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    Ilocos Norte Province Luzon Philippines

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Justin Taylan 2003

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement

Justin Taylan 2003

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2003

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2003

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2003
Ilocos Norte Province is located in the Ilocos Region (Region I) on the northwest of Luzon in the Philippines. Borders Ilocos Sur Province to the south and both Cagayan Province and Apayao Province to the east. Borders the South China Sea to the west. The provincial capital is Laoag.

Wartime History
During early December 1941 occupied by the Japanese Army. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the Ilocos Region was encouraged to grow cotton for export to Japan. The province was the source of vicious fighting between guerrilla forces and the Japanese as the war progress. Prior to the American invasion, guerrillas had regained most of the province's towns. Despite this, many civilians were killed by both the Japanese, and the guerrillas to purge pro-Japanese elements. By late February 1945, it was the first province in northern Luzon to be liberated by Filipino guerrilla forces.

Capital of Ilocos Norte Province, Laoag Airfield and port of Gaang.

Occupied by the Japanese in December 1941, the mayor Catalino Acosta organized a guerrilla unit with 60 members initially by early February, 1942. Japanese fled the town by mid-February 1945 after pressure from guerrillas and attacks on their positions.

The Marcos Museum & Mausoleum
Home province of Ferdinand Marcos, the post-war president of the the Philippines. The museum includes a wall dedicated to Marcos' wartime service in the Philippine Army, and as a soldier in the defense of Bataan and with American Forces after liberation. His body is on display in the mausoleum across from the museum. Marcos was born in nearby Bario 2 San Agustin, Sarrat.

The Ricarte National Shrine
General Artemio Ricarte was born in Batac, Ilocos Norte. The shrine consists of a memorial park, library and museum located to the north of Batac municipal town hall. The memorial plaque reads in part: "Captured by the Americans in 1900, Ricarte was banished to Guam in 1901. Refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, he lived abroad, returning to the Philippines from Japan during World War II. Died in Barrio Nagparaon, Kalinga Mt. Province."

Memorial Park
A memorial park was completed in 1993, and cost 4 million Pesos to build. The memorial features a statue and two field guns on display.

Library and Museum
The adjacent museum and library were opened in 1997, and cost 7 million Pesos. prewar Filipino Freedom fighter, first chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1897, and during the American occupation refused to vow any oath of allegiance to the Unites States after the Spanish American war. He was exiled to Guam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and finally Japan in 1915. A controversial figure in WWII figure, Ricarte lived in Yokahama from 1930 until December 21, 1941 when he was flown back to the Philippines, via Aparri Airfield by the Japanese. During the war years, he toured the provinces and promoted cooperation with Japanese occupiers. He fled with Japanese forces into the Serria Madre Mountains after the successful American liberation of Luzon, and died on July 31, 1945 in the mountains with Yamashita's troops. A small museum has photographs and relics from his life, including several WWII era American and Japanese guns. It does not allow any photography inside.

Batac Gabaldon School
The Gabaldon schools across the Philippines were built by the Americans to educate Filipinos. During WWII, the school was occupied by Japanese troops. Guerillas raided the Japanese stationed at the school on January 16, 1945. Today, the same building remains standing. The school's fence is made of Marston Matting, probably salvaged from the Laoag (Gabu) Airport.

Central Elementary School
Occupied by the Japanese Army during the their occupation of the Philippines. On January 17, 1945 a raid by Filipino Guerillas raid burn down the Central Elementary School. Another raid on January 19, 1945 burned down the Catholic Convent nearby. Today, the central elementary school has been rebuilt, and is named "Mariano Marcos Memorial Elementary School"


Church of San Agustin (Church of Paoay)
This impressive church was built from 1704 - 1793. Its tower was used as an observation post by Katipuneros during the Philippine revolution, and guerrillas during the Japanese occupation.

Aircraft Wreck
Lucy Guillermo adds:
"A plane wreck, possibly a P-38 somewhere in the area of Paoay. Two fishermen I talked with attest that strewn metals are embedded on the corals and sand. He would always see the wreckage when they go fishing in the corals about 50-60' deep."

One of the centers of guerrillas activities in Ilocos Norte. Japanese left the town as early as December 1944. Home of Josefa Llanes Escoda, pioneer of Philippine Girl Scout movement, who was executed by the Japanese in Manila.


SS Stingray Landing
On August 27, 1944 the USS Stingray SS-186 landed 15 Filipinos, trained in Brisbane and were lead by Lt. Jose Valera. They also landed 15 tons of cargo (weapons and supplies) at Caunayan Bay, Pagudpud.

Lucy Guillermo adds:
"The anchor and chain of the USS Stingray which was left behind by the sub when they aborted their unloading of shipment to the guerrillas. Said relic will be part of the Marker we're going to construct this year."

Japanese ship sunk by air attack, is mentioned in at least one reference at this location.

Other towns in Ilocos Norte burned by the Japanese during the occupation:
Badoc, Bangui, Piddig

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Last Updated
February 12, 2020


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