Black sand beaches are rare anywhere in the world, and a good number is located near volcanoes, where the sand is a by-product of lava that has cooled rapidly upon contact with water and then breaking up into small to tiny particles. Good examples are seen in Hawaii, bhile in the Philippines, the more widely known are in Albay. But there are black sand beaches too whose color indicates the presence of metals and rare earth elements; such sand is consequently heavily mined.
Most of those who go to Vigan in Ilocos Sur stay only around the premises centered on the plaza, but if one goes further then pleasant discoveries await, such as this black sand beach on Brgy. Mindoro. The black color is due to a heavy concentration of magnetite, which was probably carried there from rivers. However, I do not know much about the geological history of this part of the Philippines to be able to make further comments.
Believe me, the sand is as silky as it looks. I kept on dragging the upper side of my feet on the beach as I really liked the tactile qualities of the sand.
I would guess that those mineralized particles with the color of gold has lent the name to the barangay, as 'Mindoro' is a contraction of 'Mina de oro', or 'gold mine' in Spanish.
All that seawater is part of the West Philippine Sea. Swimming is not recommended due to the powerful waves that smash to the shore; even the locals will dissuade you from doing so. However, I reckon that there are times of the year when the waves are gentler.
The sand is as black as it can get.
Our 'daughter', Menzie...
Me and my girlfriend's footsteps.
Mindoro Beach is rarely visited, and even when it is, people only stay for a very limited time. However, Playa de Oro Resort should be able to accommodate you if you wish for a longer black beach experience.
From Vigan proper, hire a trike to get you to Mindoro Beach. But note that despite what most available maps on the internet says, it is quite a distance from the town center. You can ask the tricycle driver to wait for you, although there is always the possibility that you will linger on the beach, in which case you may have to give the driver ample compensation for waiting for you.
If you are bringing a private vehicle, proceed to Katipunan St. from Rizal Ave. and keep driving until you reach Brgy. Mindoro; you will pass by the Hidden Garden, Damili Village and the Mindoro Airport, which also will serve as your landmarks to tell you that you are going the right way.