The capital of Ilocos Sur is Vigan. Here are the other notable places of Ilocos Sur that I had been to. These are landmarks on the way to Vigan.
Sulvec Point is on the coastline of Narvacan, in which you can also see a grotto in a rock. The grotto can be viewed along the highways. it is also known as grotto by the sea and also called Paraiso ni Juan. The beach area is called Sulvec Beach with stunning rock formations and brown rock sands. A Spanish boat was shipwrecked in this coastline led by Captain Juan de Salcedo, hence the name of the place.
Narvacan Church of St. Lucy Parish Church
One of the famous places in Narvacan is the baroque church called St. Lucy Parish Church or Narvacan Church. It is established by the Augustinians and is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. There’s a belfry near the church.
Quirino Bridge is an iconic symbol of Ilocos Sur. When you reached the bridge, it also means that you are near the historical Vigan City. The bridge is traversing the Abra river. It is sandwiched between two mountains. The old bridge is preserved as a tourist attraction and is built in honor of President Elpidio Quirino.
The new bridge was a replacement for the typhoon stricken old bridge and was inaugurated in 2009.
I’d been to Vigan for so many times and I was only looking at the famous heritage street and dining at their famous restaurant and enjoying street food like empanada and okoy in Plaza Burgos. We tried the one-day heritage tour in Vigan. We explored the Vigan heritage village while riding the calesa.
National Museum or Padre Burgos House
Our next stop was the National Museum or Padre Burgos House along the Padre Burgos Street.
Bantay Church Bell Tower and Saint Augustin Parish Church
Next destination is the Bantay Church Bell Tower in the nearby town of Bantay. The Belfry was a watchtower in the Spanish era. It is located in Rizal Street.
We also went up to the bell tower and found the view of the Quirino bridge and the cemetery. Then we went to the Saint Augustine Parish Church.
Our next stop is the Punta Baluarte, owned by Gov. Chavit Singson. It is a mini-zoo with a butterfly garden, a track for horse riding, and a skeet shooting range and open to the public.
It is located along Quirino Boulevard which houses different animals. The private area where the resort complex is located and the multi-story house of the former governor lies in hectares of lands that stretches in the plain towards the hills.
After which we went to the Hidden Garden. Located in Katipunan Street, Hidden Garden is a hidden gem with a restaurant called Lilong and Liliang, a beautifully landscaped garden and superb potteries. The restaurant offers the Ilocano specialty dishes like empanada, pinakbet, bagnet, warek-warek and many others.
One of the famous tourist destination in North Luzon is Vigan. It is owned by a prominent Versoza family of Vigan. The entrance of the heritage house is located along Quirino Boulevard but has a backdoor along De Los Reyes Street. It is a few blocks away from the Vigan Heritage Village.
The house was built in 1870 and was named for their matriarch Angela Versoza Villanueva. The house was a gallery of the mementos of the family which they displayed in the house and admired by the visitors and guests.
The house was restored by descendants in the eighties. It is also one of the locations of the famous movie Jose Rizal. Tom Cruise also stayed in the heritage house during his film shoot in 1989. A picture of him hangs in the walls along with the photos of the Versoza clan.
There are private rooms for the guests. I was able to stay in one of the rooms with a bathroom inside and another room without a bathroom. There is a common bathroom in the second floor outside the kitchen area. In the first floor is a dormitory for groups.
Breakfast is served in their antique dining area were we could see the antique kitchen objects like pots, porcelain and china wares. Guests enjoys the living room area with huge windows made of capiz. Old personal furniture of the Versoza clan are found in the house.