If there’s a region in the Philippines that I want to explore more, that probably be Ilocos. I’ve been there before, but it was just a quick side trip after I went to Calayan Island. Gorgeous landscapes, charming old houses and churches, that’s my impression of this region. The character is so different to other parts of the Philippines. Everything is just unique even the plants that grow here and the sun looks bigger during sunset (at least for me).
Browsing the web, I saw this small island in the town of Badoc in Ilocos Norte with white sand and super clear waters. The island caught my attention since it’s not famous yet and I was hoping that since it’s far from Manila, we can still visit the island free from other visitors or at least with a little crowd.
With few other friends from work, we left at Cubao in an early morning bus to Vigan since we plan to go to Narvacan first hoping to do wall climbing and other activities they offer, but due to the traffic in La Union, we only stopped by Narvacan to eat and wait for other friends before we headed to Vigan for a quick visit and stay there for the night. If you plan to go to Badoc directly, buses to Laoag and other towns further north will pass by Badoc as well. Once you reach Badoc another tricycle ride will take you to the jump off were you can rent a boat that will bring you to the island.
There are 2 gateways to reach the island. First is at the charming chapel of La Virgen Milagrosa, but from there, they charge Php 1200 for the boat good for 5 people and it will take at least 30 minutes to reach the island. The other entry point is from Barangay Pagsanahan which is only 15 minutes away from the island and the boat will only cost Php 1000. On the the island, we rented a hut for Php 300 but if you decide not to get one, they change a fee of 25 pesos per person. There are not a lot of trees on the island though, there are areas where you can find shades and which you can hang a hammock but of course the first who come, the first who get it.
The island is still completely raw and uninhabited except for a sari-sari store and a comfort room that I did not get the chance to peek but I’m pretty sure there is no water source. After spending for few hours on the island we went back to main land and took a quick rinse at a local’s artesian well (poso) before we headed back to La Union as a side trip.
Tip: Bring enough food and plenty of drinking water specially on a very hot day. There are other interesting spots in Badoc that are also worth the visit such as Juan Luna Shrine, Baluarte and even the fields and beaches we passed are worth stopping by too and take photos. The tobacco fields are quite charming as well. If we only have enough time, we wanted to visit them too. If you plan to camp over night, we cannot confirm if it’s allowed since Badoc Island is technically private. There’s even a big “No Trespassing” and “Island For Sale” sign greeting you as soon as you arrive. When we inquired in La Virgen Milagrosa Chapel, we were advised camping is not allowed, but in Pagsanahan, they said it is okay. Due to contrasting information we decided not to camp to avoid any issues.
Here are some of the photos I took of the Island. Enjoy!