Friday, July 22, 2011

Region 1 - Ilocos Region

Ilocos Region

Region I occupies the narrow plain between the Cordillera Central mountain range and the South
China Sea.

It also occupies the northern portion of the Central Luzon plain, to the north-east of the Zambales Mountains.

Lingayen Gulf is the most notable body of water in the region and it contains a number of islands, including the Hundred Islands National Park. To the north of the region is Luzon Strait.

The Agno river runs through Pangasinan and empties into the Lingayen Gulf. The river flow into a broad
delta in the vicinity of Lingayen and Dagupan City.

The region is composed of four provinces, namely: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. Its regional center is San Fernando City, La Union. The Ilocano speaking people compose 66% of the region, the Pangasinan speaking people compose 27%, and the Tagalogs compose 3%.


Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte - The Best Of Culture And Nature

Long before the coming of the Spaniards, there already existed an extensive region (consisting of the present provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union) renowned for its gold mines. Merchants from Japan and China would often visit the area to trade gold with beads, ceramics and silk. The inhabitants of the region believed to be of Malay origin, called their place "samtoy", from "sao mi toy, which literally meant "our language".

In 1571, when the Spanish conquistadors had Manila more or less under their control, they began looking for new sites to conquer. Legaspi's grandson, Juan de Salcedo, volunteered to lead one of these expeditions. Together with 8 armed boats and 45 men, the 22 year old voyager headed north.

On June 13, 1572, Salcedo and his men landed in Vigan and then proceeded towards Laoag, Currimao and Badoc. As they sailed along the coast, they were surprised to see numerous sheltered coves ("looc") where the locals lived in harmony. As a result, they named the region "Ylocos" and its people "Ylocanos


Juan de Salcedo, after occupying the town settlement of Vigan, pressed further north to Laoag which at that time was also a center of population. Located at “Ermita Hill” at the northern bank of the Padsan River, Laoag was already a flourishing center of trade with the Japanese and Chinese. The Augustinian missionaries established the Laoag parich in 1580 with St. William, the Hermit as its Patron Saint. Laoag eventually became the capital of Ilocos Norte.

Ilocos Norte was created by virtue of the Spanish Royal Decree on Februray 2, 1818. At that time, the province occupied the coastal plain bordering the China Sea and guarded by the Cordilleras in the northwestern corner of Luzon.

Political Subdivision

Ilocos Norte has 22 municipalities & 1 City (subdivided into 550 barangays and 2 districts).

  1. *Adams 
  2. *Badoc 
  3. *Bacarra 
  4. *Bangui
  5. *Batac 
  6. *Burgos 
  7. *Carasi 
  8. *Currimao
  9. *Dingras 
  10. *Dumalneg 
  11. *Espiritu 
  12. *Marcos
  13. *Nueva Era 
  14. *Pagudpud 
  15. *Paoay 
  16. *Pasuquin
  17. *Piddig 
  18. *Pinili 
  19. *San Nicolas 
  20. *Sarrat 
  21. *Solsona 
  22. *Vintar
  23. *Laoag City (Capital)

Language / Dialect

Ilocano (Iloko) is the major dialect. English and Filipino are the tools of instruction in schools.

Major Industries

Agriculture is the main livelihood of the people. Garlic is the principal cash crop. Fishing and manufacturing are other industries. Cottage industries include weaving, pottery, blacksmithing and furniture-making.

Tourist Attractions
PAOAY CHURCH - Built of coral blocks and stucco-plastered bricks, the architecture is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental. Construction of the church was started in 1704 and completed in 1894. A few meters away is the coralstone belltower which served as observation post of the “Katipuneros” during the Philippine Revolution, Paoay Church is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

 ST. WILLIAM’S CATHEDRAL - The Augustinians built the church of Italian Renaissance design in 1612. Its unique 2-storey facade is held by four pairs of coupled columns. The deeply recessed niche shows the image of the Patron Saint of Laoag City.


SINKING BELLTOWER - Located almost a hundred meters away from the St. William’s Cathedral, the tower has sunk to the ground and leans slightly to the north. The bell tower is part of the property of the St. William’s Cathedral 85 meters to the south (the long red-roofed building across the street in Google Maps).

STA. MONICA CHURCH - Built facing the river in Sarrat, approximately 7 kilometers east of Laoag, this century-old church is of Neo-classical and Baroque architecture.Beside it is a ruin of an old building & a museum.

CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE - Built in 1892, the lighthouse stands on a promontory in Burgos, 45 kilometers north of Laoag City. It still sends out signals to ships passing by the Capefacing the northern portion of the South China Sea. The highest lighthouse in the Phils.

TOBACCO MONOPOLY MONUMENT - The monument was constructed at the foot of the Marcos Bridge to serve as a memorial to the lifting of the Tobacco Monopoly which from 1872 to 1881 gave the Ilocos untold miseries as they were obliged to plant tobacco to be delivered solely to the government.

