on the world where the United Nations or some governmental organization are trying to save, pretty much stop people from destroying their own heritage.

UNESCO Vigan, Philippines

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Vigan Hotel

Vigan is nice city of around 50,000, small enough to relax and avoid the confusion of the Philippines. We stayed in the Vigan Hotel and paid 495 for two people in a fan room, shared shower, toilet with WIFI in our room. Room 106 is great for internet, it was the only reasonably price room in Vigan with Internet in the room in Vigan City. The Playa de Oro Hotel on the ocean was a disaster zone, 1100 for a room, truly crap on a platter.

Grandpa’s place is also good for a Hotel, but their internet in the lobby was not working when we entered, the cheapest room was 650 and no window. I think the people who manage the Vigan Hotel are happier, friendlier, and do not want to bend us over for money, truly a typical Philippines style, the place is old, feels like an Antique shop.

Paul a friend of ours from Baguio, said
“We did not find anything resembling a deal in Pagudpud.”

This is a good way of looking at the Philippines, is there something that resembles a deal. The Vigan Hotel was the best deal for our money, the place I did not feel regret when paying.
Vigan Hotel Truly, the Vigan Hotel is the only Backpacker priced hotel, however you can get some dorm rooms cheap, but who wants to live in a dorm in Asia, I reserve this crap for overpriced Europe.


Cemetery Entrance

If you truly want to survey all these building, you must go to the Tourist Information offices to the right of Jollibee’s. It has no good markings, but if you can find it, there are four people working inside to help you. There is a map of the city and they appear to have all the time in the world to help you.

There is also an Ilosco Sur or whatnot tourist office next to the Max Restaurant, easy to find, it says tourist information it.

If you want to be true blood tourist, go to these offices first. The city is confusing, and they only label the best building. There are tons of old buildings with no information on them.

If you get on Wikipedia this would help.

Vigan City on

I had a Thai Girlfriend in Tow, if you have a Philippine girl in tow this to me is the perfect city. Asian do not go to Mexico, to South America, truly even the Filipino people know little about Spanish culture.

I could talk for hours about Buddhist and Catholics, not of much interest to me; I lived in South America for five years.

The English sucks in Vigan, truly difficult to find a person who speaks English, go straight to the tourist office, there are two of them and snag the maps.

The city market is cool, hard to find, if you said Partas Bus stop, they would take you to the large city market, with Frogs, Cabbages and every type of strange person possible in one spot.

Vigan Philippines Spanish Architecture

Thai Girlfriend in Tow in the Philippines

Thai Girlfriend in Tow in the Philippines
I have a Thailand Girlfriend in tow, I often have to push here across the street or tow her along behind me, this is a new experience for me. I never wanted it this way, we have always been able to talk, communicate, and understand each other, travel is moving too fast for her, I cannot explain as fast as the world turns.

Thai Girlfriend next to Horse Carriage in Vigan, Philippines.

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Friday, August 7, 2009


Thai girl walking at the Hotel Playa de Oro near Vigan, Philippines, I kept trying to make a joke, saying this is not Playa de Oro, it is
“Playa de Roca.”
She does not understand.

I cannot slow life down enough for her to understand English above the traffic, trikes, Jeepneys, fans, and general roar of noise here in the Philippines.

In Thailand she understands about 85 percent of my English, while here in the Philippines she understand less than 50 percent. I can tell if a person understand, I can look at their eyes, I can feel the people around me, I am overly sensitive to this, I am Betazoid. When my Thai Girlfriend and me traveled in Thailand I could allow her to be the boss, try to follow her, she truly is the Alpha Female. However, the Philippines are 20 times more dangerous than Thailand and she just does not understand how to cope with world problems. I am amiss, I will not allow her to just have ungodly amounts of problems, and however she has one of the hardest heads I know, she does not like me towing her or pushing here, who does?

She is a control freak, she is normal, she believe she is in control of her life. She does not want help, refuses to be coddled, controlled or guided along the path. She does not trust me, I often think she does not even like me, I have known her for at least five years and we are best friends. I am not sure a Thailand person can have respect for a Farang.

This Thailand culture is so arrogant, it cannot or will not have faith in anyone but a Thai person, if I was a Thailand man she would just obey and not fight. She is torn between wanting to be this Westernized women who is independent, and she is Thai. The world is moving way to fast for us, however she is bored out of her mind, and she is on my computer more than me, trying to find something to occupy her time.

Tourist are insane, bloody nuts, they walk around 24 hours a day trying to use ever hour for something. They are not on vacation, they are in a race to see everything, they are so greedy, so in love with time, they cannot enjoy the time they have.

Both my Thailand Girlfriend and I know we cannot and will not walk around eight hours per day. I admit, she has realized the life of a Traveler is not as glamorous as she imagined. She now realizes I spend endless hours just sitting in the room reading books, doing mundane and trivial things. I know she is not happy, she is Thailand and the culture says she cannot complain, from an empathy point of view, this is painful for me to watch. I am powerless to enable her to find something enjoyable, I keep saying,
“What do you want to do?”

Thailand culture almost demands she allow me to make this decision, however all cultures will tell you when they do not like something. Truly annoying, I try to come up with ideas, and she tries to accept them, however often what we do is boring for her. She truly believes all tourism is great; she is still delusional like 99 percent of tourist.

I convinced here that if she studied tourist destinations, looked at the map, read the Lonely Planet it would be better, and then she could be in the lead.


