With an abundant number of pilgrimage sites, rich historical landmarks, and untouched natural attractions, Badoc in Ilocos Norte definitely makes for a memorable stop in any Ilocos Tour. Unfortunately though, many are unaware of the town’s wonders, not even the fact that it has an island surf spot and sand dunes, and thus has always been left bypassed by most travelers.
Why visit Badoc?
Badoc, Ilocos Norte is most known for being the birthplace of the very popular Filipino personality, Juan Luna. It is here that the Juan Luna Shrine which houses mostly the reproductions of his precious artworks can be found. Antique lovers will definitely find joy stepping into this abode with the abundance of antique displays around, including a 120-year old 4-posted bed that Juan Luna himself used.
Another noteworthy spot in town is the Badoc Church. This is where Juan Luna’s baptism took place. What’s more is that in this church is housed the La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, the 400-year old imagery of the Virgin Mary found by some fishermen back in the 17th century.
Other surprising discoveries to find in the town are the Saud Sand Dunes on which 4×4 riding and sandboarding have become prominent activities and the uninhabited Badoc Island that’s home to stellar coral reef formations. The latter has also been discovered to be a good spot for surfing on July to September.
How to Get There
(1) By Plane
The more convenient option for travelers to get to Badoc, Ilocos Norte is by plane. There are direct flights from Manila to Laoag via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. From Laoag, tricycles or vans can be rented to get to the Badoc town mainland.
(2) By Bus
From Manila, travelers can take a Florida or Partas bus bound for Laoag. The take off point is at the Badoc Detachment bus stop. It takes approximately 9 hours of travel to arrive at the stop and from there, tricycles or calesas can be taken to get around town. From the Badoc town mainland, boat rides can be taken to the Badoc island.
Where to Stay
There are no commercial hotel accommodations available in Badoc but there are aplenty to consider in the nearby city, Laoag.
Northview Hotel offers not just affordable accommodations but also has a restaurant that serves top-grade cuisines and an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms are furnished with simple decors with free Wi-Fi available.
Ilocos Rosewell Hotel is a convenient 5-min drive from the Laoag City Centre. Other than massage services and free parking, the establishment also makes available free Wi-Fi and access to cable TVs.
Pamulinawen Hotel is open 24 hours, offering free Wi-Fi in the public areas, free parking for guests and access to an outdoor pool.
Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center features one outdoor pool and two restaurants. It is 5km away from the Laoag International Airport and is a 2-hr drive away from Pagudpud Beach.
The Badoc Island, however, is uninhabited so no commercial accommodations are available. Travelers can opt to pitch in tents or simply bring sleeping bags for camping instead.
Attractions and Activities
Visit the Juan Luna Shrine
Visit the Shrine of Sto. Cristo Milagroso de Sinait and Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc
Sandboard or try 4×4 riding in the Saud Sand Dunes (best done in late afternoons)
Swim and snorkel in the waters of the Badoc island
Go island surfing (surf seasons peak only around July to September)
Badoc, Ilocos Norte simply offers the wrap of all good things you would want in a trip – pilgrimage, art exhibit, adventure and most importantly, a taste of a serene of beach holiday. What can better top your North Ilocos trip than these?
** Thanks to the provincial government of Ilocos Norte for all the above photos.