February 17, 2011

Pamulinawen Festival : Laoag City.

When Jingjing and I scheduled our trip to Vigan (via Laoag), we didn't even realize that we were landing in this charming city a day before the Pamulinawen Festival. So instead of heading straight to Vigan, we decided to stay in Laoag and join the festivities.

Pamulinawen Festival is the annual fiesta of Laoag City in honor of St. William the Hermit. It is celebrated every 10th of February with concerts, float competition, street pageantry (dancing, if you will), and a lot more. The city was swarming with people, vendors, and everything that was colorful and happy.

Everyone flocked infront of the Capitol that day to watch the dance parades. Jingjing and I were able to squeeze ourselves through all hundreds of people and made our way infront. We had an awesome view and I was able to take pictures.

Laoag City is quite small but absolutely charming. And since we were there during the fiesta, the entire city was buzzing with so much energy.

How to ge there:
We flew in through Cebu Pacific. Their international airport is small, but clean and pretty. Most people go to Laoag-Pagudpud-Vigan tour on a bus or through driving, which many claim is more enjoyable. But Jingjing and I didn't have the luxury of time, so hopped on a plane we did.

These bus companies travel to Laoag from Manila:

Autobus Transport Systems Inc.
Laong Laan St, Sampaloc, Manila
+63 2 7358098

Farinas Transit Company
Laong Laan cor M de la Fuente Sts, Sampaloc, Manila
+63 2 7314507, +63 2 7438580

Partas Transportation Company Inc.
816 Aurora Blvd, Cubao, Quezon City
+63 2 7257303, +63 2 7249820

Tricycles are everywhere in Laoag. We even took the trike to the hotel from the airport since there are no cabs and our hotel didn't have airport transfers. Trike drivers are friendly, they know their way around the city so there's no danger in getting lost.

Where to Stay:
I called so many hotels prior to our trip, but most of them were fully booked. I guess, we were lucky to get a room at Hotel del Norte. Although it wasn't the prettiest hotel, it was clean and had hot/cold shower. What I like about Hotel del Norte though is that it is just a five-minute walk to the town center. If you are a budget traveler, then you will like Hotel del Norte.

I heard about so many good things about Balay Da Blas, so maybe, I will stay there the next time I visit Laoag.

Hotel Del Norte
Fonacier St. Laoag City
(6377) 772-1697

Balay Da Blas
Giron Street, Laoag City
(6377) 607-0332

Isabel Suites
Gen Segundo Avenue, Laoag City
(6377) 770-4998

Northview Hotel
Nalbo Road, Laoag City
(6377) 773-1689 / 773-2440

Rio Grande de Laoag Resort Hotel and Nature Park
Brgy. 30A, Suyo, Laoag City
(6377) 676-1726; (6377) 676-1739; 0917-4836102

Places to See:
We walked around town and went to the Museo Ilocos Norte and visited St. William Church. For the most part, we watched the Pamulinawen Festival.

Many people recommend visiting the Sinking Bell Tower, the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, Paoay Church, the Paoay Lake, and the La Paz Sand Dunes. If you have more time, head to Pagudpud for their white-sand beaches.

Maybe, we'd visit all these when we visit Laoag again.

Where to Eat:
Whenever I travel, I love to try homegrown restos, carenderias, and even street food. Laoag has two famous restos -- La Preciosa and Saramsam Cafe.

When to Go:
For me, the best time to go is Jan or Feb, like we did. The weather was beautiful -- windy and cold. I can imagine how hot it would be up there during the summer.

What to Wear:
Anything comfy and light.

For more information about Laoag City, visit their official website.

More photos HERE.

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  1. WOW--these are awesome photos and so much fun! I wish to be able to see these places too, someday. My brother-in-law is from Laoag and has been inviting us to go there. Someday.... :-)

  2. Thank you, Liz! Yes, you should visit Laoag, Vigan, and Pagudpud one day. Truly beautiful there! :)




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