GENERAL RICARTE NATIONAL SHRINE - Built in honor of General Artemio Ricarte, a native of Batac and a revolutionary hero. He is being remembered every July of every year.


AGLIPAY SHRINE - Found in Pinili, Ilocos Norte. In memory of the most colorful revolutionary figure, Fr. Gregorio Aglipay, that stood squarely behind the oppressed people of God when he founded his protestant sect known as the Filipino IndependentChurch.

JUAN LUNA SHRINE - Located in Badoc, the restored house is a repository of the memorabilia of the famous Luna family foremost are the paintings of Juan Luna which include a reproduction of his masterpiece, the Spolarium.

MARCOS MUSEUM & MAUSOLEUM or BALAY TI ILI - The ancestral house of the Marcoses in Batac showcases the memorabilia of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Batac is 471 kilometers north of Manila.

MALACAÑANG OF THE NORTH - Built as the official residence of then President Marcos in Ilocos Norte, overlooking the legendary Paoay Lake, this imposing structure is now a museum. A minimal entrance fee is collected.

BANGUI WIND FARM - Right beside Pagudpud lies Bangui, a peaceful, scenic coastal town with a rich colorful histroy. In recent years, the construction of 15 wind turbines standing 70 meters tall became an added attraction to Bangui, attracting tourists and phtotographers alike. The Northwind Bangui Bay Project is a 25-megawatt wind power generation plant, the first wind power plant in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia!The facility provides 40% of the power requirement for Ilocos Norte.

PAOAY LAKE NATIONAL PARK - The landlocked lake located 3 kilometers away from the sea in Suba, Paoay has an area of 470 hectares. Declared as a National Park under Republic Act 5631 on June 21, 1969, its environs has been turned into a sports complex.

ANUPLIG WATERFALL - Several waterfalls exist in this remote town of Adams. LocalGuides were trained to accompany adventurers. The nearest is 5 kilometers away from the town proper.

ABANG FALLS - The falls cascade like the Hinulugang Taktak in Rizal and is accessible by jeepney from the Bangui townproper.

BANGUI-PAGUDPUD BEACH - This stretch of beaches in the two municipalities are earmarked for development as tourism estates.

Other Interesting Places/Landmarks

Laoag City Hall
House of Marcos’ parents
Patapat Viaduct

The Winding Patapat Bridge

La Paz Sand               

                                             Saud Beach                                                    

        Malingay Beach Cove  


Bantay Abot Cave
Paraiso ni Anton

Agua Grande Mini Hydro Power Plant Blue

Timmangtang Rock

Special Interest:

TREKKING. ADAMS - Laoag Eco-Adventure is an outfit offering adventure sports/ ecotourism adventures that include mountains, rivers, waterfalls & others in Ilocos Norte.

SPELUNKING. PASUQUIN CAVE - Travel time to the caves is 45 minutes from the town proper through a dirt road. A special permit has to be secured from the Mayor’s Office.

KAYAKING. BULU RIVER White water rafting in Adams, Ilocos Norte. Bring your own kayaks as there are no businesses in the area renting out equipments yet. Organizer for this kind of activity may be contacted in Kalinga and Cagayan

LOOM WEAVING - This age-old industry in Paoay produces quality towels, blankets, table runners and clothing materials with ethnic Ilocano designs.


Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur - Heritage Village Of The Philippines

The province of Ilocos Sur is where the Ilocos Region’s myriad of cultures and histories converge to become a living museum of a spirited past. A national shrine, a national landmark, a national museum, heritage museums, ancestral houses, period houses, cobble-stoned streets – they all share space in the timeless land of Ilocos Sur.

Found in the province is the historic town of Vigan, which was inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in November 1999. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines and from China with those from Europe to create a unique culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. Its Kamestizoan District is replete with ancestral houses with ancient tiled roofs, massive hardwood floorings, ballustrades and azoteas in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural styles.

Centuries-old Sta. Maria Church, declared a National Landmark, was used as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Tirad Pass, declared a National Shrine, had been the last stand of the Filipino Revolutionary Forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo during the same period. Bessang Pass served as the backdoor to General Yamashita’s last ditch defense during the last stage of World War II.


Before the advent of the Spanish Regime, settlements already existed along the coves or “looc” in the northern part of Luzon. These settlements called the “Ylocos” which extended from Bangui in the north to Namacpacan in the south were discovered during the expedition led by Juan de Salcedo in 1572.

Juan de Salcedo decided to establish his headquarters in a settlement along the Mestizo River, then named “Kabigaan” because of the “gabi”-like plants abundantly growing by the bank of the river. Vigan also became the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and was called “Ciudad Fernandina” in honor of King Ferdinand. Vigan remains to be the capital town of Ilocos Sur.

