Sinait is a rustic town in the province of Ilocos Sur and is known as the Garlic Capital of the North because of its robust trade and cultivation of the spice. The town is also home to the Miraculous Statue of the Black Nazarene, held in high regard and devotion by Ilocanos.
The Santo Cristo Milagroso of Sinait: Treasure of Ilocandia
Sinait houses the Sanctuary of the Miraculous Statue of the Black Nazarene (El Santo Cristo Milagroso), fondly called by its residents as "Apo Lakay." The life-sized statue was sent floating in the sea by the missionaries in Japan for fear of persecution during the Tokugawa Regime. It was found by local fishermen on the shores of Barangay Dadalaquiten, on the boundary between Sinait and nearby Badoc, in the year 1620.
In 1656, due to its believed miraculous powers, the Black Crucifix was taken to the capital town of Vigan. Since then, hundreds of devotees gathered to the place to witness the saint and through their devotion many were cured. In 1660, devotees constructed a permanent edifice to house the miraculous statue. It took the people of Sinait eight years to construct the church with funds provided by the Spanish Audiencia. Today the landing site of Apo Lakay still exists in Barangay Dadalaquiten, and is a place of pilgrimage for devotees.
Other Points of Interest
• Sinait Public Market – As the Garlic Center of the North, garlic from the town and the neighboring towns of Badoc and Pinili are traded daily here.
• The barangay of Pug-os was renamed Don Leopoldo Yabes, in honor of the Ilocano writer and dean from the University of the Philippines who once lived in Sinait.
• Cabangtalan Imelda's Cove features white sand beaches. It is located on the way to Barangay Dadalaquiten.
• San Nicolas de Tolentino Church/Sanctuary of the Miraculous Statue of the Black Nazarene (El Santo Cristo Milagroso) houses the Miraculous Statue of El Santo Cristo Milagroso, or "Apo Lakay."
• Barangay Dadalaquiten is the landing place of the Miraculous Statue of the Black Nazarene in 1620.
An old tale is said to explain the origin of the town's name. The first known inhabitants of Sinait were called “Tirong.” There were hardy and warlike natives known for their sea-faring adventures and fondness in every aspect of their life. Because of this, Captain Salcedo de Legaspi, the head of the Spanish troops who conquered the Ilocos Provinces, named this place “Sin-nait”, which in the local dialect means “contest”. In 1535 the community was organized as a pueblo. As time went on, locals experienced difficulty in pronouncing the name of their place, so that in 1575, Salcedo declared the dropping of one the letter “n”. Since then the town was known for its present name “Sinait”.
Great Tips and Trips to Vigan
From Manila there are various bus lines that offer trips to Ilocos. There is one in Edsa-Pasay (Partas Bus Terminal) and in Cubao (Partas Bus Terminal & Florida Bus Terminal). An evening trip is encouraged because it's a 9-hour ride to get to Vigan.
Then from Vigan, rented transportation is encouraged and available to access must-see places in-between towns. There are also tricyles, buses and mini buses that ply these towns which will bring you to the town proper.
Accommodations to Vigan: There are many inns, pension houses and hotels located in and around Vigan, like My Vigan Home Hotel and Gordion Hotel.
My Vigan Home Hotel is located at 14 Plaridel corner Bonifacio Streets, Vigan (Ilocos Sur), Ilocos Region, Philippines 2700. Gordion Hotel is located at V. Delos Reyes corner Salcedo Sts., Vigan (Ilocos Sur), Ilocos Region, Philippines.