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San Nicolas is a boomtown in Ilocos Norte. With the birth of the Valdez Center, big investments have come to establish their presence in this town. Now, let's check out the McDonald's branch in San Nicolas which also made a space in this business center.

The McDonald's in San Nicolas is located in Venvi IT Park, also located within the Valdez Center. This branch is the third McDonald's in Ilocos Norte. It's located near the Venvi Hotel and Casino Filipino and few steps away from the Robinson's Place Ilocos (Exension Mall).



They're open for breakfast and kiddie parties. It also has drive-thru. McDonald's San Nicolas is equipped with both indoor and al fresco dining options and it's usually loved by BPO employees working nearby.

Have you been in this McDonald's branch in Ilocos? Share your experience!
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SITIO FOODPARK VIGAN

The Sitio FoodPark is Vigan's most popular restaurant/food park to rise this year (2017) with its claim as the first urban food park in Northern Luzon. It opened sometime in April and it is located in Barangay Tamag, Vigan City.

Here's a list of reasons why you should try the Sitio FoodPark. While some guests are not happy with some of the things they encountered inside this food park, this article aims to highlight the positive characters of this place depending on the needs of the guest. Let's start.

1. It's Trendy and Millennial-Friendly



If you're looking for an intagrammable or social-media catchy food hub in Vigan, Sitio FoodPark is a nice option. Get ready with your smartphones and flaunt your best pouting-mouth-selfie with the cool setting of the place. For Vigan standard, the setting is unique and obviously, it's setting a new trend n Vigan—a criterion for Ilocano millennials. Let your selfie slay!

2. Both Al Fresco and Indoor Dining Guaranteed



So you want to stay indoor when dining? No problem. You got the options here. However, this food park seemed to be designed to be more on al fresco or the outdoor type. So if you love dining out, this place is for you. Order your favorite beverage and food and enjoy the fresh air—this food park is away from the busy business district of Vigan. Chill, kid!

3. It Has a Wide Variety of Food



You want some Ilocano flavors? They have it. How about Indian? No problem. If you like some Western dishes too, they got your back. Some complained of its expensive food though but the market of this food park is obviously, for those who can afford it. So if you are a foodie who has the budget to spend some bucks for a variety of food, go show 'em what you got! 👌

4. It Has Nightly Musical Shows


Millennials and non-millennials with love for live musical band performances will surely become happy for this. Sitio Food Park has nightly live performances to meet the demands of music-loving foodies—or just for people who just love music.

5. It Has a Wide Parking Space


Wanna bring your besties, family or neighbors? Drive that car and worry not for the parking area. You might also want to organize your field trip and take the bus? They got a space for you. Don't dare challenge their space. 😅

Above are some reason why try the Sitio FoodPark. Do you have some more reasons in mind? Share them in the comment section below. :)
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It's rare to have an Ilocano bloggers gathering here in Ilocos so when I received an invitation through email by Cherry Joy Discaya-Garma, I did not think twice. I've always dreamed seeing myself joining a big gathering for Ilocano bloggers but it never happened because there is no wll-established bloggers community here in Ilocos. One reason for this is maybe due to the scarce number of active Ilocano bloggers.

Prior to the email invitation, I was actually contacted by the Information Officer of PIA (Philippine Information Agency) Ilocos Sur about it. Well, the conference was held at Java Hotel in Laoag City.


The event title was ASEAN Bloggers and Information Officers Conference. Participants who were invited were information officers of different LGUs and institutions in Ilocos Norte. Unfortunately, I was the only one from Ilocos Sur and the only non-government-affiliated blogger who joined so I represented the blogging community.

The conference was about informing bloggers and information officers about the recent happenings in ASEAN. The Philippines is the Chair of the ASEAN this year coinciding with its 50th year as an international organization composed of ten (10) South East Asian countries.


Some speakers were also invited to give us an introduction of federalism, a government structure proposed by the Rodrigo Duterte administration.

As a millennial and a blogger, my favorite topic was the social media handling. It was primarily directed to the information officers handling government social media accounts but the data presented were astonishing and as a blogger, I could use those data to plan my social media posts effectively.

Thanks PIA-Laoag for the invite!


The core of the 2017 version of Kannawidan Festival wasn't housed in the traditional location we've known. Heck, Quirino Stadium in Bantay has some more important businesses to do and the Kannawidan festival ground couldn't just grab its rightful space.

Thanks to Tamag. A huge field is still there in the midst of the highly-valued subdivided lots dotted with mid-rise buildings that dramatically changed the surrounding landscape. So, the deserted space is ready to resurrect from its tomb with lively festival activities, mini-amusement park, food fairs and shopping tents.

On my walk inside the festival grounds, these are the things I noticed.

Food Fair

As usual, the food fair is here to stay. Perennial food in Vigan's street like empanada, goto, grilled street food and other traditional cuisines were present. There are many food carts but it was a little bit boring this year. Where are the Ilocos Sur favorites like miki, pipian, sinanglao, lumpianada or ginittaan (or I just didn't notice them)? 

Though there were many food choices, I just swallowed my saliva to see pastas and shawarmas in the peak of my Ilocano food cravings. Where are you sinanglao? I hope the store owners who rented a space inside the food fair tent would have the balls next time to feature/offer/sell our ever delicious Ilocano comfort dishes. Pffff! I'm craving for sinanglao that time but I didn't find one.



