This provincial capital and component city is the largest and busiest commercial center in Northern Luzon. A part of the North Luzon Quadrangle, Laoag is being developed into a tourism center of the north outside Hongkong, Taiwan and even Japan. The city’s Central Business District is located at the middle section of the poblacion's southern boundary and the main shopping thoroughfares are Rizal and Bonifacio Streets which run east and west of the plaza.
|Places to See|
- St. William the Hermit Cathedral, along A. Bonifacio St., was first built in 1580 as a wood and thatched nipa palm chapel. The present Italian Renaissance and Baroque-style church was built between 1650 and 1700, seriously damaged during the November 14, 1707 earthquake, partially destroyed by fire in 1843 and then completely restored. It was again damaged during the July 18, 1880 earthquake and repaired again. In 1891, the roof of the church and convent were replaced with galvanized iron.The church was occupied by Pedro Almazan in 1661, revolutionaries in 1896, American forces in 1899 and Aglipayans in 1901. It was the scene of the 1932 diocesan Marian Congress and was slightly damaged during the September 7, 1983 earthquake, when statues from the altar and niches fell to the floor. The apse had to be reinforced with concrete beams and buttresses.
- The 45-m. high, 90-m. diameter (at base) Sinking Bell Tower, right across Bonifacio St., at the northern end of Don Mariano Marcos Bridge and 85 m. away from the cathedral, is one of the most massive and tallest in the country. Built even before the foundations of the cathedral were laid (around 1660) and made of bricks (joined by molasses and the juice of sablot leaves mixed with lime and sand), it leans slightly to the north and has sunk half a storey since its construction, allegedly due to the 1957 earthquake and its being built on a sandy subsurface. Now, a man can not pass through its gate without stooping. It was patterned after a famous bell tower in Italy.
- The 786-m. long Don Mariano Marcos Bridge, coming from the south, spans the Laoag River and leads directly to the Laoag City central plaza.
- At the mouth of the Laoag River is Monroe Island.
- The Abolition of Tobacco Monopoly Monument, along A. Bonifacio St., at the foot of Marcos Bridge, is an obelisk of clay and brick built erected in 1882 by alcalde mayor (provincial governor) Don Jose Moreno Lacalle as a gesture of thanksgiving to King Alfonso XII of Spain for abolishing the hated tobacco monopoly.
- The Marcos Hall of Justice, also located near the bridge, was built on the site of the former Carcel Provincial. This is where the young Ferdinand Marcos was detained when accused of murder. While in jail, he studied law, topped the bar examinations and later was acquitted by the Supreme Court.
- The Neo-Classical-style Provincial Capitol, started in 1918, was inaugurated in 1924 during the term of Gov. Florencio Castro. It was enlarged and renovated in 1957, during the administration of Antonio V. Raquiza, by adding a corridor in front to join the newer wings flanking the building.
- Ermita Hill, located on the eastern part of the city, following the bank of the Laoag River, was the site of the first mass in Laoag, the first missionaries' quarters and the first chapel. It is surmounted by a giant 20-m. high steel cross installed in 1972 to commemorate the fourth centennial of the Christianization of the Ilocos. The hill has good views of the city and the Laoag River.
- The unique La Paz Sand Dunes, in Brgy. La Paz, are located on the coast, north of the Laoag River. Locally called Bantay Bimmaboy (because of their pig shapes), these low-lying, 10-30-m. high (some reach as high as 90 m.) elongated hills form, together with those stretching south of the river, a 16-km. long beach. It is now a National Geological Monument.
- Balatong Ecology Park
- Lataag View Deck
- The Museo Ilocos, formerly the Ilocandia Museum of Traditional Costumes (inaugurated in 1977), is located at the cor. of Gen. A. Luna St. and Don Vicente Llanes Ave., beside the city hall. Also called Gameng (from the Iloco word meaning “treasure”), this museum is housed in the former Camarin de Tobacco de la Tabacaler or tobacco storage house and was inaugurated in 1999.
- During pre-Hispanic times, the Laoag area was already an established settlement and a flourishing center of trade with the Japanese and Chinese.
- Laoag was founded on January 5, 1586
- It had three visitas: San Nicolas, San Juan de Sahagun and Sta. Monica de Sarrat.
