playa tropical – currimao, ilocos norte

This is my second Deal Grocer buy. Playa Tropical, located in Currimao, Ilocos Norte, “is a charming Balinese-inspired beachside paradise voted as TripAdvisor’s #1 B&B and Inn in the area.” I thought it would be a nice way to unwind, and I would love to visit Ilocos again and bring J there.

I bought two coupons back in November for a two-night stay at 50 percent off, for PhP 6,500. Each coupon deal included:

  • Overnight stay for 2 persons in a Suite Room
  • Set breakfast for 2 persons
  • One (1) 15-minute Complimentary Solana Signature Massage (per person per night)
  • 5% discount on F&B (Cash Transactions)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Access to Game Room, Casitas, and Infinity Pool
  • All prevailing government taxes and service charge

I stressed out over this trip because I’m OC I’ve never been to Currimao before, but we decided to take a Partas Deluxe bus in Pasay on the way to Currimao because blog posts said we could just get off at Currimao Market and take a trike to the resort.

Day 1, March 14 (Thursday) to March 15 (Friday)


The 28-seater Deluxe bus to Laoag leaves every 4 pm and 9 pm. There are no reservations allowed in Partas, so be there an hour before the scheduled trip and get ready to fall in line. (I was second in line, because I headed straight to the window at 8 pm and didn’t sit down. Parang UP enlistment lang.) Bus tickets cost more than PhP 900.

Waiting for the bus.

Bus seats are pretty roomy, with a footrest.


I think there were four stopovers? We enjoyed the bus ride, thanks to the comfortable seats, but do bring a wrap, a neck pillow, and a pair of socks. My knees hurt because of the cold.

Currimao is a town after Vigan and before Laoag. Just tell the conductor you want to get off at the Currimao palengke, and hail a trike there (PhP 50).

We arrived really early, but thankfully the room was available. Early check-in, hooray!

Lovely suite. We had a Jacuzzi but we didn’t get to use it. Too lazy to fill it up haha. (We also weren’t able to experience the Solana massage; too lazy to wait for availability of the massage room.)







Cute Casas. They can house five people, and each Casa has its private pool.




Infinity pool, and the beach beyond.


Meals at Cafe Amarra cost around PhP 200 to 400, but can be shared.



You can eat inside the huts.


We didn’t swim in the beach because we weren’t sure we could. So we just took photos.


We had breakfast, slept till noon, and waited for the sun to go away so we could swim. Ang inet! There was a wedding reception when we dipped in the pool late in the afternoon (best time is 5 pm onwards). Kebs kung tumingin sila!





Squid stuffed with longganisa for dinner, and gate-crashing a lantern-lighting post-reception party.



Day 2, March 16 (Saturday)

Playa Tropical had tour packages, but they’re tailored for groups, so we just asked the receptionist the night before to get us a tricycle to tour us.

Julius (0928 327 7194) took us to Paoay Church, Marcos Museum, and Malacañang of the North, and back, for PhP 700 (PhP 350 if one-way.)








Both Malacañang of the North and Marcos Museum looked different. There seemed to be fewer photos and displays, compared to last year, when my friends and I visited.



Tricky Dick.


Fidel Castro.






Marcos Museum.


Marcos’s letter saying he was running for president.



The tour took three hours. That afternoon we took a dip and witnessed the sunset. No photos, just memories.

Day 3, March 17 (Sunday)

Lunch before heading home.


We took a trike again (PhP 350 – way cheaper than Playa’s offering of PhP 1,500 airport transfer, again better for groups) to get to the Laoag Airport, where we bumped into Jobert! Before that we dropped by Paoay again, where we got delicious empanada in a small corner store, handmade-to-order.

And then home.

the great ilocos adventure: day 4/departure

Last day in Ilocos. The sun shone! Wish we had that much sunlight at Blue Lagoon, but we’ll take it!

Walking along Saud Beach.

Continue reading the great ilocos adventure: day 4/departure

the great ilocos adventure: day 3

From the numerous conversations we had via email, I could only recall “waterfall” and  “swimming” for Day 3. “Hiking” was an idea my brain completely blocked.

Anyway, our first stop was Kabigan Falls. I survived the trek wearing a pair of slippers, but do wear comfortable hiking shoes for safety.

Manang Taling was our guide for the day.

Inappropriate footwear!

Continue reading the great ilocos adventure: day 3

the great ilocos adventure: day 2

In our little group Day 2 was officially known as SAND DUNES DAY! But first, culture. Haha.

We packed up and left Casa Teofila, ready to be driven around by our tour guide Manong Arnel Aguila (contact number: 0926-5880666) and van driver Manong Joseph.

Continue reading the great ilocos adventure: day 2

the great ilocos adventure: arrival/day 1

Ilocos! This is one of my favorite trips. Relaxed (since we partitioned the tour into four days instead of our usual frantic two days) and involved equal parts culture and craziness.

We met up on March 23, Friday, at the McDonald’s near the Quezon Avenue MRT station. After dinner we took a cab to the Florida bus station in Sampaloc.

Continue reading the great ilocos adventure: arrival/day 1

Back from Ilocos! And drowning in work emails!

But first, some quick links:

“Needle Rain” Part 2 can now be read on PGS Online

“When words are enough”, an article about the poetry reading at the Ayala Triangle Gardens

And a preview of the Ilocos blog posts I will be drafting (once I get through all the work emails):