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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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July 17, 2011

adams: ilocos norte's garden of eden

Welcome to Adams. Population: 1800
welcome to Adams, population: 1800

A small town - the smallest in the Philippines with only 1 barangay, nestled in a valley surrounded by pristine rain forest near the northern edge of Luzon. It was our home for two stress free days. Limited cellphone signal (currently only Globe works), no 3G, no emails.

Adams lived up to how it got its name. There were several variations of the story but the main theme remain the same: it looked like the garden of Eden or the garden of Adam and Eve when early settlers first laid eyes on the lush valley - rich in natural resources and has a very diverse flora and fauna.

Hidden Valley
lush green valley

The place became a melting of different tribes from Apayao and Cordillera region. Currently the population consist of different Igorot groups (Kankana-ey, Isneg), Yapayao, and Bago - just to name a few. Its a perfect example of how different cultures coexist harmoniously with one another.

There are so many dimensions to the place: people, culture, food, and scenic beauty. So many to cover in one visit, but here are bits and pieces of Adams:

Baset Hanging Bridge
Baset hanging bridge
Its the longest hanging bridge in the province of Ilocos Norte. During the rainy season when the river overflows and covers the small concrete bridge below, this bridge becomes Adams' lifeline to the outside. Its a great experience crossing this bridge (not for those with vertigo) on foot. Some daredevil ones cross this on motorcycle (most common mode of transportation there), much to the chagrin of their passengers.

Bolo River
crossing the into Adams
Adams is just 13.5 kilometers from the main highway but it looked like far away place, much different from the coastal scenery of Ilocos Norte. A few minutes into the ride to Adams, the salty and humid sea breeze is replaced by a cool mountain air. The dirt road is like a corridor cut through a heavily forested area. You'll know when you are near the town proper when you cross the crystal clear Bolo river. Fed by countless waterfalls if there is one reason to go to Adams then this is it - at least for me), the river traverses the town and empties in Bangui Bay in the north.

Serenity of Ilyn's place
serenity of Ilyn's place
Built piece by piece by the Chens, this place is truly a labor of love and one of the best homestays (a "homey place" as the Adams folks would call it). Ilyn used to be an OFW in Taiwan but later decided to settle in her home town of Adams. A colleague of hers, a Taiwanese national, followed her here and the rest is a love story that became the foundation of this homey place.

Fruit Wines
fruit wines
Adams has some of the best local fruit wines I've every tasted. Dr. Bielmaju, who owned a small winery, treated us to an evening of wine tasting which lasted from dinner time to near midnight - much to the delight of a wine connoisseur companion. The town folks started experimenting blends and producing wines starting 2008. Currently there are about 63 wine makers and producers.

Bugnay Wine
Bugnay wine
Of the fruit wines in Adams, the Bugnay (wild blackberry or currant tree) wine is my favorite. Bugnay's richly color fruit (ranges from red, to deep crimson, to violet and black) is also a favorite of mine as a kid. If there is one wine that will put Adams on the wine map of the Philippines, then this would be it.

waterfalls of Adams
For those who love nature and the great outdoors, Adams is a perfect place. It has countless hiking trails that culminates in a pristine waterfall. Its as if every hike there has a prize of a cool dip at the end of the trail. On our short stay there we manage to visit four beautiful waterfalls, which I think deserves a separate post.
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bertN said...

Do you need to cross the hanging bridge to go to Adams? The bridge looks sturdy but I need a couple of glasses of their fine wine to make it across LOL.

Lantaw said...

@bert, during the rainy season when the river is fuller, you have no option but to use the hanging bridge. Its sturdy but by the time you reach the middle part, the swaying becomes really noticeable. Not really for those who are not comfortable with heights :D

Andrea said...

The photos are great, very "Allan's". The area seems more beautiful than it really is because of your photos. Even if i love places like these, i cannot try that bridge, just like i cannot try the zipline. Are those 2 shadows from ironwulf and lagalog?

Lantaw said...

@Andrea, Adams is beautiful, whether seen from my photos or that of others. The photos simply show you the place in its most beautiful light, but its still the same place

Karl said...

simple looking place pero one has to really observe to see how enchanting it is. and that's how you captured the landscape of the town -- with keen eyes. i hope you took a dip in the river, Or was it cold?

pinaytunay said...

first time i heard there's a town in ilocos by that name...thank you for bringing us there with your photos, allan.

TEP 661 said...

Your blog is a big help for my TV episode research...thanks for posting...we'll visit the place next week...I'll inform you about the airing schedule as soon as we finish the Luzon Season by December...

Anonymous said...

good day po!i am marlon driver/tourguide po sa pagudpud,asking permission po to post my number on your blog.09067960934,09302845897.sa mga gustong makarating ng pagudpud at adams.Adams po ay malapit sa pagudpud at pg pumunta po ng adams ay by a single motor only,except at summer time.salamat po!

Lisacamille said...

Your photos are beautiful! I really enjoy your perspective. I will be in the North near Pagupud in April and will visit Adams. It looks amazing there. I have an open week at the end of my month long stay in the Phillipines. If you have the time I would appreciate a suggestion of a unique and off the beaten path area to visit. Many thanks Allan.

Lisacamille said...

Beautiful photos! I really enjoy your perspective. I will be in the Phillipines for the month of April. While near Pagupud I will visit Adams. It looks amazing there. I have a week open at the end of my trip. If you have time I would appreciate any suggestion for a unique and off the beaten path are to visit in the Phillipines. Many thanks for your images and blog.

Lantaw said...

After Pagudpud, you can visit Palaui Island in Cagayan , or if you still have time to fly down south, I suggest Lake Sebu in South Cotabato (fly in via General Santos). In the Visayas, Siquijor is a lovely place to visit as well as several spots in Dumaguete/Negros Oriental area.

Lantaw said...

Feel free to email me, got a couple more ideas aside from Palaui, Siquijor/Dumaguete, and Lake Sebu

Unknown said...

LOL thats makes me laughed.

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