Tag Archives: Laoag

Commuting Around Ilocos Norte: Laoag (Day 1)

We reached Laoag around 5:30AM and decided to ride the trike to Jollibee-Bacarra (which is open 24 hours) to freshen up before going about our itinerary for the day.

We soon found out that trikes are the equivalent of cabs and FX in Ilocos. For convenience and to cover as much ground as possible, take the trike especially if you’re a group so you can just split the fare among yourselves.

From Jollibee, the following are merely walking distance from each other. But before proceeding, you can check the map from your smartphones or simply approach a crew and ask for directions; they are pretty helpful and friendly.

So as not to clutter this post, please check the thumbnails at the  bottom of this page and click to enlarge the photos. I also included some tips on the caption. 😉

City Tour

  • Ilocos Norte Capitol
  • Museo Ilocos Norte
  • Tobacco Monopoly Monument
  • Laoag City Capitol and Post Office
  • Laoag City Church (otherwise known as St. William’s Cathedral)
  • Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag

But for the tourist spots outside Laoag, you need to ride the jeep going to Paoay at the Shell station, which is a block away from the Ilocos Norte Capitol. Alternately, trike drivers around St. William’s Cathedral offer a roundtrip tour for Php600 (max. 3 passengers). This is practical considering this is very far from the city. Note that this does not include Fort Ilocandia and in my opinion, you can skip this. But then, that’s just me.

So  if you plan to visit Fort Ilocandia, make sure you let the trike driver wait for you to save time on waiting for the ride back to Laoag. Jeeps and trikes traverse this area but not as frequent since this is far from the main road.

Tour Outside Laoag

  • Marcos Museum and Mausoleum
  • Paoay Lake
  • Paoay Church (St. Augustine Church)
  • Malacanang of the North
  • Fort Ilocandia

A little side note. As I was taking photos in Paoay Church, a foreigner-looking guy approached me and chatted for a bit. His name is Francisco and he’s pure Pinoy but grew up in the US. He’s currently exploring the north and he’s done with Pagudpud, Sagada, Baguio, La Union, etc. He actually gave us tips on where to stay in Saud and gave us some contact numbers as well. Oh, did I say he’s a looker? 😉

Anyway, if you are going to follow the itinerary I posted earlier, you can ask the driver to drop you off at a bus terminal bound for Pagudpud after the tour. We were dropped off at a terminal behind the Laoag City Capitol at around 4PM.

Details:

Trike fare from terminal to Jollibee-Bacarra (Php60/3)

Php20

Entrance fee: Museo Ilocos Norte

50

Jeep fare from Laoag to Paoay

34

Trike tour (Php550/3)

184

Entrance fee: Malacanang of the North      

30

Entrance fee: Marcos Museum & Mausoleum

50

TOTAL           

368



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Commuting to Laoag, Ilocos Norte (Day 0)

We took the 8PM bus schedule to Laoag from the Partas Cubao Terminal located at Aurora Boulevard. Buses leave every hour (starting at 8PM-12MN) so you don’t have to worry in case you miss your preferred schedule. I must say, I was surprised that they really leave on time.

Tips:

  • From the Cubao MRT, take the stairs opposite the Farmer’s Market Plaza. You have an option to hire a  tricycle or take a 5-10 minutes walk (depending on your pace, of course) to the terminal.  Since I grew up in Cubao, I know this area to be notorious; so be aware of your surroundings and your belongings and walk fast. I suggest you go towards Aurora Boulevard because it’s well-lighted compared to the shorter route via an alley right below the Cubao MRT.
  • Have your dinner before proceeding to the terminal because there’s no fast food chain within their vicinity (only girly bars 😉 ) but they do have their cafeteria should you get really hungry.

Travel time is approximately 10 hours including 2 stopovers before you reach Laoag. In our case, it only took 9.5 hours.

Details:

ETD Manila: 8:00PM

ETA Laoag: 5:30AM

Fare: Php917 (Deluxe)

It was during our stopover that I bumped into two of my professors from college; they were on their way to visit  St. Paul University in Vigan (I studied at the Quezon City campus). They look like they haven’t aged at all. I swear! And because we chatted like anything, I forgot to snap us a photo.  So here’s a shoutout to them: Hola! Ms. Elsa Hufano (who looks prettier with her straight hair) and Ms. Lolit Albit (who looks just as charming with her dark brown-dyed hair)! And yes, we call our professors “Miss” and we say it in our infamous kolehiyala accent; “Ma’am” for us is really unheard of. I had to learn and get used to it in the workplace because at one point, I called my boss “Miss”. Good thing she didn’t feel weird because she came from an all-girls school as well. 😀

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Preview: 3-Day Ilocos Adventure

I was supposed to jumpstart the summer with a trip to Sagada with friends but what is planning a vacation without encountering those (annoying) hitches, right? And so, in place of that, I decided to scour the web for info on how to commute around Ilocos, grabbed my available travel galpals and dredged up a 3-day itinerary  that will cover Laoag,  Pagudpud and Vigan.

Those three days of vacation were a mixture of grueling journey by bus, trike and calesa (horse-drawn carriage) and occasional rough roads. But it’s so easy to overlook those difficulties because these were compensated by the amazing places and people we met along the way. Not a single bad experience in Ilocos.     \(^_^)/

This vintage chest, displayed at the Syquia Mansion, is made of camphor wood; the inside smells so good you'd want to curl up and sleep.

Over the next days, I will be posting the treasure of info I found and share with you the details, tips and expenses of our 3-day Ilocos adventure. In the meantime, here’s a preview of our itinerary:

Day 0 Mar 16 8PM Depart for Laoag
Day 1 Mar17 6AM ETA in Laoag
Laoag Tour
4PM Depart for Pagudpud
6PM Head to Saud
Day 2 Mar 18 7AM North/South Pagudpud Tour
2PM Depart for Laoag
4PM Continue travel to Vigan
6PM ETA in Vigan
Night stroll
Day 3 Mar 19 8AM Vigan Tour
1PM Depart for Manila
9PM ETA in Manila


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