Going around Ilocos Norte can get to be quite a physical activity, especially if you plan to visit the various rock formations in the area. After our long first day, I really wanted to get a massage.
I asked our hotel if they can recommend a place to get a massage. At first the staff offered a home service, but I told them I preferred to go to the spot instead. That was really just the cheapskate me not wanting to pay double. Anyway, we had a vehicle so getting there won't be any problem. The staff told me he will call our room after he gets the closing time of the place. Around 15 minutes later, he called and told me that Toelicious Spa and Nail Salon.
I also saw another massage place called Garry's Thai Massage online. I was considering that as well, but as we got there I got turned off when there was a man with his feet up texting at the entrance. I did not see that as a good sign. We proceeded then to Toelicious Spa. There was a guard at the entrance. Good sign.
As you go up the stairs, you go right and you will find the spa there. When I went in, I was greeted by a lady in scrub suit. She asked if I was the one from the hotel. She then showed me the list of services they had. They had Ventosa Massage and Hot Stone Massage as well as the promo rate of their Combination massage. I asked if the do Swedish massage but she said they only did combination massages. I agreed to that. She led me to waiting room with a television.
I took a bath before going to the spa, but other people may opt to have a shower there. Their bathroom was clean so it would be no problem. Before I had a massage, the therapist gave my feet a quick foot spa by soaking it them in warm water with lavander oil. Afterwards, she lotioned my legs.
Lani, the therapist assigned to me, lead me to a curtained room for the massage. It was clean and the light was the dim. A soft background music was playing. The only disruptive noise in the place was the next door room with a very talkative man having his massage. I decided to just tune him out.
The massage was a pleasure. The combination worked quite well. It was a mix of shiatsu, swedish and thai massage. I was quite relaxed all the time and Lani kept making sure that her pressure was good enough for me.
I felt refreshed and relaxed afterwards. I even contemplated on having another massage the next day if time and budget permits.
I also gave Lani a good tip because I enjoyed the service she gave.
One of the most noticeable structure upon entering the city itself, this bell tower of the St. William's Cathedral. It got its name because the bell tower is actually sinking at the rate of an inch per year. Why? They say that it sinks because of the heavy bell that hang inside the tower and the fact that the place where it now stand used to be among the sandy parts of the province.
It is told to those who wonder that, as originally built, a man on horseback can easily pass through its doors but now person of normal height has to crawl to get inside its gates.
we hire a tryke going there which cost us 120 pesos...
we didnt stay long because the sun is striking hot...
The La Paz Sand Dunes or Bantay Bimmaboy consists of an area of approximately 85 square kilometers (52 square miles) of protected sandy coastal desert and beach close to Laoag City, the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. The area is known locally by the name Bantay Bimmaboy, a name which refers to the common perception that the dunes resemble pigs in shape. The area is also popularly known as the Desert of the North and is a popular location for shooting films.
Paoay Church (also known as the St. Augustine Church in Paoay) is a historical church located in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. During the Philippine Revolution in 1898, its coral stone bell tower was used by the Katipuneros as an observation post. Paoay Church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It currently is a property of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Construction of Paoay Church was started by the Augustinian friars in 1694. It was completed in 1894 led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo and was re-dedicated in 1894.
If you want a hassle free tour, just hire a tricycle to tour you around. It may cost more - around 500 or less, but it's also very time efficient. You get to pass by riverside empanadahan as well. Malacañan has an entrance fee of 20p/person. Make sure that you have the exact amount since the guard may not have any change.
- Marcos Mausoleum / museum
- Paoay Church
- Malacañan of the north
- Fort Ilocandia
Being the Only Roman Catholic and Christian Nation in Asia (East Timor is the second but it gained independence only in 1999), The Philippines has lots of UNESCO World Heritage Churches, this is one of them. The St. Augustine Church, or more popularly called Paoay Church, is famous for its distinctive Gothic, Baroque and Oriental architecture. The church was dubbed "Earthquake Baroque" because of its fortress-like structure, with 24 massive buttresses designed to withstand the destructive forces of earthquakes. It is inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage list (together with 3 other Philippine baroque churches: Nuestra Senora in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; San Augustin in Manila; Miag-ao Church in Iloilo) in recognition of its unique architectural style which is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen.
