Laoag is a city and the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte.
Laoag's history stretches back to pre-colonial times. It has been a trading post between the local Austronesian population, and the Chinese and Japanese. Laoag was then called Samtoy, from the Ilocano for "this is our language".
The Spaniards came in the 16th century, when Miguel López de Legazpi's son, Juan de Salcedo ordered the invasion of the northwestern coastline of Luzon, from Vigan toward the present location of Laoag. Colonization began when Spanish friars seized lands for churches, where their belfries also double as garrisons through an Spanish royal edict. Due to the law, as well as the abusive treatment of the Ilocanos by the the Augustinian friars, locals started numerous rebellions, most notably the Silang rebellions of 1762—63. The first of those rebellions was led by Diego Silang, who led victories against the Spanish colonial authorities in 1762, then in war with the British during the Seven Years' War. Silang was assassinated by his close friend who was hired by the Spanish, where his wife, Gabriela Silang, continued the rebellion until she was captured and hanged.
In 1965, Laoag gained cityhood through a plebiscite, and remained the capital of Ilocos Norte since then.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Laoag has a tropical dry and wet climate, being dry from November to April and wet from May to October. Daytime highs average at 32.3 °C (90.1 °F) and nighttime lows at 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). There is barely any rainfall during the drier months, but it almost rains every day at the rainy season.
Nights are mildly cool during the dry season, where the nightime low temperatures range from 19.5–22.5 °C (67.1–72.5 °F), and it almost never rains. Despite its northerly location in mainland Luzon, Laoag is shielded from the the cool northeastern moonsoon (amihan) by the Central Cordillera and does not suffer extreme nighttime temperatures unlike Tuguegarao to the east.
Rainy season begins at May, and lasts through September. May is a transition from dry and hot conditions to wet and rainy days, so, rainy periods, typically from thunderstorms, are unpredictable through the middle of the month as the southwest monsoon (abagat) advances through the Philippines towards East Asia. Rainfall slowly increases, peaking at August and suddenly decreases by September. An average of five typhoons pass through Laoag, especially during the last months of the monsoon season.
- 1 Laoag International Airport (LAO IATA). Despite its international designation, it is not served by scheduled international flights, except for occasional charter service. PAL Express flies daily from Manila, using an Airbus A320 jet.
Despite having a central government-owned terminal to the west of downtown, buses to Laoag continue to use their dedicated terminals anywhere within the city.
- Fariñas Bus Lines. Trips depart from Manila
- GMW Transport. Connects Tuguegarao via Manila North Road through Pagudpud. The fare is ₱455 and the 300 km (190 mi) trip takes 7 hours.
- G.V. Florida Transport. Sleeper buses depart from their Sampaloc and Cubao terminals in Metro Manila
- Partas. Departs from their terminals in Baguio (Gov. Pack Road) and Manila at (Cubao, Sampaloc and Pasay).
- Philippine Rabbit. Departures from Baguio, via Naguilian Road and Manila North Road
- Calesa - Horse-drawn carriage
- Ilocos Norte Museum. Tu-Su 9AM to 5PM. ₱50.
- Tobacco Monopoly.
- Sand Dunes, La Paz. The only desert in the Philippines. 4x4 vehicle recommended to appreciate the desert beauty.
- 1 Sinking Belltower. Part of the Laoag church. Named so because it slowly sinks into the soft soil of the city. A decade ago, the entrance was still tall enough to let a man on horseback enter. Now not even a man could enter.
- Tabacalera, Assorted Stores.
- 4x4 off roading.
- Relax, unwind, enjoy nature.
- Sand boarding.
- Banana chips.
- Hand woven baskets.
- Taro (kamote) chips.
Malls & supermarketsEdit
- Robinsons Place Mall & Robinsons Supermarket, Brgy 51 (just off manila north road), ☏ . 9AM-8PM.
- S M Savemore Hypermarket, J P Rizal Street. 9AM-8PM.
- Puregold Supermarket, J P Rizal street & M Nolasco Street. 8AM-8PM.
