People who wants to explore the Ilocandia region usually starts in Laoag. The city has its own airport that made traveling from Manila easier. It’s the jump-off point for tourists and travelers to visit most sights in the Ilocos Region like the crystal turquoise beaches of Pagudpud, the picturesque Bangui windmills, the baroque-style Unesco World Heritage church of Paoay, former Philippine president Marcos heritage mansion, museums, his preserved remains still lies in Batac, the Spanish colonial heritage town of Vigan, the gorgeous rock formation of Kapurpurawan, Patapat viaduct, and so many other Ilocandia tourist spots. The city itself has few sights to boot like the historical sinking bell tower and St. Williams Cathedral, both can be found right at the city center.
Laoag is the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte with a population of a little less than 105,000 people.
It’s the commercial hub of the region and where “bagoong” is the official sauce of Ilocandia’s own adaptation of lechon kawali called “bagnet”.
|Bagnet with bagoong sauce.|
I only stayed few days in Laoag but if you’re staying somewhere around the St. Williams Cathedral, for me, it’s a semi-hectic place with a historical flair. The areas around the market and the noisy hustling tricycles produces a cacophony of city chaos amidst the architecture of a bygone era in the form of the historical sinking bell, the cathedral, the tabacalera, and old houses.
Probably not a place to linger for a longer period as it isn’t such a place, Vigan would be a superior choice.