About Torn’s Blog

This blog was conceptualized as photo and travel blog dedicated to the Province of Ilocos and it’s neighboring Ilocano-speaking provinces. Hence, the URL – “biagkensiak”. It’s all about Ilocos – it’s people, culture, places, stories and images. It started as a humble portal reflective of northern Philippines’ unique heritage. Through the years, this blog has evolved. My work has taken me to different places and every time it happens, I seize the moment to bring home a part of where I’ve been through images and few words. Places I’ve been to beyond Ilocos, the food I have eaten, aside from bagnet and pinakbet, people I have met with different dialects made me learn more about life from the photos I have taken. Indeed, life is a photo.

Sometimes, this blog takes the form of anything and everything significant such as but not limited to current events, personal or social views but never political or religious, and many other interesting personal experiences and encounters.

Original Header of Biagkensiak. Sand Dunes. Ilocos Norte.

2nd header for “biagkensiak” until Feb. 2012. Collage of images exclusively from Ilocos

3rd banner for biagkensiak until April 2013. Taken in January 2012 at Tops. Cebu.

This blog is all about “BIAGKENSIAK.” It’s all about “Life[biag] and[ken] Me[siak].” Biag ken siak is me and I go by the name of TORN, a trying hard traveler, photographer, writer. I am forever a wanderer in this life where I learn a lot from one photo.

[First gravatar for “biagkensiak” taken few fours before Typhoon Ondoy on September 29, 2006. See my blog entry on Typhoon Ondoy here.]


20 February 2010

ADVERTISE FOR FREE: For business establishments in Ilocos and the North, such as but not limited to tour destinations, products, events, or those outside Ilocos but has something to do with promoting Ilocos and Ilocano products, you Ads are welcome for free. Please provide me with your HTML CODE [in the absence, your URL] in the Comments Page below.

PROMOTE YOUR BLOG: To fellow Bloggers, it’s my privilege to have an exchange link with you.Please feel free to provide me your URL [or HTML CODE if available] in the Comments Page below.

“Dios to Agngina…”



74 Responses to About Torn’s Blog

  1. Ruchell says:

    Hi this is Ruchell from Dominguez Marketing. We are based in Makati and we are looking for writers based in Laoag/Ilocos to join our event. Please email me just in case you are open to join our event.
    this is my email address ruchellsalas@gmail.com
    Please let me know if you are in Laoag right now because our event will happen there. Looking forward tp your immediate response. thanks!

  2. Dan Marquez says:

    Where are you based in the North?
    Also, do you have social media accounts that we can follow?
    Thanks and more power to your blog!

  3. Adri says:

    Hello! I found your blog out on a whim when I was searching for info about Ilocano dishes. I’m a Manila-born, American-raised individual of Ilocano heritage (both parents are Ilocano, Mom’s from Vigan, Dad’s from Guimba, Nueva Ecija) who is out to learn more about the Ilocano culture and other dishes that I’d like to learn and try out aside from the usual Pinakbet, Pinapaitan, the Vigan Longganisa, and the Bagnet LOL. I can’t really call myself Ilocano because I was born in Manila, but I’ve been to the Ilocos Region (both Sur and Norte, La Union, Abra, Baguio, etc.) several times as a kid to visit relatives. Plus I never learned the language (parents never taught me and my siblings). it’s really refreshing to read your blog and I’ve been learning quite a lot. 🙂

    More power to you!

    • biagkensiak says:

      Hi Adri, you may not speak the dialect but being Ilocano is in the blood. Thanks for dropping by Adri and hope to hear again from you soon. Stay well. Best regards!

  4. Sophie says:

    Hi, I was wondering if I can get your email? I would like to send a proposal on photo purchase for a magazine. Thank you!

  5. procreator says:

    Hi there! your blog site is so cool.. Full of contents and very senseful. The images are very attracted. If you are interested your site to have design, I can offer you a less cost for your website development. Please email me with the email i provided with this post.

  6. Manuel de los Reyes says:

    Perhaps your website can help me where to buy a TABUNGAW with imprinted Philippine flag or Logo on one side and on the other side the word PHILIPPINES, which I would proudly put on my head for the Americans here in Salinas, CA to see how beautiful our ilocano gourd hat is. Please. Thanks and have a nice day.

  7. bem&weng says:

    We’ve been to Ilocos and the places and culture is really great! Oh, and the Vigan empanada! We love it! 🙂

  8. I also do a travel blog and I am about to write about Currimao, Pagudpud, the windmills, etc and also about La Union. I visited these places a month ago but I have been busy and the writing just had to wait. I love your blog !

    My blog address: http://boyplakwatsa.wordpress.com

  9. vady madamba says:

    i like your blog.

