One of the notable travel destinations in northern Philippines is Laoag. This third-class city, that is the capital of Ilocos Norte, has many scenic spots and premier attractions that keep tourists from coming back. It has also many resorts and vacation homes supplying the best accommodations while you’re abroad. Covering a location of 101.88 square kilometers, Laoag is additionally called as the “Sparkling Gem of Ilocandia.”

Laoag is located 488 kilometers north of Manila and may be reached by bus or plane. It is an hour drive to Vigan, which is famous for its Hispanic houses sitting on cobblestone streets. Up north, Laoag is six hours far from Baguio, the “Summer Capital of the Philippines.”

There are many good reasons to love Laoag. Here is a travel self-help guide to this beautiful city.

La Paz Sand Dunes
Leading their email list of attractions in Laoag may be the so-called “Desert from the North.” La Paz Sand Dunes covers an area of 85 square kilometers of sand and beach. This protected area is found just about the outskirts from the city, rendering it available to tourists. The internationally acclaimed movie “Himala” starring Nora Aunor was shot here. Even Hollywood directors fell deeply in love with La Paz Sand Dunes. Tom Cruise’s “Born on the Fourth of July” and Mel Gibson’s “Mad Max” were filmed partly in this field.

Sinking Bell Tower
One with the first things you might notice upon entering Laoag will be the Sinking Bell Tower. This 45-meter-high landmark is one from the tallest bell towers in the Philippines. It was built by Augustinian priests in 1612. Because it is so heavy and was built on sandy foundations, the tower is continuously sinking with an alleged rate of an inch 12 months. It is considered that people can pass through the belfry’s door years back. But because of its present condition, you must stoop to get in the tower.

St. William’s Cathedral
Another popular travel stop in Laoag is St. William’s Cathedral. It is one with the oldest and largest churches in Asia. The cathedral, which is situated across the street through the Sinking Bell Tower, was built by Augustinian friars in 1612. It has an Italian Renaissance architecture.

Tobacco Monopoly Monument
Standing beside St William’s Cathedral could be the Tobacco Monopoly Monument. This was constructed in 1882 for then Spanish King Alfonso XIII, who ordered the finish in the tobacco monopoly in Ilocos Norte. From 1782 to 1881, people inside province were expected to cultivate few other crops except tobacco.

Museo Ilokos Norte
Sightseeing in Laoag won’t be complete with out a visit to the Museo Ilokos Norte. Housed inside the old Tabacalera Warehouse, the museum showcases the rich cultural heritage in the Ilocanos. Old tools utilised by local farmers, rattan-woven handicrafts, traditional Ilocano clothing, and artifacts over the province are some in the best finds on the museum. A souvenir search for everything Ilocano is found inside the compound.