After a long winding road trip to Pagudpud, we continue our journey to the next destination which is LAOAG, a third-class city and capital of the province of Ilocos Norte. It is the province’s political, commercial, and industrial hub and the location of the Ilocos region’s only commercial airport.
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As backpackers, we woke up early just to catch-up a ride from Pagudpud to Laoag. Mang Celso our tour guide and tricycle driver fetched us from our accommodation and brought us to the waiting area where we could take a van public transport going to Laoag. The fare is only 50 pesos per person one way and it took us two hours travel from Pagudpud. We arrived in the city proper of Laoag at around 10:00 A.M.
Note: When you are traveling from Manila, you can take a direct trip to Laoag via several bus lines such as GV Florida Transport, Partas Bus Line, Dominion Bus Line or Fariñas Transit. It costs roughly 700 pesos per person one way and it takes 10-11 hours travel time. You can also opt to take a direct flight via Philippine Airline (PAL) or Cebu Pacific Airline and it takes only one hour travel time.
Upon arrival at Laoag City Proper, we had our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tour in order to spend a convenient time and save money rather than expensive tour packages. Just make sure you have your own tourist map with you in order to easily locate different attractions in Laoag. Below are the transport fares and attractions we have visited.
1st Stop: The Sinking Bell Tower is one of the famous landmark in Laoag City. It is often called the Sinking Bell Tower because it has been sinking under its own weight due to seismic activity through the centuries. It is located within the city and just a few minutes walk from the municipal hall with some vendors around it selling souvenirs.
2nd Stop: The Saint William’s Cathedral is a unique two-storey white and cream façade located across the Sinking Bell Tower. It is five minutes walk from the municipal hall. It’s not as huge as other cathedrals but it offers a bit of history and you can still feel the Spanish influence upon the city and it’s people.
3rd Stop: The Museo Ilocos Norte is located besides La Tabacalera dining center and just five minutes walk from St. William’s Cathedral. If you are in Laoag, this is the place to learn the history and culture of the Ilocanos with a 50 pesos entrance fee, then you are free to roam inside the museum. The museum show cases the Ilocano’s way of living.
4th Stop: The Marcos Museum & Mausoleum is the memorabilia storage and the current resting place of Ferdinand E. Marcos. It contains the glass-encased coffin in which Marcos’ embalmed body has been on public display with 50 pesos entrance fee per person. It is 30 minutes jeep ride from the Museo Ilocos Norte with a fare of 15 pesos per person one way.
5th Stop: The Paoay Church or St. Augustine Church is an oldest catholic church with Spanish colonial earthquake baroque architecture and one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The Church is well preserved but still maintains its ages-old ambiance. A nostalgic view for postcard perfect shots. It is 10 minutes tricycle ride from Marcos museum with a fare of 50 pesos per person one way. oh! There are also stalls around the area selling the famous and delicious Batac Empanada for 75 – 120 pesos. Don’t miss to buy some.
6th Stop: The Malacañang of the North is also located in Laoag with 20 minutes tricycle ride from Paoay Church. You can hire a tricycle for 250 pesos good for 2-3 persons. An entrance fee of 20 pesos will be collected for the maintenance of the mansion. This huge mansion showcases the memorabilia, tangible things, and documents left by the Marcos administration. Just like Malacanang, it is overlooking to a lake. It used to be the residence of the first family when they go home to their province. Other than the achievements unveiled in this exhibits, local owe the major developments of the province to the Marcoses.
- Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino – Rate starts at Php800 per night (contact no. +63928 719-2473)
- Texicano Hotel – Rate starts at Php310 per night (contact no. +63 (77) 770-5778)
- Northview Hotel – Rate starts at Php1,250 per night (contact no. +63917-506-0660)
- Laoag Renzo Hotel – Rate starts at Php800 per night (contact no. +63 908 214-4488)
- Kingscourt Hotel – Rate starts at P1,800 per night (contact no. +6377 772 2522)
- Hotel Tiffany – Rate starts at Php1,380 per night (contact no. +63928 206-7257)
- Balay Da Blas Pensionne House – Rate starts at Php1,200 per night (contact no. +63 (922) 882 6907)
- Aurelio’s Mansion – Rate starts at Php 1,500 per night (contact no. +63919 846 5173)
- Grand Octagon Resort – Rate starts at P600 per person per night (contact no. +63916 566-5493)
- Parklane Hotel – Rate starts at Php 1,500 per nigh (contact no. +63917 883-2999)
- La Elliana Hotel – Rate starts at Php750 per night (contact no. +63920 447-2255)
- Starlight Lodging House – Rate starts at P500 per night (contact no. +63922 870 0433)
- Pichay Lodging House – Rate starts at Php350 per night (contact no. +6377 770-3972)
WHERE TO EAT:
- Johnny Moon Cafe – contact no. +63 920 909 1235
- La Preciosa Restaurant – contact no. (077) 773 1162
- Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant – contact no. +63 920-9686695
- Herencia Cafe – contact no. (077) 614 0214
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
- Transportation: Vann = P50/pax/one way
- Entrance Fees
- Museo Ilocos Norte = P50/pax
- Marcos Museum = P50/pax
- Malacañang of the North = P20/pax
- Tour : P190/pax
- jeep (Museo Ilocos Norte to Marcos Museum) = P15/pax/one way
- tricycle (Marcos Museum to Paoay Church) = P50/pax/one way
- tricycle (Paoay Church to Malacañang of the North) = P250/2 = P125/pax
- Accommodation: may vary depending on your choice of hotel
- Foods: may vary depending on your choice of Restaurant
” One of my great passions is the collection of historical trivia.” – Lynn Abbey
Next blog: Continuation of Long Winding Roadtrip: Ilocos Region, Day 3 – VIGAN =)