a working lighthouse that's more than a hundred years old, located at Burgos, Ilocos Norte, rumored haunted too .... see DEpt of Tourism's feature with Regine Velasquez singing DOT jingle where this lighthouse was featured :)
I think it's best to start your day by visiting the St. William's Cathedral (which is just at the end of the bridge entering Laoag City) and head to straight to see the Sinking Bell Tower. Find a nice spot to get a nice shot of this bell tower as it is on the streetside and cables would most probably block your view.
Then go right down at Rizal Ave and get a jeepney ride to Paoay (P25/head 30 min ride) and get off at the Paoay Church. Spend some time in this hispanic architecture and be mesmerized at how it has remained the same. Check out the front and back of the church too.
Tricycles are in line and would probably offer you a ride to Paoay Lake (P100 back an forth--fair enough for 20 min ride and waiting time). Paoay Lake is historic know about it when you get there.
We didn't get to see Batac and museums and everything else as we came on a weekend and Laoag was just a stop over. But hope this helps.
Fort Ilocandia has both beach and swimming pools for you to enjoy.
The downside is that the sand is not white.. and the waves are rather strong.
During the time of our visit, the waves were high and swimming at the beach was prohibited so we opted to swim at the pool instead.
The Malacanang of the North was bulit during the term of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
Patterned after the ancestral homes in Vigan, the Ilocanos call it "Balay Ti Amianan."
This imposing structure has been turned into a museum that houses more of the late President's memorabilia.
This two-storey building sits on a five-hectare property. It has grand living rooms on both floors, and seven spacious bedrooms including the two master bedrooms.
The St. Agustine church, more popularly known as the Paoay church, was built in 1694 commissioned by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. It was finished on 1710 after 16 years on construction. Earthquakes damaged portions of the church in 1865 and 1885. In an excavation conducted inside the church in 2000, a prehistoric human skeleton and fragmented ceramics were discovered and are now on display at the National Museum.
The Paoay Church was declared a national treasure by then President Ferdinand Marcos. It is currently included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List, which means that it would be protected by the Unesco World Heritage Convention, an international law signed
by 112 countries.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. We had a chat with the church's caretaker and they told us that the funds does not reach the church that is why they are having difficulties restoring the church. And due to corruption, this natural treasure might just become extinct someday.
The church is closed most of time except at 6am in the mornings when they hold mass. Just go at the office on the left side of the church. The caretakers will ask for a small donation to the church and they will open and guide you inside the church.
The Sinking Bell Tower is one of the attractions to visit in Laoag. It is situated around 2 blocks just behind the St. Williams Cathedral. For reasons unknown, the bell tower sinks a few centimeters every year.
La Paz Beach is the nearest good beach to Laoag. It is a peaceful, long drawn-out community at the mouth of the Laoag River. Hardly any vegetation exists on the wide beach, but there are very extensive sand dunes that eventually end up in a beautiful pebble beach at the north end.
The Bacarra church named after its patron saint Andres Apostol (St. Andrew the Apostle) is often overshadowed by its bell fry locally known as the "acrobatic bell tower." The Bacarra Bell Tower, which is now in its advanced stage of dilapidation because of the effect of strong earthquakes, serves not only tourist attraction but also as historical landmark of the painfull sacrifices of the ancestors of the Bacareños who rendered forced labor under the Spanish conquerors. The tower is famous as the "Bowing Acrobatic Tower of Southeast Asia".
After our visit to the Marcos Mausoleum, we went to the ancestral house of the Marcoses where the late Josefa Edralin Marcos gave birth to our former president, Ferdinand Marcos. We can see from the many memorabilia in the house that Josefa herself is an accomplished woman. The house is in bad shape and needs repair. Such a waste.
A landmark in Sarrat town, the Sta. Monica Church with a nave of 137 meters in length is the longest in the country. Flanking the church is the convent, known as Casa del Palacio Real, which used to serve as the presidencia municipal (town hall) and the seat of the church's civil government. The two-storey brick convent boasts of a picturesque bridge (called curillo) standing on three arches connecting the church and the convent. Behind the brick walls of the convent lies several chambers which used to house the tribunal de justicia (hall of justice), carcel (jail), torture chamber, garrote (beheading room), bartolina and a portezuela (Spanish carriage room). It is quite eerie to visit this place considering it was once a torture chamber. There are also Filipino films shot here.
A fine country road leads to Sarrat, the birthplace of former president Marcos. In the centre of town is the restored Sta. Monica Church & Belltower (Sarrat Church), built in 1779 by Augustinian monks. It is more popularly known as the church wherein Irene Marcos and Greggy Araneta took their wedding vows.
The Museo Ilocos Norte in General Antonio Luna St provides a good overview of the history and culture of the Ilocanos as well as information on the ethnic minorities in the region. Open Mon-Sat 9am-noon and 1-5pm. Admission P20.
St. William Cathedral was built between 1650 and 1700, and is one of the many old Spanish churches in this province. Also interesting are the mighty "Sinking Belltower", which stands a little apart from the cathedral.
Fort Ilocandia Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole country club complex consists of the main club and rooms overlooking the legendary Paoay Lake. The course is well maintained, very scenic and challenging. The golf course was designed by Gary Player.
You can take a tricycle going to Paoay Lake from Paoay Church. Paoay Lake is scenically attractive. It is a scenic freshwater lake, which was declared a national park in June 1969. The lake covers less than five square kilometers and is 10 meters deep. It's 3 km from the sea, yet the surface is below the sea level; a subterranean source keeps the water fresh. It has an area of 470 hectares. Its environs has been turned into a sports complex, with an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool and tennis courts. You can also have a good view of the lake from "Malacanang of the North".
Farinas Caltex Station, Bacarra Road,Brgy. 55-B Salet,, Laoag, 2900, Philippines
Good for: Couples
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