14 Interesting Facts about Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur, a province located in the Ilocos Region of the Philippines, is a captivating destination renowned for its historical significance, cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes. It is situated in the western part of Luzon and is bordered by the South China Sea to the west, making it a region of great natural beauty and historical significance.

Vigan, the capital city of Ilocos Sur, stands as a living museum of Spanish colonial architecture. The city’s well-preserved Spanish-style houses, cobblestone streets, and historic churches have earned it the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can wander through the streets of Calle Crisologo, where they are transported back in time to the Spanish colonial era, experiencing the charm and beauty of this unique heritage.

The province is also known for its rich culinary tradition. Ilocano cuisine offers a delightful array of flavors, with longganisa (sausage) and bagnet (crispy pork belly) being notable favorites. These dishes exemplify the region’s culinary expertise and are a must-try for food enthusiasts.

Ilocos Sur’s historical significance extends to its role in the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule. It was in this province that Gabriela Silang, a prominent Filipina revolutionary leader, played a pivotal role in the fight for independence.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Ilocos Sur boasts a diverse natural landscape, from beautiful coastal areas to scenic mountain regions. Tourists can explore pristine beaches, serene rivers, and lush hills that offer numerous opportunities for outdoor activities and adventure, making Ilocos Sur a well-rounded and fascinating destination in the Philippines.

Ilocos Sur Capitol

Ilocos Sur Capitol (Wikimedia)

It’s a good idea to look at these 14 interesting facts about Ilocos Sur to know more about this province.

  1. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and heritage.
  2. Calle Crisologo: Calle Crisologo is a famous street in Vigan known for its cobblestone pathways and Spanish-style houses that transport visitors back to the colonial era.
  3. Birthplace of Gabriela Silang: Gabriela Silang, a prominent Filipina revolutionary leader, was born in Ilocos Sur and played a significant role in the fight for Philippine independence.
  4. Historical Landmarks: The province is home to numerous historical landmarks, including the Santa Maria Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Bantay Church, which offers panoramic views from its bell tower.
  5. Ilocano Empanada: Ilocos Sur is famous for its unique version of empanada, a savory pastry filled with ingredients like longganisa (sausage), egg, and vegetables.
  6. Baluarte Zoo: Owned by Chavit Singson, Baluarte Zoo is a popular attraction in Vigan, featuring a variety of animals, a butterfly garden, and a mini-zoo for exotic birds.
  7. Pottery Making: The town of Alingan in Santa is known for its pottery industry, with local artisans crafting a wide range of ceramics.
  8. Kalesa Rides: Traditional horse-drawn carriages, known as kalesas, are a common mode of transportation and a charming way to explore the streets of Vigan.
  9. Tirad Pass: Tirad Pass in Candon is a historic site where General Gregorio del Pilar made a heroic last stand against American forces during the Philippine-American War.
  10. Salt Making: Coastal areas in Ilocos Sur are known for traditional salt making, a practice deeply rooted in the region’s culture and history.
  11. Syquia Mansion: The Syquia Mansion in Vigan, once the home of the Philippines’ sixth President Elpidio Quirino, is now a museum showcasing the history of the Quirino family.
  12. Santa Catalina Church Belfry: The belfry of Santa Catalina Church in Santa is a popular attraction, known for its stunning panoramic views of the countryside.
  13. Burgos National Museum: The town of Burgos houses a national museum that features exhibits related to the history and culture of the Ilocos Region.
  14. Narvacan Jump-off Point: Narvacan serves as a jump-off point for adventurers heading to the Cordillera mountain range and the nearby towns of Ilocos Sur, offering opportunities for trekking and exploration.

Ilocos Sur, with its rich historical tapestry, captivating cultural heritage, and enchanting landscapes, stands as a testament to the Philippines’ enduring charm and allure. The province’s cobblestone streets of Vigan transport you to a bygone era, where Spanish colonial architecture weaves a story of the past into the present. The birthplace of revolutionary leaders like Gabriela Silang, it’s a place where history echoes through the ages. The mouthwatering delights of Ilocano cuisine, from longganisa to bagnet, offer a tantalizing journey for the senses. As you explore its historic landmarks, embrace its natural beauty, and immerse yourself in its warm and welcoming culture, Ilocos Sur unveils its captivating narrative, inviting you to become a part of its enduring story.