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Ilocos Norte Adventure: Laoag City, Batac City, Paoay

Our adventure today takes us about 483 km northwest of kilometer 0 in Manila. My blog today is quite special since I would talk about not one but three notable places in Ilocos Norte.

Unlike in my previous blog Ilocos Sur Adventure: Vigan City where we came a bit unprepared by not contacting a guide firsthand. My wife and I decided that it would be wise to have a guide and a driver this time. Our guide and driver for the adventure is Kuya Roy. He was referred to us by our original contact (which you will meet on my upcoming posts). Kuya Roy is a very quiet man. The sad part here is he doesn't have his own phone, he shares his CP with his wife. Rest assured he could be trusted with all your gold and diamonds.
Laoag City Arc

 Kuya Roy 
We aim to tour Laoag City and its neighboring cities and towns before pushing to Pagudpod in the afternoon. So from Laoag, we decided to go to the farthest place first then stop by whatever notable places we could pass by before returning to Laoag City for the bus ride to Pagudpod.  

Our starting point, Laoag City is the capital of Ilocos Norte.  Laoag came from the Ilocano term "lawag" which means light or brightness. That's why Laoag City is proudly called Sunshine City by its townsfolk. Records show that the city was organized as a town sometime in 1585, becoming the first parish and town in all of "old" Ilocos. 

Getting there by land:

Laoag City is twelve to thirteen hours drive from Manila depending on traffic conditions. There are several bus lines that have regular trips to Laoag City.

Getting there by air:

Most airline companies fly daily from Manila to Laoag.

There are several tour packages that you can search from the internet but if your planning to save a lot of bucks look for a tour guide that is unaffiliated to any travel agencies. If you're looking for one, I highly recommend Kuya Jomar Villaluz. It is not a surprise why other travel bloggers endorse him too in their blogs after they were also satisfied with Kuya Jomar's tour guide skills. In fact, we found him through one of the said blogs.
Jomar Villaluz
You could contact him on these numbers:
Globe 09159074537
Smart 09203183945

Places to go to in Laoag City:
St. William the Hermit Church/ Laoag City Church
Fort Ilocandia Resort
The sinking bell tower

Other places you might want to visit:
1. Tobacco Monopoly and City Hall
2. Gilbert Bridge
3. Iluko Museo
4. La Paz sand dunes

Our first stop takes us to the home town of Ferdinand Marcos the tenth president of the Philippines. Batac City is known as the "Home of Great Leaders" because it is the birthplace of many significant figures in the history of the Philippines. The word Batac came from the word bataquennac which means "pull me up!", referring to the folktale of the man who fell on a deep hole who kept on shouting bataquennac or pull me up. He was heard by two men who came to his rescue however they didn't understand what he was shouting about. Since then, that place was called Batac. 

Neil @ Batac City
We were lucky enough to visit this place last September 11 because unknowingly it was the birthday of former president Marcos. People from all over the country flocked the Marcos residence. The atmosphere was celebratory and everyone seems jolly and friendly.  

Happy Birthday Apo Lakay!
Places to go to in Batac City:

Batac Church
Ferdinand Marcos Museum and Mausoleum
Marcos Residence
Other places you might want to visit:
1. Iglesia Filipina Independiente Church
2. Quiaoit Bridge
3. Marcos Monument

Our last stop, before we return to Laoag City, is a town that is starting to make a name for itself. Paoay lies in the southwest of Laoag City. It's known for its historical and environmental tourist attractions. It's also good to know that the new tourism brand of Ilocos Norte is Paoay Kumakaway!

Places to go to in Paoay:

Paoay Sand dunes
Paoay Church
Other places you might want to visit:
1. Paoay Lake National Park
2. Malacañang of the North
1. Skin cancer by applying your most trusted sun block.
2. Dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
3. Overspending by listing down your expenses.
6:00PM Departure of bus from Manila to Laoag City
bus fare= P800 - 900 pax
6:00AM ETA in Laoag City
6:00 - 6:30AM Breakfast* and briefing with guide
breakfast budget= P100; guide fee= P800
Laoag City Tour
6:50- 7:15AM St. Williams Church
7:20- 7:30AM Sinking Tower
8:30- 9:30AM Fort Ilocandia Resort
9:30- 10:00AM Departure to Batac City
10:00AM ETA in Batac City
Batac City Tour
10:00- 10:30AM Batac Church
10:35-11:00AM Marcos Residence and Mausoleum
11:00- 12:00NN Lunch at Jollibee
lunch budget= P100
12:00- 1:00PM Departure to Paoay
1:00PM ETA in Paoay
Paoay Tour
1:00-1:30PM Paoay Church
2:30- 3:00PM Paoay Sand Dunes
3:00- 4:00PM Departure to Laoag City
4:00PM ETA in Laoag City
4:00PM onwards:
Option 1: Go to Pagudpod
bus fare= P90
Option 2: Go back to Manila
bus fare= P800-900
Budget breakdown:
Estimated Budget: P3000
Bus fare from Manila: P800
Breakfast: P100
Tour Guide: P800
Lunch: P100
Option 1: P90
Option 2: P800
Total expenses:
Option 1 P1890
Option 2 P2600
Overall ratings


  1. I don't think I would fit well one of those little cars. But, it would be fun going for a ride and it would make a funny picture.

