by - 12:28 PM

The main goal was to visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines at Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur on one weekend.  Our gracious host, Mr. Bonito Singson Jr., consultant of Hotel Felicidad-Vigan City, provided us transportation service.  Any guest of the said hotel can likewise experience what we have experienced by making reservations.  Hotel service is the most convenient way to discover the not so well-traveled road of Ilocos Sur.

En route, the typical setting of countryside appeared before us.  The concrete pavement of the road is sandwiched by a succulent mountain and the beach.      

We requested for a stopover, breathe fresh air, hear the sound of the waves and pondered – would this be the best place to swim and drink beer?  This is a very important question that seems to need the aid of the S-W-O-T (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) matrix. We were then on top of a hill near the roadside and the beach.

Then, the group’s consensus was to move forward on the long stretch of the beach, to a vantage point near the grotto, where we’ll have our lunch, swim and drink some booze (preferably redhorse).

Devoid of any idea where we are, we ordered our lunch in a bus stopover cafeteria (quite pricey), took some beer and stayed in a makeshift bench made of bamboo, facing the rocky shores of a beach. The idea of swimming was scrapped, thus, another drinking session it was.  Brief yet priceless.

From afar, a group of men stands near a huge and prominent rock where the grotto sitsAnd so I thought they were tourists taking photos.  But no, as these were fishermen doing their daily routines amidst the smashing of the waves on varied directions, the rocks of varied sizes serving as the breakwater.

The view could have been more scenic that day had the blue skies decided to boast to visitors like us. But like any other so-called excursion we had, the weather is not of prime importance, it is the bonding and sharing of stories over bottles of beer.

Later on, I learned that this was the famed Sulvec Beach of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.

After hours of loitering, we decided to have a swim and head back to Vigan at Mindoro Beach, passed by the Silang historical marker and wandered at the plaza at night for the fountain show.  

Special thanks to Hotel Felicidad-Vigan City, we had an extended stay at the city for a discounted rate.


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:

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