Ilocos Region and its provinces are located at the northwestern coast of Luzon. The four provinces of the Ilocos region are Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.
Let us take a closer look at the provinces that comprise the Ilocos region. The following information can be very helpful for foreigners who consider to move and retiring in Philippines especially in this specific area of the country.
The Ilocos Norte province has a total land area of 3,622 square kilometer and it is bordered by South China Sea in the west, Cagayan Valley region in the east, Abra in the southeast and Ilocos Sur in the south. The capital city of Ilocos Norte is Laoag City, four hundred eighty-eight kilometers north of Metro Manila.
Major industries and products in Ilocos Norte are the following – manufacturing and food processing like their famous longganisa, basi which is their native Ilocanos wine, chicharon, chichacorn, bagoong, vinegar, patis, jewelry and garments; Cottage industries like ceramics, furniture, iron works and loom weaving; Agriculture products like fruits and vegetables; garlic, root crops, corn, tobacco and of course rice; Livestock like cattle and pig; and Fishery.
Most real estate in Ilocos Norte is residential and it is usually consist of various categories all under residential classification. They have lots only, house & lot; apartments, condominium and many more.
Residential lots mean a vacant land, parcels of land or merely a raw land. As a buyer you have to be careful in choosing your location and you should know how to assess the land so that you know if the price is just right or if you do not have enough knowledge to assess the property then better consult an expert broker. Most of the time lots are price per unit of area or per square meters. This is convenient since you can easily compare prices with other lots.
Pricing of lots depends on its attributes. It can be evaluated according to its topography whether the lot is level or not; if the land is accessible meaning close to hospitals, schools, markets and other amenities; its access to the roads; the kind of ground whether it is good for ground structures or can have several floors; and of course not to forget its availability of electricity and even security.
House and Lots
Any stand alone structure whether it is just a cottage or castle is considered as house and lot. With this category you usually find executive villas, bungalows, family homes and even mansions.
House and lot that are available in the market may be fully furnished or semi-furnished. However most fully furnished hose are for rent although some of them are also for sale. In the description of the property the furniture, decorative objects as well as the appliances should be included since the cost of this is add up to the house.
Condominiums are available in Ilocos Norte. This structure is expected to be constructed in high quality and has luxurious amenities. A condominium is either for rent or for sale and it is either fully furnished or not furnished. Renting one is no difference as renting a house, the only difference is that with condominium you have to pay a monthly fee for maintenance.
Townhouses are like row houses. Just like the condo, townhouses are either for rent or for sale. For town house that is for rent, they are usually offered furnished although there are fully furnished townhouses that are for sale too.
It is a residential that is in a multi-unit structure. A building may compose of more than ten doors of apartment. This is the most popular form of residence in urban areas since it is affordable and convenient.
Apartments are mostly for rent but there are a few cases where you find an apartment for sale but in very rare instances since apartments are built for the purpose of generating income through rent. Apartments for this matter may be furnished or not furnished. For furnished apartments, leaser do not have to invest in buying furniture and appliances and the rent for this matter is much more expensive than those not furnished apartments.
Rooms for Rent
Rooms for rent are the most affordable kind of real estate in Ilocos Norte. It is affordable since it is only one room and you do not have your own bathroom or cooking area. The restroom is common as well as the cooking area among all the tenants.
Attractions and Landmarks of Ilocos Norte
Tourism is getting much attention in Ilocos Norte. In fact it is one of the leading destinations in the Philippines. There is so much to see in this place and it will take a lifetime to discover everything. Below are the most popular landmarks and attractions in Ilocos Norte.
Bell Tower Ruins & Bacarra Church
This church along with its bell tower was built year 1593 by the Augustinian Friars but was inaugurated later in the year 1782. By August of 1983, the church was destroyed by an earthquake but is reconstructed and again inaugurated of the same month the following year.