    1. You mean the tricycles? You should try it. If you happen to visit Ilocos Norte please tell me in advance. I'll ask Kuya Jomar if he could allow you to drive one of those. It's fun! Believe me. =)

  2. hi :) me and my boyfie would be visiting laoag this Dec 15-17,
    is it really good to travel in tric? it looks fun :) and i believe it is a much cheaper one than having travel agencies for the tour itself

    1. Hey pal! Yup it would be great to ride on a trike but if you wouldn't want to get tanned then another option is by 4x4. Kuya Jomar has both. He's the best tour guide for Laoag/Vigan/Pagudpud. =) Enjoy J!

  3. Hi Neil. Was it Kuya Jomar that you paid 800PhP as tour guide? Did that cover all 3 towns, i.e. Laoag, Batac, and Paoay?

    1. Nope it was kuya Roy. Uncle ni Kuya Jomar. Hindi kasi free si kuya Jomar nung time na yun. Pero same price naman. Yup. The trip covered three towns. Laoag City, Batac and Paoay. =)

  4. Hi!

    Thank you for sharing your adventure. I hope my husband and I will enjoy it too.
    Can I ask for Kuya Roy's number please.
    Thanks and God bless.


    1. Hi Vicky! You two would surely love the tour. Kuya Roy is the tito of the tour guide we hired. You should contact Kuya Jomar. He'll assist you on your planned tour. =) Here's his number:
      Globe 09159074537
      Smart 09203183945

  5. Hi...clarify lng...meaning,d u nagpunta ng vigan?d q kc napansin sa blog u.plan q kc mag ilocos tour,naghahanap pa lng most affordable itinerary...thanks!

    1. Hi! Khirzjia! Meron akong Vigan City itinerary. =) Check mo sa Luzon link ko sa taas. =)

  6. Hi...clarify lng...meaning,d u nagpunta ng vigan?d q kc napansin sa blog u.plan q kc mag ilocos tour,naghahanap pa lng most affordable itinerary...thanks!

    1. Meron akong itinerary ng Vigan City and Pagudpud. I hope you could check it out. =)

  7. Hi,san ba mey murang hotel sa laoag?tnx

    1. Hi kharen. Sa town proper may mga murang hotel dun.

  8. How much is the bus to paoay to laoag?

  9. good day sir..ano pong bus ang sinakyan ninyo papuntang ilocos from manila?salamat po

    1. Hi there! We rode Victory Liner going to Ilocos Sur. We chanced up on a Florida bus going to Laoag.

  10. sir..ano po ang bus na sinakyan mo papuntang laoag?

    1. From Vigan there would be several bus companies that could bring you to Laoag. =)

  11. Hi. Ask ko lang po kung yung P800 tour covering 3 cities ay per person or per tricycle? There'll be 3 of us, 2 adults and a 12y/o kid. Thanks in advance.

    1. Lahat na po yun. Keep in mind that the adventure is only one day. =)

  12. Hi sir! Ask ko lang wouldn't it save you more time kung nag-rent ng van? We're travelling to Laoag tomorrow night and we're planning our itinerary since we wanted to spend our last day - Sunday at Vigan naman. Fear ko lang is di namin mapuntahan ng companion ko lahat ng magaganda kung mag-tricycle lang kami. Thank you!

    1. Hi there! Kuya Jomar also has a van rental. May itinerary siyang maisusuggest regarding Vigan, Laoag and Pagudpod. Mas maganda rin po ang van pag marami kayo. =)

  13. Hi Neil, got a very helpful blog here :)
    WE are a family of 4 and we plan ti drive from manila to ilocos. If we leave at around 3AM do you think we will be able to get to our destination (Vigan) before noon? Or do you think we will need to book a hotel halfway? My husband is driving and i wouldnt want him exhausted to enjoy the trip.

    1. Hi there! Kaya po pero you need to drive continuously. I suggest to have at least a stop over. Pero it would take time. If you do that you'll arrive mga 2 or 3 given the traffic conditions if there is. No need to book a hotel though.

  14. Hi! We've been in Ilocos two years ago and Kuya Jomar was also became our tour guide. He is very accommodating. That's why he is highly recommended when touring the North. I felt proud :)

    1. I'm happy that Kuya Jomar made a lasting impression on you. I personally consider him as a friend and I wish that he could help more tourists fall in love with Ilocos. =)

  15. I am heading to Laoag on Saturday. I got Jomar's number here. He referred me to Rommel. He will be my tourguide.. I am super excited. Thank you !!!

  16. hi! pwede pa din bang kunin tour guide ung jomar? active pa din ba yung contact no nya? tnx

    1. Hi there! Yes it's still his number. You can check my blog article about the best tour guide in Pagudpod. =) More things are written there about him. =)

  17. hi wer did you stay? any suggestion?

    1. Hi ms. Joy! There are plenty of affordable places to stay in Laoag City. I suggest you choose one from there. My wife and I didn't stay here during our visit. We just had a day tour before going directly to Pagudpod.

  18. Hello! Still active pa rin po ba ni kuya Jomar? Kase pupunta po kami sa Aug and kelangan ba i-inform ko kagad sya para sya yung makuha naming tour guide? Thaaanks!

    1. Hi there! OO super active pa si Kuya Jomar. Please contact him ASAP in demand yun eh.

  19. hi we are planning for a pagudpud-laoag-vigan tour. ano pong mas okay go straight to vigan after laoag tour or stay the night?

    1. I-suggest sa Vigan na kayo magover night. Pero kung ginabi na kayo sa Laoag City dun na kayo magovernight dahil di hamak na mas mura ang ilang hotel dun kumpara sa Vigan.

  20. Hi just wanna ask, yung guide fee na 800 per pax yun???

    1. Hi there. Nope, di po yan per pax. Yan na po yun. Trike po yung tour transpo namin. :)


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