Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exploring Ilocos Region: Ilocos Norte

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Related Posts:
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 2: Ilocos Sur
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 3: La Union
Exploring Ilocos Region Day 4: Pangasinan

I went with my friend, Lor and her thesismates MJ and JV in their thesis research/backpacking adventure to the Ilocos Region - one of the northermost regions of the Philippines. We only had 4 days so we only spent a day in each of the 4 provinces of the region (Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan). Our first stop: the northernmost province of Ilocos Norte. Ilocos Norte is famous for being the hometown of the former president Ferdinand Marcos. It is also known for its beautiful beaches such as Pagudpod and picturesque sceneries.

We took the night bus of Farinas Transit from Manila and arrived at Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte around 8am the next day. We were lucky my friend Lor knew someone from Laoag and he was kind enough to lend us his car for the whole day. So after eating our breakfast, we headed to the historical Paoay Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Paoay Church (taken by Lor on June 23, 2007)

Paoay Church Marker (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Paoay Church Painting in Malacanang of the North (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

After Paoay Church, we headed to the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac. This museum is where memorablias of the former president Ferdinand Marcos can be seen. But the main attraction of this place is mausoleum which houses the presevered body of the former president. Kinda creepy if you ask me. Take note that you cannot take pictures inside the mausoleum.

Wax replica of Ferdinand Marcos (taken by JV on June 23, 2007)

Then, we headed out to the Malacanang of the North in Paoay. Take note that even if Paoay Church is named after this place, it is located in Laoag and not in Paoay. The Malacanang of the North was the official residence of the former president whenever they were around the area and was eventually turned into a museum. This place also has a beautiful view of Paoay Lake. Entrance fee is 20pesos and it is open from 9am to 5pm daily.

Malacanang of the North (taken by Lor on June 23, 2007)

Paoay Lake (taken by Lor on June 23, 2007)

After Paoay, we went back to Laoag to have our lunch and visited some of the famous sites in Laoag such as the Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag Church, Tobacco Monument and the Town Plaza.

Sinking Bell Tower: only half of the entrance remains (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Then off we went to the highlight of the day - the scenic roadtrip from Laoag to Pagudpod. Do not sleep on the way because you will miss out the beautiful view. We stopped by the lovely Cape Bojeador and the Bangui Windmills before reaching the serene beaches of Pagudpod.

Cape Bojeador (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Cape Bojeador's Amazing View (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Bangui Windmills (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Pagudpod (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

Pagudpod (taken by me on June 23, 2007)

We just took a quick dip in Pagudpod and headed back to Laoag just in time for dinner. We had the famous Ilocos Empanada (yum!) and ate it in our hotel - La Elliana Hotel (Contact Number: +63777714876/+6377771-6008; Addres: Brg. 5 cor Alban Ave. Rizal St. Laoag City). I highly recommend this inn because it is cheap and very clean.

So there you have it, our first day in the Ilocos Region. Next stop: Ilocos Sur .

Access from Manila: Buses such as Farinas, Autobus, Maria de Leon, Partas take the Manila-Laoag route daily. Travel time is around 9-10 hours.

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  1. Verry interesting stuff kep it coming :)

  2. @Pookie hi! thanks for dropping by my blog :D

  3. i only own a postcard of paoay church...never been there! :P

  4. beautiful photographs very scenic and serene

  5. @fortuitous faery hi! you must try visiting Ilocos Norte :D Its a very beautiful place

    @Vinay Rai thanks!

  6. As always you have amazing pictures! It looks so beautiful there it’s breath taking.

    I love how the buildings are still in great shape. Respectively anyway I’m assuming they’re really old!

    Nice picture of the windmills! Don’t you find that picture extremely interesting? Technology from today in a picture that is surrounded by buildings that are ages old

    Sorry I don't get to visit your blog more often!

  7. @bbrian017 Hi! thanks for always dropping by my blog :D I really appreciate it. And thanks for the compliment.

    Yes, the structures like the church and lighthouse are centuries old and they are beautiful.

    I agree with you. It is really interesting to see the old existing with the new. Knowing that the old structures are still preserved despite living in the modern age is something to be thankful about.

    Feel free to drop by my blog and leave your comments anytime :D

  8. Amazing pictures! This looks like a great spot to go on vacation...I'm going to have to make some plans to head on over :)

  9. @Dave Yes, it is indeed a beautiful place :D

  10. @Alternative Perspective hi! thanks! thanks also for dropping by my blog :D