18 December 2006. Five-o’clock A.M. It has been two years since I last drive to Ilocos. Having a 112-months old car, driving long distance during the day may no longer be as secured and as confident as driving the same distance several years back, due to some mechanical defect which may not be seen by the naked eye upon inspection.
As deemed fit, I had my car checked a day before we left. I was with my sister Fely, his son Jordan, and Gani, an alternate driver. The car went very well for the first 3/4 of the whole drive but suffered two radiator overheats in the last 1/4.
First Stop: Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City for Breakfast:
Second Stop: Oasis in San Fernando City, La Union, which is halfway between Manila and Ilocos, where we had Lunch and gas. For lunch, I got ‘Dinengdeng’ composed of (green) vegetables, boiled in water, seasoned with ‘bagoong’ or fish sauce and topped with grilled or fried fish.
Upon reaching Candon City, Ilocos Sur, the car overheated which prompted us to stop and ask for water in one of the houses along the highway to troubleshoot the radiator, thinking that the next gas station may still be far.
We continued driving until our Third and Last Stop: Vigan City. The Christmas Tree in Vigan which stood in front of the provincial capitol reflects the regions’ harvest/crops such as tobacco, garlic, rice, onion, corn, squash/pumpkin and coconut.
It was already 7:00 o’clock P.M. when we reached Laoag City, our final destination. To end the travel, the car overheated again. We stopped at the nearest gas station to cool down the radiator. The next few days before Christmas were spent on having the car fixed. It never overheated while driving around Ilocos, after several services done. And so I thought, until I came back to Manila which I will share with you on my next entries.