  10. hi! i love your blog about the chapel on the hill. i’ve been there once for a wedding and i didn’t know about the labyrinth. now i want to go back there to meditate

    my parents are from the north but being raised in rizal, i only speak ibanag and can understand a few ilocano

    hope to read more from you

    btw, kindly add http://leisensed.wordpress.com/. thanks a lot!

  11. ruth says:

    very helpful!

    please add up http://project7107.wordpress.com/

    will do the same. many thanks =)

  12. Eliza Agabin says:

    Ilocandia Arts Fest and Bazaar
    May 30, 2010 (Sunday)
    A-Venue 7829 Makati Ave.

    10:00 am – Bazaar
    feat. Partuat booth (Creations by Living Treasures)

    4:00 pm – Tawid: Living Treasures of Ilocos Sur Book Launch

    5:30 pm – Jonathan Badon – Sika Album Launch

    7:00 pm – Cocktails

    8:00 pm – Dita Sandico Ong Fashion Gala

    Admission to the whole day event is free. Umaykayonto gagayyem!

    Eliza Agabin

  13. Bob says:


    I found your picture of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong and would like to feature it in our upcoming Honk Kong webisode. I will list your website as the source. I know it’s not exactly Ilocos, but, if we end up doing a future episode on the Philippines, we will try to feature your blog then as well. If you are interested, please write me back at your earliest convenience.
    bob (at) vagbond3 (dot) com

  14. jonjonbarros says:

    this is a great site…cheers!

  15. Toros77W says:

    Nagmayat met daytoy nga blog en! Aduem pay ti agsurat tapno adda bas-basaaen no kua, hehe…

  16. taga-SanNi says:

    nagpintas man daytoy site mo, kabsat! agbirbirok’ak lang ti “simbolo ti peacock” ket na-search ko tay maysa nga page mo re: peacock! napintas nga basaen dagitoy insurat mo! thank you!

  17. Myke says:

    Hi Sir,

    Naimbag nga aldaw!

    Nakapinpintas ta site mu. Im from Tuguegarao City. Currently working here in Makati. A freelance mountaineer.

    May I link yours in my multiply site?.


  18. linda llanes-dimayuga says:


  19. ileana enriquez says:

    hi! am interested in your photo of the babuyan channel. permission to use the photo? i’ll make sure to cite it. thank you very much.

    • biagkensiak says:

      Please go ahead. My pleasure… Good day. 🙂

      • Lorene says:

        “Não importa se não der em nada.Não importa se não tem objetivo.Não importa se ninguém te appmna.Faça.Si³Ãlesmeite faça.Pode demorar vários anos, mas o resultado vem.”Pura poesia, grande dica.Teu post foi um grande incentivo. Valeu!

      • Totally agree on the ketchup front! Unless you can make it better and cheaper what's the point of not using Heinz?Whilst the burger sounds awful and I hate pointless menu waffle you can't blame them for playing to their market. Someone's got to cash in on all those Nathan Barley wannabes…

  20. ma,teresakabigting says:

    Ilocanos are very proud of you brother,It is time tio bring back the heritage that was once lost,im from sta.Lucia,Ilocos Sur,based in Milan,I myself is not a good cook but I love to eat and very sensitive to what i eat.My family have a good taste actually one of my daughter is the proprietor of MALIWAT CATERING of Ayusan,sta.Lucia,I.Sur,one of the specialty of the house is empanada,we are planning to expand putting them in boxes,and the pansit malabon known over ilocos and abra.more power and God Bless you.

  21. Hi Erwin,

    I am very sure your father or grandparents came from Aparri, Cagayan. At present I am settled here at Bataan. I once worked for Petron Bataan Refinery but already in abroad. Hope to hear more about your parents and their origins… Mabbalo.

  22. ERWIN M. MABBUN says:

    sir, gud day just to ask if your family name is mabbun because we had the same family name how are we related?By d way I`m from bicol

  23. hi. you look familiar. did you work for congressman lara in cagayan in the mid 90’s? i remember going on a trip to baguio city with you and the rest of mr. lara’s employees including my brother, rexone conanan. how is it going? i like your website and pictures. they look great. i hope i can visit someday. i have never gone back since i migrated to the united states. anyway if you have a friendster account you can add me up…let us keep in touch. god bless.

  24. danny says:

    hello, can i link you in my blog site, thanks

  25. Andrew says:

    that doesn’t even make any sense!

  26. eugene tyrone seredon sufrir says:

    Wich Mr. Seredon did you know? is he my late Grandfather Samuel Seredon from ASAT??? if its yes ,would it be possible for you to tell me how you personally know him. I want to know him more because I was still small when he he died.

  27. jing says:

    hello! sana magkita naman tayo. miss na kita. gud you have this site. dito na lang ako nakakapag update tungkol sayo. di ba nagpromise ka kuhanan mo ako ng maraming pics? wen na ba?