- On June 19, 1965, Laoag was converted into a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 4584.
- Formerly called Ylagua, Ylavan, Ilauag and Ildauag in early records, laoag is the Ilocano word for “light” or “brightness.”
Laoag City is the birthplace of:
- Fred Ruiz Castro (September 2, 1914-April 19, 1979) - Supreme Court chief justice and Father of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
- Anastacia Giron-Tupas (August 24, 1890-September 28, 1972) - first Filipino chief nurse and superintendent of PGH School of Nursing.
The city has two pronounced seasons; the dry season from November to May and the wet season from May to October. The hottest temperature recorded in the city is 34.9° Centigrade (March to May). The cold months are November to February.
|Location and Topography|
The city, located on the north bank of the Laoag River, 8 kms. from the sea,is bounded by Bacarra and Vintar on the north, Piddig on the east, Sarrat on the southeast, Paoay and San Nicolas on the south, and the South China Sea on the west.
- Area (sq. kms.): 101.88
- Population (2007): 102,457
- No. of Barangays: 81 (30 urban)
- Income Class: First
- District: First
- Zip Code: 2900
- Area Code: 075
|Where to Dine|
- Burnay Room - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel (tel: 773-1842)
- Café Teresa - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel (tel: 773-1842)
- Cloud 9 - Texicano Hotel (tel: 772-0290)
- Full Moon Restaurant (Chinese cuisine) - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino (tel: 772-1166)
- Flamingo Teppanyaki Restaurant (Japanese cuisine) - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino (tel: 772-1166)
- Kalesa (piano bar) - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel (tel: 773-1842)
- La Azotea - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel (tel: 773-1842)
- Pamulinawen Coffee Shop - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino (tel: 772-1166)
- Piano Bar - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino (tel: 772-1166)
- Shen’s Café - Northview Hotel (tel: 773-1689)
- Sunset Bar - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino (tel: 772-1166)
- Turo-Turo Seafoods - Northview Hotel (tel: 773-1689)
- Bistro Bamboo - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 771-3824)
- Boundary Restaurant - Brgy. 51-A, Nangalisan
- Brewsters - Hernando St.
- C&E Pizza Pasta - 29 P. Gomez St. (tel: 772-0916 & 772-1531)
- Casa Vieja - P. Gomez St. (tel: 773-1654)
- Chicharon - Giron St., Brgy. 7-B
- Cindy’s - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 770-4590)
- Cindy’s Foodhouse - J.P. Rizal St., Brgy. 16 (tel: 633-5641)
- Colonial Fastfood & Cocktail House - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0250)
- Dohan Foodhouse - 96 J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 773-2860, 771-1104 & 771-5110)
- Empanada, Barbecue, Atbp. - J.P. Rizal St.
- Fiesta Ilocana - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0563)
- Giacominos - J.P. Rizal St. cor. Bacarra Rd. (tel: 770-3200)
- Golden Cow Restaurant - M.J. Guerrero St. ( tel: 771-1640, 771-7546, 773-1081-82 & 773-2400)
- Granny’s Fast Food House - Gen. Segundo Ave. (cel: 0918-9208803)
- Grillos - Gen. Segundo Ave.
- Hotstuff Foodhouse - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 772-0556)
- Ian Krispee Fried and Roasted Chicken - Hernando cor. Gen. Luna St. (tel: 771-4306)
- Ivan Dominique Restaurant - 68 P. Gomez St. (tel; 771-6442 & 772-0093)
- Kookee House - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 772-0871)
- La Preciosa - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 773-1162)
- Lollipops - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0206)
- Macy’s Diner - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 770-3551)
- Magic Bunny - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0972)
- Max’s Restaurant - Bacarra Rd. (tel 607-0232)
- Max’s Restaurant - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 807-0233)
- Mi Choice - P. Gomez St.
- Mikee’s Goldilocks - J.P. Rizal St. ( tel: 772-1076)
- New La Moda - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0430)
- Planet Ilocos - J.P. Rizal St. cor. Balintawak St. (tel: 773-2400)
- San Su Chinese Aquatic Food Expert - D. Samonte cor. P. Acosta St. (tel: 779-8669)
- Sizzles - Gen. Segundo Ave.
