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HomePhilippines TravelCould-Kan Ilocos Norte: Come for the Sights, Relish the Flavors

Could-Kan Ilocos Norte: Come for the Sights, Relish the Flavors


Let me take you on a journey by means of the fascinating corners of Ilocos Norte, the place each sight is a narrative and each chunk is an journey. I’ve been a wanderer on this area for so long as I can bear in mind, and let me let you know, it by no means fails to amaze me. Be a part of me as we discover the colourful tradition, wealthy historical past, and mouthwatering delicacies of Could-Kan Ilocos Norte!

Some of the participants of May-Kan Leg 2.
Among the contributors of Could-Kan Leg 2.

Could-Kan Ilocos Norte: A Gastronomic Journey

The time period “Could-Kan” is a phenomenal fusion of Ilocano and Pangasinan phrases, that means “to journey from one place to a different” and “meals.” Primarily, Could-Kan is an invite to embark on a gastronomic journey, hopping from one pleasant meals expertise to a different throughout Area 1. In April 2023, our Could-Kan Fam Journey, organized by DOT Area 1, led us by means of the charming cities of La Union and Pangasinan. On this leg, we explored the higher reaches of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, unearthing hidden culinary gems and immersing ourselves within the native lifestyle.

Bacarra Church & Domeless Belfry
Bacarra’s Church and Bell Tower
Bacarra Church & Domeless Belfry
Heat welcome at Bacarra church grounds
Bacarra Church & Domeless Belfry
The beheaded Bell Tower

Bacarra’s Heritage and Crispy Skinny Okoy

Our journey started in Bacarra, a city that proudly preserves its heritage regardless of the diaspora of its residents. The St Andrew the Apostle Parish often known as Bacarra Church, standing tall since 1706, warmly welcomed us with songs and dance from native pupil performers. The church, a testomony to Spanish colonial structure, is a residing museum with tunnels resulting in the altar, the river, and the close by bell tower – fondly referred to as the “Beheaded Bell Tower.”

Bacarra Church & Domeless Belfry
Bacarra’s Okoy
Bacarra Church & Domeless Belfry

We sampled native delicacies subsequent to this historic website, with Bacarra’s specialty stealing the present: skinny, crunchy Okoy, a pleasant concoction of deep-fried shrimp and greens on glutinous rice batter fritters.

The Bacarra Church was declared a Nationwide Cultural Middle in 1973.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Burgos Megastructures and Gamet

Burgos, a preferred space famed for the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse (Burgos Lighthouse) and Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, was our subsequent cease. The all-familiar Burgos lighthouse now has a industrial complicated with eateries, souvenirs, and a vacationer middle. Tricycles await to take passengers up the lighthouse however strolling remains to be an possibility. Guests are not allowed to climb the lighthouse.

Gamet Empanada
Gamet Empanada

We savored Gamet-infused empanadas, the place this uncommon seaweed added a singular contact to the normal snack, showcasing the creativity of the native culinary scene. Gamet could be harvested on the rocky coast and cliffs of Burgos from September to February. They’re thought-about the Black Gold of Burgos as a top quality gamet (the darker ones) that may fetch from P800–1000 per dangkal (or at the very least 6 inches). They’re exported to Japan and made into completely different merchandise like nori. Story on harvesting the sport on this submit.

View of the wind turbines at Burgos Wind Farm with the Bangui wind farm afar.
View of the wind generators at Burgos Wind Farm with the Bangui wind farm afar.
Burgos Windfarm and Eco Park
Burgos Windfarm and Eco Park

The Bangui Wind Farm was the one place in Ilocos Norte the place vacationers can benefit from the sight of wind generators. In 2014, a second wind farm was inbuilt Ilocos Norte spanning an space of 600 hectares beneath three barangays, Saoit, Poblacion, and Nagsurot. The Burgos Wind Farm and Eco Park is now the biggest wind farm not solely within the Philippines but additionally in Southeast Asia. The hilly panorama close to Kapurpurawan has round 57 wind generators producing at the very least 370 GWh of electrical energy yearly.

The sight of the majestic wind generators towards the azure sky was awe-inspiring, reminding us of nature’s immense energy harnessed for our profit. 

Crispy Dinuguan
Crispy Dinuguan
Crispy Dinuguan

Laoag’s Crispy Dinuguan

Returning to Laoag, we handled our style buds to a shocking twist on a Filipino basic at Eagle’s Nest: Crispy Dinuguan. Think about deep-fried innards bathed in sauce – a pleasant, crunchy variation. 

We took a breather within the afternoon again at Plaza del Norte the place we had been billeted earlier than our subsequent escapade.

Malacañang of the North and Paoay Lake
Malacañang of the North and Paoay Lake
Malacañang of the Northe and Paoay Lake
Malacañang of the Northe and Paoay Lake

Paoay Lake, Loom Weavers, Sand Dunes, and Pinakbet Pizza

The afternoon was a whirlwind of pleasure, tradition, and pure magnificence. In Paoay, with its picturesque lake, we visited the Malacañang Ti Amianan or Malacañang of the North, a lavish mansion by the Marcoses overlooking Lake Paoay. Close by, we marveled on the talent of loom weavers of Nagbacalan, whose palms wove intricate patterns into inabel cloth. 

Suba Paoay 4x4 and Sandboarding Adventure
Suba Paoay 4x4 and Sandboarding Adventure
Suba Paoay 4x4 and Sandboarding Adventure

Because the solar dipped low, we launched into an exhilarating 4×4 journey and sandboarding journey within the huge Paoay Sand Dunes, the golden sands glowing within the twilight. The dunes in Suba, Paoay are one of many widest in Asia.

Casa Valentin
Casa Valentin

Our culinary journey culminated in a satisfying dinner at Kusina Valentin (previously Herencia de Paoay), the place we indulged in Ilocano favorites like bagnet and sinigang. Nonetheless, the star of the evening was their revolutionary creation: Pinakbet Pizza. Think about the flavors of pinakbet – a neighborhood vegetable dish – harmonizing with cheese and sauce on a crispy pizza crust. It was a pleasant fusion of custom and modernity, capturing the essence of our Could-Kan expertise.

In a nutshell, Could-Kan Ilocos Norte is a symphony of flavors, colours, and historical past. From heritage websites to revolutionary culinary creations, this journey is an ode to the richness of Ilocano tradition. 

Suba Paoay 4x4 and Sandboarding Adventure
Sundown on the dunes
Nagbacalan Loom Weavers
Loom weavers of Nagbacalan
Nagbacalan Loom Weavers
Room at Plaza del Norte
Room at Plaza del Norte
Paoay Church in the evening
Paoay Church within the night.



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