Museo Ilocos Norte
After seeing the Paoay church and Marcos Mausoleum, we decided to go back to Laoag - to check out interesting place their. I had nothing specific that I want to see in Laoag honestly.
After 20 minutes ride from Batac, we were dropped near the Provincial Hall. We went first to the Museo Ilocos Norte. This museum is a showcase of Ilokano culture featuring the heritage of a "sturdy, hard-working people known for their industry, resourcefulness and loyalty." Nicknamed 'Gameng,' the museum is housed in an old tabacalera (tobacco) warehouse, showing the history and way of life of the northern peoples making up the Ilocos region, predating the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the 1500s.
We then wandered around the downtown of Laoag, we first saw Ilocos Norte Capitol Building, this is the seat of the governor of the province.
Next to visit was the Sinking Bell Tower. This tower is within the church area - approximately 100 m north of the church. This is the Philippines' tallest, most solid and most massive belfry which was built during the 1500's. What makes the belfry an attraction in itself is the fact that it is sinking. Probably because of its heavy structure, the tower has already sunk about one meter into the ground. In earlier times a man on a horseback could pass through the entrance. Today, one has to stoop in order to enter. The thing that I hated most about this tower is the location - the tower is surrounded by commercial buildings and there's no way one can take picture of this tower without getting "entangled" with the spaghetti of electric cables, phone lines and some other wires that I cannot explain.
The Capitol Building
Not so far from the tower was William's Cathedral a.
k.a the Laoag Cathedral is another example of "earthquake baroque." The heavily buttressed sides feature two stone staircases, believed to have been used for construction and repair of the roof.
St. William's Church (Laoag Cathedral)
We continued to walk until we reached the Public Market, after seeing the place, we decided not to buy our “pasalubong” from there. We decided to pass by Vigan the next day to buy our pasalubong such as bagnet, longganissa and other Ilocos goodies. We still had so much to kill, kuya Ted haggled to the tricycle drivers to bring us to Fort Ilocandia. Known for being a posh place, we arrived there in the best fashion - four of us in an overloaded tricycle. My back ached after that 30 minute ride from the city to the hotel.
The place looks beautiful, well atleast from outside.
We went there only for one thing • to watch the sunset. While watching the sunset, a small cone formed just next to the setting sun. It grew bigger and it started to get obvious that it was a waterspout. It lasted for about 15 to 30 minutes then it disappeared to thin air. It was my first time to experience such phenomenon, this type of event rarely happened in the Philippines. I think weather around the world is getting weird • cyclone in Burma, waterspout in the Philippines. I doubt if this waterspout caused any damage though. It was never on the news.
The Sinking Bell Tower of St William's Church
So we went back to the city via the same ride we had to get there. This means that I have to endure it for the second time. When we arrived in Laoag, we were ready for dinner. Isabel knew a place, being just a mere shadow, we followed her. We had our dinner in La Preciosa, food was great - it was a variety of ilocano dishes - bagnet as usual, dinuguan with chicaron, kilawing isda to name some.
I would refrain from translating those names, it is too exotic for some. After the dinner, we had slices of sans rival cake, carrot cake and choco fudge cake. It was one of the best meals I had in this trip.
The Waterspout that we saw from Fort Ilocandia
To burn some colories taken during dinner, we decided to walk from the resto to our hotel. It was about a kilometer away.