As I promised here now is the second set of photos and details from our Ilocos adventures!
The church was designated in 1993 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the best examples of the Baroque Churches in the Philippines.
It was completed in 1710 and is famous for its grand spanish colonial architecture with enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. The town of Paoay was originally called “Bombay” as the earliest inhabitants are believed to have immigrated from India.
Ilocos Sand Dunes:
This coastal sand dunes in Ilocos encompasses the towns of Currimao to Pasuquin in Ilocos Norte for about 52 square miles. The more famous of these is the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag City as well as the recently popular Paoay sand dunes. Tourists who love the thrill of adventure would find it very exciting and worth going to. 4×4 jeeps could be rented for a full hour of adrenaline rush for 2,500.00 php which includes sand boarding for up to 5 persons . But since our guide is a friend of one of the jeep drivers so we are quite loaded hehe. Definitely its a not to be missed place when going to Ilocos.
The Sinking Bell Tower
This bell tower is one of Ilocos Norte’s most famous landmarks which is located in the heart of the bustling Laoag City. It gained its name since through the years the tower has sunk to the ground and leans slightly to the north due to the softness of the soil where it was built. It is claimed to be the most solid and tallest bell tower in the Philippines at 45-meters (150 feet). This massive bell tower was built by the Augustinians in 1612 and is located meters away from the St. William’s Cathedral.In its vicinity church goers and tourists could also enjoy eating at rows of street stalls selling native street food and the famous Ilocos Empanada ( or also called Vigan or Batac Empanada where these are famous).
Malacanang Ti-Amianan / Malacanang of The North:
Perhaps the most prestigious residence in Ilocos Norte is the MALACANANG OF THE NORTH which served as the official presidential residence of the Marcoses in Ilocos Norte. This is one of the many houses built by President Ferdinand Marcos during his rule. They were considered as a “royal family” during the Marcos Era hence this edifice is also called Malacanang which is also the name of the Philippine Presidential Palace in the Capital City of Manila which means “a noble man lives there”. This expansive and imposing mansion within a sprawling property is designed to resemble a 19th century Bahay na Bato which is of Spanish colonial/Filipino style which offers a majestic view of the pristine Paoay Lake.
It is said to be a birthday gift from former first lady Imelda Marcos to her husband’s 60th birthday. It was sequestered by the Philippine Government when President Marcos was removed from power. After 20 it was finally given back to the care of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte. After it was renovated and restored under Governor Imee Marcos, it opened to the public as a museum in January 1, 2011.
These are not yet all the places weve been to. Wait for the 3rd set of photos and details of our Ilocos adventures very soon!. 🙂