Time-locked Ilocos is a broad hardy country blessed with impressive wide highways and stretches of narrow cobblestoned roads, antiquated towns dominated by heavily-buttressed grand churches and Antillan ancestral homes, and a brave people who, by sheer industry, harnessed a formidable terrain into a source of sustenance.

Divided into Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, their capitals - Vigan and Laoag City - are anchor tourist destinations and part of the 7,000 times more islands that make up the Philippine archipelago.


Standing on an elevation west of the cathedral is Plaza Salcedo, the oldest monument in Northern Luzon. GATEWAY OF THE NORTH

Laoag City, today, is the major crossroads for international trade and commerce in the Ilocos region. Like in Vigan, the calesa is an integral part of the street landscape.


Ilocos has many churches of distinction which include two that are inscribed in the World Heritage List. In Ilocos Sur is the salmon-bricked Santa Maria Church. Built in 1769, it sits atop a hill towering over the town proper. In Ilocos Norte is Paoay Church. The town's savage seascape has been immortalized in the films of Philippine Action King Fernando Poe, Jr. The town church is an architectural gem combining Baroque with Gothic motifs.

Currimao has a burgeoning beach resort industry. The town of Pagudpud offers a breathtaking landscape which includes the enchanting Bantay Abot-abot, a natural sculpture carved by the wind and sea, the white sand Saud beach and the majestic Mabogabog Falls. ISLAND FLAVORS

Bitter-flavored dishes are part of the Ilocano cuisine. The town plaza and the marketplace are the best places to savor local flavors (Source: Philippine Department of Tourism).

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