Ilocos Norte

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ilocos Norte
Province of Ilocos Norte
Bangui Wind Mills
Sinking bell tower of Laoag
St. Augustine Church
Patapat Viaduct
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
La Paz Sand Dunes
From top, left to right: Bangui Wind Farm, Sinking bell tower of Laoag, St. Augustine Church in Paoay, Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos and La Paz Sand Dunes
Flag of Ilocos Norte
Official seal of Ilocos Norte
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 18°10′N 120°45′E / 18.17°N 120.75°E / 18.17; 120.75Coordinates: 18°10′N 120°45′E / 18.17°N 120.75°E / 18.17; 120.75
RegionIlocos Region
 • TypeSangguniang Panlalawigan
 • GovernorMatthew Marcos Manotoc (NP)
 • Vice GovernorCecilia Araneta-Marcos (NP)
 • LegislatureIlocos Norte Provincial Board
 • Total3,467.89 km2 (1,338.96 sq mi)
Area rank38th out of 81
Highest elevation2,354 m (7,723 ft)
 (2020 census) [2]
 • Total609,588
 • Rank48th out of 81
 • Density180/km2 (460/sq mi)
 • Density rank52nd out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays559
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Ilocos Norte
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)77
ISO 3166 codePH-ILN
Spoken languages
HDIIncrease 0.78 (High)[3]
HDI rank6th (2019) Edit this at Wikidata

Ilocos Norte (Ilocano: Amianan nga Ilocos; Probinsia ti Ilocos Norte) is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region. Its capital is Laoag City, located in the northwest corner of Luzon Island, bordering Cagayan and Apayao to the east, and Abra to the southeast, and Ilocos Sur to the southwest. Ilocos Norte faces the West Philippine Sea to the west and the Luzon Strait to the north.

Ilocos Norte is noted for its distinctive geography and culture.[4]: 55  This includes numerous examples of well-preserved Spanish colonial era architecture, particularly Saint William’s Cathedral in Laoag with its sinking bell tower done in the Earthquake Baroque style;[5] the St. Augustine Church in Paoay which is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in the Philippines,[6] and the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. Famous geographical features include the La Paz Sand Dunes, the beaches of Pagudpud, and the eroded calcarenite Kapurpurawan rock formation in Burgos.[7] It is the birthplace of several notable Philippine leaders including former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos,[8] Philippine Revolutionary War general Artemio Ricarte, and Iglesia Filipina Independiente founder Gregorio Aglipay.[9] Three of the Philippines' wind farms are located in Ilocos Norte, located in Burgos, Pagudpud and Bangui, with the latter being the first wind power generation plant in the Philippines.[10]


Early history[edit]

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards, there already existed an extensive region (consisting of the present provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union) renowned for its gold mines. Merchants from Japan and China would often visit the area to trade gold with beads, ceramics and silk. The Austronesian inhabitants of the region called their place samtoy, from sao mi toy, which literally meant "our language here"

Spanish colonial era[edit]

In 1571, when the Spanish conquistadors had Manila more or less under their control, they began looking for new sites to conquer. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's grandson, Juan de Salcedo, volunteered to lead one of these expeditions. Together with 8 armed boats and 45 men, the 22-year-old voyager headed north. On June 13, 1572, Salcedo and his men landed in present-day Vigan and then proceeded towards Laoag, Currimao and Badoc. As they sailed along the coast, they were surprised to see numerous sheltered coves (looc) where the locals lived in harmony. As a result, they named the region Ylocos and its people Ylocanos.

As the Christianization of the region grew, so did the landscape of the area. Vast tracts of land were utilized for churches and bell towers in line with the Spanish mission of bajo las campanas. In the town plaza, it was not uncommon to see garrisons under the church bells. The colonization process was slowly being carried out.

The Spanish colonization of the region, however, was never completely successful. Owing to the abusive practices of many Augustinian friars, a number of Ilocanos revolted. Noteworthy of these were the Dingras uprising (1589) and Pedro Almasan revolt (San Nicolas, 1660). In 1762, Diego Silang led a series of battles aimed at freeing the Ilocano. When he died from his compatriot's bullet, his widow Gabriela continued his cause. However, she too was captured and hanged.

