ILOCOS NORTE: MALACANANG OF THE NORTH

IMG_7275There’s more to see in Paoay than just the famous Paoay Church.  On the way back to Manila we had to make a last stop at one of many houses of the late Ferdinand Marcos that was built or maintained during his 20 year reign in power, the “Malacanang ti Amianan” or the Malacanang of the North overlooks Paoay lake.  It was a two-storey structure that was built on a 5 hectare property. After it was completed in 1977, it became the venue of the trendiest high society settings.  The Marcoses entertained their guests to parties, water skies and golf.

I can’t begin to describe how grand and extravagant the mansion was. Both the first and upper floors have its own grand living rooms and dining rooms. Imagine all the dignitaries and “who’s who” in Philippine high society at that time that have partied and dined in this venue. There are nine spacious bedrooms, which are all elegantly decorated.

The mansion was transformed into a museum in 1993.  It holds memorabilia of the late president, and is now popular venue for weddings and other grand receptions. Entrance Fee costs Php 20.00. It opens from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily.

ILOCOS NORTE: HERENCIA RESTAURANT

IMG_6854Home of Pinakbet Pizza., it said on the signe.  We were not going to pass upon the chance to sample that.  My friends will not let me get away with this one either.  They all knew that I’m not fond of vegggies, so Pinakbet pizza it was.  Though we ordered half and half — pinakbet and longganiza, a compromise of sorts.  I don’t think we were really that hungry, we ordered just a plate of pizza.  Everyone must have been looking forward to dinner and were saving space for it… or it could have been all the empanada and okoy we had in Vigan.   IMG_6863

I particularly like the generous amount of cheese.  The crust was not thick but wasn’t too thin either.  I can’t remember if there was bagoong served on the side with the pinakbet pizza.  I tasted both… though I had one slice of the longganiza pizza and a bite of the pinakbet pizza.  It wasn’t great or memorable but we don’t have pinakbet pizza where I came from… that was good enough for me.  The best part was, the pinakbet pizza didn’t have any surprises.  It was pizza with veggies on it.

The interior of the cafe was really nice and cozy.  I heard from our friends that the place have been used to shoot some scenes in movies.  There was a certain old world charm to it.  The tables are nicely set.  The furnitures were restored and given second life in the cafe.  Some tables used the base of old sewing machines.  Old cabinets now holding wines.  The place had a good feel to it.

Or it could have been we were all too happy to be out of the rain and not inside the car either.  It was downtime — chatting, eating, sharing a corny joke or two…