Ilocos Norte

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Ilocos Norte
Flag of Ilocos Norte
Official seal of Ilocos Norte
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 18°10′N 120°45′E / 18.167°N 120.750°E / 18.167; 120.750Coordinates: 18°10′N 120°45′E / 18.167°N 120.750°E / 18.167; 120.750
Country Philippines
Region Ilocos (Region I)
Founded 1818
Capital Laoag City
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Imee Marcos (NP)
 • Vice Governor Angelo Barba (NP)
 • Total 3,467.89 km2 (1,338.96 sq mi)
Area rank 42nd out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 568,017
 • Rank 50th out of 80
 • Density 160/km2 (420/sq mi)
 • Density rank 53rd out of 80
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 2
 • Municipalities 21
 • Barangays 557
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Ilocos Norte
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2900 to 2922
Dialing code 77
Spoken languages Ilocano, Tagalog, English

Ilocos Norte (Ilokano: Amianan nga Ilocos; Tagalog: Hilagang Ilokos) is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region. Its capital is Laoag City and is located at the northwest corner of Luzon Island, bordering Cagayan and Apayao to the east, and Abra and Ilocos Sur to the south. Ilocos Norte faces the South China Sea to the west and the Luzon Strait to the north.

Ilocos Norte is noted for being the birthplace of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who led an authoritarian rule over the country during the latter half of his incumbency. The Marcoses enjoy a modicum of popularity in the province. Ilocos Norte is also known as a northern tourist destination, being the location of Fort Ilocandia, an upper class hotel and beach resort famous among expatriates, and Pagudpud.


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 inhabitants of the region, believed to be of Malay origin, called their place "samtoy", from "sao mi toy", which literally meant "our language here"

In 1591, 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, 1592, 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 an assassin'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, the provinces of La Union and Abra likewise became independent.


Administrative divisions[edit]

Political Map of
Ilocos Norte

Cities and municipalities[edit]

Ilocos Norte is divided 21 municipalities, and 2 component cities, further subdivided into 557 barangays. There are two legislative districts in the province.

     Provincial capital and
component city
     Component city

or city
(per km²)
No. of

Adams 1st 159.31 1,785 11.2 1 2922 5th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Adams.png
Bacarra 1st 65.32 31,648 484.5 43 2916 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Bacarra.png
Badoc 2nd 76.68 30,708 400.5 31 2904 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Badoc.png
Bangui 1st 112.98 15,025 133 14 2920 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Bangui.png
2nd 92.73 19,051 205.4 20 2908 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Banna.png
Batac City 2nd 161.06 53,542 332.4 43 2906 5th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Batac.png
Burgos 1st 128.90 9,687 75.2 11 2918 5th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Burgos.png
Carasi 1st 82.97 1,473 17.8 3 2911 5th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Carasi.png
Currimao 2nd 34.08 11,970 351.2 23 2903 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Currimao.png
Dingras 2nd 96.00 37,021 385.6 31 2913 2nd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Dingras.png
Dumalneg 1st 88.48 1,814 20.5 2 2921 5th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Dumalneg.png
Laoag City 1st 116.08 104,904 903.7 80 2900 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Laoag.png
Marcos 2nd 72.77 16,984 233.4 13 2907 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Marcos.png
Nueva Era 2nd 515.02 7,837 15.2 11 2909 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Nueva Era.png
Pagudpud 1st 194.90 21,877 112.2 16 2919 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Pagudpud.png
Paoay 2nd 76.24 23,956 314.2 31 2902 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Paoay.png
Pasuquin 1st 210.54 27,952 132.8 33 2917 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Pasuquin.png
Piddig 1st 216.20 20,606 95.3 23 2912 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Piddig.png
Pinili 2nd 89.48 16,732 187 25 2905 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Pinili.png
San Nicolas 2nd 40.18 34,237 852.1 24 2901 2nd Ilocos Norte Map locator-San Nicolas.png
Sarrat 1st 57.39 24,770 431.6 24 2914 4th Ilocos Norte Map locator-Sarrat.png
Solsona 2nd 166.23 22,990 138.3 22 2910 3rd Ilocos Norte Map locator-Solsona.png
Vintar 1st 614.35 31,448 51.2 34 2915 1st Ilocos Norte Map locator-Vintar.png
Ilocos Norte
1st - 2nd 3,467.89[5] 568,017[6] 163.8 557 2900 - 2922 1st[5] Ph locator map ilocos norte.png


Ilocos Norte has 557 barangays comprising its 21 municipalities and 2 cities.[6]

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 3,875. The least populous is Sapat in the municipality of Pasuquin, with only 32.[6]


Population census of Ilocos Norte
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 461,661 —    
1995 482,651 +0.84%
2000 514,241 +1.37%
2007 547,284 +0.86%
2010 568,017 +1.36%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]


Bagoong fermenting in burnay jars in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines

The province specializes in the following products and industries:

  • Agriculture - rice, corn, garlic, legumes, root crops, tobacco, and other fruits and vegetables
  • Fishery - tilapia and assorted fishes
  • Livestock - swine and cattle
  • Cottage industries - loom 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


Roman Catholicism and the Aglipayan Church are the two major religions in the province. The Aglipayan Church, founded by Batac native Gregorio Aglipay.