In 1807, the sugar cane (basi) brewers of Piddig rose up in arms to protest the government's monopoly of the wine industry. In 1898, the church excommunicated Gregorio Aglipay for refusing to cut off ties with the revolutionary forces of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Unperturbed, he established the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. Aglipay's movement.

In an effort to gain more political control and because of the increasing population of the region, a Royal Decree was signed on February 2, 1818, splitting Ilocos into two provinces: Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Soon thereafter, La Union and Abra likewise became independent provinces.

World War II[edit]

After the fall of corregidor and the subsequent occupation of the Philippines by the Empire of Japan, a number of small guerilla groups formed in the area of Ilocos Norte, some of which resorted to banditry.[11] But eventually, Governor Roque Ablan Sr., with the help of Philippine Army Lt. Feliciano Madamba, was able to put together a guerilla group organized enough to effectively engage the Japanese forces,[12][11] and to rally the other guerilla groups into a common force, with leaders assigned to take over specific sectors and with a system for distributing news and orders.[11]

Martial law era[edit]

Ilocos Norte gained additional prominence in December 1965 when Ferdinand Marcos became president, and again when he won a second term in 1969, boosted by debt-driven infrastructure spending that created economic crises and massive social unrest at the beginning of the 1970s.[13][14] Facing the end of his constitutionally allowed presidential terms, he declared martial law in 1972[15] and became dictator under a system of constitutional authoritarianism for fourteen more years.[16] His family and cronies were accused of stealing an estimated USD5 billion to USD10 billion during the 1980s,[17][18] when the Philippine economy went into a nosedive[19] until Marcos was deposed by the civilian-led People Power Revolution of February 1986.[20][21]

Various human rights violations were documented in the Ilocos Norte region during the Marcos martial law era, despite public perception that the region was supportive of Marcos' administration.[22] Various farmers from the towns of Vintar, Dumalneg, Solsona, Marcos, and Piddig were documented to have been tortured,[22] and eight farmers in Bangui and three indigenous community members in Vintar were "salvaged" in 1984.[22]

There were also various protests against the Marcos administration at the time, with Aurora Park in the Laoag Plaza being one of the favored place to stage protests.[23] One of the prominent victims of the Martial Law era who came from Laoag was Catholic layperson and social worker Purificacion Pedro, who volunteered in organizations protesting the Chico River Dam Project in the nearby Cordillera Central mountains.[24] Wounded while visiting activist friends in Bataan, she was later killed by Marcos administration soldiers while recuperating in the hospital.[25][26] Another prominent opponent of the martial law regime was human rights advocate and Bombo Radyo Laoag program host David Bueno, who worked with the Free Legal Assistance Group in Ilocos Norte during the later part of the Marcos administration and the early part of the succeeding Aquino administration. He would later be assassinated by motorcycle-riding men in fatigue uniforms on October 22, 1987 – part of a wave of assassinations that coincided with the 1986-87 coup d'etat that tried to unseat the democratic government set up after the 1986 People Power Revolution.[27] Both Bueno and Pedro were later honored among the first 65 people to have their names inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance of the Philippines' Bantayog ng mga Bayani, which honors the martyrs and heroes who fought the dictatorship,[28] and Pedro was listed among Filipino Catholics nominated to be named Servant of God.[29]

Bangui Wind Farm[edit]

In 2005, NorthWind Power Development Corp. began commercial operation of the Bangui Wind Farm in the Municipality of Bangui, having initiated and developed the project in response to a 1996 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) which identified Bangui as one of the viable sites for wind energy sites in the Philippines.[30] Connected to the Luzon Grid, the project was the first wind farm in Southeast Asia,[31] supplying 40% of Ilocos Norte's electricity needs,[32] and becoming a major tourist site for Bangui.[33] AC Energy, the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group, acquired the controlling shares of Northwind and of the Bangui Wind Farm in 2017.[34]

Recent history[edit]

Ilocos Norte was among the provinces affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, reporting its first three cases of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, including a male patient each from Batac and Paoay, and former senator Bongbong Marcos, who had arrived from travel to Spain.[35][36] Ilocos Norte experienced surges in cases in 2021,[37] with the spike reported in August 2021 being attributed to the Delta variant of the virus.[38]