  28. blueyun says:

    years ago, when living in north luzon, we planned to visit ilocos norte/sur (not sure where the friend lived).
    To my regret, the plan did not come to pass.
    Looking at these beautiful pixs remind me of our dream.
    But it’s good I can at least view pixs of the beautiful Philippines!

  29. This is really great site.. Keep it up the good work sir..

  30. Maysa kadagiti maka”wow” a blog maipanggep iti puli nga Iluko. Makatukay dagiti ladawan a naarpawan ti pakasaritaanda wenno sarita a naarpawan ti ladawan? Balinsuekem man ken saan, makaray-o dagiti pinanid daytoy a blogmo, gayyem! Ituloymo dagiti naindaklan a gandatmo.

  31. Arlo Gilbert says:

    We are proud of you guys..Naglaing kau..

  32. pwede poh bang exchange links tau.. with my site http://www.camalaniugan.com to your site.. Thank you very much sir..

  33. oliver says:

    Hi! I just happen to read your site by accident and I was surprised by the words written in vernacular which is very familiar to me: Ilocano. And I am doubly delighted to know that it is all about who we really are as Ilocanos and Filipinos in general. For I am also a 100-percent Ilocano, I was born and raised in Ilocos Norte. But now presently residing here in Manila. These days, people who value their heritage are waning specially here in Manila they would make an effort to conceal their identity. At the same time only a few people now appreciates the beauty of the ATRS. I like everything about what you have made, NAPINTAS! Not to mention the fact that I am also a frustrated photographer. I actually posted pictures in my multiply account showcasing the antediluvian side of Ilocos Sur. Nonetheless, I DOFF MY HAT FOR YOU! Dios ti ag-ngina.

  34. Janice says:

    Visiting your website brings me back home. Thank you so much for the awesome pictures and info. I have it saved under my favorites. =) I’m from Laoag now residing in the U.S.

  35. divine says:

    hi! i would like to congratulate you for the nicely depicting the life of ilokanos at this page.
    i am not actually an ilokano but i grew up in cagayan and i learned to appreciate the culture and lifestyle of the towns folk.

    keep up and more power manong!!!

  36. Mich says:

    nagpintas manung
    taga sarrat tak ket nakapinpintas ti inka panangi presentar daytoy ipag panakkel mi nga ili mi nga Sarrat, Keep up!!

  37. Cyrus says:

    You really have something going on here.
    Please update your link on Ilocosnortenienne to http://www.ilocosnortenienne.com
    Mahalo ken agyaman ‘toy numo.

  38. jun b. says:

    nice photos and truly inspiring. Taga Laoag ak ngem adu ti diak ammo maipangep ti ili tayo. Thanks for your efforts. I am teaching at UP Diliman. Let’s get together sometime.

  39. jrramos says:

    Nice composition kabsat. May I invite you to join my camera club? You have a great potential in winning at our monthly photo contest. I’m based here in Metro Manila. Do you have photos of the windmill and beach shoots too?

  40. tricia says:

    i was google-ing laoag city just so i know where to go for my next “ballog” and i came across this site..see, im from laoag but i think there’s still a lot to see here that i haven’t gone to..thanks for taking beautiful pictures.. =)

  41. Nice website. Please continue enriching it.

  42. DidJuan says:

    was checking out pics of abel iluko and i came upon your site. i really like your photos. as for the nice places in ilocos check out sitio remedios in currimao. it’s been on the local papers recently and was even featured in mabuhay and my home magazines. it’s owned by dr. Joven Cuanang and managed by rey boy barona. anyhoo, check out their site, just google it cause i forgot the web add.i’m sure you’ll like the place.

  43. Tony Mina says:

    Nice site. I salute you for having this site for all Ilocanos. I would like to invite all people from Narvacan, IS to visit our website narvacan-myhometown.info. All comments, suggestions, help (non-monetary) will be greatly appreciated, We badly need articles and photos of Narvacan. Please note that our site is not a direct competition to this site or to any site out there. Our site is strictly about Narvacan and its people. Thank you very much. My email is

  44. Torn says:

    Dios ti Agngina Mitz!!! I have relatives in Narvacan.

  45. mitzpicardal says:

    Very informative. im also a photographer from Narvacan, I.S. but now based in Mandaluyong City.

  46. Torn says:

    Wen Ned, Ilocano ak. Taga Piddig, I.N., based in Manila but goes home regularly. Thx for the kinds words. Taga Vigan ka gayam. Are you based there? Lets do some photo ops together the Sur, kulang na kulang ako. Just let me know, we’ll schedule it. Alan a! Hehe!

  47. Ned says:

    Nagpintas d2y inaramid mo! I’m Dennis Florendo from Vigan, passion for photography too, I saw the photos, may story sya galing! Naispired me, are you a Ilocano?Tnx, God Bless!

  48. MARIA says:


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