Ilocos Norte Solo Travel: Laoag City Tour

"Traveling makes you speechless and then it makes you a storyteller." True enough. I live by this quote these days. Since I began traveling, I couldn't help but to share my experiences whenever I am with the group of young people. Since then, I knew that I am destined to trot the world in my own pace. Then I remembered how I craved to travel in the Northern part of the Philippines - Ilocos Norte. 

"Minutes before this museum opens"

It was sometime in 2013 when I set foot in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. My travel during that time was challenging. I could pretty remember that it was after a typhoon when I flew from Cebu to Manila while enduring a 13-hour travel by bus. As a solo traveler, I became more confident of backpacking and how to get through places and deal with people. 
"Here is an adorable garden-cape at the back of Museo Ilocos Norte"

The good thing about this travel was my connection with people. It was convenient in my part the moment I arrived in Laoag City at almost 12 midnight. The heavy rain amplified the unlikely weather condition while I was waiting for my friend's relatives to fetch me at the bus terminal. I couldn't speak Tagalog that fluently and I couldn't even comprehend their native dialect but as a Filipino, their hospitality was commendable. 

The next morning, I met, Dino, who toured me around Laoag City. He was kind enough to introduce his city and the culture that came along with it. First, we visited the Museo Ilocos Norte. It was my first time to have visited a museum outside Cebu. I became appreciative of the relics during the pre-colonial era  and painting during the Spanish time. 
"Inside Ilocos Norte Museum"

"Native Ilocanos used these relics long before"

After the museum tour, I had the chance to ride a kalesa from one end of the bridge to the next point then back to the town plaza. For a hundred-peso ride, I could imagine how these horse-driven carriage became the main mode of transportation back to the earlier times.
 "Laoag City Bridge"

"Riding the kalesa while crossing the Laoag City Bridge"

Dino also managed to tour me around the Ilocos Norte Capitol and the town plaza. The huge structure of the capitol was a beautiful sight during the night. It was filled with dancing colors. Too bad that I wasn't able to capture its beauty since the night I arrived.
"So clean and neat - Ilocos Norte Capitol"

"Across the capitol is there town plaza - the red brick though..."

"It talks so much of history and labor."

Then we went on touring around the wide river that connects Laoag City to the next place. I also had the glimpse of the Saint William Cathedral (Laoag Cathedral). Before I went on with my journey to catch the group, I also had the chance to gape at the Sinking Bell Tower before I thanked and bid goodbye to Dino and heading to Marcos Mausoleum and Museum. 
"The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte"

"Saint William Cathedral or Laoag Cathedral and its Interior"

I asked Dino about Marcos Mausoleum  and informed me that it was located in a different area. At the same time, my colleagues were on that area as well. So, I hopped in the bus and headed towards Marcos Mausoleum. And it turned out that I discovered more than what I read from the book. 

P.S: My travel to Laoag City maybe short but it was memorable. It paved way to art appreciation and history. It was also a rewarding moment because people were too willing to help you out. They maybe strangers but they were so kind to tour me around and had me stay in their place. Thanks to Dino and Apol's relatives for making my stay in Laoag City with great joy!


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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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