Thursday, March 22, 2012

1000 Things To Do And See In The Philippines - Ilocos Norte (30-51)

The numbering on this Map, does not correspond to the numbers in my list.  The Map shows the convenient route to take in touring Ilocos Norte from Manila to Laoag Airport, then to an accomodation in Saud Beach, Pagudpud.  The tour starts North of Saud going South to the direction of Vigan.  I intend to connect this map to my Ilocos Sur entry.

30. Watch the Sunset in Saud Beach, Pagudpud.  I just stated, watch since the waves at Saud can be really rough that swimming can be a challenge.  I remember rolling a few times along the shore during my last visit.

31. Trek and Swim at Kabigan Waterfalls.  (Pagudpud)  The next five including this one, is included in the Pagudpud tour itinerary.  If you hire a tricycle, you will see these spots laminated in their passenger car.  If your a group of more than 4, its best that you hire a van.  The price is just a little more than hiring two tricycles but its more comfortable and you get to your destination faster.  Kabigan falls would require a short trek, about 30 - 45 minutes and they will charge an environmental fee.  A guide is also needed.  early summer is the best time to visit, since the water flow becomes less during dry season.

32. Roadkill Picture at Patapat Viaduct.  
Patapat Viaduct is a scenic coastal bridge that connects Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region.  There's nothing much to do in this are than admire the scenery and take pictures.  Challenge yourself by doing creative shots.  Some of my friends did planking, but I did a roadkill shot.  Just be mindful of the passing vehicles.
33. Bantay Abot Caves
Bantay abot cave is not really a cave but a hill that was wrecked by an earthquake in the 80's leaving a hole in the middle. 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 need to go down a few concrete staircase and a rocky part going up to the hole.

From the inside of the hole one can see the blue waters of Maira-ira beach or Blue Lagoon and on the other side of the hole is the Timangtang Rock - a bell-shaped rocked in the coast of Barangay Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Apart from the view, one could also enjoy the melodious sound of the swallow birds chirping and the echoing waves as it hits the shore.

34. Blue Lagoon Cove, Maira-ira Beach
The beach here is so much better than that in Saud with very few visitors.  I suggest spending an entire afternoon here, especially when the water is calm, unless you enjoy rolling with the waves.
The waves can be rough but definitely fun!

35. Bangui Windmills
The Bangui Windmills are located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The windmills, officially referred to as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project, were a project by the NorthWind Development Corporation as a practice renewable energy sources and to help reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The project is the first “Wind Farm” in the Philippines consisting of wind turbines on-shore facing the South China Sea and considered to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. The project sells electricity to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) and provides 40% of the power requirements of Ilocos Norte via Transco Laoag. 

36. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Also known as, Faro Cabo Cape Bojeador, this lighthouse stands majestically on a hill in Burgos, 35 meters north of Laoag City, overlooking the South China Sea. It is known for being the highest lighthouse in the Philippines that is still functioning since its completion on March 30, 1892. Originally, the design and construction of this lighthouse was following that of Engineer Magin Pers y Pers', but was later reconfigured and finished by Engineer Guillermo Brockman. This octagonally-shaped tower has the same mechanism found in other lighthouses of its time. It has a winding machine with a counter weight which enables the lenses of the lantern to rotate. Normally, it takes about an hour before the lenses complete their full rotation. To date, the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse still gives signals to passing ships along the Cape. 
Taken in 2011
My first visit 2008

37. Ilocos Sand Dunes (La Paz)
The La Paz Sand Dunes or Bantay Bimmaboy consists of an area of approximately 85 square kilometers (52 square miles) of protected sandy coastal desert and beach close to Laoag City, the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. The area is known locally by the name Bantay Bimmaboy, a name which refers to the common perception that the dunes resemble pigs in shape. The area is also popularly known as the Desert of the North and is a popular location for shooting films. 

38. Paoay Church
Paoay Church (also known as the St. Augustine Church in Paoay) is a historical church located in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. During the Philippine Revolution in 1898, its coral stone bell tower was used by the Katipuneros as an observation post. Paoay Church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It currently is a property of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte
Add caption

39. Herencia Cafe in front of Paoay Church
Conveniently located in front of the Paoay Church, Herencia Cafe offers tourist a taste of Ilocos with their signature Miki and their Ilocano Version of the Italian Classic Pizza.
Herencia Cafe in front of Paoay Church
Ilocano Miki
Dinuguan and Bagnet Pizza
Pinakbet and Longganisa Pizza
40. Tobacco Monopoly Monument (Laoag)
The Tobacco Monopoly Monument was a landmark constructed at the foot of the Marcos Bridge, over the Laoag River, which commemorates the lifting of tobacco monopoly in the Philippines in accordance to the royal decree of June 5, 1881 of King Alfonso XIII in 1881. It was built in gratitude for the said King whom without his order, will not end the agonies of the Ilocanos who are forced to plant tobacco. The tobacco monopoly was established in 1782 by Governor Jose Basco y Vargas by virtue of the royal decree of February 9, 1780. It aimed to bring in large profits for the government and make the Philippines the leading tobacco producer of the world. Although it was abolished during the incumbency of Governor Fernando Primo de Rivera in 1881, tobacco remains to be a major cash crop in the province.