Ilocos Norte covers a total area of 3,467.89 square kilometres (1,338.96 sq mi)[39] occupying the northern tip of the Ilocos Region in Luzon. The province is bordered by Cagayan to the extreme northeast, Apayao to the east, and Abra to the southeast, Ilocos Sur to the southwest, the South China Sea to the west, and the Luzon Strait to the north.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Administrative divisions of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte comprises 21 municipalities and 2 component cities, further subdivided into 559 barangays. There are two legislative districts in the province. Updated classification of municipalities in Ilocos Norte. Updated Income Class of Ilocos Norte Municipalities


Ilocos Norte has 559 barangays comprising its 21 municipalities and 2 cities. [41]

The most populous barangay in the province is Barangay No. 1, San Lorenzo (Poblacion) in the City of Laoag with a population of 4,391 in the 2010 census. If cities are excluded, Davila in the municipality of Pasuquin has the highest population, at 3,900. The least populous is Sapat in the municipality of Pasuquin, with only 32. [41]


Population census of Ilocos Norte
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 178,995—    
1918 219,129+1.36%
1939 237,586+0.39%
1948 251,455+0.63%
1960 287,333+1.12%
1970 343,427+1.80%
1975 371,724+1.60%
1980 390,666+1.00%
1990 461,661+1.68%
1995 482,651+0.84%
2000 514,241+1.37%
2007 547,284+0.86%
2010 568,017+1.36%
2015 593,081+0.83%
2020 609,588+0.54%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority [40][41][42]

The population of Ilocos Norte in the 2020 census was 609,588 people, [2] with a density of 180 inhabitants per square kilometre or 470 inhabitants per square mile.


Paoay Church

Roman Catholicism and the Aglipayan Church are the two major religions in the province.[citation needed]

Among the major Roman Catholic churches in Ilocos Norte include:

Ilocos Norte is the home of the Aglipay Shrine (Aglipayan Church) where the church's first supreme leader was buried. There are also increasing members of Jehovah's Witnesses. There are also minor but steadily increasing members of Iglesia ni Cristo. Islam is also practiced by Mindanaoan traders and immigrants.


Aside from the national language and English, there are three indigenous languages in Ilocos Norte. There are the dominant Ilokano language, the Isnag language of the east, and the Faire Atta language in Currimao.

The Faire Atta language is listed as one of the 15 endangered languages of the Philippines according to the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Endangered Languages. The Faire Atta language is listed as Severely Endangered, with less than 300 speakers remaining. All remaining speakers of the language are part of the community's elders. Without a municipality-wide teaching mechanism of the Faire Atta language for the youth, the language may be extinct within 3-5 decades, making it a language in grave peril unless a teaching-mechanism is established by either the government or an educational institution in Currimao and nearby municipalities.[44]


Bagoong fermenting in burnay jars

Products and industries[edit]

The province specializes in the following products and industries:

  • Agriculture — rice, corn, garlic, legumes, root crops, tobacco, and other fruits and vegetables
  • Fisherytilapia and assorted fishes
  • Livestock — swine and cattle
  • Cottage industriesloom weaving, furniture, ceramics, iron works
  • Manufacturing and food processing — salt, empanada, bagoong, patis, basi (native Ilocano wine), vinegar, longganisa, chicharon, bagnet, chichacorn (cornick), jewelry, garments, cereal processing, packaging, mechanized processing equipment
  • Wind Power — Ilocos Norte's position on the northwest corner of Luzon makes it ideal for wind power generation. There is currently a 25 Megawatt wind farm in Ilocos Norte, and several more wind energy projects are being planned
  • Tourism
  • Pottery



Ilocos Norte electric utilities.svg

Culture and the arts[edit]

Prominent artists[edit]

Tampuhan by Juan Luna

Ilocos Norte has given birth to numerous artists who have won national acclaim - perhaps the most notable being Philippine Revolution era activist and leader Juan Luna, who was born in Badoc. The province is also home to at least one National Artists of the Philippines - National Artist for Theater Severino Montano who was conferred the honor in 2001.[52] Another influential artist was Ricarte Puruganan, one of the Philippines' influential "Thirteen Moderns," who broke away from the painting style of Conservatives, led by Fernando Amorsolo, during the first half of the 20th century.[53]

