DIY TRAVEL GUIDE: Marinduque: Heart of the Philippines!

Marinduque...a small heart-shaped island located at the very center of the Philippines, is my beloved hometown.  I'm proud of it even though there are no shopping malls, fast foods or a nightlife. You can definitely enjoy fresh air and of course fresh food, specially seafood! If you want a slow-paced and simple life, this is the place for you.

Marcos Museum & Mausoleum

This museum is just another place that shows how extravagant life of the Marcoses is.  It both serves as memorabilia storage and resting place of the former President Marcos.  Situated in the heart of Batac, his birthplace. 

List of Hotels/Resorts/Homestays in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Please find below the list of accommodations in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. This is just a list and does not guarantee the current room rates, addresses, contact numbers and quality of service of the hotels. It is advisable that you do a full and thorough research about a specific hotel before booking. 


Address: Sitio Malingay, Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Mobile#: +63(920)969-9166
For latest reviews and current rates, please click here.

Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant & Bar

Not far from the cathedral is a well-known restaurant to both tourists and locals. It's just a simple looking restaurant from the outside but let it not deceive you.  You'll be surprised when you get inside and see the homey ambiance. 

Northview Hotel

To truly enjoy your visit in Laoag & Paoay, you must at least, stay overnight.  We have a car so we decided to stay a night at the Northview Hotel.  Their service is okay though their rooms are kind of old.  The air con at the first room had stopped suddenly so we have to move to another room.

Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud

We were not able to explore more of Pudpud because we don't have much time.  We only had a quick dip because it’s over crowded, not my cup of tea. I don’t like places with a lot people, it kinds of suffocates me. Never visit Blue Lagoon during Holy Week, as it's really over crowded.

Patapat Viaduct

Patapat Viaduct is a coastal bridge connecting Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valey Region. It's really amazing to see this snake-like bridge in between the ocean and the mountains. It's the 4th longest bridge in the country.

Father of All Mankind

A framed letter written by the former President Ferdinand Marcos posted just outside the Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Father of All Mankind,

We ask you to look down upon our people, and fill our hearts with your spirit, that we may have the grace and the wisdom to look into ourselves, and in so doing, see are weaknesses and our strengths.

Batac Church (Immaculate Conception Church)

This is the church of the former President Ferdinand Marcos’s birthplace. One of its priors wrote the "Relacion", retelling Diego Silang's rise against the Spaniards. The original church that was built in 1620 was damaged. It was reconstructed in 1690 and finished in 1692. The facade was just renovated recently.

Laoag Cathedral (Saint William Metropolitan Cathedral)

Another reason I want to come back in Ilocos Norte is this church.  Also known as Saint William Metropolitan Cathedral, is one of the biggest and oldest churches in the country. It is known for its Italian Renaissance design and its Sinking Bell Tower, which sinks into the ground at a rate of an inch a year.

Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes, also known as La Paz Sand Dunes, is a national geological monument expands from the boundary of Currimao and Paoay to La Paz in Laoag City.  The scenery going to this place is not that pretty but when you get to see the sand dunes, you’ll be amazed. Sand dunes are built by either wind or water flow.

Paoay Church (St. Augustine Catholic Parish Church)

Formally called St. Augustine Catholic Parish Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines and inscribed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The church was constructed in 1694 and finished in 1710.

Paoay Lake

Locally called dakkel danum, which means large body of water.  It is a legendary lake because of the interesting and enchanting history passed upon by forefathers to present generations.

Malacanang of the North

This beautiful house of two-story sits on a five-hectare property with a magnificent view of Paoay Lake. It has grand living rooms, seven bedrooms, and expansive terrace and a beautiful garden overlooking the lake. Malacanang is the official house of the Philippine President. It was called Malacanang of the North, because this was an official house of the former President Ferdinand Marcos during his time. An extravagant gift from Imelda Marcos to his husband on his 60th birthday.

Bangui Wind Farm

Commonly knows as Bangui Windmills is also along the way going to Pagudpud. This is the first wind-generating farm in the Southeast Asia. This was built due to insufficient power provided by National Power Corporation.  It's very ideal for the Philippines to install wind turbines because it's near the monsoon belt.

The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag

This centuries old 45m bell tower is the first thing you'll see when you arrive at Laoag’s town proper. This St. William Cathedral's bell tower is reputed to be the most solid, massive and tallest tower in the Philippines. The tower is so heavy and has sandy foundation thus the sinking.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Cape Bojeador is located at Burgos, Ilocos Norte and the first land sighted by vessels approaching Luzon from the northen ports of China and East Asis. It’s well known for its most visited lighthouse, the Burgos Lighthouse.

Sarrat Church (Santa Monica Parish Church)

Originally know as San Miguel Church, this church is renowned as the largest church in the whole Ilocos Norte province.  What interests me most of this church is the bell tower, standing proudly just beside the church.  Unlike the other bell tower I've seen so far, this is the shortest one.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Also located at Burgos, Ilocos Norte, just a few minutes from the lighthouse is the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. A beautiful yet delicate formation created by the forces of the ocean.


