4 Jan 2012

To Laoag From Manila In 52 Minutes

  • 4 Jan 2012
  • Lagalag

  • Suddenly, I've found myself in the comfort of my chosen hotel in the center of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Yes, I'm creating this post in one of the homey rooms of Isabel Suites. Just 89 minutes ago, I was in Manila. It's not your ordinary thing of boarding a plane and getting to some place of some Ilocano friends or relatives. First off, this is my first time in Laoag City and the entire Northern Luzon for that matter. Second, I don't know anyone here. Getting here is just a spur of the moment thing. It's been a while since I published a post about a way to travel to a provincial city. That's when I created To Naga On-Board PNR Bicol Express Train.

    I've documented this trip to Laoag City to inform would-be first time visitors to Ilocos Norte that you can land here and check in a hotel in a breeze without any hassles even if its your first time.

    I bought an E-ticket bound for this capital city by phone from AirPhil Express on December 2, 2011. By now, I think its one of the airline inaugural flights when I saw in the paper the rate of Php 750. Hey, it's the same amount you pay in the bus, only it takes 8 hours to get here. I paid through card and they emailed my Travel Reservation. I would just have to print it.

    AirPhil Express at Laoag Airport
    I've Googled for affordable hotels and quickly listed down few of them, namely: Aurelio's Mansion, Grand Octagon Resort, Hotel Tiffany, Isabel Suites, Java Hotel, Mira De Polaris, Northview Hotel, Palazzo De Laoag and Rio Grande Laoag. Through my knowledge in maps and directions, I perused Laoag City and familiarized myself with the city streets, landmarks, attractions and commercial centers. Days before my flight, I've known I would be looking at Northview for its proximity to the airport, Tiffany for its rate of Php 856 and Isablel for its adjacency to Jollibee. I left Mira De Polaris out even if its near to Robinson's Place Ilocos Norte since it's also out of the city center.

    The downpour had no sign of letting up when I was already sitting inside the plane. From the window, I could see the rain waters flowing through the left wing and the exterior of turbine engine. We were taken by bus from Terminal 3 to the tarmac where the plane is waiting exactly 4 pm. We boarded the plane at 4:10 pm. Due to traffic in the runways, the take-off was delayed for 30 minutes. At 4:45 pm the captain announced for the second time he was waiting for clearance. It was 4:51 pm when the plane ran in full throttle and momentarily took off. After 50 minutes the captain had announced the start of our decent at 5:40 pm. We're landed at 5:42 pm and at full stop at 5:43 pm.

    Now, this is the part where you would get anxious about the surrounding getting dark and you're in an unfamiliar place and how you would make round of the hotels and finally deciding which one to stay. As you know, the only airport in Ilocos Region is situated near the ocean and as I've observed I couldn't see any jeepney or motorized tricycles outside.

    Laoag Airport Free Shuttle
    Enter the Free Shuttle Service. It's just waiting outside of the brick walled airport. This is the amazing part. I couldn't believe it. There's a free shuttle bus for us? In an airport with only one airplane arrival in a day. For me, it's a bit of auspicious. Anyways, I hurriedly get into the bus. I was the first one to board the cozy transport that looked somewhat like of Resort World Manila Shuttle.

    According to the attendant the bus is courtesy of Hon. Gov. Imee Marcos. I got to see Northview Hotel as some passengers alighted there. The driver parked the bus inside the hotel compound then headed back to the main road. I opted to go directly to Hotel Tiffany and Isabel Suites which by the way are near to each other. I told the attendant to take me to Tiffany Hotel and they're so polite to oblige.

    Hotel Tiffany costs much higher than expected at Php 1250 so I passed up and walked across the street towards here, the Isabel Suites. For me the price is just right at Php 850, with free breakfast, hot shower, clean rooms, two networks of wifi and good surroundings. I've checked-in at 6:12 pm and get into my room at 6:20 pm.

    And so that's how I got here, in this hotel suites, from Manila in just 89 minutes. Not bad for a total stranger and first timer.

    I'll update you on "what happens next in Ilocandia" on my next post. So stay tuned.


    1. yey! easier to get to laoag now than spending 12 hours overland :)

    2. @ ByahengBarok & Jaz thanks. guys if you think you got something from this blog, you might consider clicking plus button above. :-)