Santiago Travel Guide

  • Sabangan Beach, Santiago, Ilocos Sur
    Sabangan Beach, Santiago, Ilocos Sur
    by joiwatani
  • Marina Lodge at Sabangan at a distance
    Marina Lodge at Sabangan at a distance
    by joiwatani
  • Things to Do
    by joiwatani

Santiago Things to Do

  • You can have a manicure and pedicure at...

    We had a picnic at Sabangan beach and rented a stall to put our stuffs (beach bags, food, flip-flops, etc. The stalls are pretty comfortable and they have bamboo chairs on them where you can lie down and relax.I heard that there are manicurists around the area so I ask some residents to call me one and she (he is gay) came with her manicure bag and...

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  • Rice plants

    Santiago is basically an agricultural land. Most of the people of Santiago are farmers. The residents plant rice during the rainy season (June-November) and plant tobacco during the dry season (December-May).Most of the farmers raise the rice plants only for their household consumption. It is very rare that farmers have over production of rice....

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  • Eating Pancit

    Pancit is one of the most popular Filipino food. It is basically rice noodles cooked and sauteed in different kinds of vegetables (carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, celery, onions and garlic with shredded chicken meat and pork) and seasoned with salt, soy sauce, pepper and fish sauce. It is garnished with green onions and calamansi.

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  • The lechon

    Lechon is a roasted pork (a whole pig) over low fire. It is a very popular dish in the Philippines.A whole pig, about 40-80 lb,s is usually roasted and pinned on a rod or a bamboo and roasted over low fire until the skin becomes brown and crunchy. The cavity of the pig is stuffed with some herbs and spices. It is served on weddings, birthdays, and...

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  • Eating "Karrot"

    Karrot is a staple in some of the small villages (actually called "barangays", the smallest political unit) in Santiago especially those located close to the mountains. When I was growing up, a group of villagers climb the mountain to go and gather this tuber. They then clean it up in the stream and bring tuber back home in their baskets wrapped in...

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  • Watch fisherman fish

    If you just wake up early, you can actually go to the beach and help the fisherman pull their fishnets. If they get lucky, they might even give you a share of their catch.

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  • Swimming, Snorkelling, Beach-walking

    Santiago has one of the finest beaches in Ilocos region. The sand is white and soft while the water is warm. There are many beaches found in Santiago but the best is found in Sabangan, about three miles away from the town proper of Santiago. The lagoon is mint green with the backdrop of the mountain on the side surrounded by coconut trees. Sabangan...

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  • Assist the fishermen in pulling their...

    Sometimes, early in the morning, you see a group of residents assisting in the pulling of the fish net that were drawn by the fishermen the night before. The pulling of the fishnet is hard but it takes a village to pull! It takes a long time to catch fish the old ways!This is seasonal but some fishermen in Sabangan beach catches "bangus"...

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  • Drive a tricycle around the cove!

    It is fun to drive a tricycle around the beaches. Tricycle is a mode of transportation in most of the towns and cities in the Philippines. A carriage is attached to the motorcyle and it can accommodate at least three passengers inside the carriage and another passenger at the backseat of the tricycle driver. The carriage has a roof on it and the...

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  • Let your children play on the soft sand!

    The sand of Sabangan beach is really very soft. When I was young, my cousins and I would come to Sabangan and bury ourselves in the sand. We lay down on the sand at night and watch the bright stars at night. We also make sand castles or get a stick and write our names on the wet sand!

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  • Feel the breeze along the board walk in...

    Walking along the boardwalk in Sabangan beach is really nice- feel the seabreeze against your cheeks and have your hair blown by the winds!!! You feel the day-to-day lives of the fishermen in Sabangan. Across the boardwalk is the fishing village.

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  • Go rafting!

    The raft is made by the local fishermen in Sabangan. This is made of chosen dried tall bamboos and scraped of the skin to make it lighter and connected together by ropes. You can rent this bamboo raft from local fishermen for a little amount of money. The rent of the bamboo raft is negotiable. You can maneuver the raft by tall bamboos and/or...

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  • Eat fresh coconut! And, drink the juice!

    Try drinking coconut juice and eat the fresh coconut meat. The juice is very sweet and refreshing, the meat is delicious! The stores close to the boardwalk of Sabangan Beach usually sells fresh coconuts! They even cut the coconut in front of you. Just choose which one you like and they cut the end of the coconut and insert some straws and voila,...

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  • Karaoke singing on the beach

    There is a board walk now in Sabangan. Close to the boar walk are little tiny stores, called sari-sari stores. They sell refreshments like soda, cookies, candies and some basic necessities like cooking oil, sugar, coffee and spices. They also sel. beer and alcohol. At night, the store owners operate a karaoke. Some visitors go to the stores at...

