The Grandeur of Aqua Grande
It became a habit for the TupangGala flock to rinse to Dakkel A Danum rapids after swimming at the Blue Lagoon of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Just a few meters after the Patapat Bridge, the Dakkel A Danum Bridge can be seen and under it is the Aqua Grande Picnic Park (Dakkel A Danum is Ilocano phrase for large water, same meaning as Aqua Grande in Spanish – makes sense, right?).
It was free to go down there a few years back. But now, you need to pay 20 pesos per head. The management there also obstructed the entrance to the other side of the bridge to ensure that the only way to go there is through the main entrance. There are cottages within the park and a souvenir shop at the front gate.
From the Patapat Mountains, the water gushes through the Pasaleng Bay. Due to its very strong current, the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative placed a hydroelectric plant nearby to harness its power to provide electricity.
Since the water comes from the mountain, expect it to be crystal-clear and very cold. Those who run the park also placed a pool which stagnate some water current for tourists to enjoy bathing. Summer is definitely the best time to go there.
From Laoag, take a bus bound for Pagudpud (2 hours of travel). From Poblacion of Pagudpud, you can hire a tricycle for 600 pesos for half a day or you can take a bus bound for Cagayan and tell the driver to drop you at the end of Patapat.