Laoag: A First Class City of Ilocos Norte
One of the cities in Ilocos Norte Province that should be on anyone’s list is Laoag. It is classified as one of the first class cities in the Philippines and is the capital of its province. It also stands as the industrial and commercial hub of the area. Its coastline to the west is bound by the South China Sea while other borders to east are bound by the Cordillera mountain range.
The Climate in Laoag
Like most of the regions in the Philippines, Laoag City experiences two prevailing seasons. The months of November until April are part of the dry season and the wet season in the city is from May to October. Since the city is in the country’s typhoon belt it experiences several storms within a year. One of such storms was so powerful that the city was placed in a state of calamity in the year 2006.
Laoag City History
The city’s name literally means ‘light’ in the local dialect. It was already known as a trading settlement even before Spanish explorers arrived in the area in 1572. Spanish Augustinian missionaries organized a parish here in 1580. By the end of the 16th century, the outline of a settlement was drafted and the buildings, edifices, and houses were erected in the city’s present-day location.
The next major event in the city’s history came about during World War II when the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1942. By 1945 Allied forces landed in the city and liberated the territory from the Japanese. The place was given the status of a city in 1965.
Accommodations in Laoag City
There are a few options when it comes to accommodations in this city. You’ll primarily choose between hotels and resorts and will find a broad range when talking about room rates. Fort Ilocandia may well be your best choice since there are those who rate this place as a five-star hotel. It has all the standard amenities you might expect in the Philippines including a golf course, shops, spa, casino, restaurants, and swimming pool. Expect the rates here to be more expensive than what you will usually find in the city, which can go as high as $120.
Cheaper accommodations are also around if you’re on a tight budget. Hotel Tiffany is a bit less expensive $20 to $40. Amenities here are just right for the price and the hotel is kept really clean complemented by the great customer service from the staff.
However, if you’re living in a backpacker’s budget then you may settle for Texicano Hotel. Do take note that the hotel is a bit old but the place is kept neat and clean. You’ll get your basic room amenities for rates lower than $20.
Laoag City Dining Options
There are a lot of dining options in Laoag City from your top of the mill fast food chains in the Philippines like Jollibee and others. Restaurants here serve different types of cuisine like Sansu's Chinese Food, Jade Carla for the best of Ilocandian dishes, and Papa Dau for yummy steaks. Meal prices range from less than $5 to $20.
Laoag City Sights
There are a lot of historical sites here in Laoag. Saint William’s Cathedral and the nearby Sinking Bell Tower are fine examples. Paoay Church on the other hand is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can even gamble your night away in Casino Filipino or have some fun in Pagudpud White Sand Beaches. The La Paz Sand Dunes is a great place for a desert-like escapade. You’ll generally find a mix of historic and tropical sites in and around the city.
Relaxing in Laoag
Laoag is a first-class city in the Philippines’ northern provinces. The general ambience here is a blend of historic sites dating back from the Spanish era and tropical beach comforts. Touring the place relaxes the soul and allows one to reflect on bygone days.
Renowned as a high class city located at the heart of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines, Laoag is the center of political, economic and industrial activities of the province. Being the center of almost all commercial activities of Ilocos Norte, Laoag is recognized by the Philippine government as the province’s capital city. Based on the outcomes of the 2000 Census in the city, the population of the city is estimated at 94,446 with households of 19,751.
One of the factors that affected the fast development of the economy of Laoag is its location. If we will have a look at the geography of this city, we can see that if a person will travel from Laoag to Hong Kong, China, by plane, it will only take that person 45 minutes. On the other hand, if a person will travel from the city to the Kaohsiung port city in Taiwan, it will only take that person 30 minutes. Because of the short distance between Laoag city and these Asian cities, trade and industry in the city is improving.
Aside from the location of the city, the improving number of financial institutions and banks that are established in Laoag also helped with its economic expansion. According to statistics, there are presently 25 banks and financial services companies that provide the needs of its residents. The presence of these institutions in the city is believed to help a lot to provide the economic needs of Laoag.
Its improving tourism industry is also one of the sources of income of people in the city. Every year, the proportion of people who go to Laoag to visit the historic sites and tourist spots like beach resorts increases. Because of the mushrooming of attractive beach resorts in Laoag, the employment rate in the city also improves.
Some of the tourist spots that travelers can visit at Laoag are the Sinking Bell Tower, the Tobacco Monopoly Monument, the Ilocos Lighthouse and the Ilocos Norte Museum. On the other hand, Laoag is very known for the Fort Ilocandia Resort and Hotel where the remains of late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos lied for several years.
Laoag does not just focuses on its economic sector but it also highlights its education sector. The Mariano Marcos State University, the Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades and the College of Teacher Education are the most popular schools and universities in the city. With the importance given by the local government of Laoag to its education and economic sector, it is definitely one of the industrialized cities that can be found in the northern part of the Philippines.