Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away… I got sick in Ilocos. It was my first time backpacking alone to a destination I’ve never been before. I was breaking in my spanking new The North Face backpack. It was a great first few days, I made it from Laoag to Pagudpud and even got to enjoy the entirety of Vigan until on my last day before heading back to Manila.
I woke up from my shared-bathroom, fan room in Grandpa’s Inn at six in the morning completely fine. I was able to walk around and enjoy the early morning Vigan that most tourists don’t get to see. I got back from walking around by 8 or 9 and about 10 minutes from lying down, I was curled up in the fetal position, shivering from a fever and immobile from the body pain. I managed to gather myself and take the short tricycle to the drug store before going back and feeling sorry for myself until check out time.
I didn’t want to leave my bed but needing to trek to Laoag before my flight made me push on. Also, I didn’t have anymore money to book another night and rebook my piso fare flight.
I managed to hold down my lunch as I took the bus back to Laoag. I decided to spend the very little money I had to relaxing at the mall for a pedicure and foot spa. I needed to get my mind off of the fact that I was going to attempt to board a plane while I had a raging fever.
Pedicure worked alongside a heavy duty antibiotics and a massive overdose-close amount of fever meds.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that when we get sick, our number one instinct would be to look for Mommy. There’s just something about a high fever and being completely useless that flips the switch on our existing independence and our disdain for self-pity.
It was definitely scary to be sick and alone. But I didn’t know that there would be something that’s even scarier than that. Having your daughter get sick while traveling.
This isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to falling ill while on the road. Last year, we had a really bad brush in Palawan that we spent an extra couple of nights in the hospital.
The thing was, that was a particularly long trip – about a week-long – and we weren’t doing a crowded schedule. We were taking our time and were just enjoying things day by day so we were cool to taking a detour at the Adventist Hospital in Palawan.
Fast forward to present day and the Happy Meal and I took to Ilocos with ZeLolo and ZeLola. We had a busy day going through Laoag and up to Pagudpud. My now 7yo trekked to the top of the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, rode a horse going to the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and played with the sands of Saud Beach.
We went back to Laoag, had dinner and went to bed.
In the middle of the night, I was woken up by the Happy Meal who gifted me with a 39 degree fever. I spent the rest of the night trying to break her fever and even though she was fine at breakfast time, I knew she wasn’t up for another full day in Vigan.
Me: Why are you crying?
T: Because I can’t go to the van
[I start crying]
Me: I’d rather have you in this room getting better than you getting much much worse that we have to go to the hospital. We can always come back, anyway.
[We both start crying even louder]
She still had a couple of high fever fits until we finally broke the fever mid-afternoon. Nothing like McDonalds delivery and a whole day dose of YouTube to aid in recuperation.
We spent what would’ve been our daytrip to Vigan in an air conditioned room with WiFi to fuel our iPads and McDonalds to fuel my need for chicken nuggets.
I was prepared. I had her usual vitamins, supplements and allergy meds. I also had with me fever meds and even a couple of bottles of Fleet Enema kits. Don’t ask. Just don’t. It’s a very long story.
Whatever this was, whether it was a bug or just exhaustion, it was nursed not just with fever meds and hydration but with a heavy dose of TLC. I cradled her and raised her spirits when she felt like poopy-doo ran over twice by a semi-truck. I watched, smiled, nodded and laughed at her favorite (and by favorite I mean, watched for at least 10x) YouTube videos.
We were officially back to normal operating hours by late afternoon but still didn’t push her. We still had one more night in Laoag and a full day to spend before we had to go take our flight back home.
I was *this* close to walking around Laoag with a digital thermometer. But the Happy Meal, she pushed through. What a trooper.
Getting Sick Alone
Getting Sick with Mommy
I’m not really one of those writers who keep to a narrative of their trip, I still like itinerary/travel guide type posts so like, here are some of the things that really made our Ilocos trip worthwhile that will be coming up in the next posts.
Accommodation: North View Hotel, Laoag City
Van for Hire: Kuya Raffy
Laoag Restaurants: North View Hotel’s Restaurant, La Preciosa and Herencia Garden Restaurant
Ilocos Pasalubong and Shopping
Travel Tips for Laoag, Pagudpud and Vigan