Laoag City Things to Do Tips by bike_packer
Laoag City Things to Do: 57 reviews and 141 photos
Inside the Church
One of the biggest cathedrals in this side of the country and the seat of the Diocese of Laoag, the St William's Cathedral is a witness to the history of Ilocos Norte - in times of revolution and peace - through the years since its foundation was laid in the early 17th century. Built by the Augustinian friars with Itallian Renaissance design influence, the building has been restored many times in which its ownership is contested by the local Aglipayan Church which was a breakaway group of Ilocano religious leaders from the then Spanish-controlled church.
The deeply recessed niche at the center of the symmetrical white-painted facade shows the patron saint of the city of Laoag, Saint William the hermit.
Tobacco Monopoly Monument
The monument is right at the center island at the foot of the Gilbert Bridge. Made of red bricks and towers about 5m high, it was constructed in 1882 to serve as a memorial to the lifting of the Tobacco Monopoly by the Spanish King Alfonso XIII in 1881. The monopoly obliged the Ilocanos to plant tobacco to be delivered solely to the government for over a hundred years during the Spanish-colonizing years.
The monopoly increased government revenue and stimulatred the tobacco industry, it led to many abuses of government officials. The lifting then was a cause for celebration and thanskigiving; and immortalized by this monument.
Directions: South end of the Aurora Park in front of the Provincial Capitol.
Museo Ilocos Norte
A glimpse of the history of Ilocos Norte and its people is showcased at the Museo Ilocos Norte. Housed in the old Tabacalera Building which was the Administration Center of the then Tobacco Monopoly in Ilocos Norte during the Spanish Times, the museum maybe small in size but is well-maintained. Exhibited are old tools used by the Ilocanos as fishermen and farmers - their main livelihood, typical Ilocano house furnishings as well as framed pictures of old Ilocos. Other famous Ilocos heritage showcased are: tobacco as a main product of the province, rattan-woven handicrafts, abel-iloko cloths, and typical Ilocano costumes.
The building which looks like a church without a bell tower is made of thick walls of bricks. Major rehabilitation and restoration has just been recently done giving the fresh make-up of the interior of the building - worthy to be the repository of GAMENG (Treasure) that symbolizes the cultural heritage identity of Ilocanos.
Address: Gen Antonio Luna St. cor. Llanes St. Laoag City
Directions: A block away northwest of the provincial capitol.
Opens on Monday-Saturday 9AM to 5PM. Closed on Sundays. P20 entrance.
Sinking Bell Tower
What makes this 45m-high bell tower a stand-out is eventhough it was built in the typical earthquake-proof design in the 17th century, the tower has survived the earthquakes through the years by still standing erect and no Tower-of- Pisa-like tilting; but the structure is SINKING as a result of those earthquakes and add to that its proximity to the river which makes the soil understandably loose.
The entry gate of the tower tells it all that the belltower has really sank much. According to old folks, the tower entrance which is now barely a meter high used to be originally more than 2m high. A very noticeable sunk indeed. (see other picture to appreciate)
Address: F. R. Castro Ave. Laoag City
Directions: Generally, any belltower is visible anywhere within the community center just like this one. It is located a few meters away from the foot of the Gilbert Bridge, the entrance to the city when coming from Manila.
I may say that this was inspired by the success of the Baywalk at Manila. The city government of Laoag has constructed a thin strip of park complete with park lights, palm trees, cottages and benches at the riverbank just beside the Gilbert Bridge.
Newly built, the park is a great place to watch the flowing lights of vehicles passing by the bridge as the sun sets and night falls. Or just relaxing and simply watching the river run.
Directions: East side of the foot Of Gilbert Bridge
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