Ilocos Norte’s Himala sa Buhangin Festival to pay tribute to Da King

Ilocos Norte, a fast-growing center for film tourism, will once again be a host to a number of upbeat music and art installations with the return of Himala sa Buhangin this May 1, 2015 at the Sand Dunes. After unveiling the sculpture of Elsa from the internationally-acclaimed and iconic Filipino More »

Ilocos Norte’s Himala sa Buhangin! Festival to exhibit world-class avant-garde art installations

As the Himala sa Buhangin! Festival makes its third year comeback on May 1, the majestic expanse of the Paoay Sand Dunes will be transformed once again into a haven of avant-garde art installations. Governor Imee R. Marcos believes that the Ilocanos are given the chance to be exposed to world-class artworks More »

Himala sa Buhangin! Festival will feature sand sports adventures, draws more tourists in Paoay

The vast land of Paoay Sand Dunes is welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists since the Himala sa Buhangin! Festival kicked off last May 2012 which featured unique and thrilling sands sports adventures in the country. According to the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, the Paoay Sand Dunes is one of the most More »

Himala sa Buhangin! Festival brings jobs, boosts local economy

As the Himala sa Buhangin! Festival continues to prosper on its third year, the biggest and most recognized outdoor arts and music festival in the north is again set to provide more employment opportunities for the locals of Ilocos Norte. Himala sa Buhangin! features Ilocos Norte’s sand sports adventures such as the 4X4 More »

I. Norte reaches 350,000 tourist arrivals during Holy Week, expects more than 1.5 million tourists for summer season

With Ilocos Norte attaining its highest number of tourist arrivals during the summer season last year, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) reported an influx of 350,000 tourists during this year’s Holy Week, aiming to hit more than 1.5 million in the number of foreign and local travellers in More »

Ilocos Norte ensures success in hosting APEC meeting

As the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) gears up for the influx of tourists for the summer season, Governor Imee R. Marcos kicks off the preparation to ensure success of the province’s hosting of the Expert Group on New and Renewable Energy Technologies (EGNRET), a subcommittee of the Asia-Pacific More »

Iskolar Ni Manang Imee graduates as magna cum laude

Allan Dave Patubo of the Mariano Marcos State University College of Industrial Technology, who will be graduating as magna cum laude, expressed his thanks to the “Iskolar Ni Manang Imee” Program of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) for being a big part of his success. Patubo, together with More »

Bigger Tri Ilocos Nort3 attracts local and international competitors, highlights Northern summer adventure

Emerging from a successful race last year, the much-awaited ‘Tri Ilocos Nort3,’ a triathlon series promoting ‘sportourism’ in Ilocos Norte as its racecourses highlighted many of the province’s famous tourist landmarks, kicked-off on March 28. In its third year now, the triathlon race which featured triathletes from the different parts More »

UNESCO World Heritage Site Paoay Church hosts Ilocos Norte’s Earth Hour celebration

Joining the worldwide effort in raising awareness on and addressing environmental issues, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Paoay Church hosted the Earth Hour celebration in Ilocos Norte on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Paoay Church, a centuries-old edifice, is famously known for its distinct architecture highlighted by the huge buttresses on More »

Ilocos Norte welcomes Black Nazarene, thousands expected to pay homage

As the Province of Ilocos Norte prepares for the Lenten season, thousands of Ilocano devotees are expected to join the procession of the revered Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno of Quiapo or Black Nazarene at 3 p.m. on March 27, Friday around the city of Laoag. “Considered by many Filipinos as More »

PGIN holds forum on agricultural resiliency, seeks immediate solution to El Niño threats

Following the conduct of the first Ilocos Norte Water Summit, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) together with the provincial office of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) held an Agricultural Resiliency Forum on March 17 at Provincial Capitol. As the water summit, conducted More »

PGIN honors Mamasapano SAF survivors as ‘modern Ilocano heroes’

PGIN honors Mamasapano SAF survivors as ‘modern Ilocano heroes’ Governor Imee R. Marcos led an honorary tribute on March 10 for SPO1 Allan Lampitoc Franco and PO2 Jovalyn Lozano, both with Ilocano roots who are two of the few Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who survived the Mamasapano encounter last More »

Brief History

Long before the coming 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”.

In 1571, when the Spanish conquistadors had Manila more or less under their control, they began looking for new sites to conquer.  Legaspi’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 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 tracks 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 against their colonizers.  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 Ilocanos from the Spanish yoke.  When he died from an assassin’s bullet, his widow Gabriela continued the cause.  Unfortunately, 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 and the national sentiment it espoused helped restore the self-respect of many Filipinos.

“The great increase in population from 1715 to 1818 from 18,980 to 282,845 made the administration of the province very difficult. Due to the excessive monopolies and forced labor, there were several uprisings: first by the people of Dingras in 1589; one that was led by Pedro Almazan in 1616; the revolt of Diego Silang in 1762-1763; by Ambaristo in 1788; by Pedro Mateo in 1808 and uprising of Sarrat in 1815. For this reason, the division of the Ilocos into two provinces was recommended by the local authorities. On February 2, 1818, a Spanish Royal Decree was promulgated dividing the Province of Ilocos Norte from Ilocos Sur. Laoag City, which was then the biggest center of population, was made the capital of Ilocos Norte.”