Thursday, November 5, 2009
LAOAG CITY... at a glance
According to the old folks, the citys name was derived from an Ilocano term, which means, "light". History further reveals that way back in the Hispanic era, an Augustinian missionary had commented in his Diccionarios Geogratico Estatistico Historico de las Islas Filipinas that Laoag has a clear atmosphere presenting a beautiful sky - so explained its name.
History books pointed to the Ilocos Region as one of the first three political divisions of Luzon that was organized into a province at the early stage of the Spanish colonization. Toward the northern portion of the Ilocos Region is Ilocos Norte where the proposed Laoag City Commercial Complex Project designed for the central public market and the commercial complex is located.
Laoag City was converted into a city on January 01, 1966 through a plebiscite and ever since remained the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte. From thereon the city has undergone a lot of improvements. It is continuously growing and progressing because of its geographical location, the characteristics of its people and the unbelievably good peace and order situation.
The City of Laoag, the Sparkling Gem of Ilocandia, is located at the west central part of the Province of Ilocos Norte bordering the China Sea. It is along the Manila ? North Road. It is 78 kilometers from Vigan; 217 kilometers from San Fernando City; 363 kilometers from Tarlac; 420 kilometers from the National Capital (Manila); and 274 kilometers from Baguio City.
Laoag City is bounded by five municipalities; Sarrat in the east; San Nicolas in the southeast; Paoay in the southwest; Vintar in the northeast; Bacarra in the northwest and finally the China Sea in the west.
Laoag City can be reached by both land and air transportation from any origin.
Land Area - Laoag City has a total land area of 12,747.35 hectares or 127.4735 square kilometers. It consists of 80 barangays, 30 of which are urban and 50 are rural barangays.
An area of 930.847 hectare is occupied by the urban core or the poblacion, while 11,816.501 hectares are occupied by the rural barangays.
Topography - The central part of the city is predominantly lowland, with a sloping terrain of five to ten feet above sea level going west. From the northeastern part of the city going west to Dibua are virgin hills diminishing in height from 52 feet to 10 feet above sea level.
In Northeastern part of the city are hills and mountains. The highest among the peaks is 183 feet above sea level. These hills are forested area.
Geology - Laoag City has a rugged terrain and an irregular outline. The southwestern portion which is part of the physiographic unit known as the Ilocos Coast Strip, consists largely of elevated coastal tract, mainly alluvium overlaying older sediments with some portions of raised coral, andesitic extrusive. The hills along the rolling area above the coastal plans are tertiary and sedimentary rocks such as limestone, sandstone, conglomerates and limy shale.
The situation of faulting in Laoag City is influenced in the Luzon Central Cordillera which could be just a case of scissoring along the fault zone or it could mark a rhombohedral split between echelon segments of Dingalen?Lingayen segment connected similarly with Bangui Fault.
The Bangui Fault slices in a NW?SE direction on the northern part of the Luzon Central cordillera from Bangui Bay and extends southward to mark the boundary between the Cordillera and the Cagayan basin.
Historical data on the occurrence of earthquake in Laoag City pointed out two damaging earthquakes. The most devastating was on 17 August 1983 at 8:13 in the evening wherein a number of reinforced concrete buildings either totally collapsed or sustained major structural damage, beyond rehabilitation.
Land Use Classification - The general framework for land utilization, having spatial and locational dimensions, is an essential element in planning future developments of an area, The various factors used in drawing up an optimal land use for Laoag City include geology and soils, climate, slope, erodability, existing projects, infrastructure and settlement, national policies on wildlife conservation and other institutional constraints.
Type (coronas) climate prevails in Laoag City. This is characterized by two pronounced seasons, i.e. dry from November to April and wet the rest of the year. The average annual temperature of the city is 27.25 degrees centigrade with a relative humidity of 75.55%. The area shielded from the Northern winds and to some extent from the Pacific tradewinds by the Cordillera and Sierra Madre Mountains, respectively. However, tropical cyclones and storms visit the region because of its vulnerability to the Southwest monsoon (PAG?ASA Report).
Laoag City has been governed by several members of the Farinas family as Mayor, a post currently held by Michael V. Farinas. Considered a political dynasty in the region (the Marcos and Ablan family assumes a dynastic following in the same region with the election of family members over the course of generations), Farinas family members Rodolfo Farinas and Roger Farinas (who served 3 consecutive terms until 2004) most recently served as Mayor of Laoag City.
Laoag City has a total population of 94,466 for the year 2000 as per NSO official report. In 1995, the total inhabitants of the city was 88,336, an increase of 6,130. Based on the 1995 and 2000 intercensal periods, the Average Annual Growth Rate of the city is 1.45%.
