Discovering the Beauty of Ilocos Norte

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Ilocos Norte Capitol

Ilocos Norte is a part of Region 1 in up North Luzon consisting of 3 more provinces that are Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. Ilocos Norte’s capital city is Laoag.

St. William’s Sinking Bell Tower

I recently made a trip to Ilocos Norte and I was amazed of the hidden tourist gems that the province have. From the old Spanish heritage churches (St. Andrew’s, Sta. Monica, Paoay Church and St. William’s; the nature wonders like Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Paoay Sand Dunes, Dos Hermanos Island, Pagudpud beach – which is considered to be one of the top 3 kite destination and one of the top 5 surfing destination in the country; the scenic view from Cape Bojeador and the mouth-watering authentic Ilocano dishes; all of these and more you’ll discover when you visit Ilocos Norte.

Going up north by land can take you up to 9 to 10 hours of travel by public bus from Manila. There are also direct flights from Manila to Laoag via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines which is approximately will reach you to the province within 45 minutes to a one hour travel. 

Gastro adventure for the food lovers is also evident in this province as they serve authentic empanada, longganisa and bagnet that are both main reasons why tourists visit Ilocos Norte. I have tried both the Ilokano empanada, longganisa and bagnet here in Manila and nothing compare and beats biting these popular delicacies where it really came from. And would you believe that there is a pizza flavored pinakbet and dinuguan? Oh wow! You must try them when you visit this province. If the Bicolanos have their own ‘sili’ version of the pizza, here in Ilocos Norte they combined their authentic dishes with the well-loved pizza and created a truly appetizing and turning snacks into a complete meal.

Pinakbet Pizza

 Also, the local government is encouraging every household to plant dragon fruit which is now fast-becoming part of the food on table in Ilocos. Particularly, the dragon fruit is served as part of their dessert meal attractions.

In the past years, Ilocos Norte is known for its rich tobacco plantation and until now, farmers still grows tobacco as part of their agricultural and livelihood programs.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Lifestyle here is not that completely boring but less hustle and bustle compared to other cities. Ilocos Norte is perfect for adventurous type of guests or those who loves trekking, mountain and cliff climbing, surfing, etc. In Burgos, a town twenty minutes away to Pagudpud offers a relaxing and majestic hidden water falls like the Kaangrian Falls and caves like the Sidaga Cave found in Brgy. Agaga.

For photographers, Ilocos Norte is a wonderful and perfect place to capture beautiful images to treasure. 

Bangui Windmills

Ilocos Norte is also bound to focus on being an eco-friendly province with a clean and green campaign to boost. The Bangui Windmills- which was put-up during former governor now senator, Bongbong Marcos contributes to 40% of energy and electricity consumption in the land. The windmills are also part of the tourist attractions and destinations (also included in tour packages) and I highly recommend that you must include this on your trip to Ilocos Norte. Before, I used to see these windmills on TV , newspapers and magazines, and it is a wonderful experience that I finally got to view it finally, up close! The size of each windmill is about the average height of a 10-story building and will need 10- 14 average size individual to measure its circumference. I am just awed of its grandeur.

Lois Yasay, Travel Blogger
Backpacker, joined us in our recent trip
together with fellow
Pop-Culture Blogger,
Azrael Coladilla (not shown)

Backpackers and travelers are welcome in this province but I would suggest that if you are planning a trip here, the best way is to avail of the tour packages – not only it will make you feel comfortable touring but will also help you be guided of everything you need to know in the province. But of course, being the adventurists type, backpacking is more fun and exciting. There’s nothing that beats the self-exploration thingy. Just be safe.

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