In the folk arts, the Philippines also recognizes Magdalena Gamayo of Pinili, Ilocos Norte as one of its National Living Treasures for textile weaving, preserving the Inabel weaving tradition of Northern Philippines.[54]


The town of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte is known for its Terra Cotta pottery, called Damili after the Ilocano language word for pottery.[55] San Nicolas' pottery tradition has been declared part of the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts' School of Living Traditions program[56]


Ilocos Norte is a center of the Inabel weaving tradition, whose cloths are well known for being soft but sturdy, with a wide range of pattern designs drawn from Ilocano culture and experience[57][58]


Preeminent Philippine culinary historian Doreen Fernandez notes that Bitterness as a flavor principle is a uniquely prominent in Ilocano culture, quoting fellow food critic Edilberto Alegre saying the bitter "Ilocos Norte mystique" is best represented in Papait, a meat variant of Filipino Kilawin characterized by its Bitter flavors.[4]: 56 


Term of Office: June 30, 2019 - June 30, 2022

Ilocos Norte Capitol, the seat of the provincial government
Governor Matthew Joseph Marcos-Manotoc
Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos
Provincial Board Members

1st District:

  • Rodolfo Christian G. Fariñas
  • Franklin Dante A. Respicio
  • Saul A. Lazo
  • Portia Pamela R. Salenda
  • Donald G. Nicolas

2nd District:

  • Medeldorf M. Gaoat (Sr. PBM)
  • Domingo C. Ambrocio
  • Da Vinci M. Crisostomo
  • James Paul C. Nalupta
  • Aladine T. Santos
PCL President Handy T. Lao
ABC President Elmer C. Faylogna
SK Federated President Rafael Salvador C. Medina


Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos

Ilocos Norte is also known as a northern tourist destination, being the location of Fort Ilocandia, hotel, resort and casino. Built between 1981 and 1983 by the Philippine Tourism Authority, the Spanish-Moroccan Villa was designed by Architect Jeorge Ramos.[undue weight? ] The golf course on Paoay Lake was built by Marcos in 1977, and designed by Gary Player.[59][undue weight? ]

Also of note are the La Paz Sand Dunes, Malacañang of the North, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, Bangui Wind Farm, Saud Beach in Pagudpud, and the Early Pliocene calcarenite Kapurpurawan Burgos Formation, which has been sculpted by wind and waves.[60]


