History of Ilocos Norte

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, there already existed an expansive region, consisting of the present provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union, renowned for its gold and other minerals. Merchants from Japan and China would often visit the region to trade beads, ceramics and silks for gold.


Spaniards led by Conquistador Juan De Salcedo landed in Vigan (Ilocos Sur) and proceeded north towards Badoc, Currimao and Laoag (Ilocos Norte).

1589-1807 (Philippine Revolution)

On several instances, Ilocanos revolted against the abusive practices of Agustinian friars, notably the Dingras uprising (1589); Pedro Almazan (1669); Silang’s Revolt (1762); and Basi Revolt (1807)


Due to population growth and in order for the Spanish government to gain more political control, a royal decree was enacted dividing Ilocos into two provinces: Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur


The Camino real (Royal Highway) was built, the Tabacalera began operations and the church of Paoay was completed.


Ilocos Norte’s Centenary, the Capitol, was built.

1965 and onwards

With the ascension of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, the first and only homegrown Ilocano president was elected. During his term, many infrastructure projects were forged ushering in investments from abroad. Major projects in Ilocos Norte included the Patapat Viaduct, Pan Philippine Highway, upgrading of Laoag International Airport, Fort Ilocandia Tourist Complex, and Mariano Marcos State University, just to name a few.


Laoag City was chartered, making it one of the economic centers in Northern Philippines.


The Provincial Government pushes to increase development and further reduce poverty through education, agriculture, manufacturing, service and tourism.