LAOAG CITY TOUR(Source: Brochure on Ilocos, Philippine Department of Tourism)
Paoay Church – This is one of the most outstanding “earthquake baroque” structures in the Philippines.The coral stone bell tower, standing at some distance from the church for earthquake protection, was finished in the second half of the 18th century.
Paoay Sand Dunes – The Paoay Sand Dunes offer a spectacular vista of the West Philippine Sea. It is located in Barangay, La Paz, Laoag City and has been declared as a National land formation. The 85 sq. km. oasis is a favorte shooting location for local and foreign films.
Malacanang of the North – Also known as Malacanan Ti Amianan in Ilocano language. This mansion used to be the official residence of ex-Prseident Ferdinand Marcos in Ilocos. You will see a fantastic view of Paoay Lake at the veranda at the back.
Marcos Mausoleum – It houses the remains of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos laid in a refrigerated crypt. His remains have been lying here since September 1993. Open for viewing from 8am to 5pm daily.
Batak Miki and Empanada – Empanada is simply a pride of the Ilocos. Be it in Ilocos Norte or Ilocos Sur. And be it Vigan and Laoag, and Batac, all Ilocos cities, for that matter. Don’t miss these when in Ilocos, and bring home some for your friends back home.
St. William Cathedral – One of the biggest cathedrals in the country and the seat of the Diocese of Laoag. The construction of the cathedral began in 1612 and was the site of the Diocesan Congress in 1932 and 1949. The Augustinian built the church of Italian renaissance design. Its unique 2-storey façade is held by 4 pairs of coupled columns. The deeply recessed niche shows the image of the patron saint, San Guillermo.
Sinking Bell Tower – This 45-meter high bell tower is one of the tallest built of its kind in the country. A land mark in the city’s skyline, the bell tower was constructed by the Augustinian fathers several hundred years ago. The sinking tower is a unique symbol of Spanish occupation in the Philippines. It is famous because it’s said to be sinking an inch every year because it’s so heavy and was built on the sandy part of Laoag.
Sarat Chruch and Ruins; Sarrat Marcos Museum – Acclaimed as the biggest church in Ilocos Norte and possibly in the whole Ilocos region. It is strategically situated in Barangay San Leandro (Poblacion), Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. It was built along the bank of the Padsan River and this religious landmark still stand proud withstanding the elements for the past 23 years.
NORTHERN ILOCOS/PAGUDPUD TOUR(Source: Brochure on Ilocos, Philippine Department of Tourism)
Pasuquin Salt-Making – Pasuquin is primarily farming and fishing area and the top local produce is rice, onions and also garlic of which most is exported to Taiwan. It is also known as the salt capital as much sea salt is processed locally. You will see many salt processors along the highway and stalls selling plastic bags of fresh made course sea salt, along with strings of onions and garlic.
Burgos Lighthouse – This 120 foot concrete Structure is situated on top of a mountain. It was on March 1892 when it started to send signals to ships passing by the cape facing the northern portion of the West Philippine Sea. This structure was built without steel reinforcement and it is an engineering and architectural wonder. To this day, the light house is still being used by ships navigating in the West Philippine Sea.
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation – It simply means “White Rock” after one visit this place will stand out in your mind as natural wonder. It is a massive rock that juts out from a promontory extending to the sea.
Bangui Windmills – Along the stretch of Bangui bay is 33 MW power generation plant consisting of 20 wind turbines rated at 1.65 MW each. All 20 wind turbines are connected to the Luzon grid which delivers power to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) via TransCo Laoag. This is the first of its kind in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Salud Beach – Considered as the most popular among the scenic spot of the municipality, Salud Beach is located in Barangav Saud and is approximately 2.5 kilometres away from the town proper. It is famous for its powdery white sand which frames the emerald water of the heart-shaped bay.
Blue Lagoon – Untouched and idyllic, the Blue Lagoon is prized among all beaches in Ilocos and possibly northern Luzon. It is located in is Maira-Ira point in the Malingay Cove, in Balaoi, Pagudpud.
Dos Hermanos Rock – The Dos Hermanos Islands are two rock formations located off the northern coast of Maira-ira Point in Pagupud, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines. The twin islands are often visited by tourists, and are a natural landmark of Pagudpud.
Bantay Abot Cave – Bantay Abot Cave is a hill that was wrecked by an earthquake in the 1980’s. The top of the cave is covered with lush green vegetation thus adding the beauty of the cave. To get to the interior of the cave, one needs to go down a few concrete staircase and a rocky part going up to the hole. The hole came about because of the earthquake.
Patpat Viaduct – This winding bridge is found at the foot of the cliff of the Cordillera mountain range. It is a viaduct connecting Barangay Balaoi and Barangay Pancian, with an approximate distance of 1.2 kilometres and often referred to as the French Riviera of the North.
SOUTHERN ILOCOS/VIGAN CITY TOUR(Source: Brochure on Ilocos, Philippine Department of Tourism)
Juan Luna Shrine – The Juan Luna Shrine in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, is a reconstruction of the two-storey house in which the patriot and foremost Filipino painter was born on October 24, 1857 (The original house burned down in 1861). Luna was the son of Joaquin Luna and Laureana Vovicio. He was instrumental in placing Philippine art and culture on the world map.
Sinait Church – Enshrined in this century-old church is a life-size crucifix of impressive countenance and of very dark brown color which is said to have been found by a Sinait fisherman in 1620. Sculptured on hardwood, the crucifix measuring 18 feet is believed to have caused a miracle by aborting a plague that hit vigan during the 18 century. To this day, many devotees flock to the shrine to celebrate the feast of Black Nazarene every 3rd day of May.
Bantay Church and Belltower – Shrine of Nuestra Señora dela Caridad, Bantay-The Church features both baroque and gothic-influenced architecture. The statue of Our Lady of Charity is an old treasure of the Church of Bantay venerated by the townsfolk since time immemorial. This image could possibly be the oldest Marian image of Ilocos.
St. Paul Cathedral – This massive structure was built in 1799 by e Augustinians in the distinctive Ilocano baroque architecture. The three tiered façade betrays some Chinese influence such as carving of dogs placed near religious figures or statues. Like the Basilica St. Peter in Rome where some Popes are buried, the church altar of St. Paul’s Cathedral contains the remains of the bishops of the old Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.
Syquia Mansion – The mansion belongs to a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family in Vigan- the Syquia clan. The late President Elpidio Rivera Quirino married Alicia Jimenez Syquia in 1919, thus the mansion was called the first Malacañang of the North, years later the old name Syquia Mansion was restored. It is now operating as museum showcasing the lifestyle of the rich and famous in early 1900’s.
Baluarte ni Gov Singson – The residence of Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson features an interactive mini zoo, skeet shooting range, butterfly garden, pony rides and the function hall.
Pottery Pagburnayan – The Traditional earthen jar-making industry in Vigan is believed to have been introduced by the Chinese traders in the 14th century to provide an all-weather container or vessel for fermenting vinegar, basi or wine (from sugarcane extract) and salt.
Plaza Burgos – A plaza in Vigan named in Honor of the Ilocano martyr priest Father Jose Burgos. Nearby are food stalls selling delicacies like empanada.
Plaza Salcedo – Located west of St. Paul Cathedral Vigan City, this elevated elliptical plaza features the 17th century Juan de Salcedo Monument, the oldest of its kind in Northern Luzon. It was in plaza Salcedo that Gabriela Silang was executed by public hanging in 1763, the country’s version of Juan of Arc.