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b Census of Population (2020). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Gender and Special Population Groups; Provincial Human Development Index". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b Fernandez, Doreen (2020). Tikim : essays on Philippine food and culture. Leiden ; Boston. ISBN 978-90-04-41479-2. OCLC 1114270889.
  5. ^ Ichimura, Anri; 2020 (2020-04-10). "How Mother Nature Restructured 'Earthquake' Baroque Churches in the Philippines". Esquire Magazine Philippines.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte: The Stunning Historical Icon of the North". PRIMER Magazine.
  7. ^ Callejo, Gretchen & Fernando, Allan Gil & Silva, Leopoldo. (2015). New Age Dates of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, Ilocos Norte based on Foraminifera Assemblage.
  8. ^ Benedicto, Bobby (August 2021). "The place of the dead, the time of dictatorship: Nostalgia, sovereignty, and the corpse of Ferdinand Marcos". Environment and Planning. D, Society & Space. 39 (4): 722–739. doi:10.1177/02637758211013038. ISSN 0263-7758. PMC 8369899. PMID 34421166.
  9. ^ "Batac City". Museo Ilocos Norte. 2008-12-09. Archived from the original on 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  10. ^ Neil (2021-10-20). "AC Energy to take control of three Ilocos wind farms". BusinessWorld. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  11. ^ a b c Agoncillo, Teodoro A. (2001). The fateful years: Japan's adventure in the Philippines, 1941-45. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. pp. 611–612. ISBN 971-542-274-8. OCLC 48220661.
  12. ^ Morton, Louis (2004). The fall of the Philippines. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of the Pacific. ISBN 1-4102-1696-9. OCLC 66529013.
  13. ^ Balbosa, Joven Zamoras (1992). "IMF Stabilization Program and Economic Growth: The Case of the Philippines". Journal of Philippine Development. XIX (35).
  14. ^ Cororaton, Cesar B. "Exchange Rate Movements in the Philippines". DPIDS Discussion Paper Series 97-05: 3, 19.
  15. ^ Celoza, Albert F. (1997). Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippines: The Political Economy of Authoritarianism. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 9780275941376.
  16. ^ Navera, G.S. (2019). "Metaphorizing Martial Law: Constitutional Authoritarianism in Marcos's Rhetoric (1972–1985)". Philippine Studies. 66 (4).
  17. ^ Romero, Jose V., Jr. (2008). Philippine political economy. Quezon City, Philippines: Central Book Supply. ISBN 9789716918892. OCLC 302100329.
  18. ^ "Hail to the thief". The Economist. November 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Guido, Edson Joseph; de los Reyes, Che (2017), "The best of times? Data debunk Marcos's economic 'golden years'", ABSCBN News and Public Affairs
  20. ^ "A History of the Philippine Political Protest". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  21. ^ Magno, Alexander R., ed. (1998). "Democracy at the Crossroads". Kasaysayan, The Story of the Filipino People Volume 9:A Nation Reborn. Hong Kong: Asia Publishing Company Limited.
  22. ^ a b c
  23. ^ Guiang, Jun (2021-11-12). "Youth activism in Ilocos Norte in the 70s - Ilocos Sentinel". The Ilocos Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2021-11-12. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  24. ^ "MARTYRS & HEROES: PEDRO, Purificacion A." July 13, 2016.
  25. ^ Remollino, Alexander Martin (December 14–20, 2003). "Human Rights Martyrs of the Word". Archived from the original on 2004-03-12.
  26. ^ "No Way to Go But Onwards! Philippine Religious Resist Marcos Repression" (PDF). Christian Conference of Asia: CCA News. Christian Conference of Asia. 18 (3): 4. March 1983.
  27. ^ Clarke, Gerard (2006). The Politics of NGOs in Southeast Asia. Routledge.
  28. ^ "A Tribute to Human Rights Lawyer David Bueno (1988)". August 19, 2015.
  29. ^ "Philippines". Archived from the original on 2019-10-09.
  30. ^ "Giant windmills energize Ilocos Norte". 13 October 2005.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ Cabie, Honor (November 2, 2016). "Ilocos Norte's Windmills: Tourism and Energy Giants". Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  33. ^ "AC Energy Corporation - NorthWind". AC Energy Corporation. Archived from the original on 2021-10-09. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  34. ^ "AC Energy Takes Control of Northwind". AC Energy Corporation. 2017-02-05. Archived from the original on 2021-10-19. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  35. ^ "Ilocos Norte lists first coronavirus cases". Archived from the original on 2020-11-25. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  36. ^ "Despite earlier denials, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos tests positive for COVID-19". Yahoo! News Philippines (in en-PH). Archived from the original on 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2021-10-19.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  37. ^ Mugas, John Michael (2021-08-19). "Ilocos Norte bans returning residents anew amid virus surge". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  38. ^ Paciente, Kenneth (2021-09-03). "Ilocos Norte confirms increase in cases caused by Delta variant". PTV. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  39. ^ a b c "Province: Ilocos Norte". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  40. ^ a b Census of Population (2015). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  41. ^ a b c d Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  42. ^ "Philippines Census Of Population of all LGUs 1903-2007". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  43. ^ "Laoag Earthquake - 17 August 1983". Phivolcs. 1983. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  44. ^ "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  45. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  46. ^; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  47. ^; publication date: 8 February 2011; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  48. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  49. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  50. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  51. ^; publication date: 4 June 2020; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  52. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  53. ^ "Botong and Puruganan: Rediscovering the two 'Moderns' │ GMA News Online".
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ "Fort Ilocandia". Discover Philippines (September–October): 16–17, 24. 2004.
  60. ^ Callejo, Gretchen; De Silva, Leopoldo; Fernando, Allan (2017). "New age assignment of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation Calcarenite in Burgos Ilocos Norte Based on Planktonic Foraminiferal Assemblage". Journal of the Geological Society of the Philippines: 26–40.

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML