ILOCOS NORTE TOURIST SPOTS
LAOAG CITY, ILOCOS NORTE LAOAG SINKING BELLTOWER This 45 meter high bell tower is one of the tallest built in the country. A landmark in the cityâ€™s skyline the bell tower was constructed by the Augustinian Fathers several hundred years ago. The sinking tower is a unique landmark of Spanish occupation in the Philippines. When the tower was new, a man on horseback could pass through its door. Today, a man of ordinary height could hardly pass without stooping. What strikes many observers is the peculiarity of its distance from the church. The distance from the church is 85 meters a rare position among church edifices.
ST. WILLIAMS CATHEDRAL One of the biggest cathedrals in the country and it is 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 Augustinians built the church of Italian Renaissance design in 1612. Its unique 2-storey faĂ§ade is held by 4 pairs of coupled columns. The deeply recessed niche shows the image of the Patron Saint of Laoag- San Guillermo.
TOBACCO MONOPOLY MONUMENT- The monument was constructed in 1882 at the foot of the Marcos Bridge to serve as a memorial to the lifting of the Tobacco Monopoly in 1881. It is a gesture of thanksgiving to the Spanish King Alfonso XIII for having lifted the tobacco monopoly which from 1872 to 1881 gave the Ilocanos untold miseries as they were obliged to plant tobacco to be delivered solely to the government. AURORA PARK- At the heart of the plaza, a fountain stands which features the sculptured figure of a young woman. Based from the artistic concept, it represents the maiden Pamulinawen, the prototype of an ideal Ilocano. On both arms of the sculpture piece are garlic and tobacco leaves which are the gold mine industry of Ilocandia.
ILOCOS NORTE MUSEUM Showcases the varied ethnicity and multifaceted cultural heritage of a sturdy, hardworking people known for their industry, resourcefulness and loyalty.
FORT ILOCANDIA RESORT & CASINO It is the only first class/ deluxe hotel in the Northern Philippines. The hotel is sprawled over 77 hectares of land amidst gentle sand dunes, pine forests and 2 kilometers of fine sandy beach facing the South China Sea. The hotel is situated on the northwestern tip of Luzon Island in the province of Ilocos Norte. Laoag City and the Laoag International Airport are a short 10 minute drive from the hotel. Fort Ilocandia was conceived in 1980 and opens its doors in 1983. The complexes consist of five Spanish colonial buildings and are finished in cool red bricks inspired by the Spanish Mediterranean designs of Marrakech, Morocco.
LAOAG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT It caters to international flights direct from Kaoshiung & Taipei, Taiwan, Guangzhou, China, Hongkong and connecting flights from Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Vancouver.
PLAZA DEL NORTE HOTEL and ILOCOS NORTE CONVENTION CENTER It is a great and neat place for lodging. It can hold conventions and gatherings where around 1,500 people can be accomodated.
LA PAZ SAND DUNES La Paz Sand Dunes offers a spectacular vista of the South China Sea. It is located in Brgy. La Paz, Laoag City which has been declared as National Geological Monument. It covers an area of 85 square kilometers and is declared and protected as a geological monument because of its unique land formation. La Paz is a favorite shooting location for local as well as international films.
BATAC, ILOCOS NORTE
MARCOS MUSEUM The ancestral house of the Marcoses in Batac showcases the memorabilia of the late Pres. Marcos.
MARCOS MAUSOLEUM It houses the remains of the late President Ferdinand R. Marcos laid in a refrigerated crypt. His remains have been lying here since September 1993.
AGLIPAY SHRINE It was built in memory of the patriot-priest, Gregorio Aglipay, founder of the â€œIglesia Filipina Independienteâ€? in 1902. The church was founded at the end of the Filipino-American War with its focus upon liberty on religious, political and social terms. His remains are interred here.
GEN. ARTEMIO RICARTE PARK Built in honor of Gen. Artemio Ricarte, the last Filipino general to surrender to the American troops whose half of his remains interred here and the other half was interred in Libingan ng mga Bayani in Manila.
PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE PAOAY LAKE NATIONAL PARK The landlocked lake located 3kms away from the sea in Suba, Paoay has an area of more or less 478 hectares. Declared as National Park under Republic Act 5631 on June 21, 1969. Known in earlier days as
Nangguyudan. Legend has it that a village lies beneath Paoay Lakeâ€™s still waters. The lost village was reputedly peopled by affluent families that refused to aid a needy beggar. As punishment, torrents of rain began pouring over the village. Flood waters rapidly rose until the village was submerged and Paoay Lake was formed. It is said that fishers sometimes catch fish wearing gold rings, a testament to the extravagant lifestyle of the people who lived in the submerged village. Geological studies indicate however that the 400 hectare lake was formed by a massive earthquake that caused the ground to sink and be filled with water from underground springs.
PAOAY GOLF COURSE The complex has an 18-hole golf course and has other facilities and amenities. It has a land area of 77 hectares and designed by Gary Player.
MALACAÑANG OF THE NORTH It was built as the official residence of the late Pres. Marcos in Ilocos Norte overlooking the legendary Paoay Lake; this imposing structure is now a museo.
PAOAY CHURCH/ ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE) Built of Coral blocks and stuccoplastered bricks, the architecture is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental. Construction of the church was started in 1704 and completed in 1894. A few meters away is the coral-stone bell tower which served as observation post of the “Katipuneros” during the Philippine Revolution and again by the “Guerillas” during the Japanese occupation. In 1992, the church is nominated to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and officially inscribed in 1993.
CURRIMAO, ILOCOS NORTE CURRIMAO GREEN NIPA BEACH RESORT It is a class “AAA” resort in Ilocos Norte. The resort is complete with facilities and luxurious rooms which provide satisfaction to tourist both foreign and local; and travelers. It sis equipped with 100 rooms. Each guest can engage in the luxury of gym, sauna, and swimming pool and other water sports activities and horse riding.
MORO WATCH TOWER This tower holds a very significant historical account about the Municipality of Currimao.
PANGIL CORAL ROCK FORMATION It is a place where tourist can see a breathtaking view and experience a one of a kind encounter with the sea life near the coral rock formations.
SITIO REMEDIOS RESORT
It is a unique and perfect getaway place for people looking forward to experience life in the province wherein the cottages or houses are named after different municipalities found in the region and are reflective of their place.
PINILI, ILOCOS NORTE KULLABENG AGLIPAY HISTORIC SHRINE It is Sitio Kullabeng where Monsignor Gregorio L. Aglipay celebrated his 42nd Birthday at the residence of Don Ignacio Lafradez wherein many Filipino Priests were among those who are invited to grace the occasion. The issue of the abuse and discrimination of the Spanish Friars against the Filipino counter parts became the center of discussion, Mons. Aglipay led the group of the Filipino Priests in their declaration of independence from Rome and as a result they established the National Church, the â€œIglesia Filipina Independienteâ€? and so the first mass of the newly born church was first celebrated in Kullabeng during said occasion.
BADOC, ILOCOS NORTE JUAN LUNA MUSEUM The restored house is now a repository of the memorabilia and reproductions of the works of the painter Juan Luna who furthered the cause of the Philippine Nationalism through his art, earning the respect and admiration of Europeans in recognition of his talent.
SARRAT, ILOCOS NORTE STA MONICA CHURCH AND CONVENT The convent of the church was constructed in 1769 and served as a temporary chapel until the completion of the church and bell tower in 1779. A flight of stairs connects the church to the convent. This structural feature is the only one in the country. The faรงade of the church is simply organized and a little formal. Of all churches in the Ilocos, Sarrat looks the most neo-classical in style. Its baroque air is expressed by the inverted scroll on the pediment. It was also in this church where the Wedding of the Century was held (Irene Romualdez Marcos and Greggy Araneta.)
BURGOS, ILOCOS NORTE CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE It is a concrete structure about 120 feet in height situated on top of a mountain. It was built in 1892 and was first lighted on March 31 of the same year where it send signals to ships passing by the Cape facing the northern portion of the South China Sea. Apparently, this structure was built without steel during the Spanish regime making it a wonder in its engineering and architectural design. Ti this day, the lighthouse is still being utilized by ships navigating in the South China Sea.
CAPURPURAOAN ROCKWHICH MEANS “WHITE ROCK”. After just one visit, this place will stand out in your mind as a natural wonder. It is a massive rock that juts out into a sea. From afar, it looks as if someone has wiped off the top layer frosting and exposed the cake that lies beneath. Up close, it is a dazzling bright white rock that sparkles in the sun. Capurpuraoan is a showcase for the power of wind and water on rock and coral. Amazing! GAMET- is seaweed that is a culinary delight among the locals and foreigners, especially Ilocanos abroad. While it resembles that Japanese “Nori” it has superior taste. It can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. It is delicious and appetizing. To some, it is also an aphrodisiac. Gamet is very rare and Burgos is one of the few fortunate towns in the Philippines’ northern shoreline where gamet grows. Its rocky shores are blessed abundantly with gamet during its season, which normally starts when rain showers begin in September to late February.
DRAGON FRUIT FARM A well-known dragon fruit farm that has a reputation of producing particularly sweet fruit in comparison to its competitors.
KAANGRIAN FALLS Located in Barangay Paaya, is a 5 kilometer drive from the National Highway to the head of the trail. From there is a 4 kilometer hike to the falls. The first 20 minutes of the trial is out in the open and quite hot, so remember to bring a hat. The locals bring their cattle, caribou horses and other animals to grace in these open fields. This treeless area provides a nice view of the surrounding hills, limestone outcroppings and the area of the hike. When you settle down into the shade cover, you will be grateful for the coolness. Along the trail you can search for signs of hoof prints of small deer or identify the many types of plant life, including many varieties of wild mushrooms. The waterfalls at Kaangrian are everywhere, creating a semi-circle of water cascading down multiple layers of rock. The beauty of the area was created by limestone deposits which have created hundreds of small sparkling pools around the base of the falls.
BANGUI, ILOCOS NORTE BANGUI WINDMILL (North Wind Power Plant) It is a 24.75 MW power generation plant consisting of 15 UNITS Vestas NM82 wind turbines rated at 1.65 MW each. The turbines are on shore and arranged in a single row spaced approximately 326 meters apart. All 15 wind turbines are connected to the Luzon grid and as of May 7, 2005 all 15 wind turbines had delivered power to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) via TransCo Laoag. This project is the first power plant in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
BANGUI BAY It is famous for its swimming resorts along a semi-circumferential bay. It is a rich fishing ground.
PAGUDPUD, ILOCOS NORTE SAUD WHITE SAND BEACH It is the most popular among the scenic spots of the municipality, it is located in Brgy. Saud and is approximately 2.5 kilometers away from the town proper. It is famous for as creamy white sand which frames the emerald water of the heart shaped bay.
It is a winding bridge found at the foot of the cliff of the North Cordillera Mountain Ranges. It is a viaduct connecting Barangay Balaoi and Barangay Pancian, which is around 1.2 kilometers long. This bridge is often referred to as the French Riviera of the North. It is along this winding bridge where you can find the once upon a time enchanting Mabugabog Falls but now it already serves as one of the sources of power of the minihydri electric plant, it is only during the rainy days when it shows its splendor with its water dropping rhythmically to a precipice on the rocky shore of the sea below. While at the middle of the bridge, you could take a look at the awesome view of the sea below and the verdant mountains at the other side which is 200 meters above sea level. The bridge its surround it makes it really a breathtaking scenery to behold.
PARAISO NI ANTON It is located in Matarongtong, Pagudpud. The reverberating, endlessly down pouring water create a rhapsody which invokes life to sightseers.
BANTAY ABOT CAVE Bantay Abot Caves means “a mountain with a hole.” A hole was found at the middle of the mountain where the waves were free to flash into its walls just like an open shore until it was wrecked by an earthquake during the 80’s. It is also called “the underground sea” for on top of the cave is a lustrous vegetative cover.
Inside the cave is a church that once you are inside, you do not only hear the echoing sound of the waves, the chirping of the birds but you can also feel the cool breeze of the air.
MAIRA-IRA COVE OR “BLUE LAGOON” The prize of all beaches in Ilocos and possibly on all Luzon, is Miraira Point in the Malingay Cove, or “Blue Lagoon” in Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud. This spectacular white sand beach has nothing but a few simple shade sheds and many natural trees for shade. It is untouched, wild beach that gives the feeling of being shipwrecked in paradise. With huge old growth trees that canopy the shoreline and wild vines that grow along some of the more permanent sand dunes, there is so much beauty here that one sometimes needs to stop and catch her breath. The cove is a thirty minute walk off the National Highway.
DOS HERMANOS ISLAND Two identical mountains seated at the heart of Brgy. Balaoi and was believed that these were two brothers who were so loyal to each other that they transformed to these prominent mountains.
BANNA, ILOCOS NORTE BANNA ZIPLINE The first and only zip line in Ilocos Norte continues to draw sports enthusiasts and has become the destination of choice of most tourists including locals. The Banna zipline in the forest village of Caribquib saw its birth in April last year when village leaders thought of transforming a section of the mountainous range to an eco-tourism ground.