Currimao is a quiet coastal town and one of the smallest municipalities of Ilocos Norte. It is located in the southwestern part of the province and directly faces the South China Sea. Currimao used to be part of the much larger municipality of Paoay and has some of the must-see beaches and attractions in Ilocos Norte.
The shores of Currimao possess its own unique wonders. It is a great destination if you are looking for beaches aside from the ones in Pagudpud and Laoag. Its coastlines are bordered by a fort of huge coral rocks that are around 12 meters in height. It also has tide pools where you can find fishes, hermit crabs, and other sea creatures. You can enjoy an awesome view of the picturesque beach while on top of the gigantic rocks. Currimao also has several resorts near its shores where you can stay the night.
You can also find the quaint cultural village of Sitio Remedios in Currimao. Walking around Sitio Remedios will transport you back to the 19th century when the Philippines was ruled by Spanish governor-generals and friars. The village has Spanish houses furnished with fine antiques, paintings, and sculptures. At the center of the village is the Capilla de San Miguel, an old chapel built in honor of the Lady of Good Voyage (Nuestra Señora de los Remedios) and St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Currimao. In front of the chapel is the Plaza Manzanilla where gatherings and events are held.
By Air The quickest way to get to Currimao is by flying to Laoag International Airport. From Metro Manila, it's only an hour and thirty minutes' flight away. But if you're coming from Cebu, flights last up to two hours with a stopover in Manila. You can book with Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines for your flight to Laoag. Once you land at the airport, you can hop on a bus to get to Currimao. The bus trip lasts about 45 minutes.
By Land The bus trip to Currimao from Metro Manila takes about 10 to 12 hours depending on the traffic situation. You can take Laoag-bound buses like Florida, Partas, Maria de Leon, and Fariñas Transit and get off at Currimao.
If you have your own vehicle, the drive to Currimao will only take about eight to nine hours via the North Luzon Expressway.
How to Get Around By Jeep
When in Currimao, you can take the jeep to get to the neighboring towns. The minimum fare is only PHP 7.00.
Taking the tricycle is a better option for shorter distances. You can also take the tricycle to tour around Currimao.
What to See Landmarks
A notable landmark in Currimao is the ruined Spanish watchtower in Barangay Torre, which was made from corals and stones. It was built during the Spanish colonial period to repel invaders and pirates. Much of the tower has crumbled over the years, but it remains as an important reminder of the town’s historic past.
The beach of Currimao is a sight to behold. It has fine white sands and clear blue waters that are truly a sight to behold. But its unique rock formations are what drive tourists to make the arduous trip to this peaceful coastal town. Aptly named the Pangil Coral Gardens, the group of sharp coral rock formations spans about two kilometers of the shoreline, with some rising as tall as 12 feet. They provide good shade from the sun for beach bummers.
Another thing to watch out for are the tide pools at the beach. These unique pools are the home of some of the sea creatures in Currimao.
Sitio Remedios is unlike any other resort in Currimao or even in the Philippines. This beachfront establishment is a recreated 19th century Ilocano village which boasts accommodations that were reconstructed from former ancestral residences in Ilocos Norte. The houses are consistent in their native Filipino theme—from the facade and interiors up to the furniture and decor, but you'll also find modern comforts such as hot and cold baths and air conditioning.
Aside from the houses, you'll also see other magnificent sights in Sitio Remedios. Capilla de San Miguel is the cultural village's chapel, where masses and weddings are usually held. In front of the chapel is the Plaza Manzanilla, the main courtyard that plays host to events such as wedding receptions.
Events and Festivals
Dinaklisan Festival is celebrated by the residents of Currimao from April 29 to May 1. It is a thanksgiving festival for their bountiful seas as fishing is the town’s major source of livelihood. It is also highlighted by a fluvial parade in honor of their patroness, the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
Where to Eat Restaurants
Jade Karla Food Center is the best place to get some grub in Currimao. This carinderia-turned-restaurant offers an array of Filipino dishes to satisfy your cravings. Make sure to order their seafood dishes as they are guaranteed to be made with the freshest catch.
The delicious meals at Betsy's Carinderia are just right for a backpacker's budget. This eatery not only offers sumptuous Filipino meals but also out-of-the-ordinary seafood fare like octopus dishes.
Where to Shop Markets
Drop by Currimao Public Market if you want to take home some fresh seafood.
Pasalubong Areas Tupig from Irene's Kakanin is the staple pasalubong from Currimao. This roadside shop also offers delicious bibingka.
ATMs and Money Changers
The nearest banks and ATMs are found in Laoag City and San Nicolas, so make sure to withdraw there first before heading to Currimao.
Fare: PHP 700.00 to PHP 800.00 (By bus); PHP 3,000.00++ (By plane)
The bus fare from Manila to Laoag ranges from PHP 700.00 to PHP 800.00.
The airfare to Laoag Airport from Metro Manila starts at PHP 3,000.00, while the airfare from Cebu City starts at PHP 5,000.00.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 300.00
There are plenty of affordable meal options in Currimao for those with a limited budget. You can already afford a satisfying meal with a budget of PHP 100.00 to PHP 300.00.
Shopping: PHP 50.00++ Tupig from Irene's Kakanin sells at PHP 10.00 a piece, while the bibingka costs PHP 50.00.
Accommodation: PHP 1,800.00 to PHP 2,000.00
At North Shores Inn, two people can already enjoy an overnight stay at an air conditioned room for about PHP 1,800.00.