On February 2, 1818, the Ylocos was divided into two provinces: Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. At that time, Ilocos Sur encompassed what are now the northern towns of La Union up to Luna and Abra. Also annexed were Lepanto and Amburayan in Mt. Province. Act 2683 passed on March 1917 by the Philippine Legislature defined the present geographical boundaries of Ilocos Sur.


Ilocos Sur is located along the western coast of Northern Luzon. It is bounded by Ilocos Norte on the north, Abra on the northeast, Mt. Province on the east, Benguet on the southeast, La Union on the south, and the China Sea on the west. Its area of 2,579.58 square kilometers occupies about 20.11 % of the total land area of Region 1.

The topography of Ilocos Sur is undulating to rolling with elevations ranging from 10 to 1,700 meters above sea level.

Political Subdivisions

Ilocos Sur has 34 municipalities (subdivided into 764 barangays):

  1. *Alilem 
  2. *Banayoyo 
  3. *Bantay 
  4. *Burgos
  5. *Cabugao 
  6. *Candon 
  7. *Caoayan 
  8. *Cervantes
  9. *Galimuyod 
  10. *Gregorio del Pilar 
  11. *Lidlidda 
  12. *Magsingal 
  13. *Nagbukel 
  14. *Narvacan 
  15. *Quirino 
  16. *Salcedo
  17. *San Emilio 
  18. *San Esteban 
  19. *San Ildefonso 
  20. *San Juan
  21. *San Vicente 
  22. *Santa 
  23. *Santiago 
  24. *Sta. Catalina
  25. *Sta. Cruz 
  26. *Sta. Lucia 
  27. *Sta. Maria 
  28. *Sto. Domingo 
  29. *Sigay 
  30. *Sinait 
  31. *Sugpon 
  32. *Suyo 
  33. *Tagudin 
  34. *Vigan.
Language / Dialect

Filipino and English are the basic tools of instruction in schools while Ilocano is the principal dialect. Kankanaey and Itneg are spoken in cultural communities.

Major Industries

The people are engaged in farming, producing food crops, mostly rice, corn, vegetable, rootcrops, and fruits. Non-food crops include tobacco, cotton, and tigergrass. Cottage industries include loomweaving, furniture making, jewelry making, ceramics, blacksmithing, and food processing.

Tourist Attractions:

Vigan Heritage Village - The historic town of Vigan was inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List in November 1999 because of its outstanding development in architecture, urban planning, and landscape design. Established in the 16th Century, Vigan serves as a testimony to a cultural tradition that has disappeared.

Tirad Pass - Declared as a National Shrine, the pass located in the municipality ofGregorio del Pilar was the last stand of the Filipino Revolutionary Forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo

Bessang Pass - A monument stands on this strategic gap, 5,250 feet above sea level traversed by Highway 4, west of Cervantes, which served as the backdoor to General Yamashita’s last ditch defense during the last stage of World War II. The Battle of Bessang Pass was won by the USAFIP, NL on June 14, 1945.

Ancestral Houses - Kamestizoan District in Vigan is replete with ancestral houses with ancient tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, ballustrades and azoteas in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural styles.


Northern Luzon Heroes Hill National Park - The park in Santa was the stronghold of Gabriela Silang, who continued the struggle for freedom from the Spaniards started by her slain husband, Diego Silang. A historical marker in her honor stands nearby.

Moro and Sulvec Watchtowers - These rotund structures were built as look-out points for impending pirates.

National Museum - Padre Burgos House - The Burgosresidence in Vigan houses the memorabilia of the martyr-priest Jose Burgos as well as Ilocano artifacts and ethnic arts of the Tinggians. The museum is open from Monday to Friday and by appointment on weekends and holidays. Museum hours are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. then 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission fee is P10.00 for adult and P5.00 for 12 years old and below.

Crisologo Museum - Located along delos Reyes Street in Vigan, the museum houses the memorabilia of the Crisologos and original furnishings of a typical Vigan ancestral house. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday and managed by the Crisologo family.

Magsingal Museum - A repository of Ilocano heritage featuring collections of pottery and porcelain artifacts. The museum is open from Monday to Friday and by appointment on weekends and holidays.

Archbishop’s Palace - The palace features sliding capiz windows and cut-out decorations with floral motiffs. Completed in 1793 after a span of 7 years, the palace has a collection of priceless ecclesiastical artifacts and relics from other Ilocos churches. Visits can be arranged from Monday to Friday.

Sundial - Located in front of the Tagudin Municipal Hall, this sundial is one of the existing and still in use sundials built by the Spaniards in 1848.

Plaza Salcedo - Located west of St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral is this elevated elliptical plaza highlighting the Salcedo Monument, known to be the oldest in the North.

Plaza Burgos - Another plaza in Vigan named in honor of the Ilocano-martyr priest Father Jose Burgos. Nearby are food stalls selling native delicacies such as the “empanada".