The Bell Tower stands a good distance from the church so as to reduce damage if in case it will buckle down. Today the tower is already dilapidated yet it serves as a symbol of the sufferings and sacrifices of the Filipinos who delivered forced labor during the Spaniards colonization.
Juan Luna Shrine
This shrine is found in Ilocos Norte and it is a reconstruction of a two storey house where the famous Filipino painter Juan Luna was born. Luna’s most reputed work was the “Spolarium” in 1884. One of his most notable paintings includes “People and Kings” and “The Blood Compact”.
The Shrine includes a family gallery which showcases photographs of the Luna clan and household artifacts. Another section houses the works of Juan Luna including the reproduction of Luna’s two important works which are the “El Pacto de Sangre” and “Spolarium”.
Marcos Mausoleum & Museum
It is at Batac, Ilocos Norte and it features souvenirs of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. It also houses a large tomb where his remains are put in sealed glass coffin. President Ferdinand E. Marcos has served the country for twenty one years. He was removed from office by the famous “people power” EDSA revolution.
Museo Ilocos Norte
The museo is in Laoag City in close proximity to the capitol. If you want to know more of Ilocano cultures then visit the museum. This museum was designed to boast the citizens of the province. It features the multi cultural heritage of the Ilocanos. This attraction is one of the most popular and most visited with tourists and students. The museum charges a minimal entrance fee and it is open during office hours on weekdays. They are closed during lunch time.
Malacanang of the North
The two storey structure is the official residence of President Marcos. Today the place has been converted into a museum and is open for the locals and tourists. Unfortunately the place is not well maintained. A minimal entrance fee is collected if one wants to see the place.
Other famous attractions and landmarks in Ilocos Norte include Sarrat’s Sta.Monica Church, Salt Making in Pasuquin, Currimao’s Nipa Beach Resort, and Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel.
Ilocos Sur is part of Ilocos region in northern Luzon. Vigan is its capital city and it is situated at the mouth of the Mestizo River. It is bordered by South China Sea in the west, Benguet and La Union in the south; Mountain Province in the east and Abra and Ilocos Norte in the north. Aside from it capital city which is Vigan, it has another city which is Candon City.
Farming is their major industry and their major produce are fruits and vegetable; root crops, corn and rice. Their non-food products include tiger grass, cotton and tobacco. Cottage industries are also booming in the province like ceramics, jewelry making, blacksmithing, furniture making and loom weaving.
You can find a huge 5,250 feet monument in the site where the battle of Bessang Pass was won by the USAFIP in the 14th of June 1945.
Sta. Maria Church
This church is already century old and is considered as a National Landmark. This church was built right at the top of the hill in the town of Sta. Maria and this was use as fortress during 1886 revolution.
This where the famous Battle of Tirad Pass headed by General Gregorio del Pilar happens. Today the site is declared as a National Shrine.
The ancestral houses in Kamestizoan District are a sight to see. You will find houses with ancient tile roofs, hardwood floorings and azoteas and balustrades which are designed beautifully in Chinese-Spanish-Mexican style of architecture.
This palace was seven years in the making and it was finally completed year 1793.It showcase a collection of ecclesiastical artifacts and some relics from other Ilocos churches. Tours can be arranged during business hours from Monday to Friday.
The church was designed Gothic and Baroque style. It has a belfry which is situated several meters a way and was use as look-out for any enemies that are coming.
This museum features collections of porcelain artifacts and pottery that tells of Ilocano heritage. It is open during business hours from Mondays to Fridays. You can still visit the place on weekends or holidays but make sure to appointment in advance.
Jose Burgos residence is now turned as National Museum in Vigan. It features Jose Burgos and Ilocano artifacts as wall as ethnic arts of the native Tinggians. The museum is open during business hour from Mondays to Fridays and you can visit it by appointment during the weekends and even on holidays. A minimal entrance fee is collected to children and adults visitors.
It is at San Esteban and is often visited by many picnic goers. This is the site where US submarines have surfaced to unload their arms and supplies during the last phases of World War II.
