» Muntinlupa City

MUNTINLUPA CITY or Siudad ti Laoag is a 1st class city and capital city of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The place is a major political, commercial and industrial hub in the province. It is bounded by the municipalities of San Nicolas, Paoay, Sarrat, Vintar and Bacarra. In the east side of the city are the foothills of Cordillera Central mountain range and South China Sea to the West side.

HISTORY
The city name “Laoag” was derived from an Ilocano term meaning lightness or brightness. And even before the Spaniards came, the place is already a flourishing settlement of Austronesian (ancestors of the Igorots, Ifugaos, Bontocs, and Tinguians of Northern Luzon) known to Chinese and Japanese traders. In 1572, Spanish conquistador Juan De Salcedo arrived and Augustinian missionaries established the Catholic Church in the area in 1580.

The Spaniards observed that natives were divided into community groups and each has their own independent government. Laoag has a huge population of 6,000 even before the colonization. The inhabitant’s houses were built and compactly arranged around a hill known as “Ermita Hill” in which the area is just near the Padsan River and is also the natives food source and water for drinking.

In the 16th century, the missionaries resettled the big center of the community of Laoag from Ermita Hill to the present Plaza of the city of Laoag, to improve the natives living conditions. Spanish missionaries built a central rectangle where the location of the plaza, church, convent, tower, “tribunal”, and other important edifices were situated, followed by building rectangular street blocks and later on the town was known as Poblacion and was subdivided into different barrios named after a patron saint assigned to each barrio.

In 1965, Laoag became a City and remained the capital of Ilocos Norte.

PROFILE

THE LAND
Laoag city has a total land area of 12,747.35 hectares which comprises of residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, religious, edu­cational and open spaces. Hills and mountain ranges border the place on the northeast, while wide undulating sand dunes occupy the western side.

THE PEOPLE
The City has a total population of 94,466 people in 19,751 households. The Average Annual Growth Rate of the city is 1.45%, and the average household size is five persons per household.

Majority of the population speaks Ilokano dialect, followed by Tagalog and other dialects.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The City is now the center of the developing North Luzon Economic Triangle. Laoag is a strategic area making it an ideal port of entry of goods and services since Laoag International Airport and the Currimao Port was built. The place is close to other economic centers in East Asia which can be reached 45 minutes by plane from         Hong Kong and 30 minutes from the port city of Taiwan. The City has an impressive road and highway system connecting it to other cities in the Philippines. They also have an extensive banking system with more than 25 various local and foreign banks around the City.

Laoag is also fast becoming an ecotourism center offering historic scenic tourist spots, and providing internationally competitive accommodations and facilities. Eco-Tourism Village plans is being undertaken to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Ilokanos and the city industries. The Northwestern Luzon Growth Quadrangle or the North Quad also aims to develop rural areas into agri-industrial development approach and increase the productivity of agriculture and fisheries.

A proposed industrial park name "Laoag Ecozone" is set to rise within the city limits to host manufacturing companies. Various housing projects will be implemented along the national highway going to the Laoag International Airport, and rural barangays to become residential zones. Laoag is also the forefront of green-technology after Danish Investors set-up the first wind-driven 25-megawatt powerplant in Southeast Asia costing $47.6 million and current expansion construction estimated to be $11 million. This will quadruple the capacity of Laoag windmills. Agriculture, producing rice, tobacco, and garlic is also an additional economic resource of the City.

CLIMATE
Laoag has two distinctive seasons, the rainy season which occurs in the months of May till October. And the dry season during the rest of the year. Coldest months are December, January and February. The average annual tempe­rature is 27.25 °C.

ARTS & CULTURE
The City celebrates annually the following festivities:

  • Laoag City and Provincial Fiesta – This is celebrated every February 7 to 10 yearly. This is a joint celebration of Laoag’s Patron Saint and Ilocos Norte Fiesta. The celebration showcases floral parade, zarzuelas, and pageantry.
  • Pamulinawen – “Pamulinawen” was derived from an Ilocano term meaning “Ilocano Maiden”, this festivity showcases “Pinakbet” Festival, calesa parade and a street pageantry.

