Once a year, the Heritage City of Vigan echoes with the thundering sound of motorcycle exhausts. Tourists to the area may be surprised, but regular riders know it’s the Ilocos Sur Invitational Ride hosted by the Province of Ilocos Sur headed by Gov. Ryan Singson. For some years now, the Ilocos Sur Invitational Ride has made the vity of Vigan the premiere moto-tourism destination in the north.
A few years back, then congressman and avid motorcycle enthusiast, Ronald Singson, invited a couple of motorcycle rider groups to join him on his birthday celebration in his hometown of Vigan. It was so well received that, each year since, hundreds of riders join the festivities that have now grown into a full-fledged motorcycle riding event. It is now regular event in many of the local motorcycle club’s yearly calendars, promoting moto-tourism and camaraderie among fellow riders.
Gathering before the storm
This year’s invitational ride gathered riders coming in from all parts of the country at Villa Quirino in San Esteban, Ilocos Sur, about 44 kilometers south of Vigan. Serving as a gathering point before the grand convoy into Vigan, overflowing food was served, making the 400-kilometer journey for those coming from Manila worthwhile.
The motorcycle club BOSS (BMW Owners Safety Society) arrived shortly after noon coming from a recon counter-clockwise ride in preparation for this month’s BOSS Ironman Challenge. After the welcome lunch, riders headed straight to Vigan to refresh and stroll around the city’s popular spots before the main event proper.
Those who arrived early could see the various motorcycle models on display from Ural and Norton (distributed by Ropali) or KTM, Suzuki and Kawasaki (distributed by Wheeltek).
Ducatis and BMWs were also on display.
The main event was held in the evening at Plaza Burgos, hosted by the sultry Jacq Yu.
Come evening, dinner and refreshments were served.
As part of the main program, BMW officially launched the R1200 GS Rallye for the Philippine market. The first unit was presented to Cong. Singson. “It was during EICMA that I expressed my interest for a GS Rallye,” said the congressman. He then went on to thank BMW Motorrad Philippines for bringing him the most advanced BMW GS to date on such an auspicious occasion.
The event concluded with a mini-concert from the band, True Faith, with sets well until midnight.
Jump off point to new journeys
The next morning, riders were free to stay longer in Vigan, to tour the beautiful city. Some groups went back to Manila while others geared up and took advantage of the sunny weather to head up to the Pine City of Baguio. Others still opted for the cooler locale of Sagada.
Vigan, after all, is just a few hours away from these two great moto-tourism destinations, accessible by traversing through the town of Tagudin to Halselma highway in Mountain Province with endless twisties and great picturesque views.
We wish to thank the province and people of Ilocos Sur, headed by Gov. Ryan Singson and former Cong. Ronald Singson for hosting us; to Cheggy Medina of Lechon City for lending us his trusty Royal Enfield Himalayan and Jimmy Barinaga of Royal Enfield Pilipinas for the support.