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February 19, 2013

Cervantes, Ilocos Sur

It was my first road trip to Northern Luzon. It took us around 10 hours to travel from Manila to Cervantes, a municipality in the mountains of Ilocos Sur. By the time we reached Ilocos Sur, it was already dark. Since it was also our first time to go up the winding road through the historic Bessang Pass all the way up the mountains, we were driving quite slowly and cautiously. We were heading for Cervantes upon the invitation of the Mayor to conduct a leadership retreat for his department heads.

Cervantes is an economically 4th class municipality and is also dubbed as the Summer Capital of Ilocos Sur. It is typically a mountainous area and has a cooler climate compared to other towns in Ilocos Sur.

We stayed at Villa Maria, a lodging house at the Concepcion area of the town. It has a nice view of the mountains of Ilocos Sur especially in the morning. Villa Maria is also the venue for the training that we conducted for the municipal employees of Cervantes.

After the training day, we were toured around by Doc Goody, the Municipal Health Officer of Cervantes to two of the town's mountain resorts. 

We also found time to visit the maternal half-way house in Cervantes, a facility constructed by the local government to house pregnant clients who would come down from far flung areas to deliver their babies in the birthing facility. Waiting pregnant women would stay for a week at the most in the fully furnished half-way home. The birthing center is just a stone's throw away.

Inside the Maternal halfway Home

Cervantes is a quaint mountain town, its people are very hospitable and courteous. I look forward to my return to this very historic place. 

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