When city life is already bogging you down, which destination would you like to go to? Living in a big city while working is already driving you around the bend. Sometimes all you want is to escape, explore, unwind, and breathe new air. The question is: Have you ever considered knowing the history of Ilocos Sur as you travel?
Known as the heritage province of the Philippines, Ilocos Sur has a lot to offer to its tourists. From mouth-watering delicacies, historical destinations, and several one town one products (OTOP), Ilocos Sur has lots of stories to tell to all travelers. Have you ever considered Ilocos Sur as one of your post-pandemic travel destinations? Here are the reasons why you should.
REDISCOVERING ILOCOS SUR
Any place always has beautiful tourist spots they’ll be proud to showcase. But for Ilocos Sur, each destination narrates a story. So, just imagine as you read this article, I’ll be transporting you to each story angle that this historical province brings.
THE HERITAGE VILLAGE OF VIGAN CITY
Vigan is unique among all Philippine towns as it is the country’s most extensive and only surviving historic city that dates back to the 16th century Spanish colonial period. Making it one of the seven wonder cities of the world last December 8, 2014.
Calle Crisologo was also called “Kasanglayan” (place of the Chinese), which was the business center of foreign migratory traders, including Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, and European businessmen.
In the late 1890s, the Calle de Escolta De Vigan was renamed Washington Street during American ruling. On September 1, 1901, the Americans had established a civil government in Ilocos Sur with Don Mena Crisologo, a delegate to the Malolos Congress, as the first provincial governor.
VIGAN’S DANCING FOUNTAIN
After a full day of basking in Vigan’s rich heritage and seeing its numerous sites of the historic city, end your eventful city tour with a visual and musical spectacle provided by its Dancing Fountain.
Installed at Plaza Salcedo, the fountain holds a show every night, entertaining tourists and locals alike.
As the name suggests, the Dancing Fountain offers a stunning display of lights and water, accompanied by both traditional and contemporary music.
Audiences will enjoy towering pillars of water dancing to the beat, along with colorful light displays that complete the 30-minute show.
THE BANTAY BELLTOWER
Rediscovering the beauty of this province wouldn’t be complete if you won’t visit the belfry of Bantay. It was once used as a lookout for invading enemy forces. If you are looking for postcard-perfect scenery, climb up the Bantay Bell Tower.
The history of this belfry is where they got the name of the municipality “Bantay” which means “Guard.”
THE CHAPEL BY THE RUINS
When you go to the back of the St Augustine Church, you’ll find a lovely garden, arranged like an open-air shrine.
It is the Chapel by the Ruins, a serene, peaceful, and ideal place for reflecting or praying.
THE SANTA MARIA CHURCH
Established in 1769, the Santa Maria Church is one of the best examples of Baroque-style architecture that was popular in the Spanish colonial era. Its brick facade is both simple and elegant, preserving its historical and cultural significance across several centuries.
Rediscovering this UNESCO church will make someone so nostalgic. As you climb the high stairs going up, every step will make you feel like you are going back to history.
THE SEA OF CLOUDS OF QUIRINO
After traveling to historical landmarks, it’s important to have a breath of fresh air. On top of a mystical mountain in the town of Quirino, an upland municipality in Ilocos Sur, you can witness the majestic sea of clouds that will surely take your breath away.
THE PINSAL FALLS OF STA. MARIA, ILOCOS SUR
Travelers who are rediscovering Ilocos already know that going to Pinsal Falls is a must!
It is considered as the entire Ilocandia’s largest waterfall. Its flowing blanket of water runs into natural pools that forage the rivers of Sta. Maria.
The biggest pool in Pinsal Falls is said to be a footprint of a giant, named Angalo. According to an urban legend, Angalo searches for his lost lover, Aran.
The biggest pool is believed to be Angalo’s footstep during his search for Aran.
THE NOAH’S ARCH IN NARVACAN
Don’t ever forget to include The Noah’s Arch into your itinerary when going to Ilocos Sur. Located in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, this will surely allow you to experience an adventure that will give you an adrenaline rush.
Throughout your travel in Ilocos, you will not just feel astonished by the majestic destinations your eyes will witness. Rest assured, what will make your travel remarkable is your own rediscovery of Ilocos Sur’s story and history.
Aphro Apollo (Roel Pulido Pagal) is a contemporary author and a senior student of BA Communication at the University of Northern Philippines. This young literary figure is pursuing his career in writing while attending his regular class. One of his goals in life is to become a Fashion journalist in Condé Nast, New York someday. His mantra, “Never underestimate the power of silence” really make things fall into place for him.