City of Laoag
Ciudad ti Laoag
—  Component City  —
The Sinking Belltower of Laoag

Map of Ilocos Norte showing the location of Laoag City
Country  Philippines
Region Ilocos Region
Province Ilocos Norte
Barangays 80
Congressional District 1st
Founded 1580
City 1965
 – Representative,1st Congressional District Rodolfo C. Farinas (Nacionalista)
 – Governor Maria Imelda R. Marcos (Nacionalista)
 – Mayor Michael V. Fariñas (NPC)
 – Vice Mayor Edward P. Domingo (Lakas-Kampi-CMD)
 – Total 101.88 km2 (39.3 sq mi)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
Languages Ilocano and English
Population Census of Laoag City
Census Pop. Rate
1995 88,336
2000 94,466 1.45%
2007 102,457 1.13%

The City of Laoag (Ilokano: Ciudad ti Laoag) is a 1st class city in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. It is the capital city of Ilocos Norte, and the province's political, commercial, and industrial hub. It is the location of the Ilocos region's only commercial airport. The municipalities of San Nicolas, Paoay, Sarrat, Vintar, and Bacarra form its boundaries. The foothills of the Cordillera Central mountain range to the east, and the South China Sea to the west are its physical boundaries.

Laoag experiences the prevailing monsoon climate of Northern Luzon, characterized by a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October, occasionally visited by powerful typhoons.

According to the latest census, it had a population of 102,457 people in 19,751 households.


Laoag History

"Laoag" (Ilocano for "light or clarity"), is an old, flourishing settlement known to Chinese and Japanese traders when the Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo arrived at the northern banks of Padsan River in 1572. Augustinian missionaries established the Roman Catholic Church in the area in 1580 and designated Saint William, the Hermit as its patron saint.


Laoag City has been governed by political families over several decades. At the moment it is governed by the Farinas family. At the helm is Mayor Michael V. Farinas. His wife Chevylle is currently the president of the League of Barangays of the 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 which is the majority religion, Iglesia ni Cristo, and other Protestant groups have strong followings.


Apart from being the provincial capital, Laoag City is also the center of the fast developing North Luzon Growth Quadrangle 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.[1]


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. The Department of Education, Division of Laoag City is currently supervised by Ms. Aracelli C. Pastor.

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.

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 includes Northwestern University, Northern Christian College, and Divine Word College of Laoag.

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. 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. Laoag City has been recently adjudged as the number one tourist destination in Region I and among the top ten in the whole archipelago.


Laoag International Airport services flights to and from Hong Kong 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 with optional excursions to tourist sites outside of the city. Once in the city, tourists can find travel agencies all over including ticket offices of several airlines in the airport terminal.

Several large bus companies serve Laoag City making connections to major and minor Philippines destinations. These transportation services are provided by GV Florida Transport, Maria de Leon Bus Lines, RCJ Lines, RCJ Trans, Dominion Bus Lines, Partas, Philippine Rabbit and Farinas Transit Company. Partas is also a major national bus line and also Autobus Busline. Laoag is a 10-14 hour drive from Manila.

A South Korean airline has recently unveiled plans to open direct flights to Laoag.


Laoag City is politically subdivided into 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-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. 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

Television Networks


It is the northernmost city in the Philippines in terms of geographical location.

External links


  1. ^ Bangui windmills

Coordinates: 18°11′N 120°35′E / 18.183°N 120.583°E / 18.183; 120.583

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