Ilocos Norte is home to several famous Roman Catholic churches:

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.

Provincial government[edit]

The Provincial Capitol Building of Ilocos Norte.

In 2010, Imee Marcos was elected as the Governor while her cousin, Angelo Marcos Barba, was elected as Vice-Governor. Both are now on their second term.

Atty. Rodolfo "Rudy" Fariñas, former Mayor of Laoag City and Governor of Ilocos Norte, was elected as Congressman of the 1st District while Former First Lady Imelda Marcos was elected as Congresswoman of the 2nd District. Both are now also on their second term.

For the Board Members of the 1st District, 4 are from Laoag City while 1 is from the Municipality of Bangui. They are Ria Fariñas, daughter of Congressman Fariñas; Atty. Juan Conrado Respicio II, former Laoag City Councilor; Portia Salenda; Atty. Vicentito Lazo, former Laoag City Councilor and PCL President; and Dr. Rogelio Balbag.

For the Board Members of the 2nd District, all 5 are from Batac City. They are Engr. Albert Chua, former Councilor and Vice-Mayor of Batac City; Atty. Da Vinci Crisostomo, former Vice-Mayor of Batac City; Dr. Ramon Gaoat, former Councilor of Batac City; James Paul Nalupta, former Brgy. Captain of #1-N Ricarte and ABC President of Batac City; and Atty. Joel Garcia, former Councilor of Batac City.

For the Ex-Officio Board Members, Councilor Domingo Ambrocio of the Municipality of San Nicolas, also a former Board Member of the 2nd District, was chosen as the President of the Philippine Councilors League while Brgy. Captain Charles Tadena of Brgy. Lumbad, Municipality of Dingras was chosen as the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay.

Term of Office: 2013 - 2016

Governor: Maria Imelda R. Marcos
Vice - Governor: Eugenio Angelo M. Barba


Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members:

1st District

  • Ria Christina G. Fariñas
  • Juan Conrado A. Respicio II
  • Portia Pamela R. Salenda
  • Vicentito M. Lazo
  • Rogelio R. Balbag

2nd District

  • Albert D. Chua
  • Da Vinci M. Crisosotomo
  • Ramon M. Gaoat
  • James Paul C. Nalupta
  • Joel R. Garcia

PCL President: Domingo C. Ambrocio
ABC President: Charles L. Tadena


Bangui Wind Farm, the first power generating windmill farm in Southeast Asia.
The Sinking Bell Tower of Saint William's Cathedral in Laoag City.

The province offers a number of popular destinations for tourists, locals and foreigners alike. Because of its proximity to the South China Sea, tourist arrivals peak during the summer seasons, the beach resorts topping the most visited list.

  • Fort Ilocandia Beach Resort and Hotel
    The sandy beach spans 2 kilometers. It also offers the only 5-star hotel in northern Philippines sprawling over 77 hectares of land. It is located in Laoag City and is a 10-minutes drive from the Laoag International Airport.
  • Laoag Sinking Bell Tower
    Over the years the 45m high bell tower has shelved few meters downward. This is evident by the tower's entrance that at present day a man of ordinary height must bent over to get inside.
  • Bangui Wind Farm
  • Saud Beach Resort
  • Sta. Monica Parish Church Complex-Sarrat, Ilocos Norte
  • Paoay Church
    This baroque architecture church is inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
  • Juan Luna Museum
  • Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
  • Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Shrine
  • Paoay lake
    The business center of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. The biggest project of Venvi Group of Companies. Robinsons Mall, 365 Plaza, Freddo, Balai Condominium, and McDonalds San Nicolas is situated here. More infrastructure is seen to rise in this place like Venvi IT Park, VYV San Nicolas, and the expansion of Robinson Ilocos Norte which is designed to have five floors.
  • Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, Batac City
    Shows the memorabilia of Former President Ferdinand Marcos. The mausoleum is where the body of the late president is found, laid and preserved in a refrigerated crypt.
  • Batac City Riverside Empanadaan
    Known for the Batac Empanada.
  • Burgos Wind Farm
    with about 150 Units of Windmills
  • Caparispisan Wind Farm
    about 81 Windmills
  • Kabigan Falls
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Patapat Bridge
  • Ilocos Norte Welcome Arc
    both Badoc and Pagudpud are always visited.
  • Robinson's Malls San Nicolas
    Ilocos Norte's most attractable mall to tourist.
  • Hannah's Beach Resort and Hotel
    Ilocos Norte's PREMIER BEACH
  • Paraiso ni Anton
    where people gets fresh drinkable water.Many tourist going to Cagayan via Pan-Philippine Highway stop over here.
  • Domeless Bacarra Bell Tower- an accredited National Treasure of the Philippines. It is located at the Poblacion area of the Municipality of Bacarra.


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Province: ILOCOS NORTE". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Region: REGION I (Ilocos Region)". Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay:as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). National Statistics Office (Philippines). Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Laoag Earthquake - 17 August 1983". Phivolcs. 1983. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 

External links[edit]