- Smokey’s - Nolasco St. (tel: 772-1632)
- Tita Sarah’s Foodhouse - Don E. Ruiz St., Brgy. 18 (tel: 772-1104)
- Tummy’s Friends - 22 Gen. Segundo Ave.
- Chowking - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 772-0916 & 771-4655)
- Greenwich - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 770-3519)
- Jollibee - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 773-2253 & 773-2249-50)
- MacDonald’s - Tres Patrias St. (tel: 770-5366 & 771-7676)
- Mister Donut - Gen. Segundo Ave. (tel: 770-3219 & 772-1280)
- Monte Carlo - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino
- Club 819 - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel
- Calesa Bar - Palazzo de Laoag Hotel)
- Club 379, Kosmik Bar and Video - J.P. Rizal St.
- Colonial Cocktail Lounge - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 771-6811)
- Coco Lobster - Fort Ilocandia Resort & Casino
- New Life - 10 P. Lazaro Ave.
- Skyway Music Lounge - Gen. Luna St.
- Voiz Club - J.P. Rizal St.
|Where to Stay|
See "Laoag City (Ilocos Norte) Resorts and Accommodations" at Tourist Support Directory
|How to Get There|
Air Philippines and Philippine Airlines have 409-km. (55-min.) flights to Laoag City from Manila.
Laoag International Airport, at Brgy. Gabu, 14 kms. southwest of the city, is serviced by international flights from the U.S.A (Hawaii, San Francisco and Los Angeles), China (Guangzhou via China Southern Airlines, Hongkong via CR Airlines, Macau, Shanghai, 2.15 hrs., and Shenshen), Korea and Taiwan (Kaoshiung via Far Eastern Air Transport, 55 mins., and Taipei, 80 mins.). It also serves as a jump-off point for flights to Basco. This airport has a 7,900-ft. long paved runway.
- Air Philippines – (tel: 772-1037)
- Pacific Air – (tel: 772-0663)
- Philippine Airlines - Laoag International Airport (tel: 772-0537)
- Trans-Asia Airways – (tel: 772-1160-70)
- Autobus Transport - Gov. Roque Ablan Ave. (tel: 770-3756)
- Dominion Bus Lines - J.P. Rizal Ave. (tel: 772-1292)
- Farinas Bus Lines – A. Bonifacio Ave. cor. M. Farinas St. (tel: 772-0126 & 772-1177)
- Fedrerico Franco Transit - 67 P. Zamora St. (tel: 771-4029, 772-0643 & 792-3221)
- Florida Liner - Gen. Fidel Segundo Ave. (tel: 771-6466)
- Maria de Leon - A.G. Tupaz Ave., Brgy. 8 (tel: 770-3532, 772-0212 & 772-0112)
- Partas Transit - Lagasca cor. Paco Roman St. (tel: 771-1514, 771-4898, 771-1675, 772-4878 & 772-1615)
- Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines - Don M. Castro Ave. (tel: 771-7250-51 & 772-0766)
- RCJ Bus Lines - Don S. Hernando Ave. (tel: 771-3308 & 772-1269)
Distances (Laoag City to:)
- Manila: 488 kms. (10 hrs., Autobus Transport, Dominion Bus Lines, Farinas Transit, Federico Franco Transit, Maria de Leon Transit, Partas Transit, Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Pioneer Highway Transit, RCJ Bus Lines & SMV Tours and Transport)
- Vigan City (Ilocos Sur): 78 kms. (2 hrs., Dominion Bus Lines, Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines & minibuses)
- Tagudin (Ilocos Sur): 180 kms. (4 hrs.)
- City of San Fernando (La Union): 274 kms.
- Tarlac City (Tarlac): 363 kms.
- Aparri (Cagayan): 220 kms. (8 hrs., Florida Liner)
- Claveria (Cagayan): 126 kms. (4.5 hrs., Florida Liner)
- Tuguegarao City (Cagayan): 316 kms. (9.5 hrs., Florida Liner)
- Baguio City (Benguet): 274 kms. (7 hrs., Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines)
- Pudtol (Apayao); (5 hrs., C.A. Trans)
Within the province, jeepneys and minibuses to Bacarra and Pasuquin can be taken at the cor. of Primo Lazaro and Gen. F. Segundo Ave., mini-buses to Pagudpud along Don Vicente Llanes Ave., jeepneys to La Paz along Gen. A. Luna St., jeepneys to San Nicolas, Sarrat and Dingras along J.P. Rizal St., jeepneys to Suba at the cor. of M. Nolasco St. and F. R. Castro Ave., and jeepneys to Batac and Paoay at the cor. of Tres Martires St. and F.R. Castro Ave..
|Tourist Information Center|
- City Tourism Office - City Hall (tel: 771-3168, 772-0883, 772-0001 local 230 & 239, 772-0301, 772-0578 & 772-1733, fax: 773-1676 & 772-1100).
