Vigan City is an island. I was so amused yet curious of the said statement.   

Images of the colonial heritage houses, cobblestone pavements and Spanish-inspired architectural designs and layout of the city’s façade comprises Vigan City but don’t limit yourself to that, as there is more that the city can offer, considering its topography.

The river, beach and the mountains of the city provide surprises and adventures which I myself was caught off guard.


Taking advantage of the temporary clear skies after a heavy downpour of rain, our organizers decided that we try the zipline crossing the Abra River at the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone, a few kilometers ride from the center of Vigan.

getting ready for the zipline experience
My first zipline experience was in Tagaytay City and the view down under was a forest.  It was a fun-filled experience that was followed by a number at varied locations.  This time around I decided not to try, I was contented on seeing my friends scream and enjoy the experience. 

Situated at the historic Abra River, not far from the station of the zipline is the famed Quirino Bridge, connecting the province of Ilocos to the Cagayan Valley region.  And so we walked, together with other members of the media, to view the scenic mountains and the river with the bridge as the focal point. 

The adventure zone further offers kayaking, rappelling and wall-climbing.  But more than these physically demanding activities, visitors are awarded with a breath of fresh air and the scenic landscape that surrounds.

Vigan City, being detached from the mainland by rivers, another river that tourists can cross is the historical Mestizo River, through the Vigan Heritage River Cruise.  This tourist attraction is still part of reinforcing the Vigan Heritage Conservation Program operated by the City Government.

The cruise takes 45 minutes with a voice-over played narrating Vigan’s origin, historical background and other significant information while passing thru five life-sized tableaus.  Unfortunately for our group, we were not able to experience the same on board on account of weather constraints and for safety reasons. We just passed by the docking area, viewed the river and took photos as our usual routine.


Before our scheduled heading back to Manila, the beach was our destination.  From a distance, the vast stretch of black sand seems like a barren area.  It was an abandoned and uninhabited place with our group as the pirates.

This is Mindoro Beach on a rainy season and after a typhoon has passed the northern part of Luzon.

Though the weather was fine, the waves were unforgivable. We took a dip and loiter around waiting for the sun to set.  Mindoro Beach of Vigan City is one of the best black sand beaches in the Philippines. 

The best beaches have always been associated with fine white sand.  It has almost been the same as saying that a lady with white complexion is beautiful.  But we must not generalize too much as black can indeed be beautiful. Mindoro beach is certainly comparable to the long line of lists provided as the best beaches of the Philippines.

This is all thanks to Mr. Jose “Bonito” Singson, Jr. Hotel Felicidad-Vigan’s consultant, for the transportation service and we were able to experience the beach impromptu.  Thus, we decided to extend our stay at Vigan City.


Apt for the destination’s name, the Hidden Garden is a revelation in the heritage city of Vigan.  The displayed potteries, manicured and well-maintained set of gardens, aviaries and a restaurant comforted us before we rode the bus going back to Manila.

We first ordered from the restaurant and while waiting for our late lunch, strolled around the gardens.

The Lilong and Lilang Restaurant that sits at the center of the garden serves the specialty dishes of Vigan.  I should have ordered more rice with the way the dishes were prepared but I have to control myself.  It was truly delectable and reasonably priced.      

Binagoongang rice

Bagnet Sisig

Bagnet served with Kamatis, Bagoong and Lasona known as KBL

my favorite poqui-poqui

Ilocano halo-halo as the menu says so - go figure why and you'll be surprised
Note: Review on Ilocano cuisine will be subject of a separate blog post.


Vigan City, Philippines is one of the finalists for the New7WondersCities of the World. Show your support and be part of the Philippine history by casting your votes through:

Text VIGAN10 and send to 29290777 for 10 votes  

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  1. Andami plang attractions sa Vigan. Calle Crisologo at Baluarte lang napuntahan ko dati! At ang saya-saya nyo ah. kainggit. Hehehe!