Monday, November 30, 2015

Top 10 Places to Go in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (Part 2)

Posted by Free-Spirited Vixen (Juliefe Cuenca) at 4:02 PM 0 comments
Laoag City Tourist Spots

Laoag City is the capital city of the Province of Ilocos Norte. Some of its popular tourist spots are as follows:

8. Plaza del Norte Convention Center 
9. Malacanang of the North
10. La Paz Sand Dunes

Plaza del Norte

I  give my two thumbs up to Plaza del Norte. We stayed here for 3 days and everything was really comfortable and convenient from its clean, well-treated pools, delicious meals, beautiful scenery, spacious surroundings, to its lovely and relaxing rooms.
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City
Our room :D
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City
Dipping with my friends in the very inviting pool.
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City
Plaza del Norte, Laoag City


Malacanang of the North

      Actually, the Malacanang of the North is already in Paoay but I consider it as part of our Laoag City Tour since it is just a short distance from the Plaza del Norte and one only needs to ride a tricycle to get there.

Malacanang of the North
      This mansion was supposedly a birthday gift from Imelda Marcos to her late husband, President Ferdinand Marcos for his 60th birthday. Technically, the money used for the lavish "gift" was from public funds and thus, was subsequently sequestered by the government after the end of the Marcos dictatorship. Lesson learned is, of course, it's okay to give gifts, just make sure you buy it from your own pocket.

Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Shown below are some of the rooms in the first floor.
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Decades after the sequestration, the property was opened up to the public as a museum. The mansion is said to be a mix of Spanish and Ilocano architecture.

Malacanang of the North
    While in power, the Marcos administration was accused of large scale authoritarian corruption, political repression, nepotism, and human rights violations, and after the assassination of a primary political opponent, Benigno Aquino, Jr., in 1983, public outrage led to the famous People Power Revolution in February 1986. Marcos was forced from power and he fled, seeking exile in Hawaii. - Philippine Trails
Malacanang of the North


Malacanang of the North
View of the grounds below, and overlooking the Paoay Lake.

Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
     Above are some pictures of Imelda Marcos, who is world famous for her numerous shoe collection, said to have reached more than 3,000 and during the People Power Revolution, they found 1,200 pairs in Imelda's closet alone. One can just imagine how many were kept in her many residences all over the Philippines and abroad. A word was even coined after her, that is "Imeldific" which means ostentatious and extravagant.
Malacanang of the North
     Draining most of the funds from the Philippine government, Imelda Marcos purchased extravagantly. Imelda traveled to New York and other destinations to buy fashions, high-end jewelry and other luxury items. She visited all of the major palaces and cities of mankind and purchased items left and right. Imelda bought the world's biggest diamond in 1983. She bought a Michelangelo piece for three and a half million dollars. In addition, she bought a 26 story skyscraper in Manhattan. http://imeldamarcos.weebly.com/her-closet.html
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North

 La Paz Sand Dunes
      The La Paz Sand Dunes is an approx 85 to 88 square kilometer protected sandy coastal desert and beach located in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, in the Philippines. One can choose various activities here such as 4x4 rides, and sand boarding. In our case, we didn't push thru in coming here as we already went to the Paoay Sand Dunes which is just at the other side and which also offers the same set of activities and view.

For more of Laoag City, just click here Top 10 Places to Go in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte  (Part 1)

Also check out other popular destinations to go in Ilocos Norte:
Top 4 Places to Visit in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Top 11 Tourist Spots to Visit in the Northern Part of Ilocos Norte

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Top 10 Places to Go in Laoag City (Part 1)

Posted by Free-Spirited Vixen (Juliefe Cuenca) at 4:27 AM 1 comments
Laoag City Tourist Spots

Laoag City is the capital city of the Province of Ilocos Norte. Some of its popular tourist spots are as follows:
1. Ilocos Norte's Provincial Capitol
2. Aurora Park
3. Museo de Ilocos
4. Laoag City Hall
5. Tobacco Monopoly Monument
6. Sinking Tower of St. William Cathedral
7. Fort Ilocandia
8. Malacanang of the North
9. Ilocos Norte Convention Center
10.Lapaz Sand Dunes

For this page, I will be posting about the 1st seven spots, and the rest in a subsequent page .^_^

The 1st 6 spots are just within walking distance so all you need to do is to ride a tricycle to any one of them, then just walk on from there.

