Ilocandia Trip: Things to Do in Ilocos Norte

Thai superstar Mario Maurer and Philippine sweetheart Erich Gonzales truly made their fans fall in love with the movie ˜Suddenly It’s Magic’. Hmmm.. why am I writing about it here on my TRAVEL blog? Some parts of the movie were shot in the beautiful province of Ilocos Norte! If you want to make a kilig movie, a romantic backdrop works all the time!

Mario Maurer & Erich Gonzales in ‘Suddenly It’s Magic’

Last January, I explored some of Ilocos Norte’s tourist spots. I even consider it as one of the most romantic provinces in the Philippines due to the scenery and the quaint ambiance (compared to other destinations). No wonder TV shows like Walang Hanggan and popular Filipino films such as Panday, Temptation Island and Thelma chose Ilocos Norte as the location.

Do you want to experience a magical Ilocos Norte trip just like in the movies? Here are some things to do in Ilocos Norte! Bookmark this post and start planning your Ilocandia trip!

Paoay Church – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Say a Little Prayer at Paoay Church

Start you trip by visiting a local church. Paoay Church, a perfect example of Baroque Church is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.  Don’t forget to make a wish!

Dessert Experience at Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes is the backdrop of Filipino movies such as the iconic Panday (FPJ, Bong Revilla and Jericho Rosales), campy Temptation Island and the controversial sexy flick Silip of Maria Isabel Lopez and Sarsi Emmanuel.

Solenn Heussaff and Lovi Poe eating sand for the movie ‘Temptation Island’

Aside from the desert-like feel, tourists can try other activities like Riding the 4×4, sandboarding and nomnoming sand. Yes, there’s edible sand there! I want to try it soon 😛

Appreciate Ilocano Culture at Museo Ilocos Norte

If you want to know more about the Ilocano History, Arts and Culture, I suggest that you pass by Museo Ilocos Norte in Laoag City. It serves as a reminder to young Ilocanos, Isnegs and Yapayaos of their humble beginnings. Entrance fee is Php30.

Malacanang-of-the-North (62)
Photos of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in Malacanang ti Amianan

Malacanang of the North / Malacanang ti Amianan

I can say that Malacanang ti Amianan or Malacanang of the North is the most recognizable house turned into a museum in Ilocos Norte. As a full-blooded Ilocano, it is no wonder that Former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos had a vacation house built in a place he loves the most. The view of the Paoay Lake from the balcony will surely make one stressed president think without too much pressure. The legend of the Paoay Lake is quite interesting. There are rumors that Marcos built a secret passage somewhere near the area.

Visit Ferdinand Marcos

Up to this day, there are still a number of Marcos loyalists. He may have passed away more than twenty years ago, but his body is still ‘frozen’ at the Marcos Museum in Batac, Ilocos Sur. I have yet to visit this museum. Hoping to have enough courage next time.

Bangui Windmills

Bangui Windmills and Kangkang Café

Be blown away by the breathtaking site of the Bangui Windmills. I consider it as the most iconic landmark of Ilocos Norte. If you can’t beat the heat, you can take a short break at Kangkang Café. Kangkang-an muna habang mainit-init pa sa labas LOL

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

One of the oldest lighthouse built in the Philippines, the Burgos Lighthouse is worth the visit. Just wish that you don’t bump to the ghost living inside.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, Ilocos Nrote

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

I can say that Kapurpurawan Rock Formation favorite spot in Ilocos Norte found in Burgos Town. Kapurpurawan means ‘whiteness’ in Ilocano. It is a romantic backdrop, but I discourage marriage proposals here. You wouldn’t wish to have ‘rocky’ relationship in the future, right?

Mica and Jason’s touristy pic at the Patapat Bridge

Souvenir Shots at Patapat Bridge

Stop by and take some pictures at Patapat Bridge/Patapat Viaduct, the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

Beach Time at Saud Beach and Blue Lagoon

Saud Beach and Blue Lagoon are two of the best beaches of Northern Luzon. You can now swim, beach bums!

Home-cooked Pinakbet

llocano Cuisine Food Trip!

Food Trip in Ilocandia is a must. There’s the healthy Pinakbet, the tempting Bagnet and Binagoongan, the Ilocano snack Empanada, breakfast favorite Vigan Longganisa, the bitter but delicious Papaitan and many, many more!

Get ready for an Ilocandia getaway!

We stayed at Evangeline Beach Resort near Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Candle lit dinner near the beach with good food is romantic <3

Here are some of my Ilocos Norte-related entries:

I encourage everyone to go up North and visit Ilocos Norte. You can take a bus trip. To get there faster with less hassle, Airphil Express flies to Laoag three times a week. You can book flights online via Airphil Express. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for promo updates!


  1. mervz | said:

    Ilocos Norte will always be one of my favorites! 🙂

    November 26, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      Yay! Do you have plans of going back soon?

      November 30, 2012
  2. Dylan said:

    Ang dami ko pa palang hindi napuntahan dun.
    Mapuntahan nga next time. 🙂

    November 26, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      Dami pa! Hehe nag-concentrate kayo sa Ilocos Sur eh 😀 I’ll blog about Ilocos Sur naman soon 😀

      November 30, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      See you soon, Doc Wends! Sana matuloy na ang epic Norte trip 😀

      November 30, 2012
  3. Ada said:

    Awesome complete posts finally lol. 😀

    November 28, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      Congratulate meeeeee 😀 Do I have a prize from Japan? 😛

      November 30, 2012
  4. Nico @ ATravellersJourney said:

    Some great locations to visit and the Pinakbet looks amazing.

    November 28, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      Pinakbet tastes good 😀 Hope you get to visit the Northern part of the Philippines

      November 30, 2012
  5. dong ho said:

    nakapunta ka pa pala sa kapurpurawan nung pwede pa akyatin. nice. top spot talaga ang ilocos norte.

    December 2, 2012
    • Senyorita said:

      Yup! Aw bawal na pala ngayon 😐

      December 2, 2012
  6. geralyn said:

    First time ko maka punta ng Ilocos at sobra aq na amaze sa mga lugar jan.. sana maka balik ulit.

    May 30, 2015
  7. Bootscornel said:

    My family back home in Baguio City enjoys visiting both Norte and Sur and the kids always had a lot of fun inspite of the heat. Hotel accomodations and varied activities specially for the teens are very much available. So i made a promise that next time my husband and i will join them. Thank you very much for your write up about the place. GOOD JOB GIRL.

    June 7, 2016

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