- Cailian Grill (along Bacarra Road).
- Dap-Ayan. Try the Laoag Empanada along Rizal Street near Provincial Capitol.
- Dawang's, San Nicolas. Try their crispy dinuguan.
- La Preciosa (along Rizal Street near Ablan Avenue).
- Macy's Diner, Gen Segundo Ave. cor M.H. del Pilar St (Coming from the Sinking Bell Tower: Walk northbound for approx 200 m (2 small blocks).), ☏ . 8AM-8PM. An American 1950s inspired restaurant. Serves most of your favorite American, Chinese, & Filipino foods. As low as ₱79 per meal.
- Saramsam (along Rizal Street Infront of Texicano Hotel).
- Giannis - along Mckinley Street, Brgy 10, behind Provincial Capitol. Giannis offers good food, ambiance, music and vibe. Try their baby back ribs (no MSG) with Giannis fried rice.
- herencias cafe, paoay ilocos norte. Try pinakbet and dinuguan pizza
Mid-range & splurgeEdit
- [dead link] Gertes Resort, Brgy. Balatong, ☏ . The hotel offers air-conditioned accommodation rooms, all equipped with cable TV, Wi-Fi connectivity, telephone, and also comes with complimentary breakfast. Some of its facilities are Gertes Restaurant, Bare n' Bloom Spa, swimming pools, and business center. From ₱1000.
- Hotel Tiffany, Gen. Segundo Ave Cor. M.H. del Pilar St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Offers 24 guestrooms, all of which have air-conditioned, cable television, and private toilet and bath. Some of its amenities include high-speed Internet access, room service, and wake-up call. From ₱1170.
- Ilocos Rosewell Hotel, Brgy.1, San Francisco National High-Way San Nicolas, ☏ . Offers 22 air-conditioned guestrooms, all of which have cable TV, free Wi-Fi, mini-bar, and a telephone. Some of its amenities include massage service, laundry and dry cleaning, wake-up call, and airport and city transfers. From ₱1200.
- [dead link] Isabel Suites, Bacarra Road (beside Jollibee Bacarra road), ☏ , .
- Java Hotel, Bacarra Road 55-B, Salet (Fariñas Caltex Station), ☏ . A hospitable place with touches of Balinese, Moroccan, and Spanish style decoration. Offers rooms, suites, and dormitory-type quarters. From ₱1980.
- Renzo Hotel, Brgy.19, Santa Marcela, Rizal cor. Guerrero Street, ☏ , , fax: .
- Playa Tropical Hotel Ilocos, Barangay Victoria. A Balinese-inspired hotel located in the heart of Currimao, 25 minutes from Laoag Int'l Airport and 45 min-1 hr away from Vigan. The hotel has a seafront view of calm waves and fine sand beaches where you can do water sports activities like kayaking, pedal boating and skim boarding. ₱3800.
- Plaza del Norte, Barangay 41 - Balacad, ☏ . It offers 96 rooms, all of which have air-conditioning system, cable TV, private toilet and bath, phone and coffee/tea maker. Its amenities include high-speed Internet access, swimming pool, and restaurant, bar and café. Rates start at ₱2500.
- Texicano Hotel, Rizal Aveune., ☏ . Fan single/double room with out side bathroom. Fan single/double rooms with own bathrooms. A good place for backpackers to stay. 50 rooms. Can pay with Visa/Mastercard ₱350/₱410/₱470.
- Pichay Lodging House, P Lazaro corner Heranado streets, ☏ . Fan double rooms with own bathroom. 25 rooms. ₱350.
- Star Light Lodge, Ablan Avenue, ☏ . Fan single/double rooms. 19 rooms. ₱270-550.
- Hotel Del Norte, 28 Fonacier Street, ☏ . Fan single room with own bathroom. Fan single/double room with own bathroom and cable TV. AC double with own bathroom and cable TV. ₱380/₱500/₱600/₱750.
- Supertram Lodge, Hernando Avenue, ☏ . Fan double room with own bathroom. A/c double room with own bathroom. ₱500/₱600.