The number of households is 19,751 and the average household size is five (5) persons per household. Male-female ratio is 1:1; Birth rate is 26.44% while Death rate is 4.28%.
In the city of Laoag as of year 2000, Urban barangay San Lorenzo had the largest number of population at 2,883; followed by Rural barangay Buttong at 2,277; and then by Barangay 2 Sta. Joaquina at 2,048. With the least inhabitants was Rural Barangay 39 Sta. Rosa, 592, and then Brgy. 52-A San Mateo, 594. Noticeably, the residents of Brgy. 23 San Matias decreased by 740.
Its ethnic population is overwhelmingly Ilocano. Unlike the rest of the region, however, the Roman Catholic Church does not predominate. The Aglipayan Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, and other Protestant groups have strong followings.
Apart from being distinguished as the provincial capital, Laoag City is also the center of the fast developing North Luzon Economic Triangle. The city is situated in a strategic area close to the economic centers of East Asia and is reachable in 45 minutes by plane from Manila. Having critical infrastructure such as the Laoag Airport at Gabu and the Currimao Port makes Laoag the port of entry of goods and services complemented by an extensive road and highway system that connects it to other cities. An extensive banking system is also found in the city with an impressive number of twenty-five different local, domestic, and foreign banks ready to serve any financial needs.
With a 12,747.35m total land area, Laoag City provides a large opportunity for economic expansion. The historic scenic tourist spots, availability of internationally competitive accommodations and facilities, and the presence of supportive national government agencies, makes Laoag an ecotourism center, as classified by the Department of Tourism. The Northwestern Luzon Growth Quadrangle, fondly called the NORTH QUAD, also aims to develop rural areas through an integrated countryside agri-industrial development approach with emphasis/focus in attaining sustainable and equitably growth; increase the productivity of agriculture and fisheries; encourage industrial competitiveness in the local and foreign markets like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Plans are also being undertaken for the establishment of an ECO-TOURISM village, which will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Ilokanos and the local industries.
Laoag and the surrounding municipalities also bolster a strong workforce. A proposed industrial park name "Laoag Ecozone" is set to rise within the city limits to host manufacturing companies. Opposite the industrial site will be housing projects and along the national highway going to the Laoag International Airport are rural barangays to become residential zones. At present, most industries in the city are small-scale consisting of small-scale food processing factories, rice mills, jewelry-making, hollow blocks factories and metal crafts.
The city is also in the forefront of green-technology after Danish investors set-up the first wind-driven powerplant in Southeast Asia. The 25-megawatt plant cost $47.6 million US Dollars and an $11 million US Dollar expansion is concurrently under construction, which is set to quadruple the capacity.Bangui windmills
As the provincial capital, Laoag is the center of social and economic activity with almost all major commercial and institutional establishments gravitating towards it. The importance of education in socializing its population is shared by both the local government and the private sector, which has invested heavily in the development of the academic infrastructure. The city is home to public and private schools offering elementary, secondary, and tertiary education programs. Current Philippine law requires free compulsory education to the general population from elementary to high school, as well as, subsidized tertiary education in state-ran institutions. Alternative private schools offering parallel programs to government schools are also found with additional programs to cater to students with various needs. These schools are an important component of the educational system and reflect the city's diversity as they include Chinese schools, Catholic schools, all-male and all-female boarding schools, and military schools.
Most of the lower-level schools are government-owned and are divided into three districts comprising a total of thirty three primary and elementary schools. Seven private elementary schools are also present, however, most are sectarian and run by religious organizations. In addition, there are eight private and three public high schools, although the latter has significantly higher number of attendees.
In order to provide continuing education to sustain the economic momentum of the region, the government has established tertiary public learning institutions in the city, the College of Teacher Education (CTE) and the College of Industrial Technology (CIT) of the Mariano Marcos State University. The Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades (INCAT) provides secondary education but offers post-secondary technical-vocational courses.
The Ilocos Norte National High School (INNHS), the premier school of the north which has the largest amount of student population, was chosen as one of the 23 pilot public schools to implement the new Secondary Curriculum of DepEd, the SEC which is currently experienced by IV-ZODIAC SY: 2009-2010.
In addition, private colleges and universities are also found in the city, each with their own specialization. Some of private higher education institutions in the city are: Northwestern University, Northern Christian College, Divine Word College of Laoag, Data Center College of the Philippines, and AMA Computer College.
