ILOCOS SUR | Ziplines and Bridges; Crossing the Abra River | Lakad Pilipinas

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Abra River

En route to the northern provinces of the Philippines, I almost always wake up just before the bus I’m riding crosses the Abra River. From the newer Banaoang Bridge, I look out the window and gaze at the skeletal structure of the defunct Quirino Bridge. And almost always, the bus would zoom off the bridge without me being able to take even a single shot or let alone take my camera out from my bag.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Banaoang Bridge
ABRA RIVER UP CLOSE

The chance finally came for me to photograph the twin bridge that connects the town of Santa and Bantay in Ilocos Sur as I revisited Vigan City a month ago. Aboard a van full of media peeps, we traversed the rain-slicked roads to Barangay Banaoang and alighted just before the twin bridges.

But we were there, not really to take photos of the massive structures, but to cross it using a zip line.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Zipline
THE ILOCOS SUR ADVENTURE ZONE

Welcome to the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone. The recently opened adventure center is the newest attraction this side of the province. It caters mostly to adrenaline junkies and adventure freaks with its climbing and rappelling walls, kayak center, and of course, its 400-meter zip line.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Zipline
ZIPLINING ACROSS ABRA RIVER

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone is about fifteen minutes away by car from Vigan City and is perfect for tourists wanting a bit more after visiting Calle Crisologo and Vigan’s numerous museums. For those without their own transportation, Sta. Maria-bound buses pass by the area, fare is at about PHP25.00. Just make sure to tell the driver to drop you off at the zip line if you’re not too familiar with the place.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Abra River
THE MUDDY WATERS OF ABRA RIVER

It was drizzling on and off during our visit so I decided to pass off on the zip line. My companions however were all just too excited to do the river traverse. Secretly, what I really wanted to do was to walk towards the old Quirino Bridge and take photos.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Zipline
CROSSING THE ABRA RIVER BY ZIP LINE

So as they were busy strapping in, zipping off and taking selfies across the Abra River, I forged ahead towards the defunct bridge, an umbrella on one hand instead of a tripod.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Old Quirino Bridge
CHECKING OUT THE OLD QUIRINO BRIDGE

Quirino Bridge was just a few minutes’ walk from the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone, and I immediately wished I brought my tripod along. The steel-supported bridge looked really picturesque as I peeped through my viewfinder and snapped a few frames.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Old Quirino Bridge
QUIRINO BRIDGE FROM THE BANKS OF THE RIVER

Damaged by super typhoon Feria in 2005, it was replaced by a parallel bridge two years after. The old Parker-Type Bridge, which was named after former Philippine President Elpidio Quirino, a Bigueño, was retained as a tourist landmark. And rightly so, it is one of the country’s most beautiful bridges.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Old Quirino Bridge
OLD CONCRETE STAIRS LEADING DOWN TO ABRA RIVER

From where I was standing, I spotted a beat-up stone staircase that led down to the banks of the muddy Abra River. Of course, such opportunities were not to be passed off. I gingerly made my descent until the brown waters of the river was just a few inches from the soles of my shoes.

Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone Zipline
FLYING ACROSS THE ABRA RIVER

My curiosity and photo addiction satiated, I finally went back to the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone as the last of my companions were whizzing back in to the Bantay side of the zip line. “It was a heck of a ride, too bad you didn’t try it,” one of them told me as he was undoing the clasps of his safety gear. Well, to each his own, really, I silently replied.


Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone
Address: Brgy. Banaoang, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Open Hours: 8:00AM to 5:00PM
GPS Coordinates Map: 17.560222, 120.465639
ZIPLINE RATES: PHP250.00 (ONE-WAY, SITTING), PHP300.00 (ONE-WAY, SUPERMAN), PHP500.00 (TWO-WAY)
RAPPELLING RATES: PHP150.00 | WALL CLIMBING RATES: PHP150.00
KAYAKING RATES: PHP150.00 (30 MINUTES)
GIANT SWING RATES: PHP180.00 (SINGLE), PHP300.00 (TWIN)

 







Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

14 comments:

  1. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na Banaoang Bridge pala pangalan nya. ^_^

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  2. wat time po closing time nila dun

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  3. mam/sir

    how much po kaya ang rate sa zipline this time?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Merben, I updated the zipline rates just now :)

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  4. I didn't know meron doon zipline. Akala ko sa Narvacan. It looks so much like it.

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    1. This is a totally different one from Narvacan zipline, although they're relatively near each other. :)

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  5. Para saan yung stone steps? Anong meron don?

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    1. The road's way up from the river, so if you want to go to the banks itself, there are steps you can access going down Abra River :)

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  6. Ang sarap mg zipline jan ganda ng view pati

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, lalo na siguro on better weather!

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  7. Nag try ka mag zipline sir? o nag picture ka lang? :D

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    1. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try the zipline since it was raining at the time. Took pictures na lang :D

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