Laoag the City of Light

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Jan 13, 2008

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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Saturday, January 12, 2008

12 Jan. 2008, 2:30pm. Together with my travel companion (Mai & Luz), we arrived in Laoag International Airport on board Cebu Pacific on a sunny afternoon. Antonio, online friend, was already waiting for us in his Tucson. He was kind enough to take us for a quick ride around the city before taking us to our hotel. We checked in at La Elliana Hotel along J.P. Rizal St., a five-storey orange building. The rate is considerably cheap considering the size of the room. For a room good for three persons, they charged us only Php 1,750 inclusive of tax.

From the hotel past the hour of 3pm, we went to dap-ayan ti ilocos norte for our afternoon snacks. The name of the place is the local dialect for food court of Ilocos Norte. Thus, they only served local delicacies. Most popular snack is the empanada which is made of flour stuffed with fresh beans sprout, eggs and longganisa. The place is open from 2pm until midnight.

Dap-ayan ti ilocos norte is located just a few steps from the Capitol building. So, from there we took a walk around the park which in front of the Capitol.

The park has at least three historical monuments on it - the Oblation, the historical city marker and the Tobacco Monopoly Monument. Standing on the park, one can see the St. Williams Cathedral built in 1612 which is known for its Italian Renaissaince design and Sinking Bell Tower which is a few meters away. It is said that the tower sinks into the ground at a rate of an inch a year.

Another church noteworthy of its manificent grayish facade is the catholic church of San Nicolas located just across the Padsan River. It was built in 1701 and is one of the oldest buildings in the province. We went there for a quick visit riding a kalesa. And just before sunset, we headed back to the hotel to wash up for dinner.

In pink motiff, we had our dinner at La Preciosa Restaurant - Laoag's finest! They served the tastiest pinakbet with bagnet, and the best carrot cake i've ever tasted. Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular Ilocano dish which is usually cooked until almost dry and shrivelled and the flavors of the vegetables are emphasized and accentuated by bagoong (fermented shrimp fry). Bagnet is another local dish which pork meat seasoned and sun dried. But before our orders arrived, they served us with pica-pica (local chips) with vinegar dip.

After our sumptuous dinner, we decided to take a walk back to the park. This time we were surprised by the evening lights. There it was the well-lighted gigantic Christmas tree made up of corn cobs. The Sinking Bell Tower was also lighted. So we enjoyed Laoag's evening breeze taking pictures.

Just before midnight, we headed back to the hotel. My travel companions called it a day while I went out for a bottle of beer with a local friend. Bjorn fetched me and showed me the city's nightlife. We went to Mall 365 where the most happening bar in town is located, E-Bar.

Beer.. lights.. sounds.. capped my first day in Laoag.
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Where I stayed
La Elliana
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jun on

ramihan nyo pa po pics........pra mas resourceful...tnx!!!

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