Pagburnayan - The Ilocano jar called “burnay,” used for storing the local vinegar, local wine “basi,” and “bagoong” and as a decorative ware, is produced in factories using the pre-historic method in the southwestern end of Liberation Avenue in Vigan.

St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral (Vigan) - The massive structure was built by the Augustinians in the distinctive Ilocano earthquake-baroque architecture. The cathedral is the setting of many religious festivities attended by devotees from outside the province.

Sta. Maria Church - A National Landmark, this centuries-old church nestled atop a hill at the townproper of Sta. Maria was used as a fortress during the 1986 Revolution.

Sta. Lucia Church - The object of devotees who flock the church is the dark Virgin of Sta. Lucia, said to be miraculous. Barely 3 feet tall, the 18th century image is venerated all over the Ilocos.

Sinait Church - Enshrined in this century-old church is the 17th century image of the Black Nazarene found floating in a sealed casket along the coast of Sinait. Believed to have caused a miracle by aborting a plague that hit Vigan during the 18th century, the shrine is flocked by many to celebrate the feast of the Black Nazarene every 3rd day of May.

This church is home to the "El Santo Cristo Milagroso" and the "La Virgin Milagrosa".

Bantay Church - The church features earthquake baroque and Gothic-influenced architecture. Its belfry located a few meters away was used as a lookout point for approaching enemies.

Santiago Cove - A stretch of golden sand beach in Santiago with amenities for picnics and water sports.

Pug-os Beach - Resthouses and picnic sheds are found in this nearly white sand beach in Cabugao.

Sulvec Beach - The rocky shore of Sulvec, Narvacan is a favorite stop of commuters and the locals. Nearby is the Narvacan Tourism Lodge.

Apatot Beach - This cove in San Esteban is frequented by picnic goers. During the last stage of World War II, US Submarines surfaced in the area to unload arms and supplies for the USAFIP, NL.

Candon Beach - The beach features amenities and facilities for visitors.

Baluarte falls - The place is accessible by light transportation vehicles and her beauty is best seen during the last quarter of the year. Passing through rainforest, visitors are greeted with cool mist and showers. Adventurist may also scale the top of the falls through a steep pathway constructed for this purpose. Being manned 24 hours by Baluarte Barangay Tanods, these tourist guards says: Conquer your fears, let your spirits soar, have your souls reinvigorated and feel nature at its best.

Pinsal Falls - A favorite setting of many local films, Pinsal Falls features Angalo’s footprint, the legendary Ilocano giant. The falls is a few kilometers of rough road from the highway. Located at Barangay Babalasiwan, Sta. Maria. Other waterfalls in Ilocos Sur are CANIAW FALLS in Bantay, GAMBANG FALLS in Cervantes, AWASEN FALLS in Sigay and BARASIBIS in Sinait.

Other Interesting Places/Landmarks:

Special Interest:

Trekking - The Municipality of Cervantes, home to Bessang Pass, offers a special trail and beautiful sceneries for trekking. A dozen and more waterfalls flow through its verdant mountains. Its terrain is predominantly hilly traversed by brooks and streams. One passes through pine forests, Japanese foxholes/dugouts, alpine grassland through highland meadows, and a variety of flora.

Loom Weaving - Among the Ilocanos’ main cottage industries, it produces quality towels, blankets, table runners, and clothing materials with ethnic Ilocano designs.


La Union

La Union - Pilgrimage Center Of North Luzon

Situated on the northwestern coast of Luzon, La Union is the gateway to the Ilocos Region. With its strategic location, the province has become the business, education, and government center of the Ilocos. Not only is La Union the region’s center for trade but also of religious devotees who flock to one of the country’s popular pilgrimage destinations, especially during Lent.

Agoo, the oldest town of La Union, was once the site of the much publicized divine visitations of the Virgin Mary. The Agoo Apparition Site in San Antonio has established the town as a destination of choice for Marian devotees. Agoo comes alive most on Semana Santa, or the Holy Week, which is the week before Easter. Yearly, the townspeople bear witness to ardent devotees relentlessly pulling life-size statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross along the processional roads in Agoo during the Good Friday procession on Semana Santa.

But the province is not wanting of natural attractions, thanks to seascapes that make it a watersports paradise. The surf fronting Monaliza in Urbiztondo, San Juan is the best site for board surfing from November to February; other good sites are in Carlatan and Wallace in San Fernando. Scuba diving is ideal in Fagg Reef, which is adorned by sharks, barracuda, sea snakes, Moray eels, and other friendly sea creatures, and Research Reef, which is endowed with several tunnels, caverns, and crevices.


La Union was created by virtue of a “Superior Decreto” issued on March 2, 1850 by Governor General Narciso Zaldua Claveria out of nine towns of Pangasinan, three of Ilocos Sur and settlements of the Eastern Pais del Igorotes in the Cordilleras. Its creation as a province was formally approved by a Royal Decree issued by Queen Isabela of Spain on April 18, 1854.

