Batac Empanada: Simply the Best!
After I skipped Batac City enroute to Paoay, I went back to this city for an intended stop over. It was supposed to be a short trip to the newest city of Ilocos Norte. But it went fruitful because of the wonderful view around the city. It was more than empanada so to speak since the city boasts of its yummiest empanada. Batac really surprised me about the development.
Ilocos Norte's second city after Laoag. Batac is also known as Home of the Great Leaders. It was because Batac is the hometown of some of important people in the history of the Philippines. Starting with former President Ferdinand Marcos, Gregorio Aglipay (founder of Philippine Independent Church) and General Artemio Ricarte (Father of Philippine Army). It became a city last 2007 but it went back to a town more than a year later due to controversies such as being a requirement of being a city. However in February 2011, Supreme Court upheld the decision and declared Batac City.
Home of Great Leaders
How do I start my trip to this city? Since I was so hungry due to my trip to Paoay, I drop off near the Batac Riverside Empanadaan which located at the center of the city and beside Batac Church. It was raining a bit and I hurried to the place and many vendors encouraged to go to their stalls and taste empanada. I went to Glomy's.
arrived at Empanadaan
run to the place since it was raining
headed to Glomy's
ordered Double Empanada for only PHP45!
waiting for my empanada
Empanada is a unique food or snack of the Ilocos. Unlike in other countries, empanada is fried rather than baked. The dough was made from rice flour and it was colored orange due to atsuete (anatto). I thought it was food coloring but I was wrong. For the filling, ingredients were mongo, grated unripe papaya, sliced Ilocos longganisa and egg. Then it fried and after 4-5 minutes, ready to serve. This place offers other products such as Miki (noodle soup), longganisa (Ilocos sausage), gifts and other items. It was also a tourist center so expect to see many items that are uniquely Batac made.
here it is
tasty and crunchy
best partner - Ilocos Vinegar
After my meal, I roamed around the city and I went to Batac Church, also known as Immaculate Conception Church. Built and restored since it was destroyed in 1620.
built in 1587
one of the oldest church in Ilocos Norte
I walk south and passed Batac River and headed to Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. The museum showcased the memorabilia of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Actually, it started being a part of the armed forces and up to his presidency. His works were displayed here. The mausoleum contained a glass-encased coffin of the late president who died last September 28, 1989 due to complications of kidney, lung and liver in Hawaii, USA. His remains was only brought to the Philippines in the year 1993 or 4 years after his death. The mausoleum remained open to the public however, taking pictures inside was still not allowed. I managed to take some photos outside the museum since I went there past 5PM. So if you want to visit, just be early since many tourists visited this place.
Walk along Batac city proper
to the musum
at the back was the mausoleum
Words of Wisdom of Pres. Marcos
life of Pres. Marcos in Timeline
Other places within the city were World Peace Center, which showcased about photo gallery of the late President Marcos and it has also a big collage on it. Another one was Aglipay Church, the first Philippine Independent Church built and lastly General Ricarte National Shrine where it showcased General Ricarte's contribution in the Philippine history as a revolutionary hero during World War II. It was part of my itinerary but it didn't push due to heavy rain.
My trip to Batac City became fruitful. I learned a lot during my visit. Actually it was my second visit to the city but this time, I took such time to roamed and explore the beauty of it. It was more than the empanada so to speak. It was more on the history that shaped this town and now a city. :)
How to get there?
**From Laoag City
via commute - If you are coming from the capital city of Laoag, just rode a jeepney that signs Laoag-Batac-Paoay and it will bring you to the town proper. Fare costs you PHP24 and travel time was only 30 minutes.
via private car / van - from Laoag City, drive along Manila North Road southward and passed the town of San Nicolas and you will easily find this city. Travel time was only 20 minutes.
**From Metro Manila
via commute - Ride a bus that bound for Laoag City and drop at Batac city proper since it was just along Manila North Road. Fare ranges between PHP700 to PHP800. Travel time is between 8 and 9 hours.
via private car / van - travel along Manila North Road and you will find Batac City. Mind you, it is a long drive so prepare your food, transportation to be use and time. Travel time is between 7 to 8 hours depending on traffic along the way. :)