Ilocos Series: Fort Ilocandia and Malacanang of the North

January 03, 2016

After our breathtaking adventure of the La Paz Sand Dunes, my family and I went back to our hotel, Balay da Blas Pensionne House to freshen up and have breakfast.  The moment we were all settled, Mang Mario came to pick us up and off we went to see the remaining tourist spots in Laoag.

Our first stop was Fort Ilocandia, the first and only 5 star deluxe resort hotel in northern Philippines.  This place is open to all visitors/ tourists who want to see this lavish accommodation with Spanish colonial architecture.  The entire property is huge and its design screams nothing less than luxury and sophistication.  Indeed, this hotel has perfectly preserved Ilocandia's timeless elegance!

Fort Ilocandia, Laoag
Fort Ilocandia, Laoag

There's really nothing much to do in Fort Ilocandia but to take photos of the limited areas where non-hotel guests are allowed to explore.  So after spending a few minutes of cam whoring, our group decided to move onto our next destination -- the touristy Malacanang of the North.

Sitting over a five-hectare land in Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte, it is supposed that this house with Spanish and Ilocano architecture was actually a gift of former First Lady Imelda Marcos to the late president Ferdinand Marcos on his 60th birthday.  However, when the Marcoses were ousted in 1986, this mansion was among the properties confiscated by the Philippine government in an effort to recover the family's accumulated ill-gotten wealth.  Two decades later, the national government eventually handed over the ownership of this property to the local government of Ilocos Norte, where Imee Marcos, the region's governor, decided to have it restored and opened to the public as a museum. 

With an entrance fee of PHP 30, you can already explore every corner of the former president's house and get a glimpse of the fancy lifestyle once lived by one of the most influential families in the country.

Malacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City

More locally known as the Malacañang ti Amianan, this grand mansion overlooking the scenic Paoay Lake is just approximately 15 minutes away from Fort Ilocandia.  The mansion was built with a concrete ground level and a hardwood second floor with huge Capiz windows.  This attraction was really spacious, you would need to spend about 30 minutes to an hour to get around and enjoy the place.  Although there were no tour guides available to give us a brief history or background of the place, the management of the mansion made sure that each room were properly identified.

The ground level houses Senator Bongbong's bedroom, a dining area, a verandah, and a museum showcasing the former president's office as well as the projects that were built during his regime and the accomplishments of his administration especially in the field of agriculture.

A grand narra staircase would then lead you to the mansion's second level, where you'll see the bedroom of the couple's daughters, the overly spacious master's bedroom, a living and dining area, a balcony with an amazing view of the Paoay Lake, a museum paying tribute to OFWs and an exhibit displaying the Filipino culture.

Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag CityMalacanang of the North
Malacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North, Laoag CityMalacanang of the North, Laoag City
Malacanang of the North

The mansion's well preserved structure as well as its vintage furniture pieces and classic paintings are truly impressive.  The PHP 30.00 admission fee that we paid to see the place was really 'sulit'.  Hence, I must say that Malacanang of the North is indeed a MUST visit place in Laoag!  

*** The museum is open Tuesdays - Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 nn and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.


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You have read Part 14 of 16 of my travel blog posts about our family's trip to Ilocandia.  Should you wish to view the rest of the blog posts under this series, feel free to click any of the links below:

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