From its inception as a province up to the Second World War, La Union experienced transformations in the socio-cultural and politico-economic aspects. After the War, rehabilitation and reconstruction were done, eventually propelling the province as the center of commerce and trade and the administrative center of Region I.

La Union is located in the southwestern part of Region I and stretches over a length of 102 kilometers from North to South between 120o16' and 120o35' longtitude and 160o15' latitude. It is bounded on the north by Ilocos Sur, on the south by Pangasinan, on the east by Benguet, and on the west by the China Sea.

It has a land area of 149,309 hectares with a predominantly hilly terrain that gradually rises eastward from the shore. Its irregular coastal plain is narrowest in Damortis, Sto. Tomas and widest in Balaoan. Its highest peak is in Bagulin with an elevation of 1,200 feet above sea level. The province has several rivers which are short and rapid.
Political Subdivisions

La Union has 19 municipalities and one component city (subdivided into 576 barangays):

  1. *Sudipen 
  2. *Bangar 
  3. *Luna 
  4. *Balaoan 
  5. *Santol 
  6. *San Gabriel 
  7. *Bacnotan 
  8. *San Juan 
  9. *Bagulin 
  10. *Naguilian 
  11. *Burgos 
  12. *Bauang 
  13. *Caba 
  14. *Aringay 
  15. *Agoo 
  16. *Tubao 
  17. *Sto. Tomas 
  18. *Rosario 
  19. *Pugo 
  20. *San Fernando City (Capital)
Language / Dialect

Ilocano is the common dialect. The residents of the coastal barangay of Sto. Tomas and Rosario also speak Pangasinense while the cultural communities in the towns bordering the Cordillera speak Ibaloi or Kankanaey. English and Filipino remain as basic tools of instruction in schools.

Major Industries

Agriculture remains to be the primary industry. Cottage industries are blanketweaving, basketry, bamboocraft, pottery, and broommaking. Commercial activity consists mostly of wholesale and retail business.

Tourist Attractions:

Agoo Museum - Museo de Iloko, the old "presidencia" of Agoo, houses artifacts and other pieces of cultural importance to the Ilocanos.

Filipino-Chinese Pagoda - The Macho Temple at San Fernando is believed to be the only one built with five gates. It enshrines the image of the Virgin of Caysasay, the patroness of the Filipino-Chinese residents.

La Union Botanical and Zoological Garden - The 10-hectare botanical garden in Cadaclan features various themed gardens, picnic areas, a natural museum, and an aviary.

Bacsil Ridge - Located 9 kilometers northeast of San Fernando town proper through the San Fernando-Bagulin Road, Bacsil Ridge was the last bastion of the retreating Japanese Imperial Army in the province. Later, the Ridge constituted the East Flank of the 121st Infantry of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines, Northern Luzon(USAFIP, NL) during the Liberation in 1945.


Wallace Air Station - These 101 hectares of base land located at the end of Poro Point in San Fernando were acquired in 1903 for the United States Cavalry. It was the home of the 848th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron which provided logistics and administrative support to other radar detachments under its chain of command. Formally turned-over by the United States to the Republic of the Philippines on September 16, 1991, the Bases Conversion Development Authority is overseeing the plans for the conversion of the area into a prime tourism and industrial estate.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Built as a tribute to the heroism of the soldiers who fought during the last World War, the marker stands at the junction leading to the Poro Point.


Battle of San Fernando Marker - Situated at the northwestern portion of the TownPlaza, inscribed as an account of how the Battle was started and won, enabling the establishment of the United States Army Base at Poro Point, which was eventually used as a build up area for the projected invasion of Japan. San Fernando is 264 kilometers north of Manila.

Luna Watchtower - This rotund structure built along the shore in Luna during the pre-Spanish time was used as lookout point for impending attacks by pirates.

Baroro Bridge Marker - The siege of Baroro in Bacnotan started the operation to liberate San Fernando. This marked the first victory of the Luzon Guerillas over a Japanese armed unit before the American Liberation forces landed on Luzon. The marker stands at the southern approach of the bridge approximately 14 kilometers north of San Fernando.

USAFIP, NL Military Shrine and Park - Camp Spencer, the general headquarters of the USAFIP, NL located along Darigayos Cove in Luna, is reserved as a Military Shrine and Park by virtue of Proclamation 590 signed by President Fidel V. Ramos on June 1, 1995. Darigayos is approximately 34.2 kilometers north of San Fernando accessible through the Bitalag Junction in Bacnotan or through Balaoan.

Museo de La Union - Located at the Provincial Capitol ground in San Fernando, the Museum showcases archaeological finds in La Union during the pre-Spanish period. The Museum is open on Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday visit is by arrangement.

