Living In Laoag/Vigan, Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte, the northern tip of Luzon, is wedged between the steep Grand Cordillera Central in the east, the rugged I locos Mountains in the northeast, and the Ilocos Range in the south.

The centuries old churches that dot every town of Ilocos are testimonies to the colonial past. They part of the plaza complex town planning instituted by the Spanish colonizers.

With a coastline that stretches to 90 statute miles, Ilocos Norte is blessed with rich marine life (shells, giant turtles, seaweeds, starfishes, tuna, and a variety of more fishes).

Below Ilocos Norte is Ilocos Sur, located the western coast of Northern Luzon, bound by Abra on the northern, Mt. Province on the east, Benguet on the southeast, La Union on the south, and the China Sea on the west. Ilocos Sur's topography has elevations ranging from 10 to 1,700 meters above sea level.

Though unmistakably foreign in form, the churches of Ilocos Sur reflect a distinctly Ilocano character. The handiness and strength of the Ilocanos are reflected in the in the massiveness and sturdiness of the structures.

Old Churches

Spanish colonial churches are a must-see in Ilocos Norte. The Paoay Church, originally built between 1699 - 1704, display ingenuity in the use of corals, mortar, bricks and molasses. The Laoag Cathedral, massive, short and barn-like, was constructed between 1650’s - 1700’s. Watch out t for the Sinking Bell Tower. Native built Dingras Church set in the midst of expensive rice field, in 1680 using red bricks. Ilocos Sur's famous churches include the St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, Bantay Church, Sta. Lucia Church, and the Sinait Church.

Beaches

For Ilocandia Resort and Hotel is situated in the midst of fetching sandhills in coastal in coastal Calayab, Laoag City. Some 26 kilometers south of Laoag City is Currimao, line with beautiful beaches dotted at times with corals. The white Beaches of Pagudpud, the farthest end of Ilocos Norte towards Laoag-Alapacan Road, are a veritable paradise.

Museum

Ilocos Sur's national museum, the Padre Jose Burgos House, contains the the memoriblia of the martyr-priest Jose Burgos and the Ilocano artifacts and ethnic arts of the Tinggians, while the Magsingal Museum is a repository of Ilocano heritage featuring collections of pottery and porcelain artifacts.

Ancestral Houses

Kamestizoan District in Vigan is replete with ancestral houses with ancient tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, balustrades, and azoteas in varying Spanish- Mexican-Chinese architectural styles.