Also found in Laoag are four private special vocational schools: STI Laoag, the Overseas Technical Institute, the Lazo Fashion School, and the Bel Arte School of Fine Arts. Also, slated for development in the government's educational plan (2018) is the building of Ateneo de Laoag, UST Up North and the Catholic University of Laoag.
Tourism has become a major economic driver of Laoag City, paving the way for new commercial investments and infrastructure development. A recent surge in Chinese and Taiwanese tourists have been flocking to splurge in the city's profitable casino located inside the only 5-star hotel in the northern Philippines, Fort Ilocandia Hotel and Resort. Other places of interest include a tour of heritage sites featuring Spanish colonial buildings, Philippine-baroque churches, white-sand beach resorts of Pagudpud, and Marcos-era mansions. The dramatic increase in tourist arrivals also prompted the establishment of a Chinese consulate to oversee the security of Chinese citizens living or visiting the city. A new immigration policy set to simplify entry of Chinese tourists into the country by issuing visitor visas in the airport after arrival is expected to entice more guests to come. To supplement the anticipated growth in tourist-related business activity, the government of Ilocos Norte has started construction on a multimillion dollar convention center and hotel to supply the demand and diversify services.
Other tourist sites include:
'L A O A G . C I T Y'Bold text
* FORT ILOCANDIA RESORT/CASINO/COUNTRY CLUB (the ONLY 1st class property in Northern Philippines)
* Ilocos Norte Capitol & City Hall
* Museo Ilocos Norte
* St. William's Cathedral & SINKING BELL TOWER (the tallest & most massive bell tower in the Philippines)
* Marcos Hall of Justice & Dap-ayan Center
* Tobacco Monopoly Monument in Aurora Park
* LA PAZ SAND DUNES (a national geological monument)
* Kalesa Ride
* city tour & night market
* Pamulinawen Festival
* December Festival
* RagRag-O Festival
A D A M S / N . E R A
* fauna & flora (RAFFLESIA-largest flower)
* Virgin forest
* Eco-tourism Activities
* Tadek-Bagat Festival
B A C A R R A
* Bacarra bell tower & ST. ANDREWS CHURCH (a national shrine)
* Bac-Bacarra Festival
B A D O C
* Juan Luna Shrine
* Badoc Church
B A N G U I
* Bangui Bay & WINDMILLS (the first in South East Asia)
B A T A C . C I T Y
* Marcos Museum
* Gen. Ricarte Shrine
* Aglipay Church/Shrine
* Batac Church
* Mariano Marcos State University
B U R G O S
* CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE (the tallest & oldest lighthouse in Asia)
* Kapurpurawan rock formations
* Kaangrian Falls
C U R R I M A O
* Coral Formations
* Nipa Beach Reosrt
* Sittio Remedios
* Playa Resort
* Dinaklisan Festival
D I N G R A S
* St. Joseph Church
* Ani Festival
* Doña Josefa Llanes Escoda Shrine (founder of Girl Scout of the Philippines)
P A G U D P U D
* SAUD BEACH (named the best beach in Asia)
* Patapat Viaduct
* Kabigan Falls
* Blue Lagoon
P A O A Y
* ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
* PAOAY LAKE NATIONAL PARK
* Malacanang of the North
* Guling-Guling Festival
P A S U Q U I N
* Salt making industry
* Pasuquin beach
* Dumadara Festival
S A N . N I C O L A S
* Damili industry
* San Nicolas Church
* Damili Festival
S A R R A T
* STA. MONICA CHURCH (the longest church in the Philippines)
* Marcos' Birthplace
* River Resort
M E T R O . L A O A G
* The Center (365 Palaza,Robinsons IN,Balai Condominium) SN-Laoag
* Ilocos Norte Hotel & Convention Center
* CONSULATE OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN LAOAG (the second consular post of China in the Philippines)
* Robinsons Land (Hanalei Heights, Brighton Parkplace)
* Puregold Mall(soon)
* Laoag City Hospital(soon)
* proposed Laoag ECOZONE
E C O . T O U R I S M
* Laoag golf, shooting, archery
* Paoay kayaking, bird watching
* Pagudpud surfing, scuba diving
* Adams/N Era tekking, camping
P R O D U C T S
* Abel Iloco
HOTELS, RESORTS AND TOURIST INN IN LAOAG ACCOMODATIONS(where to stay in laoag city)
Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino (5 star hotel), Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center(1st class), Nipa Beach International resort(1st class), Palazzo de Laoag, La Elliana Hotel, Java Hotel, Hotel del Norte, Laoag Renzo Hotel, Northview Hotel, Texicano Hotel, Hotel Tiffany, Parklane Hotel, Isabel Suites, Starlight Lodging House, Paradise Lodge, Balay da Blas Pennsion House, Pichay Lodging House, Ilocos Rosewell Hotel, Casa Llanes, Ranada Inn, Villa Lydia Inn, Playa Tropical, Nipa Beach International Hotel, D' Coral Beach Hotel, Kapuluan Vista, Apo Idon Hotel, Saud Beach Hotel, Villa del Mar Ivory Beach, Pannzian Mountain Resort, Agua Grande, Terra Rika, Polaris Beach Resort, Arinaya, Hannah's Place, Jun & Carol Beach, Badoc Island Resort,
Laoag City is politically subdivided into 81 barangays.