Agoo Basilica - The Agoo Basilica enshrines the miraculous image of Our Lady of Charity. This imposing structure of Mexican-Baroque architecture is the venue of religious rites, foremost of which is the Semana Santa.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan - The century-old church of St. Catherine in Luna, formerly called Namacpacan, houses the miraculous image of Our Lady of Namacpacan, patroness of Ilocano travellers. The shrine is located at the town proper of Luna, approximately 40 kilometers northwest of San Fernando.

Agoo Apparition Site - The much publicized divine visitations of the Virgin Mary in San Antonio have established Agoo as a destination of Marian devotees.

Macho Temple - This Chinese temple believed to be the only one built with five gates sits on a promontory north of the town proper of San Fernando and overlooks theSan Fernando Bay. The temple enshrines the image of the Virgin of Caysasay, the patroness of the Filipino-Chinese residents.

Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park - Declared as a National Park, the beach stretching from Sta. Rita, Agoo up to Damortis, Rosario is proposed for development as a tourist destination in La Union.

Beaches - La Union's favored beaches include Bauang Beach, the San Fernandobeach area of San Francisco-Canaoay-Pagudpud, and San Juan Beach.
The stretch of white and gray sand beaches along the towns of La Union is the main attraction to tourists. In the province tourist belts are located along the shores of San Juan, San Fernando City, Bauang and Agoo. Its calm crystal water is ideal for water skiing, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, wind surfing and boating. Its gifted multitude scenic landscape is a tourism haven as well, and eco-tourism development. The stable peace and order situation and the tourism areas in La Union are the main attractions to local foreign tourists.

Bauang Beach - Line along the fine grayish sand of Bauang Beach are establishments providing accommodation and other amenities from Baccuit to Pagdalagan. The beach is 6 kilometers south of San Fernando City.

San Francisco-Canaoay-Pagudpud Beach - a Tourism-related establishments dot the beach area in San Fernando City.

San Juan Beach. - Approximately 8 kilometers north of San Fernando City, the beach stretching from urbiztondo to Ili Norte is dotted with tourism-related establishments. The surf in the area is ideal for surfing during the months of November to February.

Agoo Beach - was the stretch of beach fronting the Agoo Playa Hotel and which is a part of Agoo – Damortis National Park was where the Japanese traded with the native during the pre – Spanish time earning for Agoo the name “Puerto de Japon”.

Caba Beach - San Carlos and Santiago Norte beaches are becoming to be the favorite sites fro private beach houses and resorts. The snd is nearly black beach house resort. The sand is nearly black beach because of the metallic deposit of iron. When not using a private vehicle, stop at the town proper of Caba then take a tricycle to the beach.

City Beach - Splendid beaches adorn the City’s coastline, supplementing these are resorts and a wide raw picnic sheds. One can skin or scuba dive, snorkel, surf and swim or just soak in the water offshore.

City Beach

Special Interest:

Surfing - The surf fronting Monaliza in Urbiztondo, San Juan is the best site for board surfing from November to February. Surf boards can be hired at the Surf Camp nearby. Other recommended sites are in Carlatan and Wallace in San Fernando.

Scuba Diving Fagg Reef - Large flat reef at 40 feet with sharp drop-offs to the north and west sides characterize the Fagg Reef located at 330 degrees, approximately 2 miles from the tip of Poro Point. The best area is to the north, drop in and drift with the current to the north where the coral heads are big enough for 10 divers to crawl under. Sharks, barracuda, sea snakes, Moray eels, and other friendly sea creatures adorn the area where visibility is excellent most of the time.

Scuba Diving Research Reef - Adjacent to the Bauang Beach, the Research Reef has several tunnels, caverns, and crevices. Beginners must beware of narrow caverns that extend quite far.

Pottery-making - Clay products are on display and produced in Taboc, San Juan utilizing the same age-old procedure in pottery-making. Taboc is about 9 kilometers away from San Fernando City.

Blanket-weaving - This age-old practice of weaving wider Ilocano blankets is a prime home industry in Bangar. Rayon, cotton and polyester combination, and the “tinagudan” are yarns used in the weaving of blankets and other products.

Basi-making - Basi, the Ilocano native wine concocted from sugar cane juice and bark of “duhat” tree for the coloring, is a home industry in Lioac, Naguilian. Utilizing the age-old process, the taste of the basi differs from one producer to another.



Pangasinan - Hundred Islands And A Hundred Flavors


PangASINan was one of the early provinces into which the island of Luzon was divided after the arrival of the Spaniards. Pangasinan was then formally created as a province by Governor-General Ronquillo de Penalosa in 1850. Etymologically, the term Pangasinan means the "place where salt is made", owing to the rich and fine salt beds which were the prime source of livelihood for the province's coastal towns. Another name for the region, but not as widely known is Caboloan. The word Bolo in the native language refers to a species of bamboo that was abundant in the interior areas, and favored in the practice of weaving light baskets and winnowing plates called bilao. Historians believe that both names may have been used at the same time.