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  • Watch the sunset in Ambucao and Sabangan

    The sunset is in Sabangan beach is beautiful. The sun is so round. The horizon lights up in orange. Sometimes, I chase the sunset. I start at Sabangan beach, take a picture and drive all the way to the top of Ambucao mountain! It's such a beautiful and magnificent view!

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Santiago Restaurants

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    by joiwatani Updated Dec 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are several tiny stores in the area called "Sari-sari stores". In the summer time, they serve local food like halo-halo (a glass of shaved ice mixed with evaporated milk, sugar, fresh coconut meat, gelatin, beans, and sago or pearl beans). The stores offer different kinds of snacks and cold drinks. But, not usually hot foods. You can go back to the town proper to eat at a "carinderia" (local restaurant that serves boiled rice and local menus).

    You can ask some of the local kids if they can get fresh coconut for a certain amount of money. Ask how much first!

    Favorite Dish: Fresh coconut juice

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Santiago Transportation

  • Riding the Jeepney

    When you ride the jeepney and it is overloaded, make sure to hang on pretty tight! Or, better yet, ride at the top of the jeepney! You have better view!

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  • Tricycle is the way to go!

    You can catch a tricycle anytime during daytime. Make sure to ask the price first and your destination. The tricycle driver can bring you to other beaches in Santiago for a small amount of money. Most of the drivers own their own tricycles so you can bargain for the price!

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Santiago Local Customs

  • Lobsters for $1.00 a piece

    There are some women who carries around a basket on their heads and sell their catch of the day. Sometimes they sell lobsters, shrimps, fish, stingray, etc.The lobsters here are for sale for $1.00 a piece.

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  • Eat the famous"Filipino pancit"

    There are three famous Filipino food: pancit, lumpia and adobo. Other than these, a lot of foreigners don't like to eat any of our food because it's not very delightful to see compared to our sisters in Southeast Asian cuisine.Pancit is made of rice noodles sauteed in pork or chicken. It is sauteed in garlic, shallots, onions, green and red bell...

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  • Eating "Sinuman"

    In my Santiago webpage tips, I have to introduce you with our local customs and as you noticed, I have been introducing you with my local Ilocano food! When I go home to Santiago, I ask people to cook for me since most of the stuff that I love to eat, I can't cook. (I love to cook but the local ingredients especially the local vegetables and...

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Santiago Warnings and Dangers

  • Ignore big spiders, be careful of small...

    There are many spiders in Santiago especially during the rainy days. They crawl all over. There are these big spiders and they run fast. Don't be afraid of them because they are not poisonous. It's the small black ones that are dangerous.

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  • Paying for the tricycle fare

    Before boarding a tricycle, make sure to ask the price first. Otherwise, the driver will overcharge you!A tricycle is a well-known transportation in most part of the Philippines except Baguio City. It has a covered cariage attached to the motorcycle and can actually accommodate four passengers plus the driver. There is a small carriage at the back...

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Santiago What to Pack

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    by joiwatani Written May 14, 2007

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    Luggage and bags: A plastic bag to put your wet clothes. A light backpack.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flip flops (locally known as "tsenelas") . Swimming suits which are usually a shirt and a pair of shorts. Beach towel. A tarp to sit down.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Soap and shampoos

    Photo Equipment: A camera that is small enough to pack in your backpack.

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Santiago Off The Beaten Path

  • Body Massage in Santiago

    Every other day I would have a massage. For only $6.00, I can relax for an hour while someone is massaging my foot, legs, back, neck, face and even give me a scalp massage! (I usually fall asleep- the best compliment you can give to a masseur)When you are in Santiago, just call Jimmie from Sabangan! I call him everytime I go back to Santiago. You...

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  • Meager catch of the fishermen

    When I was growing up, my father used to drive early to Sabangan Cove to wait for the fishermen coming home from the their night's fishing. He used to buy some of the big catch of the fishermen. He loved the black long nose fish.In early mornings, there would be many fishing boats docking on the beach with their many fish they caught that night:...

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Santiago Favorites

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    by joiwatani Written Dec 24, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I love the quietness of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. The residents are very polite and courteous. I grew up in this town and I know what I am talking about! My relatives live close to the beach and they are very forthcoming when visitors are not given the welcome they deserved! We always wanted our visitors feel comfortable of our town so they will come back again!

    Santiago Cove is the best in Ilocos Sur. It is very safe to go swimming because the beach don't have gradual depths! The sand is soft and the sand is white. The cove is surrounded by coconut trees and on the left side of the cove is a mountain! During the rainy season, there is a tiny waterfall from the mountains that falls off the side of the beach!

    Santiago, Ilocos Sur is a place where you can hide for a week!

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