Review | Escala Homestay, La Paz, Abra
If you are looking for a quiet place to spend a weekend out of town, close to nature, with picturesque views of the Abra River Valley and the added bonus of watching the sunrise then Escala Homestay in La Paz could be for you.
Just ten minutes from the centre of Bangued, on the La Paz side of Calaba Bridge, Escala Homestay is one of those rare, unique places you come across once in a blue moon.
First of all the location. Designed to make minimal impact on the land, the house is raised on concrete pillars on the side of a hill overlooking Soot Bridge, which connects the towns of La Paz, Danglas and Lagayan with Bangued.
With an uninterrupted 180 degree view over the Abra River Valley from the veranda, you can see the course of the Abra River as it snakes its way through the valley, passing the Bell Tower of Tayum Church on the other bank and at night the lights of Vira in Tineg shine in the distance.
A long set of stairs winds up the hill to the entrance, which is at the rear of the house, from the road below. It’s a good idea to stop from time to time and enjoy the amazing view, which gets better the higher you climb.
The interior of the house has been finished to a high standard. Guests have access to the living area, veranda, bathroom and guest bedroom.
The bedroom can accommodate from 1 to 4 persons. The spacious air conditioned room has two double beds and a dressing table with chair.
You will probably spend most of your time on the veranda enjoying the spectacular view that can only be seen from Escala Homestay.
At the time of my stay there (March 2018), there was still some finishing work to complete on the exterior of the house, but this did not disturb my stay at all.
Where to Eat
Escala Homestay can provide breakfast and evening meal at an extra cost. You should order these meals ahead of time to allow for food preparation.
You could try an abrenian Miki breakfast at the Triple R Panciteria which is about 1km away over Soot Bridge on the right side of the road. A special Miki costs P30, and an Extra P40.
For dinner, the closest resto is Calaba Fiesta, on the Calaba side of the bridge. And for some fast food, a branch of Chooks to Go can be found in Brgy Canaan.
What to Do in and around La Paz
There are many activities nearby to suit most people.
1. The number one summer activity is Kayaking on the Abra River at the Mudeng Riverbanks.
Contact Dyane Molina for details 092 777 258 56
2. If you have your own car or motorbike, you could drive up to the Mt Sidir Pine Forest of Nagaparan in Danglas. There are a couple of viewdecks on the way. Dadamuen Viewpoint is also a good picnic spot.
Drive further up the Abra – Ilocos Norte road and checkout the 100 year old Giant Dao tree.
3. Visit the Spanish town of La Paz Poblacion. There are two, century old churches in La Paz. The Catholic and Aglipayan. Both are worth a visit.
4. Taste Nida’s Bibinka. This makes for an excellent pasalubong to take home. It’s best to phone ahead and order, as Nida’s Bibinka is very popular and sells out fast.
5. Visit La Paz’s loomweaving village of Bulbulala where you can see traditional Abel cloth woven.
6. Climb the hill behind Escala Homestay for even better views over the Abra River Valley. You can see Calaba Bridge too.
For other activities in Abra, Check out the Abramazing Tours Facebook page. They run trips further afield to places like Kaparkan Falls, Piwek Rock Formations, Apao Rolling Hills, Basakal Falls in Daguioman and Kili Falls and Hotspring in Tubo and many more.
How to get to Escala Homestay
Make your way through Bangued to Calaba Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the road to just before Soot Bridge. Escala Homestay is up on the hill before the sharp turn to the bridge.
Mr. Amarte Escala
Abra-Ilocos Norte Road, Mudeng, 2826 La Paz, Abra
Mobile 0917 562 5642
Facebook Escala Homestay