History tells us however that the Pangasinense has always been sensitive to issues concerning his welfare. One of the first local revolts during the Spanish colonization was instigated by a Binalatongan native, (now San Carlos) Andres Malong in 1660. Princess Urduja: fact or fiction? The heroics of an ancient princess who ruled a kingdom by the Lingayen gulf has never been verified as true by historians, yet the mythical Princess Urduja remains vividly alive and real in the local consciousness.

The Gifts of the Earth and Sea Pangasinan is rooted to the earth - agriculture based production remains as a major source of income for the majority of the populace. Aqua-culture is also popular in areas where instead of farmlands, variated squares of artificial ponds for fish rearing are found. Through the years, as the demand for particular fish stocks rose and fell, fishpond owners have adapted by sticking to traditionally favored, and stable growing fish species like the bangus or milkfish, the malaga and prawns. With agriculture currently mobilizing more than half of the local labor force, the current administration has seen the need to boost its efforts in this area. El Niño and La Niña Like the rest of the country and the world, 1998 was Pangasinan's hottest year with temperatures soaring beyond the 40's. The lingering effects of the El Nino and the La Nina phenomenon continue to affect the local climate. Normally, the dry season begins in November to April and wet during the rest of the year. Typhoons intermittently wreak havoc with some serious flooding in the eastern towns.
However, the presence of a long coastline with attractive beaches offsets the hot and humid weather; sun-loving tourists affirm that Pangasinan's current climate is perfect. The Count Current census figures place the population at 3,803,890 distributed in the province's 46 towns, three cities and 1,354 barangays. English and Filipino are widely spoken and are the mediums of instruction in all schools. Ilocano is the major dialect, spoken by a greater portion of the population in the western and eastern areas. There is some fear that the Pangasinan dialect, spoken predominantly in the central areas, is losing its hold on the local tongue. Bolinao, at the northernmost tip of western Pangasinan has a unique language of its own, also called Bolinao.


Pangasinan’s area of 5,368.82 square kilometers occupies the northern portion of the Central Plains of Luzon with a east-west configuration that extends into a peninsular form juttling into the China Sea. Its boundaries are Lingayen Gulf, La Union and Benguet on the north, Nueva Vizcaya on the northeast, Nueva Ecija on the east, Tarlac on the south and Zambales and China Sea on the west.

Political Subdivisions

Pangasinan has 44 municipalities and 4 cities (sub-divided into 1,355 barangays):

  1. * Agno 
  2. *Alcala 
  3. *Aguilar 
  4. *Anda 
  5. *Asingan 
  6. *Balungao 
  7. *Bani 
  8. *Basista, 
  9. *Bautista 
  10. *Bayambang 
  11. *Binalonan 
  12. *Binmaley 
  13. *Bolinao 
  14. *Bugallon 
  15. *Burgos 
  16. *Calasiao 
  17. *Dasol 
  18. *Infanta 
  19. *Labrador 
  20. *Laoac 
  21. *Lingayen 
  22. *Mabini 
  23. *Malasiqui 
  24. *Manaoag 
  25. *Mangaldan 
  26. *Mangatarem 
  27. *Mapandan 
  28. *Natividad 
  29. *Pozorrubio 
  30. *Rosales 
  31. *San Fabian 
  32. *San Jacinto 
  33. *San Manuel 
  34. *San Quintin 
  35. *Sta. Barbara 
  36. *Sta. Maria 
  37. *San Nicolas 
  38. *Sto. Tomas 
  39. *Sison 
  40. *Sual 
  41. *Tayug 
  42. *Umingan 
  43. *Urbiztondo 
  44. *Villasis 
  45. *Dagupan City (Capital) 
  46. *San Carlos City 
  47. *Alaminos City 
  48. *Urdaneta City
Language / Dialect

English and Filipino are widely spoken and the basic tools of instruction in schools. Pangasinense is spoken in the central part of the province while Ilocano is spoken mostly by the people in the western and eastern towns. Bolinao has a dialect of its own.

Major Industries

Agriculture based industries remain to be the source of income of many. Prominent industries are bagoong making, handicrafts and gifts, toys and houseware making.

Touirst Attractions :

Villa Verde Trail - The Red Arrow Monument at Villa Verde Trail in Sta. Maria East, San Nicolas where the 32nd Division of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East saw action in the pursuit of the retreating Japanese Forces during the campaign to liberate Northern Luzon. Trekking is the main activity in the area.

Home Economics Building Of The West Central Elementary School - The old building was the official headquarters of General MacArthur. The Dagupan Citygovernment plans to convert the building into a museum.
Bolinao Museum - Located at Rizal Street across the Cape Bolinao High School, the museum houses art, geology, botany and zoology materials collected in the area. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday.   

Sison Auditorium - Constructed before the 2nd World War, the restored structure located at the Provincial Capitol compound in Lingayen is the venue of cultural activities.

