About the Province

To make sure you cover everything the Philippines has to offer, start right at the top! Ilocos Norte is the perfect beginning to an exciting adventure.

Long before the coming of the Spaniards, there existed an extensive region which was renowned for its gold mines. Merchants from Japan and China often visited the area to trade. The inhabitants of the region called their place “samtoy”, from “sao mi ditoy”, which literally meant “our language”. The Spanish colonization in Ilocos year 1572 was never completely successful. Products such as tobacco and basi (sugarcane wine) were monopolize by the government resulting to uprisings; Basi Revolt being the most noteworthy. The widespread conflict throughout the region led to the division of the old Provincia de Ilocos through Royal Decree in February 2, 1818. Ilocos Norte was born. Since then, the province increased in prosperity. Many towns during this period built bigger stone and brick churches with massive belfries. Under the American regime, new schools, roads, bridges, dikes, and government buildings were constructed.

Start your adventure in Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte and the hub of everything Ilocano. The World Heritage Sites and sand dunes of Paoay in the south; the famous white beaches in Pagudpud and gigantic windmills in the north; and the verdant mountains and tribal villages in the east are at least and hour’s drive away.

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