I said, let us plan a trip to Pagudpud, she surfs the internet trying to find Hotels, she reads the Lonely Planet guidebook, she finally says,
Pagudpud destroys my brain.”

She reads in the guidebook, the cheapest room is about 40 US Dollars, she surfs to Hotel sites.
“Why can’t they tell me the price?”

The travel industry makes used car salesmen look like Saints, there is nothing transparent, honest and up front about searching for hotel rooms in Pagudpud. More or less, bend over and say you like it, this is not Boracay, and this is not Koh Samui.

I told her, the Philippines is a nightmare for Backpacker, she does not want to pay 2000 Pesos per nigh for room. We have traveled to many Islands in Thailand; she knows we can get great room in Thailand for 300-500 Baht.

40 Dollars in Philippines for what we pay 9-15 in Thailand, she can do the math, and it destroys her brain.

She earns about 20,000 Baht per month, she has a Masters in Pharmacology, she knows the prices of Thailand and she says,
“A Philippine person cannot afford to pay 2000 Pesos per night for room.”

She is saying,
“The average person in the Philippines cannot go to Pagudpud”

I make a joke, about rich families earning money from corruption, or working for the government, this bounces off her. I try to explain, they will put 10-20 people in a room, I try to tell here about the cots outside the room we are in, and she does not know the word “Cot.”
There is too many words, she is bombarded with new this and new that, I cannot slow down the world.

She is a normal tourist, she pretends she loves to travel, the illusion is still there, and there is something glamorous about travel. A person can feel stupid 24 hours per day, and pretend they like it.

I said,
“We will leave by bus very early for Pagudpud, if we find an acceptable beach and Hotel we will stay. If we do not, we can return back to Vigan the same day.”

IF, do you know how hard it is to understand IF in another language?

She got upset, says her English is bad, I said she speaks English better than any Thai person I know. She still feel inadequate, I try to appease her. If you spoke Thai, I would understand less than one percent, I am ignorant in the Thai language.

An Asian walking into the English speak world is a brave person, go to China, you will learn empathy.

We go to Pagudpud tomorrow, I expect to find empty deserted beaches, I do not hope or expect to find her dream beach in Pagudpud. She will not fall in love with the Philippines, however she will fall in love with Thailand.

Thai Girlfriend in Tow in the Philippines

Philippines is Crazy and Fun

Philippines is Crazy and Fun
A few photos of my indecisions, I vacillate, I am never sure of myself, I can never truly leave the Philippines, it is a large question mark.

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Thursday, August 6, 2009


Fashion in the Vigan Market

A young girl selling live frogs.

Tax collection station, is it possible to listen to two people at the same time, maybe when we pray we really are talking to ourselves.

Philippines children have an inability to stop smiling, I hope it is contagious.

My Thai Girlfriend wanted to know why there were bars on all the windows and if there was really needed?

Why is there a lock on the toilet paper?

Humility is accepting we are human; we have cultural idiosyncrasies that define our culture.

There are people on the planet that could not imagine having a toilet inside the home. Think about it, the western world has the most digesting aspect of our humanity inside the home.

Philippines is Crazy and Fun

Philippines Alpha Females

Philippines Alpha Females
“Women rule the planet, for some reason nobody has told them.”
- Andy Graham -

Warning, I recommend that all men in the Philippines to stop reading, it is possible the little Filipino girl in tow is truly pushing you down the street.

Trish one PhilAm, one of the Philippine American family members who own the Baguio Red Lion Inn and Pub explained the Philippines Alpha Females to me. I agree, I think she understands, if you are interested in the Philippines culture it is well worth your while to track her down.

“The alpha is the individual in the community whom the others follow.” Wiki

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Thursday, August 6, 2009


Alpha Male
“In social animals, the alpha is the individual in the community whom the others follow. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair (the term varies when several individuals of the same sex fulfill this role). Other animals in the same social group may exhibit deference or other symbolic signs of respect particular to their species towards the alpha.

In most species, the alpha is given preference to be the first to eat and the first to mate. Other animals in the community are usually killed or ousted if they violate this rule. This leads to the alpha males and females being overrepresented in some groups in the genetics of a population, because they may become the only ones who breed successfully.”
Alpha Male

As for me, I accepted years ago I was uncontrollable and would drive women, men and any social being crazy. I am a predatory, premeditated meat eater.

Philippine girls convince men to buy overpriced homes, spend outrageous amounts of money for 10 minutes, live in squallor, and somehow convince the men they are powerful, just too funny.

Philippines Alpha Females

Buying a Plane Ticket Guilt Travel Tip

Buying a Plane Ticket Guilt Travel Tip
My Thailand Girlfriend just changed her Cebu Pacific Airline ticket to fly from Clark to Bangkok on August 15, 2009, it cost here 3000 plus Baht.

She said,
“I feel bad because I find cheap price, and now I destroy my success in the past.”

Vigan, Philippines
Southeast Asia
Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I said,
“How many years have I traveled?”

She says,

“Do I feel guilty when I purchase a plane ticket?”
I say,
“Yes, I do, every single time.”
“I always know I can could have done it better.”

We need to stay stupid, naïve and accepting, the Airlines are truly out to make us feel stupid and guilty, it is their ploy. If you feel smart, I would say you truly do not understand. There goal is to get you so frustrated you just say yes and stop thinking. Keep thinking, keep trying, guilt is a natural process, you are not stupid, they are jerks.

Buying a Plane Ticket Guilt Travel Tip

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