Region I: Ilocos
A whirlwind of old charm and sunny beaches
Tagalog, Ilocano, Pangasinense
Surfing in La Union
It was noted that Negritos were the first settlers in Ilocos Region, way before the arrival of the Spaniards.
In the 16th Century, Spanish conquistadores started to convert locals to Christianity, and established the first forms of government in the region.
Residents in the southern part of Ilocos were however less persuaded and guerrilla revolts were numerous and common at that time. The most famous one was organized by Diego Silang with his wife, Gabriellla in 1764.
In 1901, the region fell under American colonial rule, and in 1941, under Japanese occupation.
It should also be noted that this region is the birthplace of one of the Philippine’s famous (or infamous) president, Ferdinand Marcos.
What To See In Ilocos Region ?
The warmth of its inhabitants and its impressive sightseeings makes it a place worth a visit.
It is unfortunate that most of Philippines’ old architectural buildings were massively destroyed during the war.
However, some masterpieces achieved during the 16th century are still standing tall. The most notable ones probably are Paoay church in Ilocos Norte, and Santa Maria church in Ilocos Sur. The architectural style can be easily identified back to the Baroque period.
The small town of Vigan is a must-see for those who would like to have a glimpse of the way of living during the Spanish colonial era.
The Bangui Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte is another top tourist destination. It is the first power-generating windmill farm in Southeast Asia.
Other interesting locations include the beaches of La Union, known as the Surfing capital of the north, Hundred Islands in Pangasinan and Santiago Cove.