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Laoag City is known for its small-scale food processing factories, rice mills, jewelry-making, hollow blocks factories, metal crafts, pottery, furniture-making, and weaving.

The City also makes known native delicacies such as “Biscocho” or crispy bread and “Paltao”, an Ilocano suman boiled in molasses.

FAMOUS FOODS
An old Ilocano favorite is the “pinakbet” which literally means to “wrinkle” the vegetables by overcooking it; “Poki-poki” which is an eggplant omelet mixed with tomatoes; “bagnet” which is a tasty version of lechon kawali; “sinanlao” which is a watered down batchoy; “higado” which is similar to but less spicy than bopis; “popotlo” a seaweed salad found only in the region; crispy dinuguan, which is a dry dinuguan mixed with bagnet and other vegetables.

RELIGION
Majority of the City population is Roman Catholic with members of approximately 75.70% of the total population, followed by Agalipayan 13.14%, Protestants, Iglesia Ni Kristo and other religious groups.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The City has 80 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-A, 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-B, Lagui-Sail
  • Bgy. 32-A, La Paz East
  • Bgy. 33-A, La Paz Proper
  • Bgy. 52-B, Lataag
  • 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-Bulango
  • Bgy. 6, San Agustin (Pob.)
  • Bgy. 22, San Andres (Pob.)
  • Bgy. 28, San Bernardo (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

MAJOR TOURIST SPOTS

Chinese and Taiwanese has now been frequenting the City visiting the Laoag Casino situated inside Fort Ilocandia Hotel and resort, the only 5-star hotel in the Northern Philippines. Tourists may also visit other heritage sites that the City offers. The increase of tourists prompted the establishment of Chinese consulate overseeing the security of Chinese citizens living or visiting Laoag City.

CAPE BOJEADOR LIGHTHOUSE
The lighthouse was built in 1892 just 45 kilometers north of Laoag City. This is still being currently used.

ERMITA HILL
This hill offers a good view of the city.

THE DIRECTORS QUARTERS
The shrine is situated in Badoc community and it houses the memorabilia of the Luna family including paintings such as the replica of “Spolarium”.

MALACAÑANG OF THE NORTH
This is the official residence of President Marcos in Ilocos Norte overlooking the Paoay Lake. This residence has now been turned as a museum.

PAGUDPUD BEACH
This beach is fast becoming famous tourist destination in Northern Luzon. It is a long stretch of shoreline and fine sands.

PAOAY CHURCH
The Church was constructed as early as 1704 and was completed in 1894. It was built in coral blocks and has a unique architecture of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental. This Church is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

SINKING BELL TOWER
This Tower is just a few meters away from the St. William’s Cathedral. This is considered the most massive bell tower in the Philippines. The tower is slightly leaning to the north.

THE TOBACCO MONOPOLY MONUMENT
This monument is situated at the foot of Marcos Bridge in commemoration of the lifting of Tobacco Monopoly in 1872 to 1881 from Spanish colonizers.

WINDMILLS
The Windmills of the Northwind Power Development Corporation are like giant electric fans powered by winds from the sea. The wind farm produces 25 megawatts that is enough to supply 40% of the electricity needs of Ilocos Norte. These windmills do not produce greenhouse gases.

Other tourist destinations are:

  • 18-hole Golf Course designed by Gary Player
  • Casino Filipino
  • City Hall Building
  • Fort Ilocandia Resort and Hotel
  • Ilocos Lighthouse
  • Ilocos Norte Capital
  • Ilocos Norte Museum
  • La Paz Sand Dunes
  • Marcos Mansion

HOW TO GET TO MUNTINLUPA CITY

BY AIR
Laoag International Airport services flights to and from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, as well as, domestic flights by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Foreign airlines offer direct charter flights to Laoag as part of travel packages. Once in the city, tourists can find travel agencies all over including ticket offices of several airlines in the airport terminal.

BY LAND
Several bus companies are also available with services to Laoag City, some of these companies are: Maria de Leon Bus Lines, Farinas Bus Lines, Philippine Rabbit Bus Company, and Partas Transit. Laoag is a 10-14 hour drive from Manila.