(Travel Diary) The Ilocos Adventure Part 2: Laoag City


In the first part of Ilocos Adventure post, I shared about the places I visited in the towns of Batac and Paoay, Ilocos Norte. For this  part, I will share about my quick stop in Laoag City. I and my co-workers just stayed in the city for a half a day but I can say every second we spent in Laoag was worthwhile. The city proper was smaller and less urbanized then I expected but I was surprised that it was this fact that made me love it even more. So onto my Laoag hullabaloos…

Seat of power in Ilocos Norte
Seat of power in Ilocos Norte

Laoag City

On August 9, during the last day of the conference, most of officemates went back to Manila already while I and four co-workers (Ate Kate, Shei, Sab and Io) decided stay to visit the rest of the Ilocos provinces. We were also later joined by Ate Kate’s husband, Kuya Vince who flew all the way from Manila.

La Preciosa Restaurant

 After checking out of Plaza Del Norte, we proceeded to the city proper of Laoag. We then checked in at La Eliana Hotel, a budget accommodation. We agreed to just stay there for the night since we will be leaving for early in the morning anyway. After resting for a bit, we went out to start to our half day tour of Laoag. Our first stop was the the La Preciosa Restaurant, which was situated just across La Eliana Hotel. They are famous for their cakes and a poqui-poqui, an eggplant dish. La Preciosa seems to be an old Spanish house converted to a restaurant. The interior is reminiscent of old antique houses and is very homey.

La Preciosa Restaurant.
La Preciosa Restaurant.

Since it was just around 2 PM, we decided to try the cakes and reserve poqui-poqui for dinner. We ordered three flavors: carrot cake, toblerone cake, and blueberry cheesecake. All the cakes were good but my personal favorite would have to be the carrot cake!

Continue reading “(Travel Diary) The Ilocos Adventure Part 2: Laoag City”

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(Travel Diary) The Ilocos Adventure Part 1: Batac and Paoay


I’ve been dreaming of visiting the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur for the longest time. I’ve heard and read about the beauty of the provinces so I feel disappointed every time a travel plan to go there does not push through. In August last year, I finally got of a taste of the best things Ilocos has to offer. We had an work-related event from August 7-9 in Laoag City last year, so I and a few co-workers decided to stay until the 11th so we can also visit the nearby towns.

Plaza Del Norte at dusk.
Plaza Del Norte at dusk.

During our first three (3) days in Laoag, we weren’t able to go around that much in city since the event activities run until nighttime.  On Day 1 though, we had a meeting at the Mariano Marcos State University so I was able to get a quick glimpse of Batac. The school served us a sumptuous lunch consisting of Ilocos bagnet and pinakbet.  Bagnet is just…superb. It looks like the standard lechon kawali but it is more superior because it is already tasty on its own. No need for soy sauce or lechon sauce like Mang Tomas!

Fat? What fat?
Fat? What fat?

Continue reading “(Travel Diary) The Ilocos Adventure Part 1: Batac and Paoay”