State of Ilocos

Ilocos Sand Dunes, a lone desert in the tropical island of Luzon
(photo from
Ilocos, a prospective federal state in the northern Philippines covering the narrow, rather rocky plain between the Cordillera Central mountain range and the Luzon Sea. The name Ilocos comes from ilook, "people of the coves," describing the natives of the region.

People  The indigenous people of Ilocos are the Ilocano, also called Samtoy. Living off a stony soil difficult to till, the Ilocano are characterized as hardworking and frugal, with generally sturdy physique. They lead austere, sometimes spartan lives, focusing mostly on work and productivity and spending less on ostentatious material possessions.
Ilocano boys
(photo from

History  Even before the advent of the Spaniards, the western coasts of Northern Luzon, from Pagudpud in the north (then part of Bangui) to Luna in the south (then called Namacpacan), were acknowledged as one region: the land of Samtoy. It was called Ylocos by the Spaniards, who accordingly organized it as a single province, up until it was split into Ylocos Norte and Ylocos Sur in 1818. Ilocos’ southernmost town of Bacnotan was founded a few years after its inception, but was ceded to the newly created province of Pangasinan in 1611, and in 1850 joined by Bangar, Luna and the not-so-long-ago founded municipality of Balaoan to become part of the new province of La Union. Hence, today, the ancient land of Samtoy lies across three provinces — Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union.