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Ilocos Norte | Northbound Diary

In Ilocos Norte, there is plenty of sunlight to play under and an excessive food fare to satisfy gluttonic desires. In Ilocos Norte, there is a plethora of colonial monuments to remind heritage pride and a wealth of regional handicrafts to bring home.

In Ilocos Norte, there is abundance of just about anything. From romantic to extreme, from savory to history and from the exotic to the usual, this region is a wealth of seemingly unending surprises.

Just get yourselves up North and let the Ilocanos pamper you with their bounties of food, sights and activities to do in the Amianan region.

Beaches and Sand Dunes
Pagudpod Beach
Most sought-after for its long white sand coast & tranquil ambience, the beaches in Pagudpod is a prized destination.
Currimao Beach
Currimao is known for its gallery-designed resorts & quiet beachline.
Paoay Sand Boarding
Experience the hoopla of sand boarding in the all-natural sand dunes in Paoay.
Churches and Bell Towers
Paoay Church
The San Agustin Church in Paoay was completed in 1710 & is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
St. William’s Cathedral
St. William’s Cathedral in Laoag City was built in 1612 by the Augustinian friars.
Batac Church
The Immaculate Conception Church in Batac. Built in 1587 in Romanesque architecture.
Badoc Church
La Virgen Milagrosa Shrine in Badoc. Built in 1714 alongside the establishment of the Spanish town of Badoc.
Aglipayan Shrine
Iglesia Filipina Independiente built in honor of its 1st Obispo Maximo, Gregorio Aglipay in 1902.
The Bell Tower Ruins of Bacarra
The bell tower ruins of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Bacarra. It was damaged by a 7.8 earthquake in 1983.
The Sinking Bell Tower of St. William’s Cathedral
The bell tower of St. William’s Cathderal used to be the tallest bell tower but was sunk by an earthquake.
Resorts and Casinos
Playa Tropical
Playa Tropical is a Balinese-inspired resort in Currimao.
Sitio Remedios is a resort laid out in the old Spanish style laden with ancestral homes from all over Ilocos Norte.
Perfect for quiet meanderings, Palayupoy is a resort inspired by the old Ilocano farm houses.
Fort Ilocandia Resort
Fort Ilocandia in Paoay is the only 5-star resort in Ilocos. It also houses a casino flocked by foreign gamers.
Rock Formations and Windmills
20 windmills on the shores of Bangui in Burgos harness wind into commercial power.
Kapurpurawan in Burgos are limestone rock outcrops sculpted by oceanic forces and weather.
Currimao Rock Garden are short coraline rocks hemmed by shallow tidal pools.
Museums and Lighthouse
Museo Ilocos Norte
Museo Ilocos Norte in Laoag used to be Tabacalera building in 1878, the center of Spanish tobacco monopoly.
Marcos Mausoleum
The Marcos Mausoleum in Batac keeps the temperature-controlled casket of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Also called Malacanang ti Amianan, it is the former Presidential Family’s home in the North.
Cape Bojeador
Cape Bojeador in Burgos was 1st lit in 1892 & stands as one of the oldest & working lighthouses in the Philippines.
Food and Handicrafts
Herencia Cafe
Herencia Cafe in Paoay is Ilocos’ celebrated restaurant because of its unique Pinakbet Pizza.
Bagnet is deep-fried pork belly. Best dipped in fish paste called bagoong.
Deep fried turn-over stuffed with longanisa & bean sprouts. Best sampled in Batac & Laoag.
Iloko Abel
Abels are Ilocano handwoven textiles. Best sourced in the towns of Pinili & Paoay.
Called damili in Ilocano, terracotta pottery is best in the town of San Nicolas.
Other Places of Interest
Tobacco Monopoly Monument
Tobacco Monopoly Monument in Laoag City is the landmark of the lifting of Spanish monopoly in 1882.
Laoag City Hall
Laoag City Hall is a restored Spanish building.
Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol
Located in Laoag City, the Provincial Capitol building is the seat of government of Ilocos Norte.
Patapat Viaduct
Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpod is a 1.3-km bridge that connects Ilocos Norte with Cagayan Valley.
How to Get to Ilocos Norte
Via Land Travel (From Manila; approx. 480 kms)
  • Drive up north via North Luzon Expressway connecting to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.
  • Follow the northwestern road passing through Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Ilocos Sur.
  • Alternatively, you may take the bus from Cubao Terminal to Laoag. Partas Bus is the most recommended bus line plying this route.
Via Air Travel
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