Tourist Spots in Laoag - Philippines
Ilocos Norte, located at the northern part of Luzon is one of the top destinations in the Philippines because of its rich history and culture, pristine beaches and vibrant community life. Laoag City, the capital, is located smack in the middle, making it a good jumping point to the different locations within the province of Ilocos Norte. For the tourist who will be visiting the city of Laoag, here are the top five tourist spots in and around Laoag.
Gameng Museo Ilocos Norte
Gameng Museo houses a collection of photos and artifacts that details the rich history of the Ilocanos. Gameng means treasure, and the museum is a tribute to the wealth of the province. The museum is located one block away from the town plaza, within a restored tabacalera or tobacco factory. The museum is said to have been constructed to instill a sense of pride among Ilocanos, and any tourist should stop by this museum to get a personal and historical feel of Ilocos Norte.
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang is the presidential palace of the Philippines, located in Manila. However, during Ferdinand Marcoss presidency, he constructed a vacation house in his home province of Ilocos Norte dubbed Malacanang of the North. It is located in Paoay, overlooking Paoay Lake, and is a picture of the decadence and extravagance that the Marcoses were infamous for. The mansion is well-preserved, but is undeniably frozen in the past, giving the tourist a sense of how it was like during its heyday.
Just a short ride from Paoay Church is the UNESCO world heritage site Paoay Church, famous for its oriental-gothic-baroque architecture, and contruction that dates back to 1694. The bell tower also has historical significance as it served as a lookout point for the Filipino guerillas called Katipuneros guarding against the Japanese forces. Be impressed by the thick walls and buttresses that were constructed to withstand the earthquakes the frequently shake the country.
Fort Ilocandia is a complex that houses a hotel (dubbed the only 5-star resort in Northern Luzon), a casino, a shopping complex, a collection of restaurants, and a mini zoo. There are also dining options outside of the hotel near the beach where you can dine in quaint cottages facing the sea. The sand dunes are also a great natural feature that is quite unlike most parts of the Philippines. For the tourist who would like to have every convenience that one place has to offer, Fort Ilocandia is the best lace to be.
Marcos Mausoleum and Muesum
Batac, Ilocos Norte is most famous for two things, the specialty empanada, and the Marcos Museum. South of Laoag City, Batac is fondly dubbed by Ilocanos as the home of great leaders because of the numerous iluustrous figures that hail from the town, including former President Marcos. The museum houses hundreds of memorabilia, and eerily enough, the body of the president himself, encased in wax in a dark room, available for the public to see.