Old St. John’s Cathedral - It was in the old cathedral on Zamora Street, Dagupan, where the Spanish General Caballos surrendered to the Filipino military strategist, General Francisco Makabulos during the Philippine Revolution.

Church Of St. James Fortress - The Bolinao Church was built by the Augustinians in 1609. It houses wooden statues nowadays a rarity. The antique altar is flanked by two grinning tongue-protruding Aztec visages presumably of Mexican influence and brought over by the Galleon Trade. Bolinao is 81.8 kilometers away from Lingayen and 275 kilometers away from Manila.

Cacupangan Cave - The cave is approximately 5 kilometers away from the highway thru the Cemetery Road in Mabini. Its underground river flows into the Balincaguing River Exploring the cave and its vicinity is recommended during the dry season.

Villacorta Caves - 200 meters long, 20 meters high and 20 meters wide. Accessible by means of a 200 m. foot trail in Brgy. Villacorta from a roadway 7 kms. from the highway. Features huge basin-like formations, pools, waterfalls, terraced rock, palace-like chamber and gypsum flowers.

Mount Balungao - Hot and cold springs are found in this 383 meters high MountBalungao, about 5 kilometers southeast of the Balungao townproper. many visit the place during summer mainly for the medicinal use of the hotspring. Balungao is 188.55 kilometers from Manila
thru Carmen, Rosales.

Manleluag Spring National Park - Located about 7 kilometers uphill climb along the highway in Malabobo, Mangatarem, the forest park declared as a National Park in 1940 is suitable for special interest activities. Mangatarem is 178.47 kilometers away from Manila. With cottages and swimming pools.

Hundred Islands National Park - Scattered off the coast of Lucap in Alaminos are islands and islets looking like giant turtles comprising the 1,844 hectares nature and recreational park. On many points between the islets, the waters are shallow for swimming and snorkeling. The Quezon Island has picnic sheds, toilets and view decks. Children’s Island is for camping activities while the Governor’s Island has facilities for accommodation. Reservations are accepted at the Public Assistance Center where motorized bancas for trips to the islands are hired. Lucap is approximately 3 kilometers away from the townproper of Alaminos.

Agno Umbrella Rocks - These mushroom shaped stone boulders dot the mouth of the Balincaguing River in Sabangan, Agno. Agno is 263.9 kilometers away from Manila

Antong Falls - Located 10 kilometers from the townproper of Sison, the falls cascade down a basin on a mountainside overlooking verdant sceneries of forest cover and rice fields, an ideal place for picnics and outdoor recreation.

Santiago Island - The island, situated off the northeast coast of Bolinao is a favorite of scuba divers. Its corals are teeming with marine life.

Cape Bolinao Beach - The white beach in Barangay Patar is ideal for tourism purposes. Nearby is a freshwater source believed to be an outlet of an underground river. The surf is also ideal for board surfing.

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Lingayen Public Beach - Beach facilities are found in this portion of Lingayen Gulfadjacent to the Provincial Capitol which was one of the landing areas of the American Forces on January 9, 1945 that paved the way for the Liberation of Northern Luzon

White Beach - The beach stretching from Nibaliw West to Mabilao in San Fabian was the landing area of Lt. General Homma, Commander of the Japanese Imperial Expeditionary Forces on December 24, 1941. The beach became on the areas of operation of the Liberation Forces in Northern Luzon onJanuary 9, 1945.

Bonuan Blue Beach - One of the landing sites of the Liberation Forces on January 9, 1945. This stretch of beach in Dagupan features a Japanese Park, theTondaligan Park and the MacArthur Landing Marker.

Tambobong White Beach - This stretch of white sand beach in Dasol is accessible through Burgos town about 258.5 kilometers away from Manila. Its water teems with marine life and a favorite of anglers and scuba divers.

Limahong Channel - The Chinese Corsair Limahong proceeded north to Pangasinan when foiled of his attempt to establish a colony on the shore of Manila Bay. Pursued by the Spanish colonizers, he dug a channel in Domalandan, Lingayen that served as his escape way towards the China Sea.

Lingayen Gulf War Memorial - On display at the park within the Provincial Capitol Compound are relics reminding the people of the last World War.

Other Attractions & Landmarks:

Special Interest:

TREKKING. ADAMS - Laoag Eco-Adventure is an outfit offering adventure sports/ ecotourism adventures that include mountains, rivers, waterfalls & others in Ilocos Norte.

SPELUNKING. PASUQUIN CAVE - Travel time to the caves is 45 minutes from the town proper through a dirt road. A special permit has to be secured from the Mayor’s Office.

KAYAKING. BULU RIVER White water rafting in Adams, Ilocos Norte. Bring your own kayaks as there are no businesses in the area renting out equipments yet. Organizer for this kind of activity may be contacted in Kalinga and Cagayan

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