This falls is at Sta. Maria and is a favorite setting for most Filipino films. It showcase Angalo’s footprint. It is the legendary Ilocano giant. Other falls you can find at Ilocos Sur are Barasibis in Sinait, Awasen Falls in Sigay,Gambang Falls in Cervantes and Caniaw Falls in Bantay.
It is almost as white sand beach and lots of visitors frequented this place. It as picnic sheds and rest houses available.
It is a long stretch of beach found in Santiago. You will find amenities for various water activities like some water sports and even amenities for picnics are available too.
This century old church features the Black Nazarene which was found in a sealed casket floating along the coast of Sinait. This image is believed to have taken away the plague in Vigan in the 18th century. Today the shrine is visited with numerous locals and foreign visitors during the feast of the Black Nazarene which is on the 3rd of May.
St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral
This church was built by Augustinian Friars with baroque styled architecture. It is the site where most of religious festivities are being held.
This plaza is situated west of St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral and it highlights the oldest monument in the north which is the Salcedo Monument.
This plaza was named after the martyr priest – Jose Burgos. You will enjoy their native delicacies in nearby stalls.
This sundial is one of the oldest sundials that still exist and is use until today. This was built by the Spaniards year 1848.
The Holy week is the feasts that most locals attend to at the St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral. They have a good Friday procession which features carrozas that carries life size statues and on Easter Sunday a dawn celebration is made to welcome the resurrection of Christ.
Viva Vigan Arts and Industry Festival
The festivals happen every first week of May and the festivals showcase product and painting exhibits, Calesa parade and any other cultural activities.
La Union is found in the southwestern section of Ilocos region. It is bounded by the China Sea in the west, Benguet in the east, Pangasinan in the south and Ilocos Sur in the north. It is mostly a hilly terrain and has a total land area of 149,309 hectares. The province has twenty municipalities and San Fernando is the capital city of La Union.
It has two seasons – the rainy or wet and dry season. The rainy season starts in month of May to October while dry season begins in month of November to April. It is the southeast monsoon that brings most of the rainfall during the rainy season while the northeast monsoon is the one that brings on dry season.
Filipino and English is the medium of instruction in schools but Ilocano is the common dialect of the locals. Some Barangays speaks of Pangasinense and some natives who live in town bordering Cordillera speak of Kankanacy or Ibaloi.
Major industry in the province is agriculture. They also have cottage industries which includes broom making, pottery, bamboo craft, basketry and blanket weaving.
Baroro Bridge Marker
This marker stands at the southern part of the bridge about fourteen kilometers of north San Fernando. This commemorates the victory of the Luzon Guerrillas against a Japanese armed unit even before the American forces came to the place.
Battle of San Fernando Marker
This marker is in the northwestern section of the town plaza. Here you will find the story of how the battle was won thus establishing the United States Army Base M at Poro Point.
This structure was built along the shore of Luna during the Pre-Spanish time. This serves as a look out point for any pirate’s attacks.
Other historical attractions in La Union include the Basic Ridge, Wallace Air Station, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Cultural Tourist Attractions
This is one home industry that is very popular in Bangar. The Ilocano blankets are known and is made of polester, cotton and rayon.
Basi is what they call with their Ilocano native wine. It is made from the sugar cane juice and it is the famous home industry of Lioac, Naguilian. They make use of their age old process in making the wine.
Museo de La Union
The museum is found at the ground floor of Provincial Capitol in San Fernando. It features Pre- Spanish archeological finds. It is open during business hours from Monday to Friday and Saturday is by appointment only.
Agoo-Damortis National Seashore Park
This is declared as National Park and the beach stretch from Sta. Rita up to Damortis. This park is developed as a tourist destination in La Union.
It has fine grayish sand. It has establishments lined from Baccuit to Pagdalagan which provides accommodation and amenities to tourists.
