Chinese tourists at the La Paz sand dunes

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The thing called sandboarding in northern Ilocos…

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In a travel feature story on TIME.com, sandboarding at the La Paz Sand Dunes was mentioned by writer Hans Villarica as one of the thrills on the earthly wonders of Ilocos Norte, the top reason to visit the province. Read the other top 4 reasons here.

Here are some videos that made the Jackson and Thomas boys’ recent visit to Laoag way different from their usual heritage itinerary.

Excert from “Dune Day Out: The LEAD Movement” on Monday

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Excerpt from Karl de Mesa’s Dune Day Out: The LEAD Movement on Monday magazine isuue 5

“The whole sports sprung almost fully formed from the days of slow boredom that Glenn and Reny, both 4×4 racing enthusiasts, shared early last year, “malamang dahil sobrang tumaas ang presyo ng gasolina at hindi na kami makapag-4×4 kaya nag-isip kami ng ibang pagkakaabalahan,” Reny shrugs. Copying the equipment that sandboarders in Dubai used, Reny and Glenn devoted hefty man-hours to their backyard RND operation by August 2009, after building and breaking a lot of prototypes, they finally developed a board that could handle the dunes. “It’s made out of laminated plywood with a formica bottom,” says Glenn, an architect by profession. “I think we have three layers d’yan.” From their word spread like wildfire. People from as far as Hong Kong, Australia and China have since flown over to Laoag to try it. It’s something that makes Tina Tan just ecstatic: “The kids really love it! I can’t believe this is becoming a sport and getting the attention it’s had.”

Photographed by Paolo Seen

Photographed by BlauEarth

Northern X-posure on Monday (Magazine) Issue 5 (via BlauEarth)

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Northern X-posure on Monday (Magazine) Issue 5 Yes!! It’s out!! My eco-adventure group, the LEAD Movement, in rockin’ sand adventure photos in Monday, a 3/4-inch thick corporate culture/consumerism/lifestyle mag in the Philippines. FYI, it is the Laoag Eco-Adventure Development Movement that innovated sandboarding in Ilocos. Grab a copy and see more of the best of my beloved Norte! With special thanks to Monday, Karl de Mesa for the story, and Paolo Seen for the photography! Also to Mark Cast … Read More via BlauEarth

Excerpts from Karl de Mesa’s Northern Exposure on Monday magazine isuue 5

“Calling it a “sport” maybe stretching the term too far this early. Sandboarding is barely over a year old since the creators rode the first dune on a prototype board in August 2009. And it’s still DIY in many places. The creators of Pinoy sandboarding and sand sledding (for the only slightly daring, there’s a sled where you can sit and make like Calvin and Hobbes), the group that calls itself the LEAD Movement, are still reeling from the attention the sport’s gotten. It was only a couple of months back, see that this was a backyard hobby.

Watching Ericke and Marc, it’s easy to see why both viral and mainstream media are now catching on to it like wildfire. Getting around the dunes in 4×4 pickups (the LEAD Movement also offers thrill rides on these vehicular monsters) lets you choose a good spot to slide down on. Anybody who’s got a good sense of balance and enough guts will instantly feel the rush, too. I know I did. The learning curve is pretty low. And hour and several attempts later will let you relax into a newfound skill.

Right now, the number of people queuing to try the dunes is enough to keep the LEAD Movement busy on a weekly basis. Sandboarding is quickly becoming an attraction that will, with the right push, transform it into a phenomenon.

For the brave and those who despise tourist traps, it’s the kind of pursuit to test your adventurous mettle against. The bragging rights alone make it make your while.”

Ilocos Sandboarding by the LEAD Movement on video

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Sand boarding at Laoag's sand dunes @ Yahoo! Video

View video: Sand boarding at Laoag’s sand dunes @ Yahoo! Video

LAOAG, ILOCOS NORTE — loQal team visits Laoag’s famous sand dunes to experience the thrill of riding on a 4×4 and also to try on an activity that has already gained popularity in the region – sandboarding. Video produced by loQal.ph

Ilocos Sandboarding is catching on

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A year that was…

Starting from scratch

Same time last year, the LEADers were engrossed in making a blueprint for a new eco-adventure project. Apart from fine beaches and heritage structures, Ilocos Norte is known for its vast stretches of sand dunes, so they thought of coming up with something unique in the Philippine adventure scene, something that promises a new thrill for the intrepid adventure seekers. After studying the possibilities, they decided to focus on sandboarding.

They crafted their first sandboards.

Trial run

On August 2, 2009, the sandboards were ready, but not the sandboarding newbies. At the Laoag Sand Dunes, the LEADers took turns in surfing the slopes. There were some misses, but all in all, the downhill adventure got them all stoked. They were ready to bring it to the next level.

The buzz

Thereafter, the LEAD Movement started its info campaign.

Other adventure groups in Ilocos climbed in the bandwagon. Through the new media, television, and social networking,  sandboarding in Ilocos Norte is beginning to catch on.

Photos by BlauEarth

Explore the Ilocos Norte outdoors

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A series of awesome eco-adventure awaits you in Ilocos Norte…

Go fishing or birdwatching and bask in the serenity of  Paoay Lake.

Sweet Childhood

Discover the unique allure of Laoag’s La Paz Sand Dunes on a wild 4-wheel drive ride.

Get your adrenalin pumping while surfing the dunes.

Adore the sun, sea and sand in picturesque Pagudpud.

Surfing

Skimboarding

Be amazed in Adams, where nature is at its finest.

Rubber tubing

River crossing

Rock climbing

Rappelling

Trekking

Falls hopping

Crossing the several hanging bridges that connect the mountains in Adams

Cliff diving

Extreme mountain biking

All these and more, like a string of rare gems, forever to be treasured.

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