The Ilocos Region

Region I of the Philippines is located in the northwestern region portion of Luzon. It is bounded by the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley to the east, Central Luzon to the south and by the South China Sea to the west.

The province of Pangasinan composes 58% of the region's population, 42% of its area and 61% of its economy.

The region is composed of four provinces, namely: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union  and Pangasinan. Its regional center is San Fernando City, La Union. The Ilocanos compose 66% of the region, the Pangasinan people compose 27%, and the Tagalogs compose 3%.


Ilocos Norte is located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. 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, an upper class beach resort famous among expatriates, and Pagudpud.


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



Ilocos Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. Its capital is Vigan City and borders Ilocos Norte and Abra to the north, Mountain Province to the east, and La Union and Benguet to the south. To the west of Ilocos Sur is the South China Sea.


A man fishing just offshore in Santiago


Ilocos Norte, the northwestern tip of Luzon, is wedged between the steep Grand Cordillera Central in the east, the rugged Ilocos Mountains in the northeast, and the Ilocos Range in the South.

The centuries old churches that dot every town of Ilocos are testimonies to the colonial past. They formed part of the nucleus of the plaza complex town planning instituted by the Spanish colonizers.

With a coastline that stretches to 90 statute miles, Ilocos Norte is blessed with rich marine life (shells, giant turtles, seaweeds, starfishes, tuna, and a variety of more fishes).

Below Ilocos Norte is Ilocos Sur, located along the western coast of Northern Luzon, bound by Abra on the northeast, Mt. Province on the east, Benguet on the southeast, La Union on the south, and the China Sea on the west. Ilocos Sur's topography has elevations ranging from 10 to 1,700 meters above sea level.

Though unmistakably foreign in form, the churches of Ilocos Sur reflect a distinctly Ilocano character. The hardiness and strength of the Ilocanos are reflected in the massiveness and sturdiness of the structures.

Old Churches
Spanish colonial churches are a must-see in Ilocos Norte. The Paoay Church, originally built between 1699-1704, displays ingenuity in the use of corals, mortar, bricks, and molasses. The Laoag Cathedral, massive, short, and barn-like, was constructed between the 1650's-1700's. Watch out for the Sinking Bell Tower. Dingras Church, set in the midst of expansive rice fields, was built by natives in the 1680 using red bricks. Ilocos Sur's famous churches include the St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, Bantay Church, Sta. Lucia Church, and the Sinait Church.

Fort Ilocandia Resort and Hotel is situated in the midst of fetching sandhills in coastal Calayab, Laoag City. Some 26 kilometers south of Laoag City is Currimao, lined with beautiful beaches dotted at times with corals. The white beaches of Pagudpud, the farthest end of Ilocos Norte towards the Laoag-Alacapan Road, are a veritable paradise.

Ilocos Sur's national museum, the Padre Jose Burgos House, contains the memorabilia of the martyr-priest Jose Burgos and Ilocano artifacts, as well as the ethnic arts of the Tinggians. The Magsingal Museum is a repository of Ilocano heritage, featuring collections of pottery and porcelain artifacts.

Ancestral Houses
Kamestizoan District in Vigan is replete with ancestral houses with ancient tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, balustrades, and azoteas in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural styles.


La Union
is  located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. Its capital is San Fernando City and borders  Ilocos Sur to the north,  Benguet to the east, and Pangasinan  to the south. To the west of La Union is the South China Sea.




The provincial capital is Lingayen. Pangasinan is located on the west central area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf.


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