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Laoag

Travel Guide Asia Philippines Laoag

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Introduction

St. Augustine Parish Church Bell Tower

St. Augustine Parish Church Bell Tower

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The city of Laoag is the center of commerce, industry and trade in the province of Ilocos Norte in the northwestern coast of the Luzon island. It is a city that is rich with historical sites that dates back the Spanish period. Also the city serves as the main jump of point for other tourist destination in the province of Ilocos Norte.

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Sights and Activities

  • Bacarra Bell Tower. Dates back to the 15th century, it is dubbed as the bowing acrobat tower of Southeast Asia
  • Sinking Bell Tower. The notable bell tower of the St. Williams Cathedral that sinks to the ground about an inch a year.
  • Tobacco Monopoly Monument. A monument built for tribute to King Alfonso XIII of Spain who terminated the Tobacco Monopoly in the 19th century. To date, tobacco is still the major industry in the province.
  • Paoay Church. Formally the St. Augustine Church, it is among the four baroque churches in the Philippines that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. Located north of Laoag, this is one of the oldest and tallest lighthouses in the country.
  • Bangui Wind Farm. Also located north of Laoag, it features 15 wind turbines, each more than 200 feet that line up the shores of the town of Bangui.
  • Pagudpod. Located near Bangui, this boasts beautiful white sand beaches fronting the South China Sea. It is being packaged as the Boracay of the north.
  • La Paz Sand Dunes. Located near Fort Ilocandia, this is a vast track of sand dune that is desert like but meets the sea.

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Events and Festivals

Like any other cities and town in the Philippines, Laoag has its own share of festivals in celebration on the feast of their patron saint.

  • Pamulinawen Festival. Held yearly between February 4 to 10 in celebration for their patron saint, Saint William whom was believed to have helped in sparing the city from calamities. Pamulinawen came from the name of a legendary bird that once found in the province.

Other major Philippine festivals are listed in the Events and Festivals in the Philippines section.

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Getting There

By Plane

Laoag is accessible through the Laoag International Airport, though only Mandarin Airlines serve direct flights to the city from Kaohsiung. While, Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines serve domestic flights into the city connecting it to other major cities in the Philippines.

By Bus

The city may also be reached by a 10 hour bus ride from Manila through the following Bus companies:

  • Auto Bus
  • Fariñas Transit
  • F. Franco Transit Co.
  • Partas Transit
  • Philippine Rabbit
  • RCJ Transit

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Like any other cities and towns across the Philippine islands, Laoag has a range of public transport to get you from one point to another and even to neighboring towns. The most common would be the jeepneys that ply on a route that is commonly traversed by commuters. Tricycles also provide transport to smaller communities that are not usually traversed by jeepneys.

Horse drawn carriages, called calesa are also a mode of transport that has still remained in the city even with the arrival of motorized modes of transport.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are a number of internet service providers nationwide: PLDT-Smart Communications, Globe Telecoms, BayanTel and Sun Cellular and each have their signal strengths in various locations. Internet access areas of broadband speeds are plentiful in city malls, much less so outside the cities, but are growing at a rapid pace. Internet surfing rates depend primarily on where you surf and the medium used (e.g. WiFi or wired). Internet services offered by hotels and shopping malls are expensive and can go up to ₱200/hour (approximately US$5) but neighbourhood cafes can be as cheap as ₱15/hour (approximately US$0.35).

Public place WiFi services in the Philippines is provided by Airborneaccess.net and WiZ is likely to cost ₱100 (approximately US$2) for up to an hour. But if you want cheaper, there is a internet cafe chain in SM malls called, "Netopia", that has a landline internet connection for around 20P an hour (about 0.46 US). Coffee shops as well as malls usually carry WiFi service some are free to use. Certain areas may also carry free WiFi. The SM chain of malls offer free wifi, so you can sit virtually anywhere in the mall and access free wireless.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. There are three major companies operating GSM 900/1800 networks: Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular. Your home provider at home should have agreements with one of these providers so check with them before leaving home. Roaming may be quite expensive just as elsewhere however, pre-paid SIM cards of these networks are easy to acquire and cost as little as ₱30 and provide a cheaper alternative.
If you don't have a phone to begin with, a complete pre-paid kit with phone and SIM can be purchased for as little as ₱1,500.The usual cost of an international long-distance call to the United States, Europe or other major countries is $0.40 per minute. Local calls range from ₱ 6.50 per minute for prepaid calls.

Due to the wide use of mobile phones, pay phones are increasingly becoming obsolete. Some malls and public places still do have them and they usually come in either the coin or card operated variety. Globe and PLDT are the usual operators. Phone cards are usually sold by shops which sell cellphone pre-paid loads and cards. Note that phone cards of one company can not be used with the other company's card operated phones.

Post

The Philippine Postal Corporation, or PhilPost, is the provides the postal service throughout the Philippines. PhilPost is pretty reliable, but one can hardly call it fast services. It is fine for sending postcards and letters though, both domestically as well as internationally. Prices for sending postcards or letters within the country start at around P7, while most international post costs at least P20. For sending parcels to and from the Philippines it might be wise to use companies like FedEx or UPS. The opening hours of post offices in the Philippines differ from one place to another. Usually, post offices are open from 8:00am to 12 noon and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on weekdays. And for those that operate on Saturdays, the business hours are from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

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This is version 13. Last edited at 8:18 on Aug 7, 13 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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