Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

It was an easy leisurely DIY walking tour around Laoag City yesterday, made me woke up early today.  I took breakfast and headed to the jeepney parking, three streets at the back of Laoag City Hall, on my way to see Marcos Museum in Batac, the Church of St. Augustine or popularly known as Paoay Church, and the Malacanang of the North.  My plan is to do it really DIY, not the DIYs that’s making tourists renting a tricycle for the whole day to see all of those sights at a high cost.  I got used to doing things on my own, I’m not a fan of organized group tours, a habit that started during my backpacking trips in other parts of the globe.

Batac: Home of the Great Leaders sign at the junction.
At around 10:00am I’m already riding the jeepney bound for Batac, I sat at the back side of the driver to make sure he drops me really near the Marcos Museum and he did.  Took only 40 minutes from Laoag to Batac.  Walked couple of minutes to the museum.

For a start, I wasn’t that much impressed, the museum is small and not much to see saved for the remains of the late former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos which looked (to me) like a wax.  I asked the staff inside the mausoleum if it’s already a wax, he said, it’s the late president’s remain covered with wax to preserve the appearance, well.

The museum has a lot of these story-captioned photographs.
A couple of he first lady's national costume wardrobe on display.
WW2 newspapers.
Entrance to Ferdinand Marcos mausoleum.
There must be some other attractions around to compensate my time in Batac. Just beside the museum and Jolibee is the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Aglipayan church I think), then at the roundabout, a minute walk from the museum is the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, another 2-minute walk along Washington St. is the General Ricarte Park & Museum (entry free, the security personnel is friendly).

Immaculate Conception Parish Church.
General Ricarte Museum
Went back to where I was dropped off by the jeepney, waited for the same jeepney bound for Paoay, took 5 minutes.  Travel time from Batac to Paoay is barely 10 minutes, more like 5, and the jeepney stops at the back of the church.

Inside the Paoay Church.
UNESCO World Heritage site inscription tablet at the church's grassy lawn.

Jardin de San Agustin, at the side of the church.

After taking photos of the church inside and out, as usual, there must be some other interesting stuff around, walked pass the tricycle stand and onto 711, infront is the Paoay Municipal Hall and infront of it is a beautiful charming small building that turned out to be a quaint hotel, I went in and took some pics, staff are very friendly.

Entrance of the Casa Dona Emilia, infront of the Municipal Hall.
One of the pots engraved with "Paoay Church" that dots the town.
The Paoay Municipal Hall.

Grabbed siopao and coffee at 711 before heading at the tricycle stand where I passed by previously.  I really wanted to make it to Malacanang of the North by bus or jeepney or anything else aside from contracting a whole tricyle and paying unreasonably (my Ilocano blood is kicking, NOT!), but unfortunately the only way to go there is by tricycle, so it is.  I contracted a 2-way ride cost 200 pesos.  Travel time from Paoay church to Malacanang is only 15 minutes contrary to the 30-min estimate of the trike driver.  The mansion has more stuff to offer than the Batac museum.  I’ve spent an hour wandering inside the place.

Lobby of the Malacanang of the North.
The former president's office at the Malacanang.
Garden patio overlooking the lake.

Nice furnishings at the Malacangn.
Entrance of the Malacanang of the North.
Coming back to Paoay church, the driver dropped me right exactly at the jeepney terminal bound for Laoag.  Back in Laoag at 3:30pm.

Brief Info:
The Marcos Museum and Mausoleum integrates both memorabilia storage and the current resting place of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. It is situated in the heart of Batac City, Ilocos Norte. The museum shows memorabilia of the late president, from his stint in the armed forces down to his presidency. The large and solemn mausoleum contains the glass-encased coffin in which Marcos' embalmed body has been on public display since shortly after his remains were brought home in 1993. [Wikipedia]

Marcos Museum (Batac) entry fee
Paoay Church
Malacanang of the North entry fee

Jeepney from Laoag – Batac      
Jeepney from Batac – Paoay
Tricycle from Paoay – Malacang of the North – Paoay
Jeepney from Paoay - Laoag
UKL Ever Hotel – (Php 600 / night) located right at the center near the market, clean  room albeit small, clean bathroom, walking distance to all attractions, very fast wifi connection in room, small breakfast included, worth my 600 pesos.
Address: Abadilla St. Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
Telephone: +63 (077) 772-2771
Others: +63-999-525-7777
E-mail: or

Minus my hotel cost, I’ve spent (as a solo traveler) 269 pesos on transportation fare to see the Marcos Museum, Paoay Church and Malacanang of the North, and some miscellaneous stuff.
I did not include my food expenses as people differ in what and where they take their meals, some people spend less, some splurge, nonetheless, I did not eat much during this itinerary, oh yeah, only siopao and coffee from 711 in Paoay.

How to get there: 
Manila - Laoag is around  45-minute flight.  Or 10-hour trip by bus (Farinas, Maria De Leon, RCJ, I took Partas).
From Laoag City, you can take the jeepneys parked 3 streets at the back of Laoag City Hall to take you to Batac (pay 25 pesos), then from Batac to Paoay by the same jeepney (pay 10 pesos). 
Malacanang of the North is only accessible by private transports or hire a tricycle to take you there and back to Paoay, pay about 200 pesos per tricycle.

Coming up next – Vigan.


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