Laoag City
Ilocos Norte's customized tricycle


Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol

The capitol is, of course, the seat of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte. It is located in JP Rizal Street, Laoag City. Just in front of it is the scenic Aurora Park and the Museo de Ilocos.

Aurora Park
What I like about the Aurora Park is its location. The picturesque town plaza is just in front of the Provincial Capitol, the Laoag City Hall, the Museo de Ilocos, and just a short distance away from the Sinking Bell Tower and St. William's Cathedral. Also, it is just beside SM Mall. It is also where the Tobacco Monopoly Monument stands.

Below is a view from the park of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol.
Aurora Park, Laoag City


Aurora Park, Laoag City
I love this fountain! :D
Aurora Park, Laoag City
Aurora Park, Laoag City
                                                                             
                                   Museo Ilocos Norte


Too bad for us, we were not able to visit this museum since it was still closed during the time that we were there and we had to move forward to visit other places. Also known as Gameng Museo, this museum showcases historical artifacts and other articles descriptive of the Ilocano culture. It is open from Monday-Saturday starting at 9 am to 5 pm.

                                     Laoag City Hall
Just on the other side of the town plaza is the Laoag City Hall. I really dig its brick walls! The building itself is quite small, just commensurate I guess with the average number of transactions.
Laoag City Hall
                                                            Simple yet beautiful

Tobacco Monopoly Monument

        As stated in WikiPilipinas, thTobacco Monopoly Monument was a landmark constructed at the foot of the Marcos Bridge, over the Laoag River, which commemorates the lifting of tobacco monopoly in the Philippines in accordance to the royal decree of June 5, 1881 of King Alfonso XIII in 1881. It was built in gratitude for the said King whom without his order, will not end the agonies of the Ilocanos who are forced to plant tobacco. The tobacco monopoly was established in 1782 by Governor Jose Basco y Vargas by virtue of the royal decree of February 9, 1780. It aimed to bring in large profits for the government and make the Philippines the leading tobacco producer of the world. Although it was abolished during the incumbency of Governor Fernando Primo de Rivera in 1881, tobacco remains to be a major cash crop in the province. 
Tobacco Monopoly Monument, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Just in front of the monument is a very big LAOAG sign which changes colors from red, to green, to pink, to blue, to white, etc. 
Tobacco Monopoly Monument, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Tobacco Monopoly Monument, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte


Sinking Bell Tower
     What's unique about this belltower is its far distance from the St. William's Church since belfries are usually near, if not connected to the church building. As the story goes, this belltower sank and is still currently sinking (approx. 1 inch per year) because it is said to be constructed on a sandy foundation which could not support its very heavy weight. Although a part of it is already underground, it still looks quite gigantic.  Yet, it continues to be functional until today, to signify the start of masses.

The different facades of the tower
Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
This side has an orange-y tint on its walls
Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
This is the side facing the street leading towards the church
Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte

St. William's Cathedral
     After checking the belfry, we went to the Cathedral next. The Italian Renaissance designed church was built in 1612 by Augustinian friars and has an Earthquake Baroque style. The original church was constructed using lime mixed with molasses big stones, gravel, and sand. 
St William's Church, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
St William Cathedral, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
St William's Church, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
St William's Church, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte

Fort Ilocandia

      As claimed in its website, Fort Ilocandia is the only 5-star deluxe resort hotel in northern Philippines sprawling over 77 hectares of land amidst gentle sand dunes and pine forests with a 2 kilo-meter sandy beach facing the South China Sea. It is located in the heart of the city of Laoag and the province of Ilocos Norte. The resort is a complete service complex resort hotel. It’s a 10 minutes drive from Fort Ilocandia Golf & Country Club at Paoay and from the Laoag International Airport.

Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del NorteFort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del NorteFort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City, Ilocos del Norte
For the next part of our Laoag City Tour, just click on this link Top 10 Places to Go in Laoag City (Part 2).
Also check out other popular destinations to go in Ilocos Norte:
Top 4 Places to Visit in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Top 11 Tourist Spots to Visit in the Northern Part of Ilocos Norte
 

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