Maira-ira Beach (Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte)

After lunch at the resort, we all decided to do some sightseeing and swimming.  From the highway, we turned into a 2-km. long dirt road.  Along the way, we passed by the bell-shaped Timmangtang Rock and made a short stopover at nearby Bantay Abot (meaning “mountain with a hole”) Caves seen along the seacoast of Sitio Gaoa, Balaoi.

According to folklore, Timangtang Rock and Bantay Abot Caves are believed to be lovers, the former being the female and the later the male and are collectively termed as “Lover’s Rock.”

Timangtang Rock
Bantay Abot Cave

Upon arrival at the lovely Maira-ira Beach (also called Blue Lagoon), we stayed at a simple nipa picnic cottage. Hemmed in by hills around its perimeterand largely deserted, except for a few fishermen’s houses, it also has sparklingly white sand  and clear blue waters.  Though its sand was much finer than its better-known neighbor Saud White Beach, this beach has yet to become popular with the mainstream beach-combing crowd.

The crescent-shaped May-raira Beach

Just offshore, in Brgy. Balaoi, are the identical Dos Hermanas (Two Brothers) Islands.

According to folklore, two very close brothers one day went fishing at sea.  Unfortunately, they were met by a typhoon while at sea.  Vowing to be together even in death, they both drowned. To serve as an inspiration to others, the two islands were said to have appeared later.

Dos Hermanas

Saud White Beach (Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte)

We arrived at  the touristy Saud White Beach, along clear, tranquil and palm-lined Bangui Bay by 6 PM.  The beach is home to a number of resorts and we were to stay 2 nights at the upscale Saud Beach Resort and Hotel.  We were the first to arrive at resort, the others arriving much later as they made a stopover at Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos.  These were anxious moments as I couldn’t contact their Globe mobile phones.  The beach was definitely Smart country.   Upon their arrival, we all checked in at airconditioned rooms with bath, cable TV and fridge.

Saud White Beach

Pagudpud, called the “Paradise of the North,” is reputed to have the longest, continuous white sand beach in the country.  Though not as gently sloping as Boracay’s White Beach, Saud White Beach has offshore coral beds and, unlike Boracay, an occasionally moderate to high surf ideal for water sports activities such as surfing.  Beach volleyball is also a favorite activity here. Most of our stay, however, was spent picnicking, eating, siestas and swimming.

Saud Beach Resort & Hotel

During lunch the next day, we were reminded that we were in Marcos country as joining us at an adjoining table at the restaurant, as guests of town mayor and resort owner Reynolan Sales, were Ms. Irene Marcos-Araneta, her husband Greggy, their kids and their usual bevy of security men.

Saud Beach Resort & Hotel: Saud White Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.  Manila booking office: 94 Katipunan Rd., White Plains, Quezon City.  Tel: (632) 921-2856 and (632) 928-9853.  E-mail: and Website: