A Dose of History: Ilocos Travel Diaries (Paoay)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Can you imagine going to 8 or 9 different places all in one day? That's where this tiring yet priceless family adventure brought us. Let me share with you our tour.

The Ilocos experience wouldn't have been complete without us visiting their famous destinations. So after leaving the lovely Balinese-inspired resort in Currimao, we were off to our series of adventures. 

Disclaimer: This is only part 1 of our Day 3 in Ilocos. The post will be too long if I include everything here. :)

First stop: Paoay Church
More popularly known as Paoay Church, the St. Augustine Church is one of the famous Baroque churches in the country. Built in 1694 and completed in 1710, it has been designated as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Twenty four carved buttresses stands as support for the church’s structure withstanding seismic movements that occur hundreds of years ago until present.

I quickly fell in love upon seeing the grandeur of church and the finer details -- a combination of Baroque, Oriental and Gothic architecture, it kept centuries past. The coral stone bell tower stood as a towering guard beside the magnificently built home to Catholics in Paoay. 

One tip for travelers, there are courteous student volunteers that serve as tour guides for free around Paoay which you can go to ask around or even take your pictures. We did! Hehe. P.S. Don't forget to give a tip.

Next stop: Herencia Cafe and Restaurant

It was around lunch time when we left Paoay church and we decided to look for fancy restaurants nearby. The student tourist guides led us to this Ilocano restaurant a short distance from the church. The Herencia Restaurant prides itself as the birthplace of pinakbet pizza (That certainly didn't sound good to me though. Hehe!). 

The restaurant's a little full when we arrived but luckily we were ushered to an available table immediately. Upon getting comfortable on our seats, we immediately asked for the menu and chose from their authentic Ilocano selection. We ordered their classic Pinakbet pizza, the half is Cheese since I don't eat veggies. Also, we tried their other dishes such as Kilawin, Crispy Dinuguan, Poqui-poqui and Beef Steak. For dessert, we ordered Banana ala Mode and Halo-halo. 

Tip: You can also purchase some pasalubongs here. Their banana chips are way cheaper than those you could buy outside.

Third stop: Arte Luna

After leaving and while walking towards where we parked our ride. We saw this small art gallery nearby. Launched December last year, the Arte Luna aims to provide a venue for masterworks of Ilocano local artists. It was organized by the local government of Ilocos Norte and Dr. Joven Cuanang of Pinto Art Museum. It's basically a wide room inside the Rufino's Cafe which showcases paintings and photographs made by local talents. Open for everyone, also for free!

Fourth stop: Malacañang of the North

Malacañang ti Amianan, as the locals call this impressively crafted 2-storey house overlooking Paoay Lake, is located in the coastal part of Paoay. It was said to be a birthday gift of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos to her then first lady Imelda Marcos. Opened in January 2011 to the public after being sequestered from the Marcoses' properties, it then became a museum under the care of the local government of Ilocos Norte.

The picturesque Paoay Lake
Entrance fee is P20.00 for adults and P10.00 for kids, probably used for the maintenance of the mansion. There are also student tour guides available to assist you and tell stories about the place. 

Marcos' achievements during his term as president
The couple's master's bedroom
I can just imagine how the sisters Aimee and Irene used to play in their big bedroom when they were kids.
The living room inside the 2 daughters' bedroom
One of the two dining areas in the mansion
Feeling senyorita

Those were only the first half of our Day 3 in Ilocos. More of Ilocos Norte and our trip back to Vigan on my next blog post. Happy reading! =)


  1. wow super nice place to relax naman

  1. Eddielli said...:

    Wow! The Paoay Church is so beautiful! I want to visit Ilocos noon pa kaya lang I can't convince my parents to go there! What a beautiful sceneries Ilocos have!

  1. Hi Eddielli! I hope I can help you convince your parents with my pictures. Hehe. :)

  1. all i can say is wow,the place looks amazing and you could really have fun!

  1. Mona Verdida said...:

    I like the Pinakbet pizza! Bakit kaya walang gumagawa nyan dito sa Manila? Pinoy na pinoy ang dating! :D

  1. Mona Verdida said...:

    The "Malacanang of the North" look so classy and old-fashioned in a good way. :) The rooms kinda takes you back to the Spanish era.

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