Malacanan Ti Amianan (North) is one of the 29 Palaces that Former Dictator Ferdinand Marcos Built During His 20 year reign. Work here started in 1975 and the Palace incorporated the best of Ilocano and Spanish Designs. It was Opened in 1977 with great fanfare. This two-storey building sits on a five-hectare property and was designed for entertaining large crowds. It has grand living rooms on both floors, and seven spacious bedrooms including the two master bedrooms of the First Couple - Ferdinand and Imelda. It also has an expansive terrace, and beautiful garden with a magnificent view of the Paoay Lake. At Present it is A Marcos Memorabilia Museum. Also A Popular Venue for Weddings and Wedding Receptions. Entrance Fee is 20 Pesos and is Open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
Empanada is a Spanish Invention. It is usually made using wheat flour and the fillings are porkmeat w/ potatoes and sweet peas but here in Ilocos, their version of the Empanada is done Using Orange Colored Rice Flour and the fillings are Ilocos Longanisa plus whole egg and chayote! it is sooo delicious and the dipping sour is the fermented Ilocos Vinegar (w/ a pungent smell but powerful flavor!). It is available practically everywhere in Ilocos Region and the price starts from 30 pesos for regular (no egg), 50 pesos all meat and 45 pesos Special (Meat + egg + chayote), Grab one Now!
Pagudpud used to be the Hidden Jewel of Ilocos Norte due to its varied features like fine, white sand beaches in Barangay Saud, A Blue Lagoon, Rugged Limestone Cliffs at shoreline, a 1 kilometer long viaduct and spectacular ocean views at the highway going to Cagayan Province that Rivals Highway 1 in Big Sur, California! Plus live lobsters at 400 pesos a KILO! nowadays, this jewel is well KNOWN!! Pagudpud is about 80 kilometers Northeast of Laoag City and you can find ample accomodations in Barabgay Saud for every budget!
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse is about 40 kilomoters northeast of Laoag City. the lighthouse is the most accessible of all lighthouses in the north of the Island of Luzon. It was built in 1892 and is still functioning to date, serving ships passing by the northern part of South China Sea. This is one of the famouse historical landmark in the province of Ilocos Norte. It is the highest lighthouse in the Philippines above sea level on top of a hill named Vigia de Nagparitan and the views are are really spectacular!
The Late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, wanted to showcase the best of Ilocano Region hence the setting up of Fort Ilocandia Hotel. Today, this spanish style Hotel is owned by a chinese consortium and is primarily geared for chartered Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese Tourist. The hotel also provides the facility of watching in-room movies, a computer, non smoking guest rooms, an air conditioning, a Direct Dial phone. The Resort Hotel complex is composed of five buildings all inspired by Spanish colonial architecture and finished in cool red bricks. It has 267 rooms with private balconies offering a view of the sea and possessing the features and qualities of Ilocano century-old living quarters and constructed to accentuate the antiquity of an Ilocano-Spanish colonial house. The Area also houses a big Casino!
La Paz Sand Dunes is located in La Paz Barangay in Laoag. The Area is the closest thing to a desert in the Philippines since it is a plantless and arid landscape. the area is about 85 square kilometers in size and is the favorite movie locations of filipino spaghetti western movies. You can also try using an All Terrain Vehicle here and that will be spectacular!
Ilocos Norter Province is a Windy Area, particularly in Bangui Town hence they've decided to harnest this natural resource and thus the Bangui Windmills and Windfarm was Born. It was Started by An Aid Grant of 48 million dollars by the Danish Government to Ilocos Norte Province in 1998. The steel contraptions, standing 23 stories high and number about 15. They produce 25 megawatts of electricity everyday and provide a nice contrast to the Coastline. Bangui is about 90 kilometers northeast of Laoag City.
along the shores of fort ilocandia, whether public or private, you will get astonished watching the playful waves that slaps and throws the swimmer-swimmer..an in and on it. people likely to enjoy the unpredictable mood of bluegreen water.
love the HOtttyah dark sand and the breeze that comes into life every second.
This is the place to see great beaches that hasn't seen the destructive effects of commerce. Except for Saud beach, the known blue lagoon cove lies majestically quiet in its pure beauty of lush foliage and fine white sand. There's only 1 resort/hotel - Kapuluan Vista Resort (see Accommodation tip) which is a popular stay for surfers and the edge of the lagoon where surf is wild during some parts of the year.
Farinas Caltex Station, Bacarra Road,Brgy. 55-B Salet,, Laoag, 2900, Philippines
Good for: Couples
This may have been my worst overall resort/hotel experience ever. The problem is the cost of this...more
I made a reservation over the phone since on the website it doesn't show that there was a single...more