41. Juan Luna Shrine (Badoc)
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).

42. Marcos Museum and Mausoleum
The Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte showcases memorabilia of the late Philippines President Ferdinand E. Marcos and a large stately and gloomy tomb housing his embalmed remains which are contained in a vacuum-sealed glass coffin. Within the property of the Marcos family is a cluster of three houses and the hallowed grounds of the mausoleum. The Museum is the first structure seen from the main street and is the one which follows the lines of a colonial wood-and-brick house, with solid ground floor walls and an upper storey of wood decorated with floral motifs. The Mausoleum is a cube of adobe blocks and is stepped towards the top of the structure. The dark interior is divided into an entry foyer in which are exhibited old English standards and a bust of the former president. 

43. Malacanang of the North
This imposing two-storey structure was built as the official residence of the President Marcos in Ilocos Norte. It overlooks the legendary Paoay Lake and was designed to resemble a 19th Century "bahay na bato." It is complete with bedrooms, dining area, kitchen, an office, a spacious ballroom on the second floor, and even had an olympic size swimming pool. During the term of Fidel Ramos, he has also used this former official residence in Ilocos Norte and so did President Gloria M. Arroyo whenever she travels to the north. 

44. Paoay Lake Natonal Park
This vast waterform is part of a protected 470 hectare national park by virtue of Republic Act 5631. This was thought to be the location of the missing San Juan de Sahagun. Historical documents reveal that the said pueblo quickly disappeared after a very strong earthquake shook the region in 1641. The village and the mountains nearby were then 'swallowed' by the ground. A local legend would attribute the geological event as a punishment for a village that became materialistic and greedy. The science behind it is detailed in another marker plate that can be found near the lake's viewing deck.

45. Bacarra Church and Bell Tower Ruins
The Bacarra Church together with its bell tower were constructed by the Spanish Augustinian Friars in 1593 and subsequently inaugurated in 1782. It was destroyed by the intensity 7.8 earthquake on August 1983 and reconstructed and once again inaugurated in August 1984. The image of the patron saint, San Andres, stands in front of his x-shaped cross in the central niche. 
46. La Virgin Milagrosa Shrine of Badoc
Estimated to be 400 years old, the revered image of La Virgen Milagros de Badoc is enshrined and venerated in the more than 200 year old imposing brick-and-stone baroque Catholic Church of the Parish of Saint John the Baptist in Badoc, Ilocos Norte. Inside the church one will find the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus wrapped in her arms.  
47. Sta Monica Church of Sarrat
In the town of Sarrat is a beautiful red brick church of Baroque and Neo-Classical style called the Sta. Monica Church. Irene Marcos, the daughter of former Philippine President Marcos, was married to Gregorio Araneta in a fairytale-like wedding in the church complete with red carpet stretching for kilometers. In the Philippines, it was termed the "wedding of the century." However, a little more than two months later, on Aug. 17, an earthquake of Intensity 7.6 ravaged Ilocos Norte and destroyed the altar and belfry of Sta. Monica. 

48. Laoag Singking Bell Tower and St. William's Cathedral
A chapel of wood and thatch was originally built on the same site when the Augustinian Friars founded the parish in 1580. Later in 1612, foundation for the replacement of the church was laid by the friars and construction of the cathedral with Italian Renaissance design began. The church was damaged by fire in 1843 and repaired through the efforts of the Obras Publicas under the supervision of Engr. Antonio de la Camara and Fray Santiago Muniz from 1873 to 1880. 

49. Sunset at Currimao
The Municipality of Currimao is located in the southwestern portion of the province of Ilocos Norte along the vast shorelines of the China Sea. It is bounded in the North by the town of Paoay, on the east by Batac, on the south by Pinili and Badoc, and on the west by China Sea. It is approximately 465 kilometers northwest of Manila and about 27 kilometers from Laoag City. 
 50. Museo Iloco
Located in the downtown area of Laoag City and just close to the provincial capitol and about a block away from the town plaza is the Museo Ilocos Norte. One of the best ways to get to know Ilocano culture is by visiting the museum. The museum is housed in the restored historic Tabacalera warehouse, which was a factory of sorts for tabacco back in the Spanish Era. The museum was primarily designed to bring a sense of pride to the citizens of the province. It showcases the varied ethnicity and multi-faceted cultural heritage of the Ilocano people. It is one of the few attractions in Laoag City which is most visited by school children, visitors, and tourists. 
 51. Salt Making in Pasuquin
Along the highway a few kilometers north of the town of Pasuquin, there are roadside stalls selling bags of what is arguably the finest salt in the Philippines. It is a common sight to see people riding in provincial buses that often stop at these stalls to purchase salt. Sold by the kilo and contained in plastic bags, the salt is cooked in large vats in huts which are usually found behind the stalls. 


When in Pagudpud, stay at Polaris Beach Resort.  They are more than willing to arrange tours for you.


  1. I forgot the name of the resort but I was once in Laiya, Batangas, the experience was just magical. Also, the island of Catanduanes has a lot of beaches and falls which can make you feel heaven is really here on earth. The people are just so welcoming you'd feel you haven't left your backyard.

    1. Thanks Jodelle, I also would want to visit Catanduanes, please share my blogs!


Day 5: Tito's Roadtrip Travel Guide to Bicol

Our last day in Bicol is dedicated to our long drive back home. We decided to leave early around 3AM in order to reach Manila late in the ...