Wednesday, April 23, 2014
   
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The Sparkling Gem of Ilocandia

sparklingGem3Laoag City, a vibrant and dynamic growth center in the north, is a truly unique destination offering charming surprises, panoramic sand dunes, lush vegetation, scenic beaches, highland  lures, historical and heritage sites. A must for tourists, it was awarded the Kalakbay Awards as Best Tourist Destination for the year 2001 and the Hall of Fame Award as the Cleanest and Greenest Component City in the Philippines for 200, 2001 and 2002.  Its potentials as a major tourist destination was remarkably recognized when it was awarded as First Place in the Booth Competition during the 2004 Travel Mart held on July 30, 2004, the most significant accomplishment of the First 100 Days in office of City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas.

The City of Laoag is 488 kms. north of Manila, from where the world Heritage City of Vigan is an hour's drive south, while the pristine white sand beaches of Pagudpud are an hour's drive up north. Baguio City, the country's summer capital, is 6 hours away.

In Laoag, not to be missed are the massive bell tower of Saint William Cathedral, also known as the Sinking Bell Tower, sparklingGem4Iloko Museo and the Tobacco Monopoly Monument.

Close to Laoag City are the must-see tourists sites such as the sand dunes of Suba, now a National Geological Monument; the St. Agustin Church in  Paoay, Ilocos Norte, a world Heritage Monument; the Burgos Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in Asia;  Bacarra Belfry, Sta. Monica Church of Sarrat;  Paoay Lake National Park and Paoay Coral Cliffs, Coral Formations of Currimao, Maira-ira Cove, Kaibigan Falls and Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud; the Kaangriyan Falls of Burgos;  the Badoc Island Surf; and Karingking Falls of Solsona.

As the capital of Ilocos Norte, it is the business and trading center of the province boasting of numerous diversified business activities and establishments. Hotels, restaurants, bars, banks and other establishments are located at the central business district. Of particular interest is the Laoag City Commercial Complex, where establishments offers Ilocano products such as INABEL, BAGNET, LONGANISA, SUKANG ILOKO, and many others.

Laoag City is the tourism gateway to the North Luzon Tourism Hub and Growth Quadrangle. It boasts of the Laoag International Airport where there are international flights from Hawaii, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hongkong, Taiwan, Guangzhou, Shenshen, Macau, Shanghai and Korea. The airport serves as a jump off point for flights to  Basco, Batanes alongside with the regular flights to Manila. Truly, radiating endless rays of possibilities, Laoag City is the country's SUNSHINE CITY.