Ilocos

A throwback to good ‘ol Ilocos Sur and Norte

I’ve been to the Ilocos province a grand total of two times.

The first was way back in the 90s when my mom’s side of the family went on a Northern Luzon road trip. We left Manila at the godawful hour of three in the morning, and arrived in Ilocos some time in the afternoon. I remember seeing huge churches, running around white sandy beaches, swimming over gorgeous coral reefs, and walking along a street lined with a lot of crumbling old buildings. I remember enjoying the beach and snorkelling, while thinking the latter a waste of my time. I was eleven.

A little over a decade later, I came back and discovered that the street with the crumbling old buildings was actually the historic town of Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and unlike my 11-year-old self, I found the entire area quite charming and romantic.

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Vigan, I learned, was established in the 16th century and is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Located in the delta of the Abra river, it is the perfect illustration of East meets West, as its architecture and planning reflects the coming together of different cultural influences, from Asian building and design to European colonial architecture and planning.

Apart from the sense of nostalgia the place evokes, what I really love about Vigan is that the place is absolute heaven for texture photography.

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

The same can be said for the rest of Ilocos, with its collection of Heritage churches, carefully preserved Spanish colonial homes, and lighthouses.

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

Ilocos 2010

A visit to Ilocos is literally a walk down memory lane—one I hope to take again soon <3

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6 comments

    1. Hello there!

      Ilocos is a 10-hour drive/bus ride from Manila—often, tourists opt for a three- to four-day trip to the region, which is also quite vast and will take a lot of time to cover :)

      There are, however, flights directly to Laoag via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Takes an hour to get there. Vigan, where most of my photos in this entry are taken, is a two-hour bus ride away.

      Hope that helps!

      Like

      1. Yes, Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and there are a number of World Heritage Churches in the Ilocos Region, too. :)

        The last time I was there, I was accompanying a group of students for a story—we stayed at a dormitory (which I don’t really recommend if you’re looking for something more comfortable). Agoda and TripAdvisor has a number of good hotels listed in their site, so best to start there. :)

        Like

  1. These are definitely beautiful photos. I thought I knew Ilocos, but after seeing these photos now I know that I definitely need to visit the place. So gorgeous and loved that every corner and every wall has a piece of history.

    Like

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