Gawad Alab ng Haraya

  On August 9, 2002, Museo Ilocos Norte received the Gawad Alab ng Haraya from the National Commission of Culture and the Arts for Outstanding Conservation Program (Adaptive Reuse) as demonstrated by the rehabilitation and conservation of the old Tabacalera Building.  

Museo Ilocos Norte

The Museo Ilocos Norte is a learning center of Ilocos Norte traditions. Within its spaces are many opportunities for inter-active and multi-disciplinary experiences. Its presentations are continually evolving, responding to new findings and revelations on the cultures of Ilocos Norte. In the Museum proper, artifacts illustrate how peoples such as the Ilocanos, Yapayaos, Isnegs and

About the Building

An existing Tabacalera tobacco warehouse that is next door to the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol was recycled into the Museo. The Tabacalera warehouse in Laoag, a plain, rectangular brick structure built in the 19th century, is one of a chain of brick warehouses built in Ilocos Norte.

Brief History of Ilocos Norte

Long before the coming of the Spaniards, there already existed an extensive region (consisting the present provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union) which was renowned for its gold mines. Merchants from Japan and China would often visit the area to trade gold with beads, ceramics and silk. The inhabitants of the


The towns of Ilocos Norte are beehives of traditional crafts and trades. The making of pots, mats, cloth, blankets, bolos (multi-purpose knives) and basi (sugarcane wine) are important sources of livelihood. In particular, the abel Iloko (hand wooven cloth) has found ready markets both here and abroad.

The Sea

  The proximity of the Luzon Sea has challenged the people of Ilocos Norte to plough its coastal waters for whatever food and livelihood opportunities it can yield. Local folks trap and gather fish, snails, clams, octopus, shrimp, seaweeds and other edibles for personal consumption. Salt making and bagoong (fish paste) production are likewise conducted