Sitio Remedios is located about 45 minutes’ drive from Laoag airport in Ilocos Norte, and is a private seaside heritage resort recreated to resemble the charming Ilocano village typical during the Spanish times. We were due to have our dinner here after a long day of sand-duning and touring churches and museums, thus we were looking forward to a place where we could sit, relax and enjoy our meal. And indeed, we came to the right place.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by a paved walkway, lined by fourteen Stations of the Cross carved out of stone, lush gardens and water plants, and pools illuminated by lights, creating an ambience of calm and serenity. At the end of the walkway is a fountain on which atop is the statue of St Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon. You might wonder, have we come to a church? 🙂 No, the resort is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Currimao, the municipality in which the resort is located.
The paved walkway continues with a quaint stone chapel on the right, and opens out into a wide courtyard that has a view of the West Philippine Sea. The courtyard is flanked by guesthouses that are made of bricks and wood salvaged from mid-century structures in the towns of Ilocos Norte. Vintage furniture and fixtures were sourced – four-poster beds, dining tables, cupboards, lamps and antique plantation chairs – combined with crocheted bedspreads and tablecloths, Ilocano woven blankets, and paintings to complete the traditional Ilocano feel during the colonial times.
The chapel reminded me of quaint stone churches in a Mexican village, as depicted in the movies (I have never been to Mexico, so am assuming that what you see on TV is similar to real life!) – rustic pews, stone altars and wooden statues. Because we were at Sitio at night, the church was dark and eerily empty save for the glowing light from the lamps.
Dinner was served in the courtyard where we were seated at a long table beautifully decorated and lit by candles. While we tucked into delicious Ilocano and Filipino food, we were treated to a musical performance by a group of school children. The delightful children were from a school nearby, dressed in traditional attire, sang and danced local folk songs for us.
In fact, one boy serenaded us a couple of solo numbers – quite confidently – he could be a potential candidate for The Voice when he grows up! The best part of this musical treat was when the children invited us to join them to dance. If only I have a video of us dancing with the kids – they were so adorable! 🙂
After several song and dance numbers, it was time for the kids to go home. As much as we would like them to stay, it was school night. They probably had homework to do though we did ask them about it, and they said they’d rather not deal with homework that night, LOL!
I would love to come back to Sitio Remedios, to stay a night here and to experience the resort in daylight. Sitio Remedios is a place perfect for gatherings of family and friends, destination weddings (you have the chapel readily for you!), couples’ retreat, or for those wanting a piece of architectural heritage or a space that provides recharge, rest and relaxation by the sea.
*We were part of the Ilocos World Heritage Tour, organized by the Tourism Promotions Board of Philippines. Opinions expressed in this post, if any, as always, are my own.