Perhaps not a lot of people visiting Vigan City in the province of Ilocos Sur are aware that at the edge of the historical town is a roaring, charming beach named after a quiet fishing village on the shores of South China Sea.
When I decided to visit the town with some friends, one of my would-be companions then told me that we can visit a beach resort about 30 minutes from the town proper. I was honestly surprised, as I’ve never heard about a beach resort in Ilocos Sur. To get there from the town proper, you will need to hail a calesa (horse-drawn carriage) or tricycle (auto-rickshaw) to reach Playa del Oro Resort in barangay Mindoro. Visiting and swimming in the beach is free, but I recommend staying in the resort for the night if you want to enjoy the beach until sunset and experience home-cooked authentic Ilocano cuisine.
Mindoro Beach is not exactly a beach paradise. Tourists most likely would prefer going to the more popular white beaches of Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte (northernmost part of Luzon). The sand is dark (reportedly due to magnetite), the water is far from calm, and the waves can be intimidating. In fact, the shore is lined with Xbloc breakwater armors, and the resort building itself is elevated to protect it from the strong waves.
Even so, what Mindoro Beach lacks, it makes up for with breath-taking views, calming beach sounds, and friendly locals. Some people even say that if you offer to help the fishermen haul their catch towards the shore, they will give you some of their fish for free! I have visited fishing villages before and from my experience, even if they don’t give you some for free, they will most likely sell their catch to you for an unbelievably low price, like Php. 20 (around US $0.44) per kilo! I am yet to try it the next time I go back to
Vigan, as I only learned about the fishing tip after my visit.
If you decide to stay in the resort, try to take an early morning stroll along the shoreline. During my visit with some friends, we were lucky to see the full moon still bright against the pastel sky in the horizon early the next morning. It was truly a priceless sight to behold!