- Pagudpud golden sand
After 10 hours of rolling the highways of northwest Luzon, we arrived in a small coastal town of Pagudpud. A fairly small settlement of towering coconuts, tiny stores, humble nipa houses and empty market. The town looks peaceful like any other rural communities in the Philippines. As a fast-becoming tourist hub of the north, this sight only means that the invading winds of tourism hasn’t arrived yet in the area. This place is developing on its own by having the tourists appreciate its rural charm without the presence of mass tourism.
Past a shaking dirt-road, we halted at an entrance heading to a resort. The lovely surrounding pulled us in without even checking the whole amenities. We checked in, took our luggages in the room and finished our unsatisfying meal. We rushed to the achingly beautiful golden-white sand beach just at the front of the resort, and satisfied our hunger for such delight. Pagudpud shore is famous for high-performance surfing and boardsailing but that time water turned out perfect for swimming and kayaking.
Breakfast the next day was a terrifying dining experience. To forget it, aside from enjoying the beach, we spent our day exploring the deeper interiors of Pagudpud and extremely remote coastal areas farther east. The small road heading to the light house turned out an exciting driving experience. At night, we worried that dinner will be the same. So we decided to look for a moderate option along the beach. We followed the lights heading to a small village and voila!, we found ourselves sitting in a loud sing-along cafeteria. Despite of the irritating noise, we ate and surprisingly, their local delicacy turned out a great alternative.
I advise those budget travelers particularly groups, to bring their camping gear. This place has safe and wide beaches suited for group campings and putting up bonfires at night. It is advised to take everything necessary with you when traveling with kids.
From Manila to Pagudpud, the ride takes about 10 hours via the northwest highway. For a casual traveler, Philippine Rabbit, Partas and Farinas Transit have frequent buses heading to Laoag. From there, take a minibus to Pagudpud or hop in a bus bound for Tuguegarao, get off the highway and take a tricycle to the town proper.