* Bgy. 42, Apaya
* Bgy. 36, Araniw
* Bgy. 56-A, Bacsil North
* Bgy. 56-B, Bacsil South
* Bgy. 41, Balacad
* Bgy. 40, Balatong
* Bgy. 55-A, Barit-Pandan
* Bgy. 47, Bengcag
* Bgy. 50, Buttong
* Bgy. 60-A, Caaoacan
* Bry. 48-A, Cabungaan North
* Bgy. 48-B, Cabungaan South
* Bgy. 37, Calayab
* Bgy. 54-B, Camangaan
* Bgy. 58, Casili
* Bgy. 61, Cataban
* Bgy. 43, Cavit
* Bgy. 49-A, Darayday
* Bgy. 59-B, Dibua North
* Bgy. 59-A, Dibua South
* Bgy. 34-B, Gabu Norte East
* Bgy. 34-A, Gabu Norte West
* Bgy. 35, Gabu Sur
* Bgy. 32-C La Paz East
* Bgy. 33-B, La Paz Proper
* Bgy. 32-B, La Paz West
* Bgy. 54-A, Lagui-Sail
* Bgy. 32-A, La Paz East
* Bgy. 33-A, La Paz Proper
* Bgy. 52-B, Lataag
* Bgy. 52-C, Lataag 'Burobor' (soon)
* Bgy. 60-B, Madiladig
* Bgy. 38-A, Mangato East
* Bgy. 38-B, Mangato West
* Bgy. 62-A, Navotas North
* Bgy. 62-B, Navotas South
* Bgy. 46, Nalbo
* Bgy. 51-A, Nangalisan East
* Bgy. 51-B, Nangalisan West
* Bgy. 24, Nstra. Sra. De Consolacion(Pob.)
* Bgy. 7-A, Nstra. Sra. De Natividad (Pob.)
* Bgy. 7-B, Nstra. Sra. De Natividad (Pob.)
* Bgy. 27, Nstra. Sra. De Soledad (Pob.)
* Bgy. 13, Nstra. Sra. De Visitacion (Pob.)
* Bgy. 3, Nstra. Sra. Del Rosario (Pob.)
* Bgy. 57, Pila
* Bgy. 49-B, Raraburan
* Bgy. 53, Rioeng
* Bgy. 55-B, Salet-Bulangon
* Bgy. 6, San Agustin, Jeff (Pob.)
* Bgy. 22, San Andres (Pob.)
* Bgy. 28, San Bernabe (Pob.)
* Bgy. 17, San Francisco (Pob.)
* Bgy. 4, San Guillermo (Pob.)
* Bgy. 15, San Guillermo (Pob.)
* Bgy. 12, San Isidro (Pob.)
* Bgy. 16, San Jacinto (Pob.)
* Bgy. 10, San Jose (Pob.)
* Bgy. 1, San Lorenzo (Pob.)
* Bgy. 26, San Marcelino (Pob.)
* Bgy. 52-A, San Mateo
* Bgy. 23, San Matias (Pob.)
* Bgy. 20, San Miguel (Pob.)
* Bgy. 21, San Pedro (Pob.)
* Bgy. 5, San Pedro (Pob.)
* Bry. 18, San Quirino (Pob.)
* Bgy. 8, San Vicente (Pob.)
* Bgy. 9, Santa Angela (Pob.)
* Bgy. 11, Santa Balbina (Pob.)
* Bgy. 25, Santa Cayetana
* Bgy. 2, Santa Joaquina (Pob.)
* Bgy. 19, Santa Marcela (Pob.)
* Bgy. 30-B, Santa Maria
* Bgy. 39, Santa Rosa
* Bgy. 14, Santo Tomas (Pob.)
* Bgy. 29, Santo Tomas (Pob.)
* Bgy. 30-A, Suyo
* Bgy. 31, Talingaan
* Bgy. 45, Tangid
* Bgy. 55-C, Vira
* Bgy. 44, Zamboanga