Feb 22, 2014

Laoag City The Northern Gateway of the Philippines

Ilocos is a place where you can find lots of historical buildings carefully preserved, fine beaches and good food. Calesa's roam the streets of Laoag giving you a "time travel to the past" feeling.  

How we got here

From Pagudpud we took a local bus to Laoag City.The fare is around P137.00 and the journey took almost 1 hour and 30 minutes with minimal stops along the way. Just before sundown we finally arrived in Laoag and made our way to Hotel Tiffany which is just 2 blocks away from the bus terminal.  Proximity wise, I highly recommend this hotel. We paid around P1,200 per night. The room was large, very clean, secured and in good order.

 Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
We saw "kalesas", a horse-driven carriage,  plying the busy streets of Laoag. To move around Laoag you have to ride either the kalesa or trike. A kalesa ride will take you back through the ages, allowing you imagine the world when cars were non-existent or a rare sight. 

The Capitol

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
Ilocos Norte Capitol

Just  in time for the La Milagrosa Festival. This is to give tribute to the patron La Virgen Milagrosa of Badoc and eventually adopted her as the patron of the Ilocos Norte province.
Laoag  Ilocos Paoay

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
Ilocos Norte Capitol at night 
Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
The stage is set for the festival

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
Pamulinawen Fountain just in front of the Capitol Building

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay

Tobacco Monopoly Monument at Aurora Park. Erected in 1882,  It was built to commemorate the establishment of the tobacco monopoly in the Philippines. The park was busy and full of people because of the festival.

The following morning, we are scheduled to visit Paoay Church also known as San Agustin Church. From our hotel, we rode a tricycle to Paoay jeep terminal. Well, we paid P40.00 for a short ride and trike drivers in Laoag can easily tell if your a tourist or not. You have to wait for the jeepney to fill up with passengers.   


There is always a festival happening every month in Ilocos Norte (except for the months of July, August and October)
Paoay Church

The Paoay Church is sometimes called “Severe Earthquake Baroque” for reasons obvious to anyone looking upon it. It has buttresses that extend out considerably from the exterior walls and provides a visual experience that is three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only at the facade.

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay
The 20 kilometer ride will take about 20-30 minutes and the fare will cost around P34.00 per person. 

Laoag  Ilocos Paoay

Three Unesco World Heritage Sites are located in the Ilocos Province. San Agustin Church ( Paoay Church) of Ilocos Norte and Church of Assumption if Sta. Maria Ilocos Sur were listed together by Unesco World Heritage. Then it was followed by the historic city of Vigan in 1999. 

We were supposed to do the tour but we decided to go back to Laoag City because we have to pack our things and travel to Vigan after lunch. We took a jeepney again to Laoag and visited the Sinking Bell Tower before going back to our hotel.

Sinking Bell Tower

Built in 1662 by Augustine Friars. Once dubbed as the tallest bell tower in the Philippines, this bell tower sinks 2 to 3 inches every year. Amazing landmark to look at, we hope we get to visit this structure again. 

Getting Here

 • Laoag can be reach either by bus or plane. Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines flies daily to Laoag with 2-3 times a day.
 • Partas buses run daily to Laoag and Vigan as early as 2:00 am at Cubao Bus Terminal (3-4 hours interval)

  Partas Pasay Station - 6:00 pm | 8:00 pm | 10:00 pm | 11:00 pm

 • Go Sandboarding at Lapaz Sand dunes

Fun things to do

 • Eat Bagnet and Empanada
 • Ride a Calesa and tour around Laoag
 • Visit Batac
 • Go Sandboarding at Lapaz Sand dunes

Tuklasera Tips

Don't entertain trike drivers from Laoag offering P1,500 for a tour. Paoay trike drivers are more reliable and honest. From there, you can arrange the whole tour to the sand dunes,  San Agustin Chuch, Malacanang of the North, Ferdinand Marcos Mausoleum, Batac Museum, and the Photo Gallery.

Rundown of Expenses

• Bus from Pagudpud to Laoag  - Php 137.00
Trike to Paoay terminal - Php 30.00 / trike
Jeepney ride from Laoag to Paoay ( roundtrip) - Php 68.00

Food - P500.00 / pax / day


  1. Really beautiful shots you have here. I got there but I was unable to take some nice pictures. I guess I should have enjoyed it back then.


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