Agoo Apparition Site
Agoo has become a destination of most Marian devotees because of the famous divine visitations of the Virgin Mary in San Antonio.
Shrine of Our Lady of Charity
The Agoo Basilica is where you find the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Charity. This structure is inspired with Mexican-Baroque style of architecture.
Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan
The miraculous icon of Our Lady of Namacpacan is founding the St. Catherine in Luna which was formerly known as Namacpacan. It is located at Luna about forty kilometers northwest of San Fernando.
Man Made Attractions
La Union Botanical and Zoological Garden
This garden is Cadaclan, San Fernado. To date, its development is ongoing and it includes plan of putting up amenities for tourists or visitors.
This park has total area of 300 hectares extending to Palina, Pudo. The park is going to be rehabilitated and developed into a mountain resort.
Activities of Special Interest
Surfing is one great water activity in Monaliza, Urbiztondo, San Juan. It is ideal for surfing from months of November to February. You can rent surf boards at nearby surf camps. Other surf sites are Carlatan and Wallace in San Fernando.
Bagulin offers good trails for trekking. It is primarily mountainous and hilly and traversed with the Bagulin-Naguilin River. You will find interesting scenic spots, several geological formations and even areas that are now threatened for environmental degradation. Trekking starts in the month of October. Other sites good for trekking are the Bebeco in Sto. Tomas, Condura in Rosario and Dacanay reforestation in Pugo.
One of the best places to scuba dive is in Fagg Reef. It is a large reef and home to big coral heads and various friendly sea creatures like Moray eels, sea snakes, Barracuda and Sharks.
If you love Golf then the Wallace Golf Course is a good place to be. It is an eighteen hole golf course located within the Wallace Air Station. You can play in the golf course for a minimal fee and you can also buy golf equipment as well as accessories. Other golf course in the area is the PNP Friendship Ridge Golf and Country Club.
Agoo Semana Santa
During Holy week on Good Friday a life sized statue picturing the stations of the cross are paraded in a procession by the devotees. During the week, the locals of Agoo have religious activities in keeping the traditions of the holy week or semana santa.
Feast of Our Lady of Caysasay
The feast is celebrated every second week of September.
San Fernando Town Fiesta
Celebration is centered in the capital town of La union which is San Fernando. It is also a week long celebration form February 6 to 12 to commemorate the St. William, The Hermit.
Pangasinan is the third largest province in the country. It got its name from “asin” which means salt. This is because the province is rich with fine salt which is the major source of livelihood of the locals. The province consists of four cities and forty-four municipalities. It is bounded by China Sea and Ambles in the west, Tala in the south, Neva Ecija in the east, Neva Vizcaya in the northeast and Benguet, La Union and Lingayen Gulf in the north.
Pangasinan generates export earnings around $5.5 million. The province is blessed with so much marine life thus it is no wonder that the province is a main fish supplier in Luzon and as well as number one supplier of salt too. The province also has vast fish ponds mainly for raising milk fish. Aside from aqua culture, agriculture is also one of Pangasinan’s major industry. The province major crop produce includes sugar cane, corn, mangoes and rice.
Its shrine is popular not only in Pangasinan but it is known nationwide. Many Catholics visit the shrine especially on their feast day which is on the 1st of October.
Other religious sites worth to visit are St. James The Great Parish in Bolinao, St, John Cathedral Gardeb in Dagupan City and Salasa Church in Bugallon.
Hundred Island National Park
Pangasinan is becoming a popular tourist destination because of its Hundred Island park. This site shows a group of hundred island and the biggest among it is named Quezon. Most of it are small island and is not inhabited but most of the big islands have accommodation facilities.
Other natural attractions in Pangasinan includes San Juan River in San Carlos City, Antong Falls in Sison, Bolinao Caves, Pantal River Boat Ride at Dagupan City, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in Bolinao, Rock Garden Resort, Tondol Beach in Anda and Umbrella Rocks of Agno.
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