Ilocos Norte is a one of the provinces in the Philippines where you will find beautiful and natural tourist attractions. Laoag, being the capital offers some of those attractions. The Spaniards called the region “Ylocos” from the word “looc” (sheltered coves) where the locals lived in harmony. That later became “Ilocos” & the people from Ylocanos to “Ilocanos”. Ilocos was split into two provinces: Ilocos Norte & Ilocos Sur due to the increasing population and an effort to gain more political control. Ilocos was freed from the abusive power of the Spaniards with the help of Diego Silang a native of Pangasinan. His wife Josefa Gabriela, popularly known as Garbriela Silang, when he was killed, continued his fight.
The founder of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipay is a native of Ilocos. Gregorio Aglipay established Aglipay that helped restore the self-respect of many Filipinos.
If Ilocos Sur was known for the Crisologos, the Ilocos Norte is for the Marcoses. The former Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos is a native of Ilocos Norte. He led an authoritarian ruler of the country during his term. I was not born yet when the Martial Law happened so I can't say anything about what happened, however, you will hear a lot of different opinions depending on people's political views. Their family is still serving the local government and still popular.
For more info about the province, please visit their official website:

Unlike the neighboring province, Ilocos Norte is blessed with a lot of beautiful and unforgettable sites to discover. If you are planning on visiting Ilocos Norte, make sure you have a lot of time, so you'll enjoy to the fullest and see a lot of tourist attractions. It's very far from Manila, but the travel is all worth it, I promise you that! :) Just keep in mind that since Ilocos is on the higher ground, the sun is really painful on the skin if you are not careful.



If Ilocos Norte is rich in beautiful and natural attractions, Ilocos Sur, on the other hand, is very rich in culture, heritage and history. One can let herself lost in this place, discovering the past and comparing it to the future. It's the best place to experience an Spanish-era environment.
The Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo founded Ilocos Sur. It's capital, Vigan City, Villa Fernandina (City of Ferdinand) in honor of Prince Ferdinand, firstborn son of Prince Philip of Spain. It was later on called "Ciudad Fernandina de Vigan (Ferdinand's City of Vigan). The locals called it Bigan, which later on became Vigan.
In 1999, the city was inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List, with few Hispanic towns still intact and preserved.The site is describe as:
 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, from China and from Europe, resulting in a culture and townscape that have no parallel anywhere in East and South-East Asia.
Diego Silang the British appointed Governor led a revolt against the Spanish that made Ilocos an established state. He was killed by one of his friends, Miguel Vicos. His wife, Gabriela Silang, took command of the revolt and fought courageously until her capture and execution by hanging in Vigan Plaza, along with her troops.
Another notable history that happened in this province is the Battle of the Tirad Pass. The battle was fought by 60-Filipinos during the Philippine-American War led by the national hero Gregorio del Pilar in order for President Emilio Aguinaldo and his troops escape. Outnumbered by the American soldiers, they keep fighting until their last breath.
Ilocos Region is not only blessed with people who can lead, but also with beautiful places to visit. Aside from that, it can also be considered as the Tobacco capital of the Philippines. Passing along the mountains and fields, you'll see the growing tobacco plants. The province, specifically Candon City, celebrates the Tobacco Festival as thanksgiving to the abundant harvest of tobacco.
I would love to return here one of these days and visit the other tourist spots.

Vigan Church (St. Paul's Cathedral), Ilocos Sur

Also known as Metropolitan Cathedral is a must visit when you go to Vigan City. It was considered a major religious landmark not only in Northern Luzon but the county as well.

The original church was constructed in 1574. The church as it stands now was completed in 1800. This is truly one of the oldest churches in the country, although it looks new.

The first and original chapel was made of wood and thatch was built with the command of the Spanish founder of Vigan, Juan de Salcedo. The facade of the church does not look impressive compare to the other old churches in the province and the country.  However, it said that the interior of the church is something to be admired.

I only saw this church when we had our Kalesa tour ride and took a couple of pictures.  It's not included in the tour so you can just visit later on when you have extra time.  I will definitely visit this church when I go back to Ilocos Sur.

Syquia Mansion, Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Our next stop during the Calesa tour is the Syquia Building. An old house of the former Philippine President Elpidio Quirino, now converted into a museum.  This two-story house is actually owned by the wife of President Quirino, Dona Alicia Syquia (Sy-Kia).

Bantay Tower

The old historic belfry of the church, known as the Bantay (To Guard) Tower, served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish era. It's the first thing you'll see from the entrance of the Bantay Church, a perfect spot to watch for an attack.

Bantay Church (Saint Augustine Parish Church)

Travel Date:April 4-8, 2012
Bantay Church, also known as St. Augustine Parish Church, is one of the popular tourist attractions in the province of Ilocos Sur. A visit in Vigan is not complete without seeing this church. Don't confuse this church to Paoay Church, though, since they have the same official name.

Crisologo Museum

Travel Date:April 4-8, 2012
Not far from Syquia Mansions stands the Crisologo Museum, a museum built in memory of the former Ilocos Sur Congressman Floro S. Crisologo, who died a tragic death. The museum contains most of his and his family's memorabilia



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