Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Vigan's Mindoro Beach and Ilocos Sur Side Tripping

Mindoro Black Sand Beach Vigan

We were craving for a unique side trip after a weekend of exploring around Vigan. We had a full day more so we decided to check out some nice spots near the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our first stop was the Our Lady of the Assumption Church (Santa Maria Church) in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. My buddies were raving about the four Baroque churches that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site; Paoay Church, San Agustin Church in Manila, Miag-Ao Church in Iloilo and Santa Maria Church, this particular church. An hour or so, we reached the town of Santa Maria and headed straight to the church.

It was a sweltering day and the eighty five steps leading to the church was excruciating. And then we reached the top.

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

This grand church was constructed in 1765 while the freestanding belfry was added forty five years later. The church is made of bricks and the moss-infested buttresses added to the timeworn feel of it.

Simple layout and design greeted us as we entered the church. And then I was captivated by the old tiles that seemed to be too funky for a church. But then, it added a little spice to the simplicity of the church.

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church Ilocos Sur

Going back to Vigan, we passed by some scenic spots along the road. The wide stretch of sand on one side and huge mountains on the other side were just too beautiful that we needed to ask our cool driver to have a quick breather by the shore. Apparently, we were in Narvacan in Ilocos Sur.

And so we jumped out of the van and ran into the sand dunes like kids. We screamed into the vast and empty field and started to think of a name for this place to no avail.

Narvacan Ilocos Sur

Narvacan Ilocos Sur

We headed next to an eatery, still in Narvacan, overlooking the Sulvec Beach with its gorgeous rock formations. We settled on a native hut cabana and started the boozing/siesta session.

Sulvec Beach Narvacan Ilocos Sur

Sulvec Beach Narvacan Ilocos Sur

Sulvec Beach Narvacan Ilocos Sur
The grotto in Sulvec Beavh
Chasing the afternoon sun, we headed to our last stop for the day, the Mindoro Beach in Vigan. This was actually the first time I heard of such. I never knew that Vigan has its own beach. And yes, you can ride a tricycle from Calle Crisologo going to this beach.

The van parked at Playa de Oro Resort which seemed to be deserted at that time. The huge waves were crashing through the huge concrete barriers; it was the habagat season.

We hurriedly went into the shore and realized how black the sand was. I mean it’s really black, not gray or something but deep black, like Asian-hair black. It was my first time to encounter such sand and apparently, the sand is rich in iron ore or magnetite; a hardcore rockstar mineral.

Mindoro Black Sand Beach Vigan

Mindoro Black Sand Beach Vigan
It.is.black.
I immediately wanted to try out the waters. I was taken aback by the huge waves and yet I still managed to swim until a local warned us about it. So we just settled on the shore and watched as the sun set from the horizon. It was the perfect time for boozing up but we left the local wine/basi on the van.

Mindoro Black Sand Beach Vigan

It was such a great day indeed. We ended it at an alley somewhere near Calle Crisologo and set up a table and some chairs for a boozing up session.


Check Vigan City accommodations here

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