- January 21 (Sto. Niño Festival)
- January 22 (Our Lady of Peace)
- February 4-10 - the joint fiesta of Laoag and Ilocos Norte, it features a civic-military parade, beauty contests (Ms. Laoag City and Ms. Ilocos Norte), city trade and food fair, floral parade and the Tangguyob Festival.
- February 29 (St. William the Hermit, Pamulinawen Festival)
- March 19 (St. Joseph)
- All Sundays of May (Mayflower and Santacruzan Festival)
- May 19-20 (Farmer's Festival)
- December 25 (Lantern Parade)
- Allied Bank - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 772-0339 & 772-0139)
- Asian Bank - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0039)
- Banco Filipino - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0269 & 773-1928)
- Bank of the Philippine Islands - J.P. Rizal cor. Fonacier St., Brgy. No.14 (tel: 772-0118, 772-0113 & 771-4345, fax: 772-1782)
- BPI Family Bank - A. Bonifacio St. (tel: 772-0427 & 772-0215)
- Chinabank - Abadilla St. (tel: 772-1027)
- Development Bank of the Philippines - F.R. Castro Ave. (tel: 772-1161 & 772-0234)
- East West Bank - Ablan Bldg., J.P. Rizal cor. Don Severo Hernando Ave. (tel: 770-5196, fax: 771-5195)
- Equitable PCI Bank - J.P. Rizal cor. Balintawak St. (tel: 772-1123 & 772-0315)
- Equitable PCI Bank - Pichay Bldg., J. P. Rizal cor. A. Castro St.
- Landbank - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0484)
- LBC Bank - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0668)
- Metrobank - 16 Nolasco St. (tel: 772-0220-21)
- PCI Bank - 9 J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0315)
- Philippine Banking - 14 J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0115)
- Philippine National Bank - 10 J.P. Rizal St., with ATM (tel: 772-0144 to 45 & 772-4027, fax: 772-1175)
- Pilipinas Bank - J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0343 & 772-1710)
- Prudential Bank - 9 J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-0230 & 772-0434)
- Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. - J.P. Rizal St.
- Security Bank - 16 J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 772-1678 & 88)
- Solidbank - Abadilla St. (tel: 772-1024)
- Unionbank - J.P. Rizal cor. Guerrero St. (tel: 770-3771 & 771-5260)
- United Coconut Planters Bank - G/F Bueno's Bldg., J.P. Rizal cor. E. Ruiz St. (tel: 772-1527-28 & 771-4475, fax:771-5800)
- Office of the Provincial Director - Camp V.S. Juan (tel: 166, 772-0564, 772-0788)
- City Police Station - (tel: 772-0201)
- Baquiran Clinic and Hospital – J.P. Rizal St. (tel: 773-1354)
- Bethel Medical Clinic – Gomburza St.
- Bueno’s Clinic – Paco Roman St. (tel: 772-0601)
- Ilocos Norte Provincial Hospital – (tel: 772-0311)
- Laoag Pediatric Lying-in Hospital - A. Castro St.
- Laoag City Gen. Hospital (15 beds) – Airport Ave., Nalbo (tel: 772-0007)
- Northern Doctors' Gen. Hospital (25 beds) - J. P. Rizal St. (tel: 773-1354)
- Our Lady of Fatima Medical Clinic and Hospital (8 beds) – 18 A. Mabini St.
- Ranada Gen. Hospital (20 beds) – Rizal cor. Balintawak St., Brgy. 9 (tel: 772-1108 & 772-0133, fax: 773-1199)
- Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital – Remigio Ave. (tel: 772-0303)
- Santos Clinic and Hospital (6 beds)
- Tel: 160, 772-1885 and 772-0111