Trade Fair

I am badly missing the traditional trade fair where each town of Ilocos Sur was given a stall to feature/sell their OTOPs. Before, stalls of every town were labeled with the name of their town. I don't know if I just didn't notice it this time but the OTOP row is gone now, maybe because the space inside the trade fair is limited.

Anyway, I will go back and see the site the coming days. Maybe I just missed it. But still, last year was more organized based on my personal perspective so it may differ from you. Some might consider the set-up today better. Why not?

The Exhibits

The exhibits inside the festival grounds were my favorite part. I gotta see the bird photos exhibit of apo Bokal Christopher 'Topeng" Baterina. In fact I was able to talk with him as we both shared our passions in our genres of photography. 

Thanks to Kevin (photo below) of Ballog Adventures, I was checking the exhibits when he approached me and introduced himself to me that he reads my blog and that he follows my facebook posts. It's a small world indeed. He was the one who introduced me to the former. Thank God he recognized me in person (it's my first time to meet him personally). We were able to share thoughts and ideas about sustainable eco-tourism. He's one of the leads of the Ballog adventures, a travel group here in Ilocos Sur. The waterfall images at the background were those that they've visited.



Actually, the "Waterfalls of Ilocos Sur" and bird exhibits of Kevin's group and bokal Topeng were eye-openers. In fact, many IlocosSurians have been looking for waterfalls outside the province because few are aware that we have more aside from Pikkang falls of San Juan and Pinsal Falls of Santa Maria. On wildlife, I also discovered that Ilocos Sur has diverese bird species and it made me more interested to unearth the hidden wonders of the province. I hope the others who saw the exhibits would feel the same.

Street Dancing and Showdown

The street dancing this year was the second installment in the history of Kannawidan festival which debuted last year. I was able to cover the festival last year but this year was a failure. 

I had a work until 6 PM so I ditched the street dancing and just looked forward for the showdown. Since I arrived late at the showdown venue, I could no longer find a place for me to take a decent photo so I decided not to document such event. As an ordinary citizen and a regular member of the thick crowd, I didn't have the VIP pass to bring myself to the action scene for me to take blog and journalism-worthy photos. I had no choice but to leave the place. I was sad to have missed documenting the 2017 installment. My goal of documenting the yearly Kannawidan street dancing history for the next generations to see (through this website) has failed. 😞😞😞

If you want to see my 2016 blog coverage of Kannawidan Festival street dancing, here's the link (published on my other blog though): "KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL"

Conclusion

Plans for the Kannawidan festival this year were well-executed. Saniata ti Ilocos Sur, one of the highlights, was a success with Miss Salcedo winning the title. Saniata ti Agtutubo, on the other hand, was won by Vigan.



Parking space was plenty and the traffic management employed was efficient somehow. On security, police officers were scattered around.

Do you have more insights or comments for this year's Kannawidan festival? Go speak your heart out on the comments box below.

More Posts Covering Kannawidan Festival:

  1. [BANTAY] ► Kannawidan Festival 2014 Carnival Ground Photos 
  2. [BANTAY] ► Quirino Stadium: The Core of Kannawidan Ylocos Festival

First, let's understand that the Miss Universe event in Vigan invloved several sectors of our locality including private organizations so the success (and failure, if there is) of the event reflects the performance of all the sectors, not just Vigan. So without too much ado, as a legit Bigueño who've been documenting the different events here both in writing and in digital media (photos, graphics and videos), here's my honest review of how these sectors handled this Miss Universe event in my capacity as a citizen observer.

The Advisories

The advisories released by Vigan City LGU were timely and there was no better way to spread the news other than using the social media—thanks to social media pages of popular new websites, bloggers and social media influencers who immediately picked up the advisory to inform everyone.

The liquor and gun ban was a winner! While I was browsing some popular pageant websites, I've read raves from pageant forumers around the world (foreigners) about the actions imposed by the city government. They indeed admired how the city ensured the security of the candidates.

Traffic Management

On the traffic management, the blue boys of our streets did a great job in maintaining an orderly traffic! Motorists and car owners were well-informed of the traffic route. In fact, there was a dry-run of the traffic route implemented. An advisory of the traffic route was also released prior.

Crowd Control

The Vigan officers were dressed in white long-sleeved polo. They looked so different you'd think they're not officers of the Vigan PNP. They strictly enforced the rules and kept the Miss Universe-crazy crowd in their rightful place.

Obviously, Plaza Burgos was not enough to contain all the fans so big screens were prepared to allow the other audience watch live on screen as it happens.


People's Discipline

The discipline of the people was just astounding. No one brought bags and bottles. No one wore a cap. The advisory prohibiting the possession of the things aforementioned was well-followed by the fans. Also, no one attempted to take a selfie with the candidates.


Conclusion

The Miss Universe in Vigan may only happen once in our lifetime so I would say it was just right that the preparation was overdone than not being prepared at all.

Indeed, the Miss Universe girls were not just the stars that day, Vigan, too, as the city showed its beauty and the discipline of its people to the world, the universe rather.