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Discover Ilocos Norte

Posted in Luzon, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on March 19, 2009
Explore the place and its unchanging culture
March 14, 2009, 12:00am

A visit to Ilocos Norte is a discovery of many distinctive indigenous practices and breathtaking historical landmarks. The quaint province may seem simple and old but most globetrotters will surely get a handful as the place is loaded with unending adventure and fun waiting to be explored.

At a glance, Ilocos Norte is located at the northernmost province on the western side of Luzon. If you’ll board Cebu Pacific, it only takes 45 minutes to get there, while it takes about 8 to 12 hours by land.

The best of culture and nature

Ilocos Norte created its own artistic skills long before the Spanish conquistadors came into the area. It was believed to be from the influences of Malay people and other neighboring countries. Since then, local artisans adopted other talents and these gradually evolved into a more distinct Ilocano flavor.

The art of Abel-making

According to Loom weavers Multi-purpose Cooperative Incorporated head Charito Cabulisan, Abel clothing (one of their famous native crafts) is still made in an old-fashioned way using a traditional weaving machine called Pangab-Lan.

She also said that the tradition of Abel-making is still the top attraction in Nagbacalan, Laoag City.


Empanada is the most popular street fare in Ilocos Norte. It is made of grated papaya, egg, and Ilocano longganisa wrapped in an orange-colored rice dough and is among the best meriendas North of Luzon. Other tourists like to order ‘double-double,’ which means ordering more than the usual. Tourists must try this!

Tapuey and paoay market

At the far side of Ilocos is the small town of Adams. The place is famous for its tapuey (rice wine) and bugnay (fruit wine) products. Tapuey comes from fermented thick rice, while bugnay is made from fermented bugnay fruit.

Lola Ingga, who first introduced the making of tapuey to the locals, said she inherited the making process from her parents more than 60 years ago.

Meanwhile, Paoay market is the best place to look for fresh and cheap produce. Aside from the usual crops, you can also find various kinds of seaweeds like popoklo, papalunan, guraman, ararusit, and kulot. However, tourists must come early because vendors usually go home before lunchtime.

Nature adventure

There are many adventure spots within the boundaries of Ilocos Norte. One of these is in the small town of Adams.

Starting from the national road, tourists must have a 20-minute off-road motorcycle ride to reach the main community. After getting there, one must go through another 30-minute trek, crossing two hanging bridges and lots of streaming water along the way, before reaching Inuwayan falls.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain, tourists and hikers can marvel at the scenery: a full view of the boundaries of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan.

Adam’s apples

When visitors reach the main destination at the side of Inuwayan Falls, the custom is to treat visitors with delicacies such as the balballosa (wild eggplant), ubog (rattan shoots), chicken with cardis, aba (gabi), kukutit (crushed crablets), fried frog, kiwet (igat or small eel), and bean salad. The ingredients are all cultivated and sourced from Adams.

After a day’s adventure and exploration around Ilocos Norte, the quiet place of Sitio Remedios Heritage Village, located in the fishing town of Currimao, is the best place to repose.

Sitio Remedios is a resort 40 minutes away from Laoag City. It consists of seven rebuilt Ilocos houses in the 1.8-hectare beach property. The resort usually houses a maximum of 30 persons, with additional space for 12 persons in the family rooms inside the Cloister of San Antonio. Here, tourists get to experience how Ilocanos lived during the Spanish era.

A visit to Ilocos Norte, will surely make you come back for more. Ag subli kayo manen!

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  1. […] under: environment — blauearth @ 7:36 pm Tags: Adams, ecotourism, Ilocos Norte, travel Read Discover Ilocos Norte by Julius Vicente and